FIND in
<--prev V30 next-->

From: eli+@gs211.sp.cs.cmu.edu
Subject: Re: (urth) Some recommendations [was Re: Witches, Daemons, Bears, Democrats]
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001 19:25:00 

Adam Stephanides wrote:
> I'll also recommend another wonderful, completely unknown book from the same
> publisher: _The Secret Service_ by Wendy Walker.  This is a fantasy, but not
> a genre fantasy.

It was recommended to me that I read her stories in _The Sea-Rabbit_
first.  Do you have an opinion on this?

> While I'm on a roll, I'll also recommend _The Venetian Glass Nephew_ by
> Elinor Wylie, better known as a poet.  It was first published in the first
> half of the 20th century (I don't have my copy to hand), though it's been
> reprinted.  It's this-worldly fantasy, like _The Secret Service_; the title
> is self-explanatory.  It's a jeu d'esprit, but with a somber undercurrent.

I read this recently, but Didn't Get It.  It felt fairy-talish --
distanced, and people fell in love without provocation -- which maybe
I wasn't in the mood for.  There were some nice ideas and writing, but
the I couldn't get excited about the package.  Aesthetic mismatch, or
maybe if I were better informed?  The cover blurb was all that let me
know that the magician fellow was Casanova, for example.

Around that publication date, how about Hope Mirrlees' _Lud-in-the-mist_?

First you notice the writing, charming coiling discursive writing,
sharply observed.  It outlines and colors the characters, sets them to
life, and draws back, but it is always present.

The people of Lud live not far from the Debatable Hills on the border of
Faerie, but they determinedly do not believe in Faerie.  The corrupting,
mind-bending fairy-fruit that comes downstream?  Its trafficking is
prosecuted as the smuggling of silk.

These burghers are just the sort of people who in fantasy get their eyes
opened for the better.  But fairy fruit and fairy influence turn out to
be, though not the enemy they thought, not a friend, either.  The
Mayor's son has eaten fairy fruit, and the daughters of the town are
spirited away, and the Mayor has to rescue them -- from /what/ is not so
clear.  Some characters' history and motives become so involuted, and
the nature of Faerie so hard to untangle, that I have no idea whether
(or not?) the ending, _Little, Big_ inside out, is happy or sad.  I do
know that the book is wonderful fun to read.

Spoiler, technically -- for page 10 or so:

Which is the land you don't return from, and who are the immortal ones?
Death, and the Dead.  It's so sensible, now that she points it out.
Surely this has been used somewhere else.

     Eli Brandt  |  eli+@cs.cmu.edu  |  http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~eli/

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

<--prev V30 next-->