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  • #16
    Originally posted by Kymba334 View Post

    I love weird books; just about anything by William S. Burroughs, J. G. Ballard or Ronald Firbank could make my day and yes these were all writers mentioned favorably by Michael Moorcock.
    I occasionally think about Mike being an editor for Ballard (and so many others in New Worlds). Together that’s an enormous amount of brain power and boundless creativity. Most of Ballard’s workman that era is stunningly good.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Doc View Post

      As I understand it, theIr non-heroic natures (in the traditional sense) were partly the points of the characters. And of course, Leiber identified pretty strongly with Fafhrd, which might explain why he is slightly less outrageous than the Mouser.
      It’s always a struggle at first to have the protagonists not be good guys. Elric isn’t a good guy. I adore the Thieves World books, and there’s barely anyone in those books that’s remotely noble. Of course I think about Kerr Avon and the rest of the Blakes 7 crew. Antiheroes get us in the gut. We want to like them... and like some things that they do, but then they try to toss their companion of 50 episodes out of an airlock and you say “now hang on...” and you’re supposed to feel that in the gut.

      You shouldn’t agree with Elric or Pyat or Avon or Fafhrd or Tempus or Deadpool on everything. If you do you’re a follower. It’s the struggle to decide which of their actions are right and which are wrong that remind us of our own morality. The struggle is good for us. I’d like to think MM fans know this as much as anyone. Jerry and Elric and Pyat and so many others taught us that. Mike taught us that. Don’t be sheep. Think for yourself, struggle thru the ethics and learn what it means to be a moral human.
      "Self-discipline and self-knowledge are the key. An individual becomes a unique universe, able to move at will through all the scales of the multiverse - potentially able to control the immediate reality of every scale, every encountered environment."
      --Contessa Rose von Bek, Blood part 4, chapter 12

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by J-Sun View Post
        You shouldn’t agree with Elric or Pyat or Avon or Fafhrd or Tempus or Deadpool on everything. If you do you’re a follower.
        Very much on the right sort of perspective for a critical reading of Anti-Heroes J-Sun. Specifically when it comes to some of Mike Moorcock's leading characters;if i was ever asked just how cool it would be to live as Elric, Pyat or Jerry Cornelius my answer would be most likely : Don't try it - they all walk through a private Abyss that is at least in part one of their own making.

        Later : Heh!
        🙂...To be really safe just take the advice of J.G Ballard to all would be writers of fiction - save yourselves now and just give up on the story writing impulse entirely :

        https://lithub.com/you-cant-rely-on-...m-j-g-ballard/
        Last edited by Kymba334; 09-14-2020, 05:08 AM.
        Mwana wa simba ni simba

        The child of a lion is also a lion - Swahili Wisdom

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Kymba334 View Post

          I love weird books; just about anything by William S. Burroughs, J. G. Ballard or Ronald Firbank could make my day and yes these were all writers mentioned favorably by Michael Moorcock.
          I haven't read anything by Ballard and Burroughs I never really saw the appeal.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Peacefulpie View Post

            I haven't read anything by Ballard and Burroughs I never really saw the appeal.
            One's personal taste in any art form be it sculpture,painting, music or literature is highly subjective; i would not presume to tell others what to enjoy. When it comes to my own Literary Heroes i remember that one now long deceased critic once wrote of Thomas M. Disch that on reflection of his first novel The Genocides, Disch came across as so 'nihilistic' as to be "J.G.Ballard's ugly love child."

            Tom Disch for his part couldn't stand anything written by Bill Burroughs.
            This, for example, is his review of Cities of The Red Night : https://movies2.nytimes.com/books/98...h-burrows.html

            Michael Moorcock himself is impossible to pigeon-hole; as writers go he is a one man army and his voice as a writer changes with all the eras of his massive output and across all genres and none.
            Last edited by Kymba334; 09-14-2020, 04:40 AM.
            Mwana wa simba ni simba

            The child of a lion is also a lion - Swahili Wisdom

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Kymba334 View Post

              One's personal taste in any art form be it sculpture,painting, music or literature is highly subjective; i would not presume to tell others what to enjoy. When it comes to my own Literary Hero's i remember that one now long deceased critic once wrote of Thomas M. Disch that on reflection of his first novel The Genocides, Disch came across as so 'nihilistic' as to be "J.G.Ballard's ugly love child."

