Delany on "'sophomoric' texts"
- I'm finishing up reading _Conversations with Samuel R. Delany_, edited
by Carl Freedman, and to me the most interesting passage I've
encountered is this one, in the interview with Erin Cusack on comics
"... as every teacher knows, there are a lot of highly seductive texts
- what one might called "sophomoric" texts - that can be greatly
enjoyable and seem extremely fresh and new to not particularly widely
educated readers. The problem is that they tend not to lead readers on
to other works, especially once they become broadly popular. Rather,
they stop and catch readers and make them think, often, that they have
now encountered the best there is, so the readers just stall out and
never progress. *The Lord of the Rings*, *A Hitchhiker's Guide to the
Galaxy*, even *Hary Potter* often function in this way. On another
level, the works of Charles Bukowski can easily strike young male
readers like this."
I would love to hear Delany develop this notion of "'sophomoric'
texts" more. First, I'd like to know what qualities or attributes he
thinks such texts share. Second, it would be interesting to have
someone engage him on his particular examples. Tolkien, for example,
connects to the entire epic fantasy genre, much of which
imitates his work and/or consciously constrasts with it. And the fact
that every chain bookstore in the U.S. now has a large "Young Adult
Fantasy/SF" section can be directly laid at J.K. Rowling's feet, in my
Indeed, I would like to hear Delany talk about his own work through
this lens. Where would someone reading _Dhalgren_ for the first time
in 2013 be led to, for example, besides more Delany?
Erich Schneider erich@...