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Elric/Turambar

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  • #31
    I gave copies of Lambshead to all my medical friends for Christmas last year. Their sort of black humour, by and large. I think you'll enjoy it.
    I'm particularly fond of a disease mentioned in the appendix from
    Rachel Pollack, which is the best answer to the mystery of Kennedy's death I've ever read...
    The book is doing surprisingly well. And deserves to.

    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


    • #32
      Of course, it would help everyone if I got the guy's name right. Long time readers will know that I have a mild dyslexia around names and a worse condition when it comes to numbers, which I believe I have right and are usually totally garbled (I have to be very careful about using the phone -- Linda writes out numbers in big letters for me sometimes).
      TALES BEFORE TOLKIEN is by Douglas A. ANDERSON.
      Same last last name as the creator of my favourite epic fantasy book,
      The Broken Sword, Poul Adamson.
      Apologies to all parties. At least I got the title of the book right (I hope).

      TALES BEFORE TOLKIEN BY DOUGLAS A. ANDERSON is still, however,
      HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!

      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


      • #33
        A pale-skinned warrior, exiled and doomed leaving a trail of misery behind him. He wields a black sword, one of a pair, with a mind of its own and has a habit of accidentally slaying the wrong person. This warrior also has an incestuous relationship with a close relative. Who am I talking about?

        This description fits both Elric of Melnibone and Turin Turambar from the Silmarillion. It's amazing how close they are, down to details like the twin black swords. I think the Silmarillion was actually published after the first Elric stories. Did Tolkien 'borrow' from Moorcock or had Tolkien written the story of Turambar decades before? In which case, is there a common ancestor of these characters in older fantasy literature?
        Interesting that you mention that. I am not an expert on Elric but I get the impression it is not suppose to be set in Europe let alone on earth.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
          Of course, it would help everyone if I got the guy's name right. Long time readers will know that I have a mild dyslexia around names and a worse condition when it comes to numbers, which I believe I have right and are usually totally garbled (I have to be very careful about using the phone -- Linda writes out numbers in big letters for me sometimes).
          TALES BEFORE TOLKIEN is by Douglas A. ANDERSON.
          Same last last name as the creator of my favourite epic fantasy book,
          The Broken Sword, Poul Adamson.
          Apologies to all parties. At least I got the title of the book right (I hope).

          TALES BEFORE TOLKIEN BY DOUGLAS A. ANDERSON is still, however,
          HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
          Yes, Poul Adamson, Hans Christian Adamson, Ian Adamson (the famous flautist-vocalist of Jethro Tull) and John Adamson (of Yes, no?).

          The Adamsons are a creative clan, no doubt.

          Actually I haven't even noticed this mistake. I just went to Amazon and searched by title :D

          Agatha Christie had dyslexia as well, no? Michael, if you give me your credit card number I'll memorise it for you, just in case you forget it, you know. Don't have to bother Linda all the time :lol:

          Comment


          • #35
            Yeah, old Johnny Tolkien was always ringing me up, desperate for a sequel to his top-selling fantasy trilogy. It was embarrassing, really. Those calls in the middle of the night, interspersed with the sound of a desperately puffed pipe as Allen and Unwin's deadline got closer and closer and the Inland Revenue started breathing down his neck. "Why don't you find some sucker to give you a few grand for the film rights," I told him. "Nobody'll ever make it and you'll be able to pay off the tax."
            I understand that Silmarillion was written before LOTR, but I promise I didn't pinch Elric by climbing over his back fence and rifling through what I could find in his shed (isn't it strange how many writers work in sheds or converted garages ? My office at Lost Pines is a converted garage.)
            Elric pretty much developed as I wrote him, so I'm not sure what process was going on there, except Finnish folklore (including Babi Yar) was read to us at my school when I was about seven, along with Padraic Colum's King of Ireland's Son. I suspect a common grounding and probably a fairly similar education is what turned out Tolkien, the 1918 war vet philologist and Moorcock, the 1945 survivor journalist... An enthusiasm for earlier trilogies by Eddison and the like might turn up some common stuff, too. Not being that familiar with Tolkien, but having read much the same kind of material, I'm not sure how many similarities there are. But it could be another reason I prefer Elizabeth Bowen's social fiction, for instance, to most fantasy -- just as Bowen loved horror fiction and Angus Wilson loved science fiction -- you admire the people who do what you have a hard time doing, from whom you can learn.
            OK. How many fantasy writers do you know who work in converted potting sheds, stables or garages ?
            Philip Pullman's another. Anyone else ?
            The Influence Of Converted Garages on the work of Tolkien, Moorcock and Pullman (all of whom also lived in or near Oxford at some stage).
            Phew, this is spooky. Could we actually be One and the Same ?

