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RE: [mythsoc] E.R. Eddison

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  • Matt Fisher
    In regards to E.R. Eddison ... Funny....I never thought of myself as an oddball epicure, just odd. :-) Your comments are very similar to what Ursula K.
    Message 1 of 11 , Mar 8, 2000
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      In regards to E.R. Eddison

      > the language alone. But Eddison is always going to be a taste for a few
      > oddball epicures. However, his characters (and Tolkien's, Morris', and
      > Dunsany's) always talked the way I thought characters in a
      > fantasy ought to
      > talk. Sometimes modern idioms seem jarring when someone is talking to a
      > dragon or singing with elves in the starlight. But archaic
      > language is not
      > usually the way to sell a lot of books, and shouldn't be
      > attempted by those
      > who can't bring it off. Failed archaism is even worse than modern idiom.

      Funny....I never thought of myself as an oddball epicure, just odd. :-)

      Your comments are very similar to what Ursula K. LeGuin wrote in her classic
      essay "From Elfland to Poughkeepsie." In that essay, she singled out
      Kenneth Morris, E.R. Eddison, and Tolkien as masters of the language of
      Fantasy. It is both sad and a compliment to Tolkien's skill that he is the
      only one of those three authors still in print. In fact, he's remained in
      print for how many decades?

      > If you can find the one-volume paperback of the Zimiamvia novels,
      > it has a
      > lot of helpful notes translating all the quotes from Greek and
      > other tongues
      > and clarifying some of the philosophical points. Unfortunately,
      > like so many
      > other helpful books, it's out of print.
      > I think, though perhaps only wishfully, that someone has
      > reprinted _Styrbiorn
      > the Strong_, which is less full of "clotted glory" than his straight
      > fantasies. His translation of Egil's Saga is also available, I
      > believe, and
      > actually makes the stark Icelandic barrenness of the saga readable.
      > Does anyone know of a full-length biography of Eddison? I have
      > the one in the
      > anthology by DeCamp, the title of which is hiding in a bookshelf
      > upstairs,
      > but that offers only a tantalizing glimpse. Thanks.

      Anyone interested in the trade paperback versions of either _The Worm
      Ourobouros_ or the Zimiamvian Trilogy might have some success searching the
      out of print booksellers on the Internet. _Styrbiorn the Strong_ is
      reportedly available from Ayers Company Publishers, the same company who
      just reprinted David Lindsay's _Devil's Tor_ (reviewed by Douglas Anderson
      in the latest "Mythprint" with info on how to contact the publisher).
      However, I ordered a copy of the Eddison towards the end of last year and
      haven't heard anything, so I don't know if my order was lost or the book is
      actually unavailable. Ayers has also reportedly reissed the Ernest Bramah
      novel _Kai Lung Under the Mulberry Tree_.

      I don't know of a full length biography of Eddison that was ever published.
      Paul Thomas, who edited the trade paperback versions mentioned earlier, had
      an NEH fellowship for a year to work on a biography of Eddison, but that
      work has not been published yet and I don't know where that project stands
      in terms of closeness to completion. But, if you specific questions,
      contact me off list and I could put you in touch with Paul (who is always
      delighted to talk about Eddison).

