Escapism is the avoidance of unpleasant, boring, arduous, scary, or banal aspects of daily life.[2] It can also be used as a term to define the actions people take to help relieve persistent feelings of depression or general sadness.

Lohengrin 1885
King Ludwig II of Bavaria was an escapist who used to "escape" into the world of Wagnerian mythology.[1] A caricature portrays him as Lohengrin.


Entire industries have sprung up to foster a growing tendency of people to remove themselves from the rigors of daily life – especially into the digital world.[3] Many activities that are normal parts of a healthy existence (e.g., eating, sleeping, exercise, sexual activity) can also become avenues of escapism when taken to extremes or out of proper context; and as a result the word "escapism" often carries a negative connotation, suggesting that escapists are unhappy, with an inability or unwillingness to connect meaningfully with the world and to take necessary action.[4] Indeed, the OED defined escapism as "The tendency to seek, or the practice of seeking, distraction from what normally has to be endured".[5]

However, many challenge the idea that escapism is fundamentally and exclusively negative. C. S. Lewis was fond of humorously remarking that the usual enemies of escape were jailers;[6] and considered that used in moderation escapism could serve both to refresh and to expand the imaginative powers.[7] Similarly J. R. R. Tolkien argued for escapism in fantasy literature as the creative expression of reality within a secondary (imaginative) world, (but also emphasised that they required an element of horror in them, if they were not to be 'mere escapism').[8] Terry Pratchett considered that the twentieth century had seen the development over time of a more positive view of escapist literature.[9] Apart from literature, music has been seen and valued as an artistic medium of escape, too.[10]

Psychological escapes

Freud considered a quota of escapist fantasy a necessary element in the life of humans: "[T]hey cannot subsist on the scanty satisfaction they can extort from reality. 'We simply cannot do without auxiliary constructions', Theodor Fontane once said".[11] His followers saw rest and wish fulfilment (in small measures) as useful tools in adjusting to traumatic upset;[12] while later psychologists have highlighted the role of vicarious distractions in shifting unwanted moods, especially anger and sadness.[13]

However, if permanent residence is taken up in some such psychic retreats, the results will often be negative and even pathological.[14] Drugs cause some forms of escapism which can occur when certain mind-altering drugs are taken which make the participant forget the reality of where they are or what they are meant to be doing.

Escapist societies

Some social critics warn of attempts by the powers that control society to provide means of escapism instead of actually bettering the condition of the people – what Juvenal called “bread and the games”.[15] Escapist societies appear often in literature. The Time Machine depicts the Eloi, a lackadaisical, insouciant race of the future, and the horror their happy lifestyle belies. The novel subtly criticizes capitalism, or at least classism, as a means of escape. Escapist societies are common in dystopian novels; for example, in the Fahrenheit 451 society, television and "seashell radios" are used to escape a life with strict regulations and the threat of a forthcoming war. In science fiction media escapism is often depicted as an extension of social evolution, as society becomes detached from physical reality and processing into a virtual one, examples include the virtual world of Oz in the 2009 Japanese animated science fiction anime Summer Wars and the game "Society" in the 2009 American science fiction film Gamer, a play on the real-life MMO game Second Life. Other escapist societies in literature include The Reality Bug by D. J. McHale, where an entire civilization leaves their world in ruin while they 'jump' into their perfect realities. The aim of the anti hero becomes a quest to make their realities seemingly less perfect in order to regain control over their dying planet.

Social philosopher Ernst Bloch wrote that utopias and images of fulfilment, however regressive they might be, also included an impetus for a radical social change. According to Bloch, social justice could not be realized without seeing things fundamentally differently. Something that is mere "daydreaming" or "escapism" from the viewpoint of a technological-rational society might be a seed for a new and more humane social order, as it can be seen as an "immature, but honest substitute for revolution".

