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John Klima
Posted on Monday, April 04, 2005 - 10:22 am:   

Goddamn BLOGGER is not loading in any browser I have. Motherfucker!

JK
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Minz
Posted on Monday, April 04, 2005 - 12:01 pm:   

I don't think you're in your happy place, John. Breathe in deeply through the nose. Out through the mouth.
In...
Out...
In...
Out...
Think of a happy place, a nice Packer bar where you're bashing in the heads of annoying Bears fans.

Better?
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, April 04, 2005 - 01:14 pm:   

Now I'm looking at the place where all the homework I missed from last week is waiting for me. sigh

Maybe it would all be better if you could lay your hands on Christopher Paolini's (Eragon) books for me? :-)

JK
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AliceB
Posted on Monday, April 04, 2005 - 05:45 pm:   

What, so we can throw it across the room? :-)

Seriously, good luck.
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The Krimson Kommisar
Posted on Monday, April 04, 2005 - 06:16 pm:   

In Soviet Russia, BLOGGER loads YOU!
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Bob
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 05:37 am:   

Ouchie.
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 06:00 am:   

Normally, when IE gives me problems with Blogger, which it almost always does, I go to Firefox and load everything fine. Yesterday, nothing wanted to load Blogger. And I wasn't the only one:

[update: Blogger has been miserable lately. Very slow and spotty. So I hope this goes through.]

That's from Alan DeNiro, from his blog:

http://ptarmigan.blogspot.com/2005/03/update-blogger-has-been-miserable.html

Now AliceB, what do you have against Paolini? I don't know anything about the books, except that they sell like Pokemon cards used to. Plus, you throw books like that, you're apt to hurt someone. Sure they're no Jordan, but they're not Highlights for Kids either.

JK
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AliceB
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 06:28 am:   

:-)I have nothing against Paolini--he wrote Eragon at 15, marketed it brilliantly and (I hope) has made a pretty penny. As a reader, however, the book reads like it was written by a 15 year old. I didn't throw the copy I read across the room mostly because it belonged to the library and I didn't want to damage any walls. But I believe it followed every single precept in this brilliant article originally posted by JeffV: How to Write a Best Selling Fantasy Novel.

Best,
Alice
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 06:56 am:   

Yeah, I wondered. Since it reads like it was written by a 15 year old, that's probably one of the big reasons why it's enjoyed by 15 year olds.

I went online and looked at his (the publisher's?) website, and was startled how the map looked like every other fat fantasy map. (and why the need for a map in the first place?)

JK
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Tim Akers
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 09:59 am:   

Well, when I was fifteen, a good deal of my study hall time was devoted to the crafting of elaborate fantasy maps devoid of any narrative context. Makes perfect sense to me. Now-a-days I devote my time to elaborate narrative context devoid of any craft.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 10:32 am:   

why the need for a map in the first place?

Tolkien had one, and everyone needs to follow his example? Or more correctly, superficially follow his example, but omit the parts that worked and keep the needless parts?

Or is it because many readers of epic fantasy also play rpgs, and want to know where they can set adventures in their next D&D game?

Or is the map based on what the author drew for his D&D game, which he later novelized?
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AliceB
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 11:08 am:   

How about because the author wants to put down all these unpronounceable names of places that aren't mentioned in the novel so that we're tempted to find out (or not) about them in book 2 or 3 or...?
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Tim Akers
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 11:09 am:   

It's a good way of pretending to have a deep and complicated world history created.
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AliceB
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 11:22 am:   

Wait, wait, does JeffV have one for Ambergris?
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minz
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 11:31 am:   

No, but Duncan Shriek does...
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 11:50 am:   

Wait, wait, does JeffV have one for Ambergris?

I saw one. It looked something like this
http://ambergriscaye.com/pages/town/mapisland.html
but the names were all crossed out and replaced with things like "Albumuth Boulevard", "River Moth", "Religious Quarter" and "I Like Monkeys". I think the border between Mexico and Belize had been relabeled as "Albumuth Boulevard".
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 11:58 am:   

Also, why do fantasy maps have the protagonists move from left to right? Again, because Tolkein did it that way? Or is it because we read that way?

