FIND in
<--prev V28 next-->

From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Of Flagging Talent and Fairies
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 00:09:03 

Christy wrote:
> Hello Urth list, I have a question for you:
> I've just finished *Strange Travelers* with "The Ziggurat," and have been
> generally dissatisfied with the content (does anyone else here feel the
> same? I haven't picked that up), save for the adaptation of "Koschei the
> Deathless." I feel the list is well-suited to answer the question-- what
> is the deal with Andrew Lang's fairy books? Could you spell it out for
> this hapless Yankee? I know there is a long, colorful series never to be
> referenced by Borges-- are they good, one moreso than the next, order, is
> there a big boxed set the likes of which I can pick up in the Qesque shelf
> above all the regular pulpy fiction? I feel like not knowing about Lang is
> like a hole in my life.


It's interesting that you should write this. I was just thinking along
the same lines. I didn't enjoy _Strange Travelers_ nearly as much as
Wolfe's earlier collections. I think it's less a matter of "flagging
talent" than that Wolfe is putting more of his energy into his novels
and less into his short stories. I suspect that he continues to write at
shorter lengths because he can express ideas that wouldn't fit into his
novels. But I feel he is becoming overly self-indulgent in his short
works. In his earlier collections there were a considerably higher
percentage of stories that could be enjoyed without first having to be decoded.

"The Death of Koschei the Deathless" was my favorite story, too. As far
as Lang's Fairy books go, I highly enjoyed all I have read, and I have
read several. I really don't remember exactly how many it was and some
of them I read long ago, but I recently started re-reading them on-line.
You can find most of them if you do a search on "lang andrew" at the
On-Line Books Page <http://digital.library.upenn.edu/books/>.

If you don't like reading lengthy texts on a computer screen, most of
the Fairy books seem to be in print. I saw at least a dozen titles on
Amazon.com. Try your favorite on-line bookseller or Bookfinder.com
<http://www.bookfinder.com/> if you want to try used copies. I don't
know of any boxed set, but it is certainly a good idea; if I find that
such a thing is available, I'll let you know.

William Ansley

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

<--prev V28 next-->