Gafia

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(Did you mean a fanzine by Ted White?)


Gafia (rhymes with raffia) is an initialism for Get Away From It All, i.e., to voluntarily quit all one's fanac and, usually, break off contact with other fans. One who has gafiated is a gafiate. (Leaving fandom when you don’t wish to is fafia.)

Some gafiates fade away quietly, but it is unfortunately traditional to flounce out, flinging fanzines full of deprecations (Ah! Sweet Idiocy!) or angst (Ex‑Inchmery Fan Diary) in one’s wake.

A hallowed tradition which most fans obeyed ... when you think you’ve had it in fandom, do something spectacular to call attention to your gafiation.
— Harry Warner, Jr., Void 26, August 1961

In The Enchanted Duplicator, Jophan is warned of this peril on the torturous route to Trufandom:

On each side of your path, far away but always accessible, are the green, enticing regions known as the Glades of Gafia. Perpetually you will be pursued by the insidious temptation to turn aside and rest awhile there. But, should you do so, there is a danger you will be unable to face the effort of resuming your journey, or that, roaming forgetfully though the beckoning glades, you will find yourself back in Mundane.

Older fans often exist in a state of semi-gafia for years, keeping in touch with fannish friends, perhaps, but not undertaking fanac or interesting themselves much in the doings of present-day fandom ... until they shuffle off to the never-ending convention at the great Tucker Hotel in the sky. (Sometimes they lapse into nostalgia and edit articles in Fancyclopedia 3.)

If, after gafiating awhile, you return to fandom, you are then a revenant.

Gafia originally meant the opposite — getting away from mundania into fandom, but that meaning has entirely vanished.

See also: Nydahl's Disease.

From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959
(Dick Wilson) Get Away From It All. This useful phrase was originally an escapist slogan, meaning the intent to withdraw from the Macrocosm to indulge in some intense fanac, but has undergone a complete reversal of significance so that now "that flash of sanity known as Gafia" refers to a vacation from fandom back in the world of normalcy, where nobody reads that crazy Buck Rogers stuff. Diagnostic symptoms are sheer boredom while trying to read proz or fanzines, allowing correspondence to pile up unanswered, and wishing that half-finished fanzines could be forgotten for a while. Oh, and we should mention Gafia Press, Redd Boggs' publishing house, the source of Skyhook and many another worthy serious publication.
From Fancyclopedia 2 Supplement, ca. 1960
(Belfrage:Wilson) Dick Wilson got the title from AFIA, a book by journalist Cedric Belfrage which he much admired. Redd Boggs believes that the withdrawal of "Getting Away From It All" didn’t really refer to fandom, but to "seeking refuge from real life in the pages of books and magazines, especially sf magazines" — a lively issue in pro-centered early stfandom; escaping into fandom wasn’t debated much till the "Fandom Is A Way of Life" discussions in the mid-40s.
From Fancyclopedia 1, ca. 1944
(Wilson) - Get Away From It All; motto of escapism.



Fanspeak
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