ARISTASIA: FACT OR FANTASY?

"Dinner with the Raven was delightful. She was full of stories about Aristasia, which mixed in the most curious way the actuality of a handful of girls in a University town with a dream-empire covering thousands of miles and a history covering thousands of years. Golden Empresses and ancient traditions mixed with the sayings and doings of a small, rather eccentric-seeming feminine set."

The Slave-Girl

On first encountering Aristasia There is often some confusion about what Aristasia actually is. On the one hand it appears to be a fantasy-world made up of strange queendoms ruled by a high Empress, a world with two female sexes, a world where time and space in some respects appear to have changed places - in short, a world that, to say the least of it, does not really exist.

On the other hand, Aristasia also seems to be referred to as if it were a real place in which real girls live their daily lives - the world, indeed, from which this very page comes to you; the home of the writer of these words and of her friends and intimates.

Which of the two Aristasias is the real one? The answer is that they both are. The "real Aristasia" - the one in which the marital conjugation of blondes and brunettes leads to the issue of tiny brunettes and blondes and trains run from Trent to Quirinelle - is certainly (at least from the perspective of our world) an imaginary place; but it is also the inspiration and the guiding image of another Aristasia, the one which does exist in this world and which is sometimes known as Aristasia-in-Telluria.

Aristasia-in-Telluria exists wherever two or three Aristasian girls are gathered together. It is a self-created world which rejects the ugliness of the late 20th century and adheres to the dress and values of the pre-Eclipse world.

The underlying tenet of our earthly Aristasia is that the world since the Eclipse with its anti-feminininity and its negation of all true civilisation is no longer a world fit to live in, so that the civilised few are both permitted and mandated to create their own civilisation. In the case of Aristasians this means the creation of a feminine world which could have existed at no other time precisely because while there was still a civilisation the making of such a seceded reality would hardly have been legitimate. The collapse of civilisation, while it is in most respects a disaster does give us the power to make our own miniature civilisation in any form we choose, and in our case Aristasia is the result.

The true Aristasian girl does not watch the television of the Pit, read its newspapers, magazines or books, listen to its music, wear its clothes, or in any way subscribe to its parody of culture. Instead she wears clothes from the '20s to the '60s or fantasy versions thereof sometimes even wearing Arcadian (Victorian) clothes. She watches films from the real world, drives, if possible a real motor car, listens to music from classical, through Trentish dance bands to Quirinelle rock and roll and lives a full life within the Aristasian culture.