              Tom Disch for his part couldn't stand anything written by Bill Burroughs.

              Micheal Moorcock himself is impossible to pigeon-hole; as writers go he is a one man army and his voice as a writer changes with all the eras of his massive output and across all genres and none.
              What do you like about Ballrd and Burroughs?

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Peacefulpie View Post

                What do you like about Ballrd and Burroughs?
                Many things really: Both writers were literary experimenters / iconoclasts who wrote about their own times and the human condition as they saw it without fear of being "deplatformed."

                In fact both men incurred the wrath of literary censors in the U.S.A and elsewhere early on in their careers. A writer without vision, self-belief or courage is a scribbler in the wrong trade : propaganda or advertising work is more appropriate for such creatures, imho.
                Mwana wa simba ni simba

                The child of a lion is also a lion - Swahili Wisdom

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Kymba334 View Post

                  Many things really: Both writers were literary experimenters / iconoclasts who wrote about their own times and the human condition as they saw it without fear of being "deplatformed."

                  In fact both men incurred the wrath of literary censors in the U.S.A and elsewhere early on in their careers. A writer without vision, self-belief or courage is a scribbler in the wrong trade : propaganda or advertising work is more appropriate for such creatures, imho.
                  Interesting. They both seem a bit too dark and 'out there' for me though.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by J-Sun View Post

                    It’s always a struggle at first to have the protagonists not be good guys. Elric isn’t a good guy. I adore the Thieves World books, and there’s barely anyone in those books that’s remotely noble.

                    ...

                    You shouldn’t agree with Elric or Pyat or Avon or Fafhrd or Tempus or Deadpool on everything. If you do you’re a follower. It’s the struggle to decide which of their actions are right and which are wrong that remind us of our own morality. The struggle is good for us. I’d like to think MM fans know this as much as anyone. Jerry and Elric and Pyat and so many others taught us that. Mike taught us that. Don’t be sheep. Think for yourself, struggle thru the ethics and learn what it means to be a moral human.
                    The world doesn’t exist with the clarity of black and white. A heroic protagonist can be easy to cheer for, but most of the challenges they introduce you to are their own. Their motives and inner life are rarely challenges, even if the represent higher aspirations. By contrast, Pyat and Elric (among many many others) mostly challenge you to look at yourself and the world from their lens. I struggle along with heroes. I struggle with my own perceptions with anti-heroes and other morally ambiguous protagonists.

                    Of course, MM paints these worlds and characters as well as anyone, and challenges me more than most.


                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Peacefulpie View Post

                      Interesting. They both seem a bit too dark and 'out there' for me though.
                      For me, that’s kind of the point. 🙂 Different strokes and all that.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by J-Sun View Post

                        It’s always a struggle at first to have the protagonists not be good guys. Elric isn’t a good guy. I adore the Thieves World books, and there’s barely anyone in those books that’s remotely noble. Of course I think about Kerr Avon and the rest of the Blakes 7 crew. Antiheroes get us in the gut. We want to like them... and like some things that they do, but then they try to toss their companion of 50 episodes out of an airlock and you say “now hang on...” and you’re supposed to feel that in the gut.

