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

HP Lovecraft and His Work

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

  • #46
    I always felt that it was my job to earn authority from the reader by showing that I could produce conventional structure before I asked them to go along with my experimental work. Same in music. Problem with music, though, was engineers who didn't fully understand what you were trying to do, which is why I gave musical experiment up in the end (and not being a great musician, like Coltrane, could not convince an engineer of my authority).

    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


    • #47
      Oh, I dunno. I like your music. Both the Deep Fix stuff (what little I've been able to lay hands on), the Hawkwind, of course, and the stuff you wrote for BOC. I got a grin seeing Bloom invited to that party in The Condition of Muzak. On a related tagent, until I read the last few pages of the Quartet, I was convinced I was the only one in the U.S. who had read A Child of the Jago. Had to literally sit to read, in a special collections part of the U. On Trane, I'm a bit sensitive because I've had similar, though way more acrimonious, conversations through the years regarding prog. I like the stuff and have a great deal of trouble with folks who argue that its inaccessible. I understand that, with prog, it's kind of a class-based argument. Punk can be played by anyone, you have to go to the right schools for prog sort of thing. But, I like both!
      Kevin McCabe
      The future is there, looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become. William Gibson

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
        I always felt that it was my job to earn authority from the reader by showing that I could produce conventional structure before I asked them to go along with my experimental work. Same in music. .
        That is, by far, the best description I have ever heard about any "experimental" art form. Establish the rules, then play with them. too many rules too strictly followed = routine and boredom. No rules = random crap. Rules established and then played with?
        some sort of happy medium, almost a ... ummm, whats the word... starts with "B" ummm....
        All reminds me of some author's work

        Comment


        • #49
          You're not trying to say something about, like, law and chaos, now are ya?
          Kevin McCabe
          The future is there, looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become. William Gibson

          Comment


          • #50
            I think part of the reason punk failed as anything other than a marketing phenomena is that if you eschew craftsmanship altogether, you make something that's inherently easy to commercialize. It's a small step from Sex Pistols to Human League, and musicians get replaced by engineers and machines. On the other hand, I think the music industry turned away from signing progressive bands because it was too hard to mass produce skill. Punk was a natural fit, you could just churn them out because the main thing was the image and attitude. .

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
              I always felt that it was my job to earn authority from the reader by showing that I could produce conventional structure before I asked them to go along with my experimental work. Same in music. Problem with music, though, was engineers who didn't fully understand what you were trying to do, which is why I gave musical experiment up in the end (and not being a great musician, like Coltrane, could not convince an engineer of my authority).
              This certainly explains why A) your experimental literature is something I'm compelled to keep experiencing even when I find it a bit frustrating (and the parallel to Coltrane holds up well since he did exactly that with music and even a noisehead like me still finds Om and Meditations difficult to listen to very often for all I love them) and B) why you've cultivated a group of readers who are such interesting and often very open-minded people (even when you aren't on this board and the conversations have nothing to do with your work, it's still a great place to visit).

              Lovecraft, of course was no Coltrane of his art. More on a par with Jandek or even the Shaggs! Both of whom, I entirely love, by the way.
              My Facebook; My Band; My Radio Show; My Flickr Page; Science Fiction Message Board

              Comment


              • #52
                Punk was in many ways an attempt to recover the simplicity of 50s rock, the idealism of mid-60s hippies and the vigor achieved when you went on stage or into a studio without being sure what you were doing. This also allowed the biggest influx of talentless wankers into popular music since the UK Soho music scene and the skiffle phenomenon. Ultimately, as always. the real alent emerged and endured and the dross fded away. There WAS some genuine innovation by way of the usual paths -- naivete and sophistication -- just as there had been in jazz and other forms with essentially folk roots.

