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Re: [mythsoc] Digestion

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  • Trudy Shaw
    Ah! Finally an exchange I can add something to! I m a fairly new group member and haven t posted until now because I don t read much children s fantasy and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 29, 2000
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      Ah! Finally an exchange I can add something to! I'm a fairly new group
      member and haven't posted until now because I don't read much children's
      fantasy and (can I admit this?) have never opened a Harry Potter book.

      But I have read all of Wizard's First Rule, and had the following
      reaction -- the plot and characters were interesting, but the style was too
      overwritten for me. I started to cringe every time the wizard came into a
      scene because I knew he was going to "explain" everything, even things that
      didn't need explaining or were better off left to speak for themselves. I
      could give some examples, but think I'll avoid that for now. I do some copy
      editing for a small publisher, and Goodkind's writing made me want to pick
      up a pencil and start crossing out about half the verbiage. Since this
      tends to be a "new author" problem, I chalked it up to Wizard's First Rule
      being his first novel -- but I glanced over the next two installments and,
      as far as I could tell, the style hadn't changed much.

      The comment from Madame K resonated with me, too. When magic becomes a
      "science," a "recipe," or simply a "skill" controlled by the person wielding
      it, IMO the wonder is gone. The numinous, the whatever-you-may-call-it
      *other-ness* that lies beyond our senses and our rational mind cannot be
      contained so easily, if at all. Some of the loss of awe in recent fantasy
      can probably be traced to the mindset of RPG "fantasy," where by definition
      there have to be understandable rules. The rules of Fantasy [without
      quotation marks] are so deep-set that we can't totally fathom them. A
      fantasy author who understands this, and realizes that her/his writing only
      skims the surface, is to be prized.

      Some of the authors of recent fantasy who show a sense of this? -- Peter
      Beagle, Charles de Lint, Orson Scott Card on a good day (e.g. Hart's Hope),
      Neil Gaiman, Tanith Lee, and I'm sure as soon as I send this I'll think of
      more. (Also, hopefully, a year from now there will be some new ones to add
      to the list.)

      -- T.G. Shaw

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: David S. Bratman <dbratman@...>
      To: <mythsoc@egroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2000 12:39 PM
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Gormenghast Trilogy

      > On Thu, 29 Jun 2000 ERATRIANO@... wrote:
      > > What else are we individually finding difficult to digest?
      > I personally find it difficult to digest almost any recent fantasy
      > bestseller (Robert Jordan, David Eddings, to name two I've seriously
      > tried), except for the Harry Potter books, which go down easy.
      > David Bratman
      > - not responsible for the following bestseller -
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