Announcement

Collapse

Welcome to Moorcock's Miscellany

Dear reader,

Many people have given their valuable time to create a website for the pleasure of posing questions to Michael Moorcock, meeting people from around the world, and mining the site for information. Please follow one of the links above to learn more about the site.

Thank you,
Reinart der Fuchs
See more
See less

What's it all about, Jerry?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #46
    indeed! The more elaborate the better as far as im concerned,it keeps you thinking about the book long after you have read it and you end up dipping back into it even if you are reading something else by this time.
    "I hate to advocate drugs,alcohol,violence or insanity to anyone,but they've always worked for me"

    Hunter S Thompson

    Comment


    • #47
      The Cornelius stories came out of what you might call a very tiny 'movement' of the 1950s/60s in which certain writers, including myself and Ballard, were interested in producing as much narrative in as short a space as possible, assuming that a modern reader would be craving something more than, for instance, Evelyn Waugh. That we concentrated on structure and content rather than style is what largely separated us from other Anglophone experimentalists of the time. Of course, prose style was important but not of overall importance. We felt that we were finding ways to marry fresh content, or at least a fresh sensibility, to fresh method.
      The Cornelius stories were my first response to these ambitions. We very consciously separated ourselves from, for instance, the work of the so-called Angry Young Men, feeling that most of our contemporaries were merely reproducing the content and forms of familiar, conventional, generic fiction as it had been since the advent of modernism. We were consciously rejecting the likes of Joyce, Proust and Woolf (as far as models were concerned) as being concerned with explorations of the psyche which had pretty thoroughly been done -- a bit like retracing the steps of Lewis and Clarke or Livingstone and believing that you were making their discoveries for the first time. This didn't make us antipathetic to the great modernists but it did make us want to do something markedly different. I happened to feel that modernism became degenerate in most hands and believe that modern fiction's continuing incorporation of the methods of other genres (many of them equally played out) is a sign of authors desperately trying to reposition themselves while essentially doing what their universities and creative writing schools have trained them to do. I am now a lot less fierce about all this, though I remain pretty thoroughly bored by the smallness of ambition of most Anglophone writers, as well as their concentration on style over content. My interest continues to be in finding contemporary methods of addressing contemporary issues, rather than finding, in my eyes, ways of running in place and constantly producing the familiar because most people, especially critics, respond positively only to what is already familiar to them. One of the reason the best sf is marginalised (as Doris Lessing more or less stated the other day) is because it is unfamiliar to the average critic. One of the reasons it is slowly being recognised as a serious form, at its best, is because increasing numbers of people grew up reading it. Many, even, were first turned on to it by D&D and other games, or even by comics. It has often been argued that real experiment comes out of popular forms rather than 'literary' forms.

      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


      • #48
        Science fiction is dead

        Scifi is a dead form.

        Every few weeks, you see where real science has proved that yet another aspect of "the future" is impossible.

        Time travel? Faster than light? Forget it!

        But fantasy and horror are still flourishing-in fact, the influences of same are appearing in ''mainstream fiction''.

        James Lee Burke writes some of the grittiest crime fiction ever-and I was a copper for about thirty years, so I know a bit about it-still, he manages to stir in a dollop of the Gothic, even the outright supernatural.

        Others are doing it, too-remembering that the two forms, horror and detective tales-have similar roots.

        To fill this cruel lack, and show that human aspirations can rise above mere facts(bah, facts spoil all the fun!), we now have cyber-punk,steam punk, and Ray-gun Gothic.

        Meself, I'm trying to breathe some new life into the Cthulhu Mythos(call it Yog-Sothoth Punk?).

        Damn, but that's hard to write well-I'm trying my best, but I still don't have it where I want it.

        I've tried to bring some metafiction into it-mindful of your withdrawal of permission to use Jerry Cornelius in other stores, I've left him out, but oh, it was bitter!-and that stuff is harder than nails and fish hooks to write.

        I just began the latest William Gibson opus, on top of the Pyncheon-brain hernia alert!!!! Ah-ooogh-ah!

        Speculative fiction is alive and well, just , well, changed-I think the word I want is tetched.

        You had a lot to do with that, sir, and thank you for it.

        Take care of that foot.

        Comment


        • #49
          Had to add a correction, the possibility of time travel is supposedly upon us according to new scientest magazine 9th febuary, something to do with the switching on of the hadron collider, perhaps science fiction has become a fact of life, but there are still speculative fiction writers that can still open my imagination, admittedly few and not as groundbreaking as mike but greg egan has impressed me and im sure theres more..................As to jerry read him when i was a teenager in the eighties, and made me nostalgic for a sixties id never really experienced, weird ive allways thought of the sixties as mans last uncynical time when people thought they could actually change things for the good, now everyones stopped experimenting and just want to make money, shame . it is strange how a lot of science fiction comes true ive allways thought jg ballards drowned world is probably going to be the most accurate, though i wish it was the gods of chaos...............or the absinthe fairy..........