                        You shouldn’t agree with Elric or Pyat or Avon or Fafhrd or Tempus or Deadpool on everything. If you do you’re a follower. It’s the struggle to decide which of their actions are right and which are wrong that remind us of our own morality. The struggle is good for us. I’d like to think MM fans know this as much as anyone. Jerry and Elric and Pyat and so many others taught us that. Mike taught us that. Don’t be sheep. Think for yourself, struggle thru the ethics and learn what it means to be a moral human.
                        The edition of The Naked Lunch that I have includes some of the TLS correspondence on the book. The reviewer had complained that Burroughs didn't show disapproval of the things he was depicting. Burroughs responded by saying a writer can't keep editorializing like that, actually that may have been a comment by Mike who also joined in. I get that. I don't like what is being done in say the rape in Byzantium Endures but I can see that is there to say something important about this person. The trouble with Leiber when he has these things going on is that I feel The Mouser is still seen as basically a hero in the sense of someone we are supposed to identify with and the rape is then being trivialised. And the slave spanking scene is sort of dwelt on. Mind you I'm dwelling on it a bit now.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          I’m not sure that I’d say you’re dwelling on it, postodave, if that’s who you really are (although your avatar looks suspiciously like an anthology about the number 22 to Putney Common in my shelf: it’s okay, your secret is safe with me. But you owe me a G&T)...

                          I love Howard and Lovecraft... but man, those guys are cringe when it comes to racism. I feel we can enjoy their work as a whole, accept it for the contextual time it was written in, and still decry the racism. I don’t think we have to cancel Conan because Howard was racist. I think we can say, “wow these are amazing. True, they’d be even better if Howard wasn’t such a racist, and we can’t defend that, but the stories as a whole are amazing!” Now, I get that for some people, they just can’t see past that. And I get it.

                          I haven’t read Lieber yet. He’s on my read list for 2021. (Yes, I have a schedule.) And I appreciate this warning. Fantasy was terribly misogynistic for ages. I’ll have to take that into account as I read it. It might be enough to ruin it for me, but I hope not.
                          "Self-discipline and self-knowledge are the key. An individual becomes a unique universe, able to move at will through all the scales of the multiverse - potentially able to control the immediate reality of every scale, every encountered environment."
                          --Contessa Rose von Bek, Blood part 4, chapter 12

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            I want to suggest a redemptive reading of both the first two Jirel stories and The Mouser goes Below (the one with the voyeurism and S and M. This will include spoilers.

                            Jirel



                            The Gray Mouser

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by J-Sun View Post
                              I’m not sure that I’d say you’re dwelling on it, postodave, if that’s who you really are (although your avatar looks suspiciously like an anthology about the number 22 to Putney Common in my shelf: it’s okay, your secret is safe with me. But you owe me a G&T)...
                              Splishy Sploshy

                              I love Howard and Lovecraft... but man, those guys are cringe when it comes to racism. I feel we can enjoy their work as a whole, accept it for the contextual time it was written in, and still decry the racism. I don’t think we have to cancel Conan because Howard was racist. I think we can say, “wow these are amazing. True, they’d be even better if Howard wasn’t such a racist, and we can’t defend that, but the stories as a whole are amazing!” Now, I get that for some people, they just can’t see past that. And I get it.
                              Yes. I read the first three Fu Manchu books a few years ago. You fall over the racism in those but they are good adventure stories. There has been a whole thing about cancelling Lovecraft and I agree that I can look past that and the same with Howard. I think those sex scenes made me uncomfortable because participation was being forced on these girls who were slaves and I kept feeling sorry for them and wondering what I would do in their situation.
                              I haven’t read Lieber yet. He’s on my read list for 2021. (Yes, I have a schedule.) And I appreciate this warning. Fantasy was terribly misogynistic for ages. I’ll have to take that into account as I read it. It might be enough to ruin it for me, but I hope not.
                              I'm still not sure if there is some kind of moral purpose in this or if Leiber is just enjoying the S and M. He is a sophisticated writer, this is not crude sexism, though I'm not sure what it is.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                It's interesting how diverse Moorcock's influences and inspirations are and how many of them fall outside the borders of genre fiction. I am in particular interested in the English realists and humourists that he mentions including George Meredith, P.G. Wodehouse, Jerome K. Jerome and Ronald Firbank. Don't think I would have discovered those authors without him. I have always been fond of Saki's fiction, hope that they strike some of the same chords. Also, a German classic, Grimmelshausen's Adventures of Simplicius Simplicissimus.

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