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From: Alex David Groce <Alex_Groce@gs246.sp.cs.cmu.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Little, Big stuff
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2000 15:00:09 

Hmmm...  I think I know what I'm reading as soon as I finish the Lafferty
fest that I'm indulging in at the moment.  Thanks to all for the various
useful insights on LB.

Michael:  Yes, LB as a whole is much less compelling than the individual
parts taken by themselves, which are (with only a few exceptions, such as
the Eigenblick thing) beautiful indeed.  Maybe this fits the "inside is
bigger than outside" theme...

Alga:  Yes, Crowley is much less of a genre writer than Wolfe, but I really
wasn't thinking of it in genre terms, but as a kind of thematic connection
to Dunsany (who obviously wasn't drawing on "genre" sources, since as such
they didn't exist for him anymore than for Carroll or Kingsley).  This,
handled as anything other than the rather crass Niven "iron drove out the
magic" or the simple story of someone from "reality" whisked off to fantasy
to be a hero, hasn't really been used much in conventional genre work, has
it?  Usually fairy and reality are nicely compartmentalized, with fantasy,
while more "fun," usually given a fairly explicit short end of the ontological
stick.  Crowley is certainly more in keeping with the 19th c. sources he's
using than anything I'm aware of in-genre.

Mantis:  Perhaps Crowley cruelty really does explain the ending--after all, 
Engine Summer strikes me as the same thing, amazing beauty that in the end 
sums up to an extremely cruel vision of a personality trapped in amber.
Wolfe at his most savage is considerably kinder to his poor fictional
creations, although perhaps this just shows a lack of nerve on his part,
while Crowley has what it takes to let the Revolutionary do it's work and
not pass the knife under the door.

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
Alex David Groce (agroce+@cs.cmu.edu)
Ph.D. Student, Carnegie Mellon University - Computer Science Department
8112 Wean Hall (412)-268-3066

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

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