JK
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 12:12 pm:   

I recall reading a film analysis that said good guys usually move left to right on screen, while villains usually move opposite to that. I can't find it now.

I think it has something to do with reading and writing from left to right. We're comfortable seeing things happen that way, and a bit less comfortable if they happen opposite to it.

Plus, Tolkien did it.
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The Krimson Kommisar
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 06:46 pm:   

I resent the comment that villains all move from the right to the left!
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, April 06, 2005 - 08:30 am:   

Sigh, not all, just the ones in bad movies. Some villians in some movies sit on the left and never move.

JK
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, April 06, 2005 - 08:59 am:   

I also wonder if the Eurocentricism of fantasy has something to do with the travel direction. In the medieval European view, two great evils came from the East (the Huns, the Mongols). Plus, the further South and East of Europe you go, the more different from Europeans people become. To some, different = bad. Combine those two things, and going East becomes going into evil lands. Since fantasy heroes need to go into enemy lands, they travel East (left to right).

I'm probably overanalyzing things and it's just because of Tolkien.
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, April 06, 2005 - 10:05 am:   

Robert, you have the beginnings of a good article for IROSF, or some other such place. (like Electric Velocipede) :-)

JK
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AliceB
Posted on Wednesday, April 06, 2005 - 10:25 am:   

And the title, obviously, would be "Because of Tolkien"
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Wednesday, April 06, 2005 - 06:15 pm:   

I don't think I can keep up an interesting commentary for a full article.
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Luís
Posted on Wednesday, April 06, 2005 - 10:03 pm:   

You could be onto something here, Robert, but remember Hobbiton is also supposed to be an ancient, mythic version of Britain. So in Tolkien's case, the characters went east because they had nowhere else to go. Well, not without boats, at any rate.

It may be worth looking at Robert E. Howard's Hyboria if you want to strengthen your hypothesis, too. It preceded Tolkien's Middle-earth as a mythic pre-historic world and combines references to many cultures from recorded history.

Luís
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, April 07, 2005 - 06:29 am:   

Right on Luis! Man, I hope one of you writes this essay. I need some non-fiction for issue #10, and this sounds really interesting to me . . . .

JK
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helpful guy
Posted on Thursday, April 07, 2005 - 07:40 am:   

And, given the format and size of the 'zine, it wouldn't need to be a long essay...something that could be banged out in just a couple of hours I imagine.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, April 07, 2005 - 08:21 am:   

When would you need submissions for #10 by? I could try to get something written (I can't guarantee quality).
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, April 07, 2005 - 08:55 am:   

I'm editing #9 right now so it's ready for Interaction this Summer. Issue #10 is coming out next year in the Spring. Somewhere in the back of my head I want to do something cool for #10 since I think that's a cool number to get to.

Technically I wouldn't need something until January, but something in the Fall would be great so that there would be time to read/edit/etc. with the piece as needed. My current nonfiction pieces are around 3200 words, so I'd prefer not to have anything longer than that, but short would be fine. (I'll write up what's happening with Attic Space in another topic)

Would that work?

JK
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Thursday, April 07, 2005 - 10:04 am:   

That sounds good. Plenty of time to research.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 07:41 am:   

Could anyone contribute a few example fantasy novels where people travel to the East? Or where the evil empire is in the East? Besides Tolkien, I've been told the Dark Tower series, Fred Saberhagen and Melanie Rawn all had this. I've gotten really conflicting reports about Dave Eddings.

Luis - I haven't read Howard yet. What would be a good book to start with?
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 07:52 am:   

Both Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind have heroes in the west who travel east. I know after the first book(s) for both series the heroes then travel back and forth and whatnot. Glen Cook's Black Company books head mostly south if memory serves me right.