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by pixi View Post
            As to jerry read him when i was a teenager in the eighties, and made me nostalgic for a sixties id never really experienced, weird ive allways thought of the sixties as mans last uncynical time when people thought they could actually change things for the good, now everyones stopped experimenting and just want to make money, shame
            pixi, I am with you on both accounts. JC makes me nostalgic for a sixties and seventies that I will never know, as well as nostalgic for a London I can't possible know, either. Part of the romance of both is how larger than life JC can be (or imagine himself to be) in that world. Since much of US/UK culture celebrates cynicism so much, I suspect it will be a long time before we celebrate JC boldness. Sad that we have to settle for nostalgia for something we never knew, and really never was.

            Comment


            • #51
              The Sixties were a drag!

              Maybe the Sixties were fun in London-but everywhere I was, they were just miserable.

              The Seventies were better-then AIDS and crack put the kibosh to that.

              And most people were just trying to get laid-they weren't all that serious about change.

              Change is coming, now, as people my age finally grow up(about bleeding time, too!).

              William Gibson and Neal Stephenson are the prophets of this new time, but I still have such fond memories of the Moorcock universe, and the world of Jerry Cornelius, a world that always seemed to be just out of reach.

              Comment


              • #52
                Does anyone else remember...

                "Twilight Candelabra", by William Craddock?

                A very strange book, sort of Aleister Crowley considered as Micky Spillaine's "Mike Hammer".

                Freaky!

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
                  Frank and the others (Miss Brunner and so on) are not part of that threesome, quite right, but they DO take on some characteristics of other important commedia roles. Frank sometimes features as a faux Pierrot, as it were!
                  I always kind of thought Frank was mostly Pantaloon.
                  McN

                  "I learned: the first lesson of my life: nobody can face the world with his eyes open all the time." Salman Rushdie, 'Midnight's Children'

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Not sure we'll know a time like 'the sixties' again -- at least not until economic factors are similar and I don't see such a time anywhere close so far. For roughly 50 years the majority of people knew increasing wealth and possibly therefore incrasing political power. Increased optimism and a sense that 'the people' could affect change. My generation assumed this would continue, with a greater, fairer, spread of wealth in the future. Thatcher and Reagan reversed that flow of wealth so once again the few became far richer (and more powerful) than the many. What is incredible to me is that the majority then gave their power away mostly without protest, as they let people take away hard won freedoms. I'm not cynical by nature. But I am, like Jerry, of a questioning temperament, which is why current stories like MODEM TIMES perhaps don't have the crazed optimism of earlier stories (though don't forget much of the original quartet was written in the context of the Vietnam war etc.). I didn't think I was celebrating 'the sixties' (actually, I agree, 70s, too) so much as warning that unless we were more realistic the good times (which included a sense of involvement in the whole of humanity, most of which wasn't that well off) wouldn't last. I made similar points in the 'underground' press.
                    Jerry, like Elric, was in many ways a reflection of myself -- an optimistic realist, maybe. But rarely PC and always attacking some of the dinner-table worries of the liberal middle-class. And what a fearful lot we've turned into!
                    Feels almost like the Dark Ages or at least the worst bits of the Middle Ages, with portents of doom in daily doses. If the climate don't getcha the big asteroid will... It was fear of computers in the 60s which so irritated me. Now it's a dozen other worries which keep our minds off what we CAN do and offer us up escapist crap to console us for feeling so stupidly helpless. Tcha! In whose interest is it to blurr our focus ?
                    Last edited by Michael Moorcock; 05-27-2008, 12:26 PM.

                    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


                    • #55
                      Er, hi. I've just been re-reading the Chronicles, and I think I have an answer to the question that no-one's mentioned yet. If I may...

                      Mr S and Major B

                      "No-one will get this, you know." Major Bloodnok reached for another roll of toilet paper and changed his mind. His old trouble was playing him up again. "How long is this likely to take?"

                      Neddy Seagoon flipped the safety catch on his custard gun, slipped it back into his shoulder holster and checked the line of his well-cut Guards uniform (borrowed from a well-cut Guard). "Who knows?" he said. "That's what it's all about, really, isn't it, Major?"

                      "Eh?" Bloodnok was distracted. He pushed up the brim of his pith helmet and looked out over the crowds thronging the landing strip. "I see the gentlemen of the press are out in force."

                      "The Force?" Now Seagoon was not listening. "There's never one around when you really need..." He raised his head. "Did you hear something?"

                      "Nothing incriminating, I'm sure, old boy." The Major was perspiring freely despite the chilly October weather. "Your secrets are safe with me."

