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Alexei's comments

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  • Douglas A. Anderson
    ... almost entirely an ... to give a ... also ... played a ... My emphasis is clearly on English language works (and more on British ones than American), but I
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 28 5:35 PM
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      Alexei wrote:

      > One
      > thing I've been curious about, though, ever since the table of contents
      > appeared in _BW_: why the inclusion of the Ludwig Tieck story, as the only
      > non-English work? It might give the impression that modern fantasy is
      almost entirely an
      > English-language phenomenon (and one could defensibly say that a certain
      > tradition within it is), with very few exceptions. Or were you intending
      to give a
      > single illustration of what was around *before* modern fantasy in English,
      > and rooting the entire tradition in German Romanticism (which I suppose is
      also
      > defensible, although I think the French literary fairy tale tradition
      played a
      > major role as well)?

      My emphasis is clearly on English language works (and more on British ones
      than American), but I think the descent of fantasy as we know it today
      really comes from the German kunstmarchen, which directly inspired MacDonald
      and Ruskin. So that seemed a good place to start, at least with an
      excellent tale by Tieck (rather Tolkienien) that was fairly widely known in
      English translation throughout the nineteenth century. I do agree that the
      French fairy tale tradition played a significant role, but that whole area
      seems almost inextricably mingled with folk tale that you'd have to do a
      book on it by itself to do justice.
      And of course any anthology is restricted by size, so a compiler is
      forced to make evil little decisions of exclusion left and right. I tried
      to make up for some omissions by having a lengthy (ten pages) recommended
      reading section at the end. I really wish I could have included Eddison--
      but he wrote no short stories, and for the most part I don't like excerpts
      (but included one from The Marvellous Land of Snergs because as a book it's
      really important to Tolkien's development of hobbits, and no other piece by
      Wyke-Smith remotely fit the bill) . As well Lindsay wrote no short stories,
      but he wrote a fascinating fairy-play, and I was very pleased that Lindsay's
      daughters agreed to its publication.
      The final sentence in my introduction reads: "To better appreciate
      Tolkien's achievement one needs to better understand Tolkien's own roots and
      the roots of modern fantasy. This anthology merely represents a first step
      in doing so, while making a number of fine stories, long unavailable, more
      easily accessible to readers who will enjoy them."
      And that I think sums it up.

      All best,

      Doug A.
    • David S. Bratman
      ... And those who haven t seen the book should be assured that Eddison does appear in the reading list, along with Andersen and Hoffmann as (besides Tieck) the
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 29 9:30 AM
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        At 05:35 PM 8/28/2003 , Douglas A. Anderson wrote:
        > And of course any anthology is restricted by size, so a compiler is
        >forced to make evil little decisions of exclusion left and right. I tried
        >to make up for some omissions by having a lengthy (ten pages) recommended
        >reading section at the end. I really wish I could have included Eddison--

        And those who haven't seen the book should be assured that Eddison does
        appear in the reading list, along with Andersen and Hoffmann as (besides
        Tieck) the leading earlier writers of kunstmaerchen, as well as several
        later writers of them not included in the book, e.g. Wilde.

        - David Bratman
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