                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


                • #53
                  Originally posted by opaloka View Post
                  I think part of the reason punk failed as anything other than a marketing phenomena is that if you eschew craftsmanship altogether, you make something that's inherently easy to commercialize. It's a small step from Sex Pistols to Human League, and musicians get replaced by engineers and machines. On the other hand, I think the music industry turned away from signing progressive bands because it was too hard to mass produce skill. Punk was a natural fit, you could just churn them out because the main thing was the image and attitude. .
                  This thread is probably not the appropriate place to launch into such a discussion, but I can't read such statements and not comment. Punk is a broad term applied to many different types of music and bands, but to say that the genre failed or didn't encompass it's own type of craftsmanship is to completely overlook the major contributions of a downwards up rebellion to music history at large.

                  Sure it was a small step from the Pistols to the Human League, but it was an even smaller step from the Pistols to P.I.L., Joy Division, Dead Kennedys (who are a much more "progressive" band musically than they ever get credit for), Bad Brains, Sonic Youth, Fugazi, and so on. Once the floodgates were open, and thank God they were!, it was just another small step to everything from to Palace Brothers to Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

                  No denying that there were many lame photocopied "punk" bands, and that there still are, but then we can't blame the Stones and the Who for Herman's Hermits either, now can we? To really look at the impact of a movement, you can't examine the hackneyed revivals and copycats, you have to look at what it contributed to what happened next that is likely to be completely different if anything was really achieved. And it was.
                  My Facebook; My Band; My Radio Show; My Flickr Page; Science Fiction Message Board

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    I've always thought part of it is in the genre's ability to move forward and part of it is in the individual band's. This didn't always happen, of course, but when it did, it was something to see. I guess I would list examples of the genre's ability to move forward to include things like the Riot GRRLZ that emerged as a reaction to a male dominated scene or raising the bar from immediate popular politics (Anarchy UK, White Riot) to international commentary (Sandanista, American Idiot). As far as individual band's abilities, the list is endless, but I think of Husker Du on Zen Arcade, Green Day on American Idiot, The Clash on London Calling, and The Replacements on Tim as prime examples.
                    Kevin McCabe
                    The future is there, looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become. William Gibson

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      I wanted to jump up and down about the punk comments, but DA beat me to it!

                      Punk can apparently be played by anyone, but the reason bands like the Ramones produced loads of albums whereas bands like Eater disappeared without a trace is that the former were extremely good at their, admittedly limited, repertoire. The Pistols were held together by Steve Jones who is an exceptional rhythm guitarist and now admits that he used to spend huge amounts of time playing along to Stooges albums. This was why he was able to lay down multi-tracks with such accuracy on the album.

                      The successful punk bands who couldn't really play when they started off (and there were a lot less of them than you probably imagine) managed to stay the distance because they learned to play pretty damn quickly.

                      I agree that a lot of punk was a return to simplicity, but this does not necessarily entail eschewing craftmanship. To a large extent, the idea of punk bands being unable to play was a marketing ploy in which many of the bands themselves colluded by claiming that they were a lot less musically able than they really were.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        HP Lovecraft and His Work

                        To return to the Lovecraft thing for a moment - does anyone find his stuff funny? I find that his gradual disclosure of 'horror' has the feeling of a very slow joke, where the reader thinks 'oh, that's not going to happen, surely?' and then it does, or 'it really looks like it's going to turn out to be that, but surely not', and it is. There are no twists, just a gradual, very slowly lumbering, relentless lead-up to a punchline that can be seen from miles away. It's sort of the same trick repeated in every piece, but still an interesting and compulsive thing for someone to have done. He was thorough and one-track, and i'm not sure the humour was unintentional.
                        Steve Aylett

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Steve Aylett View Post
                          To return to the Lovecraft thing for a moment - does anyone find his stuff funny? I find that his gradual disclosure of 'horror' has the feeling of a very slow joke,
                          There is a fantastic Ramsey Campbell short story (will come back and add the name later) which is very much in the Lovecraft style, which is, most definately , a long joke. Thourorly recomend, but wear adult nappy when you read