      Matt Fisher
    • Bill
      Hmm...comes out of murking mode for a few seconds... Back in my youth(gestures back at the grey misty stuff behind him) I devoured Tolkien while spending a
      Message 2 of 11 , Mar 8, 2000
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        Hmm...comes out of murking mode for a few seconds...
        Back in my youth(gestures back at the grey misty stuff behind him)
        I devoured Tolkien while spending a summer camp counseling on Cape
        Cod. When I finished, a frantic trip to a bookstore in Hyannis
        netted me Ourobouros and E.R. Burroughs' Barsoom books.
        Sigh..a great summer...
        Years later, I find myself constantly frustrated when I tell a
        friend or customer about a book I'd read as part of the original
        Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series and then find it's out of print
        when I try to order it. I'm happy they are reissuing the Dunsany
        books. I just hope they do the same for Morris ,Cabell, or even
        just the anthologies...
        I will be eternally grateful to Lin Carter for bringing such
        great books back into print, even just for a short time.
      • David Lenander
        Maybe the other interesting fact would be whether Kurtz s _Deryni Rising_ is still in print. I noticed one of my student employees was reading another Deryni
        Message 3 of 11 , Mar 9, 2000
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          Maybe the other interesting fact would be whether Kurtz's _Deryni Rising_ is
          still in print. I noticed one of my student employees was reading another
          Deryni book just three days ago. I've never seen any of them reading Eddison.
          Or Kenneth Morris.

          Not that I don't think Le Guin didn't come down rather hard on Kurtz--and I
          could say some things in defense of _DR_. When I read it I couldn't put it
          down. I found I had to slog through _Worm_ and was appalled at the ending.
          I've always rather suspected that I might actually like the Fish Dinner books,
          though, and did buy that one-volume a couple of years back. I need a good
          excuse to have to read it, though. I might like _Worm_ better today, I
          suppose, but it would take something to get me back to it.

          Incidentally, I learned yesterday that there's a sequel to _The High House_,
          has anyone read it?

          Matt Fisher wrote:

          > From: "Matt Fisher" <mfisher@...>
          >
          > Your comments are very similar to what Ursula K. LeGuin wrote in her classic
          > essay "From Elfland to Poughkeepsie." In that essay, she singled out
          > Kenneth Morris, E.R. Eddison, and Tolkien as masters of the language of
          > Fantasy. It is both sad and a compliment to Tolkien's skill that he is the
          > only one of those three authors still in print. In fact, he's remained in
          > print for how many decades?
          >
        • Matthew Winslow
          ... Got it, but haven t read it yet. But here s the information on it, in case anyone s interested: The False House by James Stoddard Mass Market Paperback,
          Message 4 of 11 , Mar 9, 2000
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            David Lenander [d-lena@...] wrote:
            > Incidentally, I learned yesterday that there's a sequel to _The High House_,
            > has anyone read it?

            Got it, but haven't read it yet. But here's the information on it, in case
            anyone's interested:

            The False House by James Stoddard
            Mass Market Paperback, 401 pages (Jan 2000)
            Warner Books, ISBN 0446607010
            list price of $6.50

            Of course, you could support the society by buying it through the Mythopoeic
            Society's Web site </shameless plug>

            --
            Matthew Winslow mwinslow@... http://x-real.firinn.org/
            "The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds;
            and the pessimist fears this is true."
            --James Branch Cabell
            Currently reading: Legend: The Genesis of Civilisation by David Rohl
          • Berni Phillips
            ... No, but I received a free copy at Potlatch a couple of weeks ago. I m hanging onto it in case someone nominates it for the MFA next year. Berni Where did
            Message 5 of 11 , Mar 9, 2000
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              ----------
              >From: David Lenander <d-lena@...>

              >Incidentally, I learned yesterday that there's a sequel to _The High House_,
              >has anyone read it?

              No, but I received a free copy at Potlatch a couple of weeks ago. I'm
              hanging
              onto it in case someone nominates it for the MFA next year.

              Berni
              Where did that come from?
            • LSolarion@aol.com
              In a message dated 03/08/2000 9:22:29 AM Pacific Standard Time, mfisher@stvincent.edu writes:
              Message 6 of 11 , Mar 10, 2000
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                In a message dated 03/08/2000 9:22:29 AM Pacific Standard Time,
                mfisher@... writes:

                << _Styrbiorn the Strong_ is
                reportedly available from Ayers Company >>

                Ah...sad news. "Available from Ayers Company" has, in my experience, been
                nearly synonymous with "out of print," "no way, Jose" and "not a chance in a
                very warm place of ever getting your paws on this one, pal." I have been
                trying for decades to get a copy of Kenneth Morris' Book of Three Dragons,
                without success. Except that it is "reportedly available from Ayer Company."
                I think they are one of those reprint by demand places, in which they wait
                until enough people have requested a title before reprinting it. Oh
                well...it's not like there are no other good books to read.