JK
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AliceB
Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 09:28 am:   

If your willing to look at children's lit., in The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, Milo enters the tollboth for the Lands Beyond from the West (going East). He does end up looping all the way around and back out the way he came in. Same is true for the hero in Neil Gaiman's Stardust: the wall is East of the town. He goes through the wall to get to the land of Faerie, loops around to return home, and then must go East again if he wants to return to the land of Faerie.

I don't know if Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus fits the fantasy angle you want, but the entire circus goes East from London and ends up in Siberia (the main male character having come all the way from America).

Best,
Alice
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Minz
Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 09:31 am:   

Haydon's SYmphony of Ages has an entire Island subcontinent flea cataclysm from West to East (this is backdrop for the story, happening over 1000 years before the current storyline, though three of the main heroes were there on the original island back in the day.)
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Minz
Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 09:31 am:   

uh, make that flee...
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AliceB
Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 09:56 am:   

Hmm. Having thought a bit, I wonder about the idea that Great Adventures move West to East. After all, one of the greatest fantasy adventures of all time involves Ulysses going West (and South and North) to get back home from Troy. And the great North American myth involves going West to The Land of Opportunity, since the East is viewed as the land of cramped, corrupt civilization (this includes not only the East Coast, but England and all of Europe as well).

Will think some more.

Best,
Alice
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 10:09 am:   

Hmm, the Gaiman & Juster examples have spurred another line of thought. It's not just the "evil" east, but there's also the "mystical" east. And some of the film analysis I've seen talks about viewing the right side as new information, plus there's the rising sun. So new things and magic could come from the east, as well as evil (and to some minds, new & magic are evil).

West is definitely the direction to travel in US myths, but with Ulysses, it's part 2 of the story. He had to travel east first to fight the war. It's a bit like the return examples in the Phantom Tollbooth & Stardust. It seems like "go east for adventure, go west to return home."
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 10:12 am:   

That is true, but I didn't think we were talking about Great Adventure--much less Great Adventures of All Time--I thought we were speaking more to modern fantasy fiction (Tolkien forward) and then later on, film (westerns, etc.). And, be prepared to disagree, I don't consider mythology fantasy. I consider it mythology. The difference being, mythology consists of stories told (or written) by people to explain things they don't understand. Fantasy would be stories told (or written) by people to allegorize current-day situations (in the best cases) or to titilate the reader (in the worst cases). Maybe it's a semantic difference not worth making, but I tend to think of things stratified as they are in a book store, with mythology and literature being separate (and fantasy often being separate again).

JK
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 10:14 am:   

Sorry Robert, I was responding to Alice, not to your post. :-) I agree with the east for adventure west to return home concept, even though it may not be true in all cases! :-)

JK
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AliceB
Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 11:07 am:   

John, fair enough, but Tolkien stole from the Sagas, and those were adventures going West, I believe.

I guess I have trouble cutting influences off at 1954 (when TLOTR was published) or even 1937 (when The Hobbit was published) since even modern writers are influenced by earlier works. I do agree that there's a difference between modern fantasy and myths, although many fantasies are based on myths--like Gaiman's American Gods, which true to US myths moves from East to West.

Robert, I like the "go East to start the quest, go West to return home" idea, both involving adventure--but there may be a difference between fantasy adventures based in an American style land versus a UK style land (or European). Then, just to throw another wrench in, from a non-European perspective, Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories goes off neither East nor West but Somewhere Entirely Different--but then we are no longer dealing with maps.

Best,
Alice
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 11:22 am:   

I can't think of many American based fantasies, but maybe it's selective memory. European is a lot more common, at least in epic fantasy.
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AliceB
Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 11:46 am:   

I agree, but there are a few. In children's lit., again, there's Michael Chabon's Summerland, where Summerland is most definitely in the West (in fact on the western end of an island West of Washington state). Also Clive Barker's Abarat, the entrance of which exists West (or perhaps North--it's not entirely clear) of Chickentown, Minnesota, where civilization ends and the prairie begins.

