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Books you were introduced to by Moorcock

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Sir Sorcerer View Post
    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.
    Yes, Wodehouse is a major influence on Douglas Adams as well. I am aware of the others but have not read them though I think we have something by Jerome somewhere. I love the bit in, I think, the Condition of Muzak, where he talks of Jerry and Catherine as children sitting down in their father's Chateau with a Wodehouse or a de Sade, the incongruence is funny and gives us a sense of Jerry and Catherine's reality.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by postodave View Post
      I love the bit in, I think, the Condition of Muzak, where he talks of Jerry and Catherine as children sitting down in their father's Chateau with a Wodehouse or a de Sade, the incongruence is funny and gives us a sense of Jerry and Catherine's reality.
      I think this is what Mike does as well as anyone. He either lets you or makes you use your imagination to fill in gaps. He does more with a relatively offhand “show” than many people do with pages of “tell.”

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Doc View Post

        I think this is what Mike does as well as anyone. He either lets you or makes you use your imagination to fill in gaps. He does more with a relatively offhand “show” than many people do with pages of “tell.”
        The first time I read that I knew who Wodehouse was (I was a big Psmith fan in my early teens) and I think I had heard of de Sade but did not make the connection and just assumed there was some other De Sade I had not heard of who was similar to Wodehouse. I read a lot of books when I was younger where I just assumed I would get the references later. If you read like that even without understanding you get a feel of a world that is understood by those within it even where it makes no sense to you. It's how a child often experiences things and it is also how those outside it experience a sub-culture or counter-culture.

        I tell you who else I think is good at this: J M Barrie. As a child there were loads of bits in Peter Pan I did not understand but just assumed I would when I was older. For example he talks about the food the lost boys ate and I had never heard of most of it. Now I have an edition with notes that tell me a lot of this stuff is not even food. So he tells us 'Their chief food was roasted bread-fruit, yams, coconuts, baked pig, mammee-apples, tappa rolls and bananas, washed down with calabashes of poe-poe' I just assumed that one day I'd know what tappa rolls were, it turns out they are rolls of unwoven cloth used to make loin cloths. I still don't know what poe-poe is. I guess Barrie just wanted a meal that sounded exotic.

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        • #34
          I want to mention another writer I discovered through Moorcock, M John Harrison. I first encountered him through his three Cornelius stories which are really good. He sees the kind of patterns underlying the stories rather than the surface techniques. He also has a fight in the Manchester Library which I knew well. I went on to read the Viriconium stories. These are far future stories, at least they seem that until later Viriconium comes to seem timeless. Inventive and strange.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by postodave View Post
            I want to mention another writer I discovered through Moorcock, M John Harrison. I first encountered him through his three Cornelius stories which are really good. He sees the kind of patterns underlying the stories rather than the surface techniques. He also has a fight in the Manchester Library which I knew well. I went on to read the Viriconium stories. These are far future stories, at least they seem that until later Viriconium comes to seem timeless. Inventive and strange.
            I’m a huge fan, too. It’s amazing to think about all of the powerful imaginations and talented writers that were
            sometimes under the same roof in the New Worlds era.

            Harrison’s later work is just fantastic. Course of the Heart and Signs of Life just haunt me, and they are just so beautifully written with evocative and lyrical language. Whenever I read Mieville I see his admiration of Harrison (which he trumpets) on every page.

            And Harrison’s trilogy that started with Light just bends my mind. He has a way of making physics-based abstractions completely concrete and lively.

            The guy even writes fantastic reviews for the Guardian.

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            • #36
              I remember a Conan comics written by Roy Thomas some many years ago but I am not certain when. In 1988 I was in a Carrefour store in the city my grandparents lived when I have seen 3 books that have interested me:

              The Color From The Sky by Lovecraft
              Stormbringer ( until 3 years ago the only Portuguese Brazilian issue of Mike's works )
              Stephen King's Pet Cemetary

              I had the money for one book and I thought I could always come back here when we come back to visit our relatives in 3 months so I got Stephen King's book.

              Sadly, Carrefour has never had those books for sale again.

              In 2000 I was returning from a trip with my friends when we stopped by a large mall in Sao Paulo and there was a huge book store there and I bought Tailchaser's Song by Tad Williams, which was one book I could afford. When I got home I realized I had the money for two more and I ordered Elric Of Melnibone and Gaiman's stardust. Believe it or not, for many years I thought about buying the other issues ( I almost did ) but it was a time I was not reading much fiction, and importing books was expensive ( as it is sadly now again ). In 2011 I had this massive OCD/anxiety crisis and I believe that I was reading a blog written by Brazilian author Braulio Tavares to calm me down when he mentioned steampunk. I was into the concept before knowing its name but looking for books in the genre I found out "Warlord of the air" which I ordered and read it avidly.
              "From time to time I demonstrate the inconceivable, or mock the innocent, or give truth to liars, or shred the poses of virtue.(...) Now I am silent; this is my mood." From Sundrun's Garden, Jack Vance.
              "As the Greeks have created the Olympus based upon their own image and resemblance, we have created Gotham City and Metropolis and all these galaxies so similar to the corporate world, manipulative, ruthless and well paid, that conceived them." Braulio Tavares.

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