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Pratchett anger at Rowling's rise

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  • #31
    Can I say that I enjoyed Yolanda's post, even if I didn't agree with it. It can get a bit civilised round here sometimes!

    The difference, I suppose, is that Rowling started out as a children's author, while Pratchett goes for a more adult market who will get the satire and references. I think he only got critically approved when he stopped the Hitchhikers style silly romps like Colour of Money (which satirised fantasy and were thus largely funny if you had spent the earlier part of the 80s reading Magician, Belgariad, etc) and started making references to Shakespear or more obvious satires on our world.

    I also wondered how much Rowling was led by her interviewer - who obviously had an agenda to seperate her out from 'fantasy' - i.e. what would an interview conducted by a fantasy magazine about her inspirations and childhood favourites have revealed?

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Jules
      Can I say that I enjoyed Yolanda's post, even if I didn't agree with it. It can get a bit civilised round here sometimes!

      The difference, I suppose, is that Rowling started out as a children's author, while Pratchett goes for a more adult market who will get the satire and references. I think he only got critically approved when he stopped the Hitchhikers style silly romps like Colour of Money (which satirised fantasy and were thus largely funny if you had spent the earlier part of the 80s reading Magician, Belgariad, etc) and started making references to Shakespear or more obvious satires on our world.

      I also wondered how much Rowling was led by her interviewer - who obviously had an agenda to seperate her out from 'fantasy' - i.e. what would an interview conducted by a fantasy magazine about her inspirations and childhood favourites have revealed?
      Colour of Magic.

      I never understand this desire to seperate Popular Fantasy Authors from the Fantasy genre. Tolkein, Rowling...although it does rather sicken me to compare the two are too good examples. It seems that fantasy is th bargain basement of obscurity and geekdom and if you happen to make a bit of money and have mass appeal then BAM...you're not fantasy anymore and therefore it's okay to like them.

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      • #33
        Aldiss says as much with regards to SF in Billion/Trillion Year Spree - the likes of 1984 and Brave New World aren't regarded by most people as SF - SF is the stuff left over when you take out all the 'literature'.

        (Although I guess if Orwell had only ever written books set in dystopian futures he would be regarded as an SF writer).

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        • #34
          I had a lecturer at university who tried to imply that Phlip K. Dick wasn't a science-fiction author! He also marked down a story I wrote, because it had people who thought they were vampires in it, and therefore it was only worth sending to "genre" magazines... or maybe he just marke it down because it was rubbish? Either way, he was wrong about PKD.
          "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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          • #35
            Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
            I had a lecturer at university who tried to imply that Phlip K. Dick wasn't a science-fiction author! He also marked down a story I wrote, because it had people who thought they were vampires in it, and therefore it was only worth sending to "genre" magazines... or maybe he just marke it down because it was rubbish? Either way, he was wrong about PKD.
            Because PKD is ALWAYS in the general fiction/literature section :roll:

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Jules
              ...the likes of 1984 and Brave New World aren't regarded by most people as SF - SF is the stuff left over when you take out all the 'literature'. ...
              And the corollary, that when mainstream authors write something that is "clearly" science fiction, they deny that it is... Margaret Atwood declining her Arthur C. Clarke award, for example.

              Or a counter-corollary, that when mainstream authors write something that is "clearly" science fiction, they're fأ?ted for producing something "different" when it's really humdrum by genre standards... O-Zone by Paul Theroux, for example.

              Doris Lessing would be an example of one of the few "literary" authors who embrace sf.

              Cheers,
              Ant

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              • #37
                Then there's Kazuo Ishiguro, author of The Remains of the Day, and his recently published, Never Let Me Go, a book about a community of clones, raised to be harvested for organ 'donations'. Science fiction, or mainstream literature? And, haven't we been here before?

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                  I had a lecturer at university who tried to imply that Phlip K. Dick wasn't a science-fiction author! He also marked down a story I wrote, because it had people who thought they were vampires in it, and therefore it was only worth sending to "genre" magazines... or maybe he just marke it down because it was rubbish? Either way, he was wrong about PKD.
                  It's sheer snobbery we're talking about here, from the Sunday Colour Supplement sect. Makes you sick, really. But, on another level, who gives a poo?

                  If I had gone to Uni when I was supposed to (instead of 20 years later), it would have been to study English Literature. I'm fairly relieved I didn't.