I'll have to think some more.
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John Klima
Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 12:14 pm:   

Alice, you speak true. I can only speak for myself, but I was truly only thinking of Tolkien and the great masses of writers he's influenced. You know, using Tolkien as a spring board for my smart-ass comments (I had heard the adventurers travel east thing somewhere else). And in that mindset, how could I expect those writers to do something different from what Tolkien did.

More questions: what direction did the rabbits travel in Watership Down? What about THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER from the Narnia books? Or Lloyd Alexander's Black Cauldron books (I know that's the second book, I can't think of the series and I'm too lazy to look them up)?

JK
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 01:01 pm:   

Alaexander's books were the Chronicles of Prydain (I may be misspelling it). It's been nearly 2 decades since I read them, so I remember little of them. I never made it far into Narnia.

Along the Jordan/Goodkind line, Raymond Feist's books started with the characters traveling east. I wish I could think of more trad fantasy that does this.
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AliceB
Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 01:48 pm:   

One of my daughters finished the Narnia books, maybe she knows. (It's also been many decades since I read them--or Watership Down.) I'll see what I can find out--probably tomorrow.
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Dunmore
Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 02:55 pm:   

Just throwing in one or two thoughts for good (or bad!) measure. Sorry if anyone's said anything similar so far.

But Robert D., I think this is a very important observation you make here:

'Hmm, the Gaiman & Juster examples have spurred another line of thought. It's not just the "evil" east, but there's also the "mystical" east.'

Without wishing to complicate matters, it's worth considering some of the not-so-distant antecedents of what we now call fantasy, which are not reaching back to a mythological foundation but to novels written in the nineteenth century.

Authors like Joseph Conrad, R. L. Stevenson and (an important one this) Alexandre Dumas all use the trope of the "mysterious" east in their fiction. With Stevenson and Conrad it's all very clear, and actually ties in with their own biographical experiences. With Dumas I confess I don't really know the background. But, in The Count of Monte Cristo, the idea of the mystical east is absolutely fundamental to the development of the main character, and to the story. I would strongly recommend a look at that book for getting a sense of the historic connotations of the role of the East in adventure/fantasy literature.

It's interesting, too, to think that what in the nineteenth century is considered mystical and exotic (the east) later becomes portrayed as evil and dangerous. I feel that's an important transition, though would need to give it more thought before offering a concrete opinion. Anyone gpt any of their own on that one?

Another point or two (sorry, I'm rushing this. It's way past my bed time!):

I think John is absolutely spot on in disassociating modern fantasy from ancient mythologies. The two certainly overlap, but as John points out, there are certain 'local' factors to consider as regards the motivations, if you like, underlying their composition--just as John has said. Worth remembering that.

And AliceB makes some very important points too about the exclusiveness (if that's a word) of the west to east movement.

Bear in mind, for example, that Celtic mythologies and legends almost always involve a movement from east to west (the Scottish and Irish stories of heroes journeying to Tir na Nog or to the Isle of the Dead; and the Welsh stories which I don't know so well but which almost certainly look west. Did someone also mention the Sagas - the Nordic ones? - which do the same. Was it you AliceB?). Worth looking into these.

And, think also of the movement from the civilized 'centers' to the extreme wilderness of the north or south. This we'll find in 19th century stuff by James Hogg or in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (which I've never read but which I think involves a journey to the north or south polar regions). More to the point, perhaps, for this discussion, are Poe's Arthur Gordon Pym (if that's how it's spelt) and - the one you've all been waiting for! -- H. P. Lovecraft who has quite a few stories that speak of the journey north or south to the unaccountable regions where all sorts of undiscovered delights and terrors await us.

However, in saying all that, there is a definite theme as regards the role of the East in stories. There has already been alot of stuff written about this in the cotext of Postcolonial Criticism and Theory and so on (mostly focussing on the nineteenth century adventure novel or, more often than not, on the work of Conrad), but not in the context of fantasy as far as I know, so there's a mighty intersting article there in the making.

