From: "Terry Lago"
Subject: RE: (urth) Crowley, then ... Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2003 12:31:07 -0400 -----Original Message----- From: Dan'l Danehy-Oakes [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]=20 Sent: Monday, July 28, 2003 12:12 PM To: email@example.com Subject: Re: (urth) Crowley, then ... Alga, 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=20 faery-lore; my attitude towards such has always run in the general direction of = Tolkien's,=20 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=20 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=20 >you >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=20 nothing I disliked. It was just that I was disappointed; after all the = commendations=20 of Crowley in general and _Little, Big_ in particular by -- well, = especially by yourself 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 _tBotNS_, _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. Shrug. 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=20 don't 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=20 reaction has been "Life's just too short for this." I think I'll try the collection, though. _Novelty_ I think. --Blattid It's been awhile since I read _Little, Big_ and I was relatively = unimpressed by it myself. (Though I do plan on re-reading it one of these days and = see how it fares.) I think in many ways you had (more or less) the 'right' reaction to it though...at least in as much as it seems to me that = Crowley was more trying to do a novelistic equivalent to a tone-poem. I think he = was more trying to convey a mood, along with certain artistic ideas in the 'story' or a family and their tangled supernatural dealings. As to _Aegypt_: I just finished reading it a few weeks back and I = thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm now wishing I could track down a copy of _Love and = Sleep_ so I can keep on going. It is once again a fairly plot-lite book, centring = on the lives of a few characters and their inter-relations (with the main character being a disillusioned professor of history who finds that some = of the make-believe stories of his childhood may in fact have a firmer = basis in reality than he had at first thought.) Basically it follows the main character, Pierce Moffet, as he searches out the secret history of the world. In does indeed have a lot to do with Renaissance alchemy and has = a subplot centring around the mystic philosopher Doctor John Dee and his attempts to communicate with Angels as well as the Giordano Bruno and = his own discoveries which seem to mirror the ones being made centuries later = my Moffet. All in all a good story I thought. T. --