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Reinart der Fuchs
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Moorcock Essays

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  • Moorcock Essays

    I am new to this site so please excuse any baffoonery before it happens. A friend of mine told me about an article Moorcock wrote that talks about science fiction being reflective of societies. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? If you do please post back!

  • #2
    Some of my non-fiction has been reprinted in, for instance, Casablanca (1989), Tales From the Texas Woods (1997) and also on the Fantastic Metropolis site. Savoy have plans to publish a large collection of my criticism and Wizardry and Wild Romance has been revised and reprinted and will appear this autumn from Monkeybrain Press in the US. In much of this criticism I refer to sf (and other fiction) and how it reflects society, but the pieces your friend might be referring to might be in The Opium General and Other Stories which is available via Jayde Design, among others. Hope this helps.

    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
    The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
    Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

    Comment


    • #3
      Wow thank you

      This might sound odd, but I was in shock when you personally responded to my post! To have a literary figure personally answer a question in a polite manner really made my day (I have met a few others and they regarded questions as distasteful on the part of the questioner).

      I was hoping to use the article for a paper I am doing for a class on Heroes and Barbarians. The paper would compare the work of Giambattista Vico (wacky italian philosopher) and the first three works of the Elric Saga, in an attempt to define heroism and barbarism. Since you responded to the first question, I would put this one to you: Who do you think is the most barbaric figure in the Elric Saga?

      Once again, thanks for posting back! That was very awesome.

      Comment


      • #4
        Brain, isn't Michael great like that? It is one of the things that sets him apart from most other authors. He's always willing to sacrifice some his time to spend time with his fans and he makes himself easily apprachable. He listens to our suggestions and postulations, and answers our questions. Besides the the sheer originality of his work, he just seems to be an all around good guy. I'm pretty sure that everyone here will agree with that.

        Anyway, welcome and stick around!
        "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
        --Thomas a Kempis

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for all the praise. For me, it's a matter of common sense and common courtesy, but then most of my writer friends share my opinion that having a talent doesn't necessarily make you any different, otherwise, from the rest of your fellow human beings. The talent's a matter of luck. The courtesy is a matter of habit. I serve a function in the community, I hope, but far from setting me apart from the community, it should bring me closer to it. My grandmother, I should add, was a great egalitarian and it's pretty much a tradition in my family, second nature. Nothing to do, I should add, with politics, but that attitude naturally informs our politics.
          That said, I should say that Elric is about sophisticated urban people, rather than barbarians. Even the 'barbarians' observed from the Melnibonean point of view are actually generally pretty sophisticated peoples. Rather than being barbaric, the villains, like Jagreen Lern, are
          decadent. So it's a rather hard question to answer in context. If you want to expand on the question, I'll do my best to answer it!

          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
          The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
          Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
          The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
          Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

          Comment


          • #6
            The Corum "Swords" books might be a better model, Brian?

            Corum is less flawed from an heroic perspective than Elric (ok, I'm ready to be shot down for that one! :? ), and the human foe in this series is distinctly barbaric. In fact that seems to be the culture clash - between the harmless but ultimately decadent artistry of the Vadhagh and the energetic savagery of humanity. Eloi and Morlock, it never ends!
            \"Killing me won\'t bring back your apples!\"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by zakt
              Corum is less flawed from an heroic perspective than Elric (ok, I'm ready to be shot down for that one! :? )!
              I agree with you, Zakt. Corum is heroic in a traditional sense. He is duty bound and self-sacrificing, noble and all the rest, but he can still kick butt.

              Our albino friend, by contrast, seems to define the anti-hero. He serves no one and ultimately is most concerned with saving his own pale skin (even though he is conflicted by all of this, of course). And he, too, can still kick butt.

              Comment


              • #8
                To specify barbarians

                In the works of Vico (whose work inspired the class) barbarians fall into two catagories: the barbarian of sense, and the barbarian of reflection. The barbarian of sense being man as primitive and brutish, struggling with survival having no concept of family, self, or civil institutions.
                The barbarian of reflection (who I see many of in your work) is a civilized thinker who through process of self examination has alienated himself from the world and becomes unable and unwilling to do anything which does not serve his own interests. To quote Vico: "“Such peoples,” he writes, “like so many beasts, have fallen into the custom of each man thinking only of this own private interests and have reached the extreme of delicacy, or better of pride, in which like wild animals they bristle and lash out at the slightest displeasure. Thus no matter how great the throng and press of their bodies, they live like wild beasts in a deep solitude of spirit and will.” And, he adds, “the misbegotten subtleties of malicious wits that have turned them into beasts made more inhuman by the barbarism of reflection than the first men had been made by the barbarism of sense. For the latter displayed a generous savagery, against which one could defend oneself or take flight or be on one’s guard; but the former, with a base savagery, under soft words and embraces, plots against the life and fortune of friends and intimates.”
                Wow that was long...sorry. Anywho, using this definition for barbarism, who would you say is the greatest barbarian? Thanks again for reading and responding to this, I can't get over how friendly people are on this site!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hmm. Since my heroes tend to wind up sacrificing themselves for the good of others, I'm not sure they fall into the individualistic barbarian category, either! Only Jerry Cornelius tries to find balance for himself in the early books. Elric is 'corrupted' by human notions of community,
                  and is at odds with the Stirnirism, as it were, of his own culture. Could be that those at odds with the sentimentality of their cultures (such as Jerry) could be called barbarians, according to that definition, but I still find the word not very useful in describing my characters, who are essentially
                  urban and identify their interests with that of the majority. Conan certainly fits the bill, and so do many Burroughs characters, but I'm
                  temperamentally at odds with their 'frontier' attitudes.
                  Elric often SAYS he's only out for himself (rather as a Hammett character makes the same claims) but ultimately, of course, proves that he isn't.
                  What we might have here is the traditional notion of the hero (Shane ?) who claims to be a self-serving individual but who ultimately opts to serve the community (Casablanca?).
                  I'm still willing to be convinced that I'm wrong, or misunderstanding something, though... :D

                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                  The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                  Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                  The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                  Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                  Comment

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