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From: "Alice Turner" <pei047@attglobal.net>
Subject: (urth) JC in the mantis universe
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 07:20:11 

Mantis wrote:

> While I recognize that I really should not even mention it, since
clearly I
> am in a different universe than John Crowley and possibly everybody
> yet still, I keep coming back to this one tiny bit in the baffling
> interview of John Crowley:
> > It's a drawback since I'm very prolific and I don't need to do that
> Now, "prolific" is not a word I would ever associate with John
Crowley.  I
> don't mean that in a mean-spirited way at all.
> Because it seems so wildly at variance with my sense of things, at
> snort I took it to be ironic (and the word "prolific" should therefore
> in italics); but then I saw that it might be "cloaked irony," that is,
> Crowley is channeling Reynard the Fox (what, again?!) and telling
> outrageous tales with a straight face (to see how far he can go, or
just to
> mess with people's minds, who can say?).  But then I realized that he
> most likely telling the simple truth.

I think I can enlarge on that. Remember that Crowley has a day job too.
Unlike that of most novelists, it involves writing. He is a specialist
in providing narrative to documentary films, a job that involves a good
deal of analysis. He told me that he seems to hold a niche in working
with women filmmakers, who are often working with minuscule budgets
against great odds. In fact, the most touching and sweet and Smoky-esque
thing he ever said to me (I don't have it on tape) was on the order of,
"Sometimes I think the reason I was put on this earth is to be of aid to
these women."

I think he really does mean that he writes easily. I asked him at one
point if he considered the AEgypt series a sort of hobby, and he denied
it. But, personally, I think it sort of is. It's disastrously
uncommercial, it's taken more than 20 years of his life, parts of it
(Pierce's childhood in Kentucky in L&S) are nearly straight
autobiography and we may guess that some of the rest is too, though I
don't know that JC would own up to it. (Tell me what you think, mantis,
of what I suspect: that JC's little joke, having given Loren, who is
based on T.H. White, his own appearance, he has then given Pierce
Lancelot's appearance, from The Ill-Made Knight--much is made of how
ungainly Pierce is.)


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