Escape scale

The Norwegian psychologist Frode Stenseng has presented a dualistic model of escapism in relation to different types of activity engagements. He discusses the paradox that the flow state (Csikszentmihalyi) resembles psychological states obtainable through actions such as drug abuse, sexual masochism, and suicide ideation (Baumeister). Accordingly, he deduces that the state of escape can have both positive and negative meanings and outcomes. Stenseng argues that there exist two forms of escapism with different affective outcomes dependent on the motivational focus that lies behind the immersion in the activity. Escapism in the form of self-suppression stems from motives to run away from unpleasant thoughts, self-perceptions, and emotions, whereas self-expansion stems from motives to gain positive experiences through the activity and to discover new aspects of self. Stenseng has developed the "escape scale" to measure self-suppression and self-expansion in people´s favorite activities, such as sports, arts, and gaming. Empirical investigations of the model have shown that:[16]

  • the two dimensions are distinctively different with regard to affective outcomes
  • some individuals are more prone to engage through one type of escapism
  • situational levels of well-being affect the type of escapism that becomes dominant at a specific time

During the Great Depression

Alan Brinkley, author of Culture and Politics in the Great Depression, presents how escapism became the new trend for dealing with the hardships created by the stock market crash in 1929: magazines, radio and movies, all were aimed to help people mentally escape from the mass poverty and economic downturn. Life magazine, which became hugely popular during the 1930s, was said to have pictures that give "no indication that there was such a thing as depression; most of the pictures are of bathing beauties and ship launchings and building projects and sports heroes – of almost anything but poverty and unemployment”. Famous director Preston Sturges aimed to validate this notion by creating a film called Sullivan's Travels. The film ends with a group of poor destitute men in jail watching a comedic Mickey Mouse cartoon that ultimately lifts their spirits. Sturges aims to point out how "foolish and vain and self-indulgent" it would be to make a film about suffering. Therefore, movies of the time more often than not focused on comedic plot lines that distanced people emotionally from the horrors that were occurring all around them. These films "consciously, deliberately set out to divert people from their problems", but it also diverted them from the problems of those around them.[17]

See also


  1. ^ Workman, Leslie J. (1994). Medievalism in Europe. Boydell & Brewer. p. 241. ISBN 9780859914000.
  2. ^
  3. ^ G. Kainer, Grace and the Great Controversy (2010) p. 35
  4. ^ D. Baggett et al, C. S. Lewis as Philosopher (2009) p. 260
  5. ^ Quoted in T. A. Shipley, The Road to Middle-Earth (1992) p. 285
  6. ^ G. Kainer, Grace and the Great Controversy (2010) p. 34
  7. ^ D. Baggett et al, C. S. Lewis as Philosopher (2009) p. 260
  8. ^ T. F. Nicolay, Tolkien and the Modernists (2014) p. 79 and p. 66
  9. ^ Terry Pratchett & Stephen Briggs, The Discworld Companion (2012) p. 329
  10. ^ Andreas Dorschel, Der Welt abhanden kommen. Über musikalischen Eskapismus. In: Merkur 66 (2012), no. 2, pp. 135–142
  11. ^ S, Freud, Introductory lectures on Psychoanalysis (PFL1) p. 419
  12. ^ Otto Fenichel, The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis (1946), p. 554
  13. ^ D. Goleman, Emotional Intelligence (1996) p. 73
  14. ^ R. Britton, Belief and Imagination (2003) p. 119
  15. ^ Juvenal, The Sixteen Satires (1982) p. 207
  16. ^ Stenseng, Frode; Rise, Jostein; Kraft, Pål (2012). "Activity Engagement as Escape from Self: The Role of Self-Suppression and Self-Expansion". Leisure Sciences: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 34 (1): 19–38. doi:10.1080/01490400.2012.633849.
  17. ^ Brinkley, Alan. Culture and Politics in the Great Depression. Waco, Tx: Markham Press Fund, 1999.

External links

2016 Irish Greyhound Derby

The 2016 Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby started on 11 August and culminated with the final held on 17 September at Shelbourne Park. The prize money on offer was €240,000 of which €125,000 went to the winner Rural Hawaii. The competition was sponsored by Boylesports.

Produce Stakes & Champion Stakes winner Clares Rocket headed the ante-post lists at a very short 5-1. Other leading contenders included the defending champion Ballymac Matt, Kirby Memorial Stakes & Dundalk International champion Droopys Roddick and the 2016 English Greyhound Derby winner Jaytee Jet.