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Steve Aylett View Post
                            To return to the Lovecraft thing for a moment - does anyone find his stuff funny? I find that his gradual disclosure of 'horror' has the feeling of a very slow joke, where the reader thinks 'oh, that's not going to happen, surely?' and then it does, or 'it really looks like it's going to turn out to be that, but surely not', and it is. There are no twists, just a gradual, very slowly lumbering, relentless lead-up to a punchline that can be seen from miles away. It's sort of the same trick repeated in every piece, but still an interesting and compulsive thing for someone to have done. He was thorough and one-track, and i'm not sure the humour was unintentional.
                            Steve Aylett

                            Oddly, I feel that way about most fiction, but not his. I let his words form a movie; Horror of/at Redhook, for example; in which I was on the boat in the dank underbelly as I floated past Asmodeus and Baphomet -- kind of like a Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney. It is unnatural; implausible; yet, compelling and strangely satisfying.

                            Likewise, virtually all of the slow unveiling of Sevarian's tale in Wolfe's Torturer/Urth series is, in itself, rather plodding and pointless from a driving-the-plot-forward perspective, but by the end of one volume, the overall effect is one of at least having the tale regaled, if not personally experienced. Of course that is where the two styles most greatly diverge; Sevarian's tale is multi-titled and the longest-living Lovecraft protagonist Randolph Carter (no doubt a relative of Captain John's) with, what, five tales, and only one a novel.

                            For a short-fiction writer; and for his era; I think HPL is still a luminary in the dread and starry gulfs of space.

                            *

                            And as for Punk, I feel plug Gang of Four and The Fall as examples of talent; one that only went so far, the other still truckin'.
                            Last edited by Kyrinn S. Eis; 11-26-2007, 12:51 PM. Reason: Added the Punk stuff
                            Ani Maamin B'emunah Sh'leimah B'viyat Hamashiach. V'af al pi sheyitmahmehah im kol zeh achake lo b'chol yom sheyavo.

                            "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." - Phillip K. Dick

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Kyrinn S. Eis View Post

                              And as for Punk, I feel plug Gang of Four and The Fall as examples of talent; one that only went so far, the other still truckin'.
                              Andy Gill, Dave Allen and Hugo Burnhamn were (are) all massively talented and never pretended that they couldn't play. To my mind the classic band that learned as they went along would have to be Joy Division. Even though Steve Morris was a terrific drummer, early photos of Peter Hook has the notes chalked up on the fret board of his bass and Bernard Sumner was learning as he went along. Even today, New Order still claim not use the black notes on their keyboards....
                              Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker.
                              Bakunin

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by johneffay View Post
                                I wanted to jump up and down about the punk comments, but DA beat me to it!

                                Punk can apparently be played by anyone, but the reason bands like the Ramones produced loads of albums whereas bands like Eater disappeared without a trace is that the former were extremely good at their, admittedly limited, repertoire. The Pistols were held together by Steve Jones who is an exceptional rhythm guitarist and now admits that he used to spend huge amounts of time playing along to Stooges albums. This was why he was able to lay down multi-tracks with such accuracy on the album.

                                The successful punk bands who couldn't really play when they started off (and there were a lot less of them than you probably imagine) managed to stay the distance because they learned to play pretty damn quickly.

                                I agree that a lot of punk was a return to simplicity, but this does not necessarily entail eschewing craftmanship. To a large extent, the idea of punk bands being unable to play was a marketing ploy in which many of the bands themselves colluded by claiming that they were a lot less musically able than they really were.
                                I still say its a part of the punk ethos, for better or worse, that it is accessible music that anyone can learn how to play. I would cite the second Green Day American Idiot tour as a concrete expression. They had people who could play bass/guitar/drums raise their hands, picked three, taught the chords/beat to one of their old numbers, and cut em lose with Billy Joe doing the vocals. It may be a myth, but its an enduring (and, endearing) one. Doesn't mean punk rockers don't grow musically. Just that expertise isn't required to join the club. Compare that ethos to say - Tales from the Topographic Oceans or Brain Salad Surgery (which are both albums I like.
                                Kevin McCabe
                                The future is there, looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become. William Gibson

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X