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From: "Daniel Fusch" <dfusch@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) modernism
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 1999 13:24:05 PDT


Thanks for the reply! Sorry for rambling so much.

You said something I was wondering about:

"Bradbury and LeGuin will last as children's authors. Miller will last for 
people interested in the history of SF (as Bradbury and LeGuin will too, of 
course--the way Sheridan LeFanu has lasted)."

I'm curious--are we thinking of the same works? I didn't know Bradbury wrote 
fiction for children. I was thinking of his short stories--"Usher II" and 
"The Moon Be Still As Bright," for instance--and his "Farenheit 451," which 
seems to be a staple in college fiction courses. When I mentioned LeGuin, I 
was thinking of "The Left Hand of Darkness" (about as far from children's 
fiction as you can get) and others. I know she did write some books for 
children--"A Wizard for Earthsea." I had something else in mind, though.

Anyway, are we thinking of the same Bradbury?

About "Foundation": I have mixed reactions to that work, but I think it is 
evident that it will last.

About "Things to Come": Watch it if you ever get the chance. 1936, written 
and directed by H.G. Wells. An eerily prophetic movie. A world war started 
in 1940 and continued for decades, until a technological society came to 
power and built cities that look exactly like modern malls, right down to 
the escalators. The movie brilliantly captured the whole ideology of 
imperialism and manifest destiny.

About "2001": A relic of more than the 60s, perhaps. Another movie that 
summarized an entire ideology. It's almost the ideological capstone of the 
"golden age" of science fiction; its literary roots extend back to 
Nietzsche--the idea of Zarathustra, the Super-man, the god-man of Reason and 
The Mind. Well, that's not a very good way of explaining it. I suppose, in a 
nutshell, the thesis of the film is: "Man is god, and will evolve into ever 
higher states of existence." I think this theme appeared in the writings of 
Frank Herbert and also Gordon R. Dickson (but I haven't read Dickson, so I'm 
basing this on hearsay). It was definitely implicit in much of the 
mid-century science fiction.

Anyway, these films will be around for a while--they stand as monuments 
(perhaps I should say monoliths?) to an ideological and literary tradition 
that had a profound influence on our society.

Hmmm. You know, I suppose that's another, more long-winded way of saying 
"It's a relic of the 60s," after all.


This is a fascinating discussion. Checking my e-mail this morning, I found 
almost twenty messages on the mailing list! It must be a very busy mailing 

Well, it keeps the mind working!


P.S. When you have an alias on the mailing list, do I address you by the 
alias or the actual name?

Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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