                  Making a living out of interpreting the work of others seems vaguely vampiric in itself. But it was probably better not to have made that point!
                  \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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                  • #39
                    The PKD thing is very much the case in point (you will find PKD, Vonnegut and Ballard in the mainstream literature sections of UK chains like Waterstones).

                    He is painted as a noble exception, when at least 70% of his published material - the early short stories - are pulp SF.

                    There's an interesting book whose title I can't recall ('The Child that books made'??) that is about the childhood influence on reading - the author (an SF fan) noted that a difference he found between many genre and literary readers, is that genre readers were often people who'd escape into reading from early on in life, while readers of literary fiction had come to reading through English Literature education. I don't know if there's any truth in that . . .

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                    • #40
                      It would be better if J K Rowling had been interviewed by a person from a fantasy magazine.

                      I think she is powerfully full of the muses. I dont think she even remembers some of what she did.

                      Media twits like their catagories.

                      I hate hype. It makes good booksget bad publicity. In your face everywhere, on tv, mags, whatever. Theres always freaks who will jump on any bandwagon.

                      All types should be promoted equally. It is insulting to the rest to say one is better than others.

                      Overhyped stuff makes me wanna turn away and ignore it. Or if i dont like it, hurt it.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Jules
                        a difference he found between many genre and literary readers, is that genre readers were often people who'd escape into reading from early on in life, while readers of literary fiction had come to reading through English Literature education. I don't know if there's any truth in that . . .
                        I remember smuggling Asimov novels into English Lit. classes at school and read them under the desk whilst the teacher droned about Shakespeare an Thomas Hardy. I can appreciate the 'classics' now - but that type of education just put me off.

                        Hopefully things have improved somewhat nowadays, but forcefeeding the Bard still seems to be on the agenda. A 'Special School' teacher I know says they have to give the kids with learning disabilities comic-book versions of Shakespeare plays in order to 'tick the boxes' for the National Curriculum...

                        I mean - Shakespeare excelled at many forms, but the graphic novel was not one of them![/i]
                        \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Mikey_C
                          It's sheer snobbery we're talking about here, from the Sunday Colour Supplement sect. Makes you sick, really. But, on another level, who gives a poo?

                          If I had gone to Uni when I was supposed to (instead of 20 years later), it would have been to study English Literature. I'm fairly relieved I didn't.

                          Making a living out of interpreting the work of others seems vaguely vampiric in itself. But it was probably better not to have made that point!
                          My reading list at university for my 'liberature appreciation class' was noticeable for its complete lack of science fiction or fantasy literature. I still have to wonder exactly WHO it is who decides exactly what has literary value and what doesn't - Graham Swift's 'Waterland' quite honestly had to be the most tedious book I ever read, not to mention all that pretentious rubbish by the likes of Salman Rushdie.

                          It's certainly the case that the best sci-fi/fantasy has just as much social / political commentary as the 'best 19th-20th century literature', if not more so. Snobberry is right...
                          Batman: It's a low neighborhood, full of rumpots. They're used to curious sights, which they attribute to alcoholic delusions.

                          Robin: Gosh, drink is sure a filthy thing, isn't it? I'd rather be dead than unable to trust my own eyes!

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Mikey_C
                            I mean - Shakespeare excelled at many forms, but the graphic novel was not one of them![/i]
                            Actually, graphic novels are one of the things that Shakespeare can do really rather well - certainly far better than conventional novelists. Think about it, all Shakespeare really is is dialogue. Having gone through the UK education system some 15-20 years ago, I have to say that I think one of the most nonsensical things about teaching Shakespeare is the incessant insistant on sitting in the classroom reading the texts. Shakespeare is not meant to be read, but to be seen. I mean, you wouldn't read the script to something like, say, Once Upon a Time in the West (particularly the opening 10 mins) in preference to watching the actual film. There is merit in studying a text after you've seen the play, but all too often in my experience its done the other way around.
                            _"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."

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                            • #44
                              I was the only male studying English in my last year of High School. Just me and about eight girls. We studied six Shakespeare plays, all of which had to be read aloud. I had to read all the male parts. That’s a lot of reading aloud! I’ve never read Shakespeare since.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by pinkgreen
                                I had to read all the male parts.
                                I'm sure you also know that in Shakespeare's day all the female parts would have been spoken by men as well? Sounds like you got off a bit lightly (although there aren't that many female roles in some/most of Shakespeare's plays iirc).
                                _"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

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