FIND in
<--prev V28 next-->

From: "Jack and Melissa Holcomb" <jackandmel@socket.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Little, Big stuff
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2000 23:24:39 

Ah!  Finally something I feel equipped to comment on, a little!  I've read
LB, but it was years ago.  It just went into the bedside table pile again
(right under the Gormenghast omnibus  --so it'll be awhile).

> Alga:  Yes, Crowley is much less of a genre writer than Wolfe, but I
> 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
> 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
> stick.  Crowley is certainly more in keeping with the 19th c. sources he's
> using than anything I'm aware of in-genre.

That's pretty much true, although there seems to be a growing body of
stories/books dealing with the interpenetration of faery and mundanity.  I'm
thinking of Emma Bull's overrated _War for the Oaks_ and Charles de Lint's
stuff, all of which seems to work from the assumption that the faery place
has been/is being marginalized, although it is still accessible--and the
upshot seems generally to be that encountering faery enriches existence.
This body of work has been christened (poorly, I think) Urban Fantasy, and I
suspect that a lot of it is written in imitation of _Little, Big_, despite
the fact that they seem to disagree with it premise.  (In fact, I seem to
recall that the most recent trade paperback release of LB was touted as both
Urban Fantasy and Magic Realism.)

There is one exceptional treatment of the boundaries between faery and
mundanity that leaps to my mind: Robert Holdstock's excellent Mythago Wood
books.  That's a very different notion of faery--actually an externalized Ju
ngian collective unconscious--but it has a similar effect of drawing people
in and making them less than they were.  In fact, I'd say there's a strong
streak of Lovecraft through the Mythago books.

Sorry to drag us even farther off topic.

Say, does anyone know if there's a Holdstock e-mail list anywhere about?


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

<--prev V28 next-->