If wishes were fishes

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  • Published 20110502
  • ISBN: 9781921758218
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

I LISTLESSLY TRAWLED through endless canned quote pages, searching for a line that would capture my feelings and ideas about the links between fun, participation and problem-solving. Where I found it now eludes me, but it was this line from Harvey Cox’s The Feast of Fools: A Theological Essay on Festivity and Fantasy (1969) that fitted the bill, and it became my refrain: ‘the comic, more than the tragic, because it ignites hope, leads to more, not less, participation in the struggle for a just world.’ [i]

Why does this sentence hold such attraction? Is it the fiery imagery, the idea that hope, once released, would spread like an inferno, extinguishing poverty and inequality? The promise of leaving behind the endless cataloguing of disasters and documenting of irreversible declines in exchange for something lighter, more palatable? Or because it evokes that irresistible mythology of the ’60s: a true people-power revolution?

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About the author

Deborah Cleland

Deborah Cleland is a PhD student at the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University.She works in science communication and...

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