Budapest school

The Budapest school, or documentarism, was a Hungarian film movement that flourished from roughly 1972 to 1984. The movement originated from Béla Balázs Studios, a small-budget filmmaking community that aimed to unite the young avant-garde and underground filmmakers of Hungary and give them an opportunity to make experimental works without state censorship. The Balázs studio gave birth to two main movements in the early 1970s: an experimental, avant-garde group (led by individuals like Gábor Bódy), and the documentarist group, whose main goal was the portrayal of absolute social-reality on screen. This movement was called "Budapest school" by an Italian film critic on a European film festival. Soon they adopted this name.

The main founders and leaders of the group were István Dárday, Györgyi Szalai, Judit Ember and Pál Schiffer. Many young and sometimes amateur artists were invited to the group by fellow filmmakers, especially Béla Tarr, who made his debut film at the age of 22 with financing from the Béla Balázs Studios.

Films of the movement were generally (but not always) shot with amateur equipment, mostly hand-held cameras, and usually by two or more cameras at the same time. Non-professional actors, who most of the time socially resembled their characters, were cast. These films also avoided pre-written scripts, with only a basic scenario and certain plot elements pre-written, and the cast members' reactions improvised on the set. Most films were shot in a very short period of time with a very limited budget or no budget at all. Their central themes were mostly the lives of working class and poor people in urban Hungary and their struggle to have a decent existence. The main goal of the movement was to show absolute reality on screen instead of the false escapism shown by commercial and mainstream films.

The Budapest school movement closely resembled cinema verité. The first full-length film made in this manner was Jutalomutazás ("The Prize Trip") (1975) by István Dárday and Györgyi Szalai. The best-known example of the movement is "Családi tűzfészek" ("Family Nest") (1979) by Béla Tarr.

Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations

"Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations" is the fifth episode of the fourth season of the NBC sitcom Community, which originally aired on March 7, 2013. The episode was written by Steve Basilone and Annie Mebane, and directed by Tristram Shapeero. The episode serves as a resolution to Jeff Winger's troubled history with his father. James Brolin guest-stars as William Winger Sr., Jeff's father. Adam DeVine also guest-stars as William Winger Jr., Jeff's half-brother.

Escapism (song)

"Escapism" (エスカピズム, esukapizumu) is the sixth single by Japanese band Antic Cafe. The title track is featured on the album Shikisai Moment. The song peaked at No. 75 on the Japanese singles chart.

Escapism Travel Magazine

Escapism Travel Magazine is a travel magazine based in New York City, United States. Published twice a year, it has 250,000 readers, according to its corporate media kit.

The magazine emphasizes luxury travel, eco-tourism and cultural heritage. Articles offer information on new, emerging destinations; coastal tourism; food; design; and style.

It is published by SanMax Publishing.


Escapist may refer to:

Escapist, a person engaged in the act of escapism

Escapist fiction

Fairy painting

Fairy painting is a genre of painting and illustration featuring fairies and fairy tale settings, often with extreme attention to detail. The genre is most closely associated with Victorian painting in Great Britain, but has experienced a contemporary revival. Moreover, fairy painting was also seen as escapism for Victorians.

Gainsborough melodramas

The Gainsborough melodramas were a sequence of films produced by the British film studio Gainsborough Pictures during the 1940s which conformed to a melodramatic style. The melodramas were not a film series but an unrelated sequence of films which had similar themes and frequently recurring actors who played similar characters in each. The popularity of the films with audiences peaked in the immediate post-war years, but production of such films lasted until the end of Gainsborough in 1949. The success of the films led to other British producers releasing similarly-themed works such as The Seventh Veil, Idol of Paris and Pink String and Sealing Wax.

The first film in the sequence was The Man in Grey (based on a novel of the same name) which proved to be a major success on its release in 1943. This led to a number of similar pictures being made often based on melodramatic period novels. The films dominated the British box office, out-grossing top Hollywood productions and breaking a number of records. A large element of their appeal was their overt escapism at a time when the Second World War was still being fought.

