From: "Andy Robertson"
Subject: Re: (urth) Jack Vance or There are Doors? Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2002 00:04:11 -0000 Um, I disagree. The original picaresque novels did not have the grace of a fantastic **deus ex machina** every three paragraphs. Love Vance, hate THE DYING EARTH (except the first novel) ,nitc od ----- Original Message ----- From: "James Jordan" To: Sent: Friday, December 20, 2002 11:51 PM Subject: Re: (urth) Jack Vance or There are Doors? > At 05:29 PM 12/20/2002, Dave R. wrote: > > > >I think you might as well read the Dying Earth stories, since they're a > >quick, easy read. Contrary to some other views on the list, I think Vance > >is a good but definitely not great author. I do think he should get some > >credit for writing such an entertaining set of stories where the main > >character in most of them (Cugel) is a completely unlikeable bastard ;) > > The Cugel stories are in the tradition of "picaresque tales" > (tales about rascals) and we've seen very few in recent times, though they > were common in Spain in the 16th c. You're supposed to both like and > disdain Cugel, and that's the strength of a picaresque tale, which exposes > the attractiveness of wicked behavior and makes us feel the humanity of > even wicked people, all the while entertaining us humorously and indirectly > showing us that wickedness is .. well .. wicked. It's a kind of realistic + > humorous moral tale that is hard to pull off, and Vance does it brilliantly. > Whether on thinks Vance is "great" or not, the Cugel tales are > deft and exquisite exemplars of a neglected genre of Western literature. > > Nutria > > > -- > > --