                      "No, I meant--" Neddy instinctively reached for his gun and then sagged as Miss Bannister came into the room, dragging an unwilling Bluebottle by his ear. She was dressed, as always, in the height of fashion, and in her other hand was a gigantic batter pudding.

                      "I might have known," Neddy said sourly. "You're looking well for your age."

                      "Less of your cheek, Mr Seagoon," Miss Bannister said tartly. "You should be more careful."

                      "Sorry, my captain," Bluebottle whined. "They overpowered me with licorice." Behind Miss Bannister loomed the brilliantined, lantern-jawed form of Hercules Grytpype-Thynne.

                      "You again," Seagoon muttered. Things were getting out of hand.

                      "Hello, Neddy," Grytpype-Thynne smiled. "Come now, you couldn't expect us to miss the triumphant homecoming."

                      Up in the sky, the Giant Bombardon was coming in to land. The crowds began to cheer, and the edge of the batter pudding tin grazed Neddy's cheek.

                      "It won't make any difference, you know," Seagoon said hopelessly. "It was beyond repair, completely torn."

                      "We'll just see about that, won't we?" said Miss Bannister.

                      The great machine came to a stop, and the wheeled stairway was quickly run out to the hatch. The cheering grew to a crescendo as it started to open.

                      "Fine craftsmen they have in Switzerland, I hear," Grytpype-Thynne murmured, as a wild-haired sack-clad figure stepped out on the stairs and held up a piece of paper.

                      "Helloooo dere," it cried. "Ladies and gentlemen... I bring you...der time...in one piece!"

                      Neddy Seagoon looked away. It was all starting again.

                      Please don't hit me all at once...

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        my two-pennyworth

                        Usually, with books that are hailed as cult works (sorry, Mr Moorcock, but it IS, you know!) it's a case of everyone who fails to understand it trying to pretend that they do! With the original Cornelius books in particular, it's almost as if it's the other way around.

                        I remember being able to follow the plot and work out exactly what was going on on my first reading - though the final revelation in "Condition of Muzak" caused a bit of a double-take - but it seems that in certain circles, to admit this is to risk making a twit of yourself, as if it's an admission that you've missed something.

                        "Look", as Basil Fawlty would say, "It's perfectly simple"... There may be intetextual or cultural references, in-jokes, references to other Moorcockian works, pop-culture links, etc in the stories, but to sift through it with a fine toothcomb (stupid expression anyway, what sort of person combs their teeth?) is to miss the point. Jerry may well be an archetype of the Jungian Trickster, but no more so than James Bond, Dennis the Menace (both the British and American versions), Shakespeare's Puck, Snoopy (of "Peanuts" fame) and a gazillion others.

                        In my 'umble etc, it's a fool's game indeed trying to decide whether Jerry is only an aspect of the eternal champion or simultaneously also the "companion" who, with various altenate versions of the name, seems to pop up whenever the Champion needs a friend. You can have long arguments over whether the vibragun or Jerry's Cadillac is this world's version of Stormbringer, if the cat that Mrs Cornelius feeds in the restaurant is also "Whiskers", or just how matey Mrs Brunner is with Aurioch. It's obvious that MM was having fun as he wrote it, dragging in all sorts of references from everywhere to add richness to the story, and it works a treat.

                        Let's face it, having established a multiverse, where the same lives are played out again and again, in different ways, throughout time and across space, and in multiple realities, it would be strange indeed if you didn't have one world intrude upon the other. Why shouldn't Oswald Bastable crop up as an airship pilot, or Sweet Orb Mace make a cameo appearance?

                        My advice - treat the Cornelius tales as you would a pretty, enigmatic woman - enjoy them for what they are, without neccessarily wanting to totally comprehend every trivial mystery about them.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by sylvae23 View Post
                          ...to sift through it with a fine toothcomb (stupid expression anyway, what sort of person combs their teeth?) is to miss the point...
                          <quite_interesting>The expression is "a fine-toothed comb", meaning a comb with the teeth very close together so as to better catch as much detritus as possible, such as a nit comb. A coarse-toothed comb conversely has the teeth spaced further apart to help shake out knots and the like.</quite_interesting>


                          Tooth brush with coarse and fine teeth.
                          _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                          _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                          _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                          _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
                            Originally posted by sylvae23 View Post
                            ...to sift through it with a fine toothcomb (stupid expression anyway, what sort of person combs their teeth?) is to miss the point...
                            <quite_interesting>The expression is "a fine-toothed comb", meaning a comb with the teeth very close together so as to better catch as much detritus as possible, such as a nit comb. A coarse-toothed comb conversely has the teeth spaced further apart to help shake out knots and the like.</quite_interesting>


                            Tooth brush with coarse and fine teeth.



                            Thanks, but it was just me being a smart*ass

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X