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Mike, was AC Doyle just crabby?

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  • PsychicWarVeteran
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
    And I haven't finished with Elric, either! A Portrait in Ivory will show that.
    Hurrah! I was sadly under the impression that White Wolf's Son was to be your last Elric work, but looking back I see you only said it was your last Elric novel. I'm so happy to have been wrong about that!

    Thanks for your replies, Mike.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    Maybe Sherlock wasn't Doyle the way Elric c'est moi, as I said a long time ago. It helps to remain interested and to have a means of developing the character. The stories have always been about Elric as much as anything else, whereas Doyle was limited to a rather narrow story base. And I haven't finished with Elric, either! A Portrait in Ivory will show that.

    Leave a comment:


  • PsychicWarVeteran
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
    Now, I've sort of grown into my image... I finally started looking like the Gandalfian figure people used to expect some years ago...
    Yeah, I'm afraid I am guilty of adding years to your life early on. It just seemed stories like yours had to have come from someone older.

    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
    But then being roughly the same age as people like Bob Dylan doesn't make me feel too ancient, either, since Dylan, at any rate, is still doing fresh stuff.
    Quite right and what a great attitude!

    It seems like Doyle didn't appreciate what he had. Sherlock Holmes is a great literary figure; it's too bad Doyle got so sick of him. But then, maybe it came from his inability to do as you have with Elric and just say, "I'm done with the character and I'm not writing anymore about him."

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    Because I was not much older (or indeed was the same age) as my readers when my first stories were published people assumed I was a white-bearded oldster when I was still in my twenties, so I frequently got the more flattering 'Gosh! I thought you were a lot older!" Now, I've sort of grown into my image. While the photos in the recent SFX interview were perfectly nice pictures, I finally started looking like the Gandalfian figure people used to expect some years ago... But then being roughly the same age as people like Bob Dylan doesn't make me feel too ancient, either, since Dylan, at any rate, is still doing fresh stuff.

    Leave a comment:


  • PsychicWarVeteran
    replied
    Originally posted by T Guy
    "[Holmes'] career has been a long one — though it is possible to exaggerate it; decrepit gentlemen who approach me and declare that his adventures formed the reading of their boyhood do not meet the response from me which they seem to expect. One is not anxious to have one’s personal dates handled so unkindly."

    All this means is that Doyle was a bit put out when people older than he said they read his work as a boy; it's 'hey, I'm not that ancient!' The analogy would be my dad enthusiastically telling Mike about how he loved reading Elric stories when he was in Primary School
    Quite right, and I'm glad you brought it up, T Guy, because that was what I was going with when I originally posted the question to Mike. Unfortunately, I think the jokes that came in prior to Mike's answer sort of tossed the direction of my question sideways a bit. But, yeah, that's what I was wondering: does Mike feel that same offense when people handle his personal dates so unkindly?

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  • T Guy
    replied
    "[Holmes'] career has been a long one — though it is possible to exaggerate it; decrepit gentlemen who approach me and declare that his adventures formed the reading of their boyhood do not meet the response from me which they seem to expect. One is not anxious to have one’s personal dates handled so unkindly."

    All this means is that Doyle was a bit put out when people older than he said they read his work as a boy; it's 'hey, I'm not that ancient!' The analogy would be my dad enthusiastically telling Mike about how he loved reading Elric stories when he was in Primary School and always imagined that Stormbringer hummed like the sound of the Merlin engines o'erhead as he read under the bedclothes.

    Speaking of the angels:

    I can't imagine myself crossing a room at a convention, for instance, to tell someone I hated the only book of theirs I'd ever read...
    No, this would take a particularly odd individuial. Though I'd be sorely tempted by Dan Brown.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jagged
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
    Every author I know has people who think his first book or an early book was 'the best thing you ever did'.
    I met Colin Greenland once and told him that my favourite book of his was "Daybreak on a Different Mountain". Not that he seemed to take it badly in any way, but I did remember that he commented that he wrote it such a long time ago that it seemed to him like it was somebody else who wrote it.

    It makes me think that one should be very aware, too, of what question one poses. He did ask me what my favourite book was, which from me may often prompt quite a different response than if I'm asked, say, what the most accomplished book is. I definitely have my own idiosyncracies, and I tend often to like stuff that just has something in it that appeals to me, more than stuff that I can see is more mature, professional etc. Likewise, there was a discussion of the part of these fora that some hackers sent to limbo, about which book one would most have liked to have written. I answered Finnegan's Wake. I would have liked to have written that because it does some things I know I could never do myself. But asked another question, I'd have answered differently. Say; What book's philosophy do agree with most? What book is the most professional? What book is the most original? -- all these questions would probably elicit quite different answers.

    I think that M. John Harrison in the introduction to The Golden Barge said something like, a first novel should be read for its passion rather than its polish. And I'm a sucker for passion.
    Last edited by Jagged; 06-29-2006, 03:47 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    That's given me an idea. Conan Doyle uses a psychic to get in touch with his dead son (don't forget this was fairly common as a result of the huge loss of life in the first world war) and instead of getting his dead son he gets -- Sherlock Holmes. Who tells him a whole new set of adventures. Which he refuses to publish, though his friend writes them down... Every author I know has people who think his first book or an early book was 'the best thing you ever did'. I'm fairly philosophical about it. I have said this about 'favourite characters' -- your favourite book (character) is usually the first you read. There's a particular frisson about the first work you read by a writer. I happen to like Bester's Stars My Destination (Tiger! Tiger!) most of all his work (though never told him so) because it's the first I read. Others prefer his first novel, The Demolished Man. I DO get people who tell me Stormbringer was my best book, but I get a lot of people who think this of Mother London or indeed The Vengeance of Rome. I'm happy to have people like anything I write, believe me. It's people who go out of their way to tell you you're crap who I find irritating. I can't imagine myself crossing a room at a convention, for instance, to tell someone I hated the only book of theirs I'd ever read...

    Leave a comment:


  • Miqque
    replied
    Nah. He was cranky 'cause all his psychic research didn't turn out so boffo, so he had to write more Holmes stories - and that may have been a little too much like work.

    Leave a comment:


  • PsychicWarVeteran
    started a topic Mike, was AC Doyle just crabby?

    Mike, was AC Doyle just crabby?

    Mike, I've just read the preface to Doyle's Case Book of Sherlock Holmes, in which he makes the following statement:

    "[Holmes'] career has been a long one — though it is possible to exaggerate it; decrepit gentlemen who approach me and declare that his adventures formed the reading of their boyhood do not meet the response from me which they seem to expect. One is not anxious to have one’s personal dates handled so unkindly."

    This immediately made me think of you and your remarkable cordiality to your fans. Have you ever felt the offense Doyle presents in this snippet when a middle-aged fan says he's been reading Elric since he was a kid?

    I imagine this is just an example of Doyle be utterly sick of Sherlock Holmes and griping about it. Is this a legitimate beef of seasoned writers or was Dolyle just being crabby?
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