An initialism for "Get Away From It All," (pronounced with a hard G to rhyme with raffia), gafia means leaving fandom, because you're fed up with it, have lost interest, succumbed to Nydahl's Disease or you just have other things you'd rather do. To gafiate ("GA-fee-ate") is the act of gafia, and once you've gafiated, you're a gafiate ("GA-fee-ət")
Some gafiates slip away quietly or fade into semi-gafia, but chest-beating, self-righteous, public renunciations are very traditional. One of the most famous was Francis T. Laney's, whose Ah, Sweet Idiocy set a standard hardly ever equaled. Loud gafiation makes it harder to become a revenant.
The definition of "gafia" has changed completely since Fancyclopedia 1, when GAFIA was the motto of escapism and meant getting away from mundania by reading sf, a coinage by Futurian Dick Wilson, based on Away From It All: An Escapologist's Notebook, a book by journalist Cedric Belfrage, which he much admired. No one has documented the shift in meaning, but it seems to have happened around 1949. It has been speculated that Art Rapp was the cause of the change by using the term "incorrectly" (according to the old usage, anyway) after the original mean had fallen out of use.
Whatever the cause, the new meaning was useful to fandom and has stayed current ever since.
See also FAFIA.
|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 until the "Fandom Is A Way of Life" discussions int he mid-40s.
|from Fancyclopedia 1 ca. 1944|
|(Wilson) - Get Away From It All; motto of escapism.|