                Thanks for the tip on the Eddison bio.
                Steve
              • LSolarion@aol.com
                In a message dated 03/08/2000 9:04:37 PM Pacific Standard Time, lunacy@ici.net writes:
                Message 7 of 11 , Mar 10, 2000
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                  In a message dated 03/08/2000 9:04:37 PM Pacific Standard Time,
                  lunacy@... writes:

                  << I devoured Tolkien while spending a summer camp counseling on Cape
                  Cod. <<

                  So THAT'S why he never finished the Silmarillion...

                  << Years later, I find myself constantly frustrated when I tell a
                  friend or customer about a book I'd read as part of the original
                  Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series and then find it's out of print
                  when I try to order it. I'm happy they are reissuing the Dunsany
                  books. I just hope they do the same for Morris ,Cabell, or even
                  just the anthologies... >>

                  Ah, those wonderful Adult Fantasies...I still find them in used book stores;
                  Cabell is frequently found there as well, especially in the South. Good
                  hunting.
                • Wayne G. Hammond
                  ... My wife phoned Ayers a couple of weeks ago and ordered Lindsay s _Devil s Tor_. The book arrived in the post only two or three days later, and is clearly
                  Message 8 of 11 , Mar 10, 2000
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                    LSolarion@... wrote:

                    >Ah...sad news. "Available from Ayers Company" has, in my experience, been
                    >nearly synonymous with "out of print," "no way, Jose" and "not a chance in a
                    >very warm place of ever getting your paws on this one, pal." I have been
                    >trying for decades to get a copy of Kenneth Morris' Book of Three Dragons,
                    >without success. Except that it is "reportedly available from Ayer Company."
                    >I think they are one of those reprint by demand places, in which they wait
                    >until enough people have requested a title before reprinting it. Oh
                    >well...it's not like there are no other good books to read.

                    My wife phoned Ayers a couple of weeks ago and ordered Lindsay's _Devil's
                    Tor_. The book arrived in the post only two or three days later, and is
                    clearly not an "on demand" printing.

                    As for the Morris book, there are presently two secondhand copies listed by
                    dealers on Advanced Book Exchange (www.abebooks.com), not in pristine
                    condition but I would guess reasonably priced given the scarcity of the title.

                    Wayne Hammond
                  • LSolarion@aol.com
                    In a message dated 03/09/2000 9:15:45 AM Pacific Standard Time, d-lena@tc.umn.edu writes:
                    Message 9 of 11 , Mar 11, 2000
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                      In a message dated 03/09/2000 9:15:45 AM Pacific Standard Time,
                      d-lena@... writes:

                      << Maybe the other interesting fact would be whether Kurtz's _Deryni Rising_
                      is
                      still in print. I noticed one of my student employees was reading another
                      Deryni book just three days ago. I've never seen any of them reading
                      Eddison.
                      Or Kenneth Morris. >>

                      For fans of the Deryni books, the conclusion of the series (we are told),
                      "Kelson's Bride," will be published in July of this year (which is shaping up
                      to be quite a month, with the new Harry Potter as well). I always liked the
                      Kelson series better than the Camber and sequels, in which no sooner did I
                      really start to like a character than he or she got killed off in some
                      gruesome way during the persecutions. Depressing.

                      I am not surprised that your students preferred Kurtz to Eddison or either
                      Morris (Kenneth or William). I prefer Kurtz at times myself; like just before
                      bed when I'm too tired for anything very demanding. Eddison does take effort,
                      but the rewards (if you like that sort of thing) are commensurate. For pure
                      lushness of language and idea, no one has ever surpassed him.
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