Finished now, apart from to say that Hobiton is not a representation of Britain but solely and absolutely of England. It bears no resemblance to other parts of the UK whatsoever and would actually be better described as a representation of Southern England, for it bears no relation to the North of England either. But that's me being fussy.

Hope there are not too many errors in this.

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Robert Devereux
Posted on Friday, April 08, 2005 - 07:51 pm:   

Dunmore: is there a bit of criticism of adventure novels you recommend reading? It sounds like something I should look into.
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AliceB
Posted on Saturday, April 09, 2005 - 11:52 am:   

John, after a little investigation: in Watership Down they travel South, although the map in the book (I'm working from the Puffin Edition of 1974) has North pointing to the left, so that if you don't look at the compass rose, it appears that they are travelling East (to the right--the South according to the compass rose).

In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader they travel East into the Great Eastern Ocean.

Dunmore, your comments made me think of Richard Burton's Arabian Nights which, I understand, are a poor translation of the Thousand and One Nights, but give an interesting insight into a 19th century Englishman's view of the East: exotic, sexual, misoginistic, racist, redolent and dangerous.

Best,
Alice
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Dunmore
Posted on Saturday, April 09, 2005 - 06:13 pm:   

Indeed, Rob D., one or two of these may be of use. These ones are general (with astrices beside those I'd most strenuously recommend if forced!):

Cawelti, John G., Adventure, Mystery, and Romance: Formula Stories as Art and Popular Culture (Chicago and London: The Univ. of Chicago Press, 1976)

Fraser, Robert, Victorian Quest Romance: Stevenson, Haggard, Kipling and Conan Doyle (Plymouth: Northcote House Publishers, 1998)*

Smith, Vennessa, Literary Culture and the Pacific: Nineteenth-century Textual Encounters (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998)*

Daly, Nicholas, Modernism, Romance and the fin de siècle: Popular Fiction and British Culture, 1880 - 1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999)

These ones on Conrad are well worth looking into, specially the first one, which contains lots of essays by different folks, some of which concentrate very much on the distinction between west and east (and with astrices as per normal beside more strongly recommended ones):

Conrad, Joseph, Heart of Darkness: The Norton Critical Edition, ed. Robert Kimborough (London and New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1988)*

Thorburn, David, Conrad’s Romanticism (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1974)*

Watt, Ian, Conrad in the Nineteenth Century (London: Chatto & Windus, 1980)*

White, Andrea, Joseph Conrad and the Adventure Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993)

Baines, Jocelyn, Joseph Conrad: A Critical Biography (London: Weidenfeld, 1993)

Jones, Michael P., Conrad's Heroism: A Paradise Lost (Michigan: UMI Research Press, 1974)


And these ones on Stevenson would be extremely helpful I think:

Bell, Ian, Dreams of Exile: Robert Louis Stevenson (Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing, 1992)*

Kiely, Robert, Robert Louis Stevenson and the Adventure Tradition (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1964)*

Rankin, Nicholas, Dead Man's Chest (London: Faber and Faber, 1987)--(this book is great fun to read though maybe not so important to read for researching)


And these monumental books by Northrop Frye are absolutely necessary for any study of the quest or journey motif in literature (but bear in mind the words of John above regarding present-day fantasy and olden-day myth, and don't let yourself be swallowed up completely by Frye. Frye completely ignores the local factors of any work of fiction -- i.e. those aspects of any work that make it particular to any specific place and time during which it was conceived or written. But, apart from that, these are quite remarkable books which will enrich your knowledge of just about everything):

Frye, Northrop, Anatomy of Criticism (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1990)*

Frye, Northrop, The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance (Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England: Harvard Univ. Press, 1976)*

Hope these are of some use to you Rob D. Good luck!

And Alice B.--Good call. I've heard very much of Burton's Arabian Nights but have never actually seen it. He was quite influential in his day, wasn't he? Might be worth you looking into that one too, Rob D.