            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


            • #36
              John Howe did a painting about the story of Turin Turambar

              http://www.john-howe.com/portfolio/g...p?image_id=321

              Personality wise I don't think Turin was a womanizer or a lady's man. He did have a temper though. :D

              Comment


              • #37
                Tales before Tolkien sounds right up my street. I'll put it on order next time I'm passing by my local bookshop. Some of the best stuff I've ever read has come through following your recomendations in the past Mike (the Titus trilogy and the Broken Sword itself being but two examples).

                The Tale of Turin Turambar is probably the only Tolkien story I could go back to and enjoy, but not with the same relish that I can re-read Howard, Leiber, Peake, and your own books.

                There's no way your Elric stories were influenced by Turambar. Anyone who reads your two essays in Sojan from 1963 can see that you were already pretty much fully aware of the allegorical, symbolic and mythic resonances of what you were writing in a way that Tolkien never was even at the end of his career. Tolkien expressed a distaste for allegory in his intro to LotR, and felt uncomfortable about the craft of writing even by his own admission, I think.

                It is notable though that his tales in the Silmarillion do seem for the most part to go against his own favoured concept of what he called, in his essay On Fairy Stories, the eu-catastrophe, or aversion of catastrophe. I guess the core material of the Silmarillion, closer to it's influences, was in place before he developed his later theories.

                It's amazing you and your classmates were being read Kalevala etc at such a young age. That kind of schooling should be encouraged everywhere I think as it shows an unpatronising respect for the intelligence of youth. I was probably skiving off class to read Herge's Adventures of Tintin in the school library at similar age. Not quite in the same mythic class as Kalevala, but it kept me occupied :) Perhaps if Kalevala was on the school menu I wouldn't have been skiving off class so often.

                Comment


                • #38
                  I went to a Rudolf Steiner school which used many of the ideas of the American transcendentalists about the education of children, the encouragement of imagination and so on. They also taught algebra to seven year olds -- when that kind of logic is probably best assimilated.
                  I remember being very disappointed when I went to a regular school and we weren't doing algebra. We were taught colour values in art as well,
                  to a degree deriving from expressionism. My school was Michael Hall. Although I was eventually expelled (ironically for running away) I have always been grateful for that start. They don't tend to turn out people with fast track academic prowess, but I'd say they do know how to nourish the soul and the imagination.

                  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


                  • #39
                    Silmarillion et al

                    I have only just begun reading Elric in the past few days, and though I have, as of yet, only read the first few short stories I must say that the use of language and originality of the work is beautiful in a way I had so far only found Robert E. Howard capable of. I must say that I find it a bit... disconcerting... that you are such an accessible (communication-wise) author!

                    The Silmarillion I read some time ago, and thought it was a superb book... for about the first half, until it seemed to get bogged down into almost a list of names and events, too much like a bad history text book for my liking. I'm not even certain that I got to the Turin story, so I may have to try and give the rest of it a go sometime, I suppose, but I suggest you be prepared to skip large swathes of the book...

                    For the record, I am also a great fan of Poul Anderson (esp. Broken Sword, which was the first book of his I read), and a detractor of LotR, describing (most of) the reading experience most recently, I think, as "like having a mild headache"...

                    just my humble opinions...

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Hi Mike!

                      A while back you said you were talked into getting hold of a copy of the Silmarillion. Just checking in a few months later to see if you got around to reading the story of Turin and to see what your opinion is...

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Yeh Mike! I was wondering that myself. I know I also promised to read Breakfast in the Ruins (being intrigued about the consecutive chapters dealing with Israel and Hungary) but haven't got to it yet myself. Good thing Christmas vacation is coming :D

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Anonymous
                          Yeh Mike! I was wondering that myself. I know I also promised to read Breakfast in the Ruins (being intrigued about the consecutive chapters dealing with Israel and Hungary) but haven't got to it yet myself. Good thing Christmas vacation is coming :D
                          Yeh I posted this :)

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            I just signed up so I can add my voice to the question.

                            Have you read it yet Mike? I have to say, the story of Turin Turambar isn't my favourite in that book. That position belongs to the story of Beren and Luthien. But Turin rates a close second.

                            Nonetheless, Elric is still my favourite morally ambiguous, fate-ridden anti-hero.

                            I'm looking forward to reading your opinion of the book Mike.

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