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From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Crowley, then ...
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2003 09:11:49 -0700


Thanks -- this is probably the single most helpful response of the many this 
(as always)
generous group has provided. As it happens, I'm _not_ up on Victorian 
faery-lore; my
attitude towards such has always run in the general direction of Tolkien's, 
who generally
loathed it: though I don't go as far as he does in thinking Shakespeare made 
a travesty
of Faerie. The books of "fairy" stories (as opposed to fairy-stories) I was 
given as a child
either annoyed or terrified me. I preferred the latter, and still do. My 
taste wrt Faerie is
for the pre-Victorian, even pre-Elizabethan, style, a twilit and parlous 
place, the Faerie
of "Tam Lin" and "Thomas the Rhymer."

>It would be interesting if you told us what you did not like. I can tell 
>that I did not like the Russell Eigenblick subplot, though I admit that he
>managed to fit it into the conclusion better than I expected.

Well, to tell the truth, there was nothing I did not like, or at least 
nothing I
disliked. It was just that I was disappointed; after all the commendations 
Crowley in general and _Little, Big_ in particular by -- well, especially by 
and Mantis, both of whose tastes I have come to respect very highly -- I was
expecting something blindingly revelatory, rather like the first time I read 
_The Silmarillion_, _The Moon is Down_, or _Carrion Comfort_. Instead I got
something ... pleasant but uncompelling.

The obvious point of comparison to Wolfe, I suppose, is that the writing is
quite dense in places -- _Little, Big_ took me quite a while to get through,
which was only compounded by its failing to grab me by the throat and make
me read it.


Certainly not enough to put me off Crowley, but enough to decide me not
to tackle the copy of _Aegypt_ that's been sitting on the shelves for I 
know how long. (Who was it that wanted a copy? We can talk.) _Especially_
if it's heavily dependent upon alchemy, a subject to which my general 
has been "Life's just too short for this."

I think I'll try the collection, though. _Novelty_ I think.


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