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AnnaT
Posted on Saturday, April 09, 2005 - 08:14 pm:   

Here's Burton's Arabian Nights
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/burt1k1/
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AliceB
Posted on Sunday, April 10, 2005 - 09:03 am:   

I recommend The Modern Library Classics edition of the Arabian Nights because it includes Burton's footnotes--more than a hundred thirty pages worth gathered as endnotes in the edition--as well as his Preface. That's where you really see what Burton thought.
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Luís
Posted on Sunday, April 10, 2005 - 12:39 pm:   

Robert: "Luis - I haven't read Howard yet. What would be a good book to start with?"

You should get the Conan reprints from Del Rey, they're the best around, unmarred by the shoddy editing that was done after Howard died (editors removed many passages that linked him to Lovecraft and his Cthulhu Mythos, for example).

John: "Both Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind have heroes in the west who travel east."

Yes, but they're both hacks as well. Many characters and much of the plot in Robert Jordan's _Eye of the World_ were lifted wholesale from _The Lord of the Rings_, so I wouldn't mention him except as a footnote.

Cheers,
Luís
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, April 11, 2005 - 07:30 am:   

Dunmore - thanks, I'll try to track some down. I also plan on reading James Monaco: How to read a film : the world of movies, media, and multimedia :
language, history, theory. I've been told there's a section on perception and image reading which could apply to this discussion.


I'll try to check out the Conan stuff.
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, April 11, 2005 - 09:22 am:   

Well, Jordan and Goodkind may be hacks, but it's up to Robert to decide what he wants to talk about. They certainly sell books, hacks or no, and that in itself, is interesting to me. Do they sell because they provide a McNovel to the teeming masses out there? Or do they provide something else to their readers? I enjoyed reading the first Jordan book (haven't read any more) and I liked the first two or three Goodkind books, but they aren't the type of thing I seek out. I don't typically like big, fat fantasy novels anyway, so I'm not the right audience for them. Do people just not want to work much harder than it takes to read a Jordan, or a Grisham, or a Dan Brown? Or is there more? That's a big question.

I'm not entirely comfortable condemning most people because they aren't willing to decode a series of number to get a Jeff VanderMeer story. I enjoy your everyday, masses-type, brain-numb dalliance, too.

And maybe I'm inadvertantly putting words in Luis' mouth since all he did was say that the writers were hacks, he said nothing about the people who read them. I took that step and felt that if you called the writers hacks, then the readers are nothing better than hack-lovers. And that doesn't sound good. Not everything I read, see, eat, hear, etc. has to be the ultimate best quality. Sometimes I want a greasy burger, and sometimes I want an eight-course tasting menu selected by the chef. There just seem to be so many more burger people.

JK
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, April 11, 2005 - 09:23 am:   

And definitely read the Del Rey Howard stuff. Luis is spot on. Even if it doesn't make it into the article you should enjoy yourself.

JK
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Jay Caselberg
Posted on Tuesday, April 12, 2005 - 06:57 am:   

Or eight courses of beef. There's a medium there.
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - 06:03 am:   

A medium rare?

JK
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Jay Caselberg
Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - 07:29 am:   

Heh. Yes the medium is rare. Or was it seven courses? I can't remember.
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - 12:16 pm:   

Whichever it was, it were many, and the many were tasty.

JK
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Luís
Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2005 - 08:52 pm:   

"And maybe I'm inadvertantly putting words in Luis' mouth since all he did was say that the writers were hacks, he said nothing about the people who read them."

I haven't, if anything because sometimes I claim membership to that group. I've read crap just for the heck of it, and had fun doing so, but that doesn't prevent me from knowing what it is, or naming it accordingly.

I was being a bit unfair to Goodkind back there, because compared to Jordan, Goodkind is Nobel Prize material. Jordan is the kind of writer whose utter disrespect for the reader disgusts me. Hundreds and hundreds of pages full of pointless dialogue, absurdly detailed descriptions and practically zero plot advancement, all so he can sell one more book to his fans. The only reason some people still read him, and I've heard this from many hardcore jordanites, is so they know how it ends. Many are not even enjoying the ride anymore. Jordan can talk about whatever he wants. What bothers me is that he's not saying anything, but still selling it.

