Three Seas Forum

the archives

dusted off in read-only


Curious if you... posted 10 February 2004 in Author Q & ACurious if you... by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I agree entirely, though I took quite a thrashing for suggesting as much on a Talkback forum some time ago - by none other than M. John Harrison, no less!

Some seem to think that novelty and artistic merit consists in overturning conventions. The problem is that such moves tend to only be interesting once. I'm much more intrigued by the notion of making old machines do new things, to put preexisting conventions through their paces to see what they can do, and more importantly, what they mean. This is especially true of those conventions (like epic fantasy) that arise out of unreflective culture. Think of the popularity of the genre! It's obviously touching something very deep. And yet for so many literati, the question 'Why do people read that drivel?' is rhetorical, the implication being that people are morons (in comparison to themselves)...

This is probably a horrible over-generalization, but fantasy, it seems to me, is presently caught between two different Orthodoxies, one which defines itself by it's continuity with the past, another which defines itself by its dismissive opposition to the past (all the while claiming to be open and heterodox). Outright dismissal of the old is too easy - and far too flattering - to be trusted. It smacks of fashion.

I dunno. Maybe I'm just feeling defensive. No one wants to be a moron. view post


The Three Seas Forum archives are hosted and maintained courtesy of Jack Brown