On Sat, 30 Sep 2000 WendellWag@...
> Just recently I came across two mainstream literary mentions of Tolkien and
> Lewis that seemed surprisingly favorable. One was in a new reference book
> called _The salon.com Reader's Guide to Contemporary Authors_ ...
> Tolkien is one of the authors discussed, and the
> interesting thing is that he's discussed favorably and with the same
> enthusiasm as, say, Toni Morrison, Cormac McCarthy, or Thomas Pynchon. Most
> mainstream literary sorts in the past have barely even deigned to notice
> Tolkien's existence.
I've looked at this book, and should have mentioned it. The selection
process was very curious: it's mostly authors of high literary
reputation, either famous or unknown, with a few megahit monsters like
King and Crichton salted in. Some areas of literature are scanted, and I
was particularly struck by the difference in their treatment of fantasy
and of science fiction. There are a good number, and a good selection,
of SF authors, from Philip K. Dick among deceased authors down to the
cyberpunk stars Gibson and Stephenson; but apart from Tolkien, King (if
you count him as fantasy), and Le Guin (who was surely chosen as an sf
author) there are no genre fantasy writers at all. I suppose that Robert
Jordan is not enough of a megahitter to compare with King and Crichton;
but the total omission of anyone of the order of Beagle or McKillip,
where authors of similar fame and reputation in other areas of literature
are present, suggests that they merely didn't have any editor who knows
fantasy at all. Against that, the fact that someone remembered Tolkien,
and had the guts to include him, weighs little. He may merely have been
another megahit courtesy turn. (None of the entries I read are snide.)
Yes, please do review that Louis Markos tape course on Lewis.
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