Best,
Luís
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Bruce
Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2005 - 02:35 pm:   

Apparently Robert Jordan is going to release the last three [or is it four? Five?] books in the Wheel of Time series consecutively without releasing more prequel novels in-between books of the main sequence. Mighty sporting of him.

I was unlucky enough to read the first three books in the series before figuring out I was squinting into the abyss. Absolutely nothing has advanced the plotline since the end of Book 5.

...and yep, I've read [skimmed] the last five books hoping he will show some respect for people who pay to read his derivative series. Thank Bog for libraries.

Makes me yearn for the days of early David Eddings, when I was younger and more gullible, and his books didn't come dipped in treacle.
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, April 25, 2005 - 01:54 pm:   

ARRGGGHHH! MS Access...making eyes bleed! Doesn't Access let you take the primary key of a bridging table (in this case, it is three fields from three different tables) and load it into one field of another table as a foreign key?!!? Or do I have to set up all three fields from the bridging table on the new table and link them separately?

ARRGGHHH!! Throbbing pain in neck...hope it's not...fatal....

A little help?!?

JK
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Tim Akers
Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - 08:40 am:   

Access is not my strong point, John. I'm a dBase guy. But I think you'll need to set up the three fields and link them individually. Sorry.
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 05:52 am:   

It's not that big a problem, just annoying. But that's why Access is not suited to enterprise solutions and more personal situations.

JK
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 01:37 pm:   

Sigh, I had picked up a CCCP t-shirt at Target that I thought was cool-looking, and ironic, only to find out that the shirt has been recalled. The woman at the register snatched the shirt away from me as if it was dangerous. It seems that people complained about the use of USSR imagery. Of course, none of those people cared about the t-shirts with the Confederate Flag on them, or the shirts with misogynistic messages/images, or the shirts with scatological scenes, etc. etc. etc.

Target maintains that no one was buying them so that's why they were being pulled off the shelf.

OK, I admit. The former Soviet Union was not all puppy dogs and rainbows. Yes, you could make the case that the formar Soviet Union was as destructive in some ways as the Nazis were. I do not support these things, and I suppose by wearing the shirt I would imply said support.

However, I have worn shirts in the past that were controversial, so I doubt that I would be bothered by the implications.

This is America, why can't I buy whatever I want?

JK
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Tim Akers
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 - 06:39 am:   

Because America isn't free, my boy.
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 05:27 am:   

Well, I ordered the shirt from Target.com and it shipped today. So while it may not be available in the store, you can get it online. And, there's no image attached to it online, so you'd have to know what it was....

I'll post a photo of me wearing it as soon as I can. Maybe next time I go to a KGB reading?

JK
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Tim Akers
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 06:27 am:   

I'll check our local target this weekend to see if it's there. Maybe someone complained at your specific, fascist target, but the national chain is still a haven for miscreants and leftists of all calibre.
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 08:53 am:   

No, if you search for "Target CCCP recall" you can find other people from around the country talking about this.

JK
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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 03:08 pm:   

John --

You *have* to wear that next time you're at KGB. And why not go in June? Jeff Ford and Greg Frost! Good stuff!

Can you grow a Stalinesque mustache to go with it?
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2005 - 06:39 pm:   

I really want to go in June, but I have class on Wed starting next week! :-( Since the class is only four weeks long, I don't think I should miss a day.

Looking forward to the Fall when Lucius reads there.

JK
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Tim Akers
Posted on Friday, May 27, 2005 - 06:12 am:   

On a similiar but not the same topic, my dad picked up most of a russian officer's uniform for me in the very early nineties. I used to wear the jacket around, but simply got hassled too much by various and sundry patriots. I think the most annoying was when security picked me up at the Denver airport.

Anyway. It's a cool jacket.

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