Previously the studio had been particularly known for its comedy films, but rapidly became closely associated with melodrama. The films have become synonymous with the studios, in a manner that resembles the Ealing Comedies. This was despite the fact that Gainsborough made films in a variety of genres during its twenty-five year existence. The films were initially received with critical hostility, but in subsequent years they have become the subject of more favourable study.

Many of the films make use of chiaroscuro lighting and mildly expressionist imagery, influenced by the earlier style of German cinema. The producer Edward Black played a major role in overseeing a number of the earlier films. Later, Sydney Box became head of production at Gainsborough. The films were made either at Gainsborough's Islington Studios or the larger Lime Grove Studios in Shepherd's Bush.

Geothermal Escapism

"Geothermal Escapism" is the fifth episode of the fifth season of Community, and the 89th episode overall in the series. It originally aired on January 23, 2014 on NBC; and was written by Tim Saccardo and directed by Joe Russo. This is also the last episode of the series to feature Donald Glover as Troy Barnes, who left the show for other growing film and music career commitments.The episode also featured a cameo appearance from LeVar Burton, who last appeared in the second season episode "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking"; his appearance was received positively by critics.

In this episode, as Troy Barnes prepares to leave Greendale for a year-long sailing trip in order to attain Pierce Hawthorne's (Chevy Chase) reward from his will, Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi) organizes a campus-wide game of "The Floor is Lava," which grows surprisingly competitive when Abed reveals the prize: a comic book worth $50,000. While the game progresses, Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs) tries to convince the study group — specifically Abed — to appropriately cope with Troy's leaving other than another campus-wide competition, and she enlists Professor Buzz Hickey (Jonathan Banks) to help her.

Commentators applauded the episode, specifically Abed's role in trying to cope with Troy's impending departure; however, some were critical of the episode's theme and the show's dependency on concept episodes. Upon airing, the episode attained 3.02 million viewers and an 18-49 rating of 1.1, placing fifth in its timeslot and thirteenth for the night among primetime television.


Glamping is a portmanteau of glamorous and camping and describes a style of camping with amenities and, in some cases, resort-style services not usually associated with "traditional" camping. Glamping has become particularly popular with 21st-century tourists seeking the luxuries of hotel accommodation alongside the escapism and adventure recreation of camping.

Kitchen sink realism

Kitchen sink realism (or kitchen sink drama) is a British cultural movement that developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s in theatre, art, novels, film, and television plays, whose protagonists usually could be described as "angry young men" who were disillusioned with modern society. It used a style of social realism, which depicted the domestic situations of working class Britons, living in cramped rented accommodation and spending their off-hours drinking in grimy pubs, to explore controversial social and political issues ranging from abortion to homelessness. The harsh, realistic style contrasted sharply with the escapism of the previous generation's so-called "well-made plays".

The films, plays and novels employing this style are often set in poorer industrial areas in the North of England, and use the accents and slang heard in those regions. The film It Always Rains on Sunday (1947) is a precursor of the genre, and the John Osborne play Look Back in Anger (1956) is thought of as the first of the genre. The gritty love-triangle of Look Back in Anger, for example, takes place in a cramped, one-room flat in the English Midlands. Shelagh Delaney's 1958 play A Taste of Honey (which was made into a film of the same name in 1961), is about a teenage schoolgirl who has an affair with a black sailor, gets pregnant, and then moves in with a gay male acquaintance; it raises issues such as class, race, gender and sexual orientation. The conventions of the genre have continued into the 2000s, finding expression in such television shows as Coronation Street and EastEnders.In art, "Kitchen Sink School" was a term used by critic David Sylvester to describe painters who depicted social realist–type scenes of domestic life.


Moominvalley (Swedish: Mumindalen, Finnish: Muumilaakso) is a fictional place, where the Moomins live in the tales by Finnish author Tove Jansson.

Especially in the early books Moominvalley is depicted as a beautiful place with green slopes, rivers, fruit trees, flowers and a place for calm and peaceful life as in the tradition of pastoral poetry, and yet it is still threatened by natural forces such as flooding and volcanoes. The valley is surrounded by Lonely Mountains in the east and by other mountains in the south, while the west faces the sea. Thus, travel on land is often preceded by mountain climbing in the stories. It was inspired by Ängsmarn, a family retreat in Sweden, which is also situated on a grassy field facing the sea and surrounded by rocky outcrops. The Moominvalley is also a manifestation of Jansson's escapism; she often fantasized about establishing a colony in Morocco or moving to The Basque Country or Tonga.

In Moominpappa at Sea, Moominvalley is depicted as a place of boredom.Moominvalley is also the former name for the Moomin Museum in Tampere, Finland.

Seahaven (band)

Seahaven is an American band from Torrance, California.

Stereo World

"Stereo World" is a song by Feeder, released as the group's first single in 1996. It was taken from the Swim mini-album. It also appears on the later released LP debut Polythene of 1997. it is believed that the song is about escapism.

It was Korn's "Single of The Month" as guest reviewers in Metal Hammer magazine.

Take You High

"Take You High" is a song by American recording artist Kelly Clarkson from her seventh studio album, Piece by Piece (2015). Written by Jesse Shatkin and MoZella, the song is produced by Shatkin. A midtempo EDM gospel tune, it is a song of encouragement and escapism, in which the singer lends a hand to the despondent. Musically featuring an auto-tuned EDM breakdown, Shatkin described its sound as "an electronic banger" and "a little left-of-center", while Clarkson commented that it reminded her of the music of soundtrack to the 1999 film Cruel Intentions.

"Take You High" was released by RCA Records as the fourth and penultimate promotional single from Piece by Piece on February 26, 2015. Upon its release, it has received a positive response from music critics, some of whom commended the record as one of the album's highlights. Clarkson has included the song in her set list during the Piece by Piece Tour, performing it featuring a portion of the song "When Doves Cry" by Prince.

Tarzan of the Apes

Tarzan of the Apes is a novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, the first in a series of books about the title character Tarzan. It was first published in the pulp magazine The All-Story in October 1912. The story follows Tarzan's adventures, from his childhood being raised by apes in the jungle, to his eventual encounters with other humans and Western society. The character was so popular that Burroughs continued the series into the 1940s with two dozen sequels. For the novel's centennial anniversary, Library of America published a hardcover edition based on the original book with an introduction by Thomas Mallon in April 2012 (ISBN 978-1-59853-164-0). Scholars have noted several important themes in the novel: the impact of heredity on behavior; racial superiority; civilization, especially as Tarzan struggles with his identity as a human; sexuality; and escapism.

The Dance of Death (Auden play)

The Dance of Death is a one-act play in verse and prose by W. H. Auden, published in 1933.

The Dance of Death is a satiric musical extravaganza that portrays the "death inside" the middle classes as a silent dancer. The dancer first attempts to keep himself alive through escapism at a resort hotel, then through nationalistic enthusiasm, then through idealism, then through a New Year's party at a brothel, before he finally dies. Karl Marx appears on stage and pronounces the dancer dead. "The instruments of production have been too much for him."

The play was published by Faber & Faber in 1933, with a dedication to Robert Medley and Rupert Doone. It was performed by the Group Theatre (London), in 1934 and 1935. It was widely interpreted as pro-Communist, but Auden later wrote in a copy of the printed text, "The communists never spotted that this was a nihilistic leg-pull".

Virtual Reality (Total Escapism)

Virtual Reality (Total Escapism) is an album by American jazz saxophonist Oliver Lake, which was recorded in 1991 and released on the Gazell label.

À propos de Nice

À propos de Nice is a 1930 silent short documentary film directed by Jean Vigo and photographed by Boris Kaufman. The film depicts life in Nice, France by documenting the people in the city, their daily routines, a carnival and social inequalities. Vigo described the film in an address to the Groupement des Spectateurs d'Avant-Garde: "In this film, by showing certain basic aspects of a city, a way of life is put on trial... the last gasps of a society so lost in its escapism that it sickens you and makes you sympathetic to a revolutionary solution."À propos de Nice was Vigo's first film. It was followed by Taris, roi de l'eau (1931), Zéro de conduite (1933) and L'Atalante in 1934, the year Vigo died.

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