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Re: [mythsoc] Charles Williams-like writers

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  • John Davis
    Hi David, That s great - many thanks for all that. Plenty to start reading! John ... From: David Lenander To: Mythsoc e discussion list Mythsoc e discussion
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 20, 2009
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      Hi David,

      That's great - many thanks for all that. Plenty to start reading!

      John


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: David Lenander
      To: Mythsoc e discussion list Mythsoc e discussion list
      Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2009 7:55 PM
      Subject: [mythsoc] Charles Williams-like writers


      In some respects, no one writes like "Chuck"--and in some ways, one's
      almost inclined to conclude that that's a good thing. But, of course,
      there are reasons to look for more writers. Whether or not these
      writers are influenced by Williams may be another matter, but I've
      heard a number of writers declare their appreciation for his work, and
      some acknowledge his influence. Here are a few to try:

      Joan North wrote a number of children's or young adult novels. Two
      that I recall, _The Whirling Shapes_ and _The Light Maze_ certainly
      evoke some of Williams's characteristic plot and circumstance. In
      fact, I can't think of a writer who has more reminded me of Williams.
      _The Light Maze_ was a finalist for our MFA one year, back before we
      divided the children's and adult lists. I think I liked _Whirling
      Shapes_ better.

      James Blaylock is the other writer that I think of most often. A
      perennial MFA finalist (definitely in the adult column) you might want
      to look at such novels as _The Paper Grail_, _The Last Coin_, _All the
      Bells on Earth_. Blaylock doesn't do Good and Good characters as well
      as Williams (nobody does), but he's got the petty bad ones down cold.
      And after initially disliking his bumbling, incompetent and annoying
      protagonists, I've come to love them. His good friend and sometime
      collaborator, Tim Powers, in such novels as _Declare_, _Last Call_,
      the MFA winner, _The Stress of Her Regard_, _The Gates of Anubis_,
      etc. may also resemble Williams in some respects, though I think more
      distantly.

      Doris Lessing apparently admired Williams and paid homage in some of
      her work, I suppose most clearly in _A Briefing for a Descent into
      Hell_, at least according to an old Mythlore article (but I've never
      read it). More obvious influence may be in her long and murky SF
      sequence which includes _Shikasta_, but I could never really get into
      those. But they were best-sellers, and received some positive
      reviews, and the murkiness itself may show some influence. (I liked
      _The Golden Notebook_, but don't recall any obvious Williams influence).

      John Crowley, in a book like _Little, Big_ or some of his later books,
      and Gene Wolfe in books like _Castleview_ and perhaps _Free, Live
      Free_ may share some of Williams's ornery brilliance and arcane
      interests, and all of these are brilliant books, but I'm not sure how
      far these writers felt any Williams influence. Though I think I can
      recall Crowley mentioning him--he certainly has talked about some of
      C.S. Lewis's lit crit like _The Allegory of Love_. Neil Gaiman's
      _American Gods_ might also fit into this category, if less annoyingly
      brilliant.

      In a weird way, Greer Gilman's _Moonwise_ is similar to Williams's
      awareness of mystery and holiness and magic permeating all of creation
      or all of Nature (if you prefer) and is as difficult to follow at
      times, and possibly as poetic--in a different way, while such
      contemporary urban fantasies as _Waking the Moon_, by Elizabeth Hand
      (which also won an MFA), is in some ways closer to Williams's plot and
      action and if her prose is much clearer, if less poetic, most readers
      won't complain. Speaking of "contemporary urban fantasy," if you
      consider Williams something of a grandfather to the sub-genre, you'll
      find a lot out there. Some other perennial MFA finalists in this area
      would include Charles de Lint and Lisa Goldstein.

      This is a list for the Mythopoeic Society, an international literary
      and educational organization devoted to the study, discuss
      > Messages In This Digest (1 Message)
      > 1a.
      > Charles Williams From: John Davis
      > View All Topics | Create New TopicMessage
      > 1a.
      > Charles Williams
      > Posted by: "John Davis" john@... mcxg46
      > Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:31 am (PST)
      >
      > Hi,
      >
      > (Not sure if this is off-topic of not - if so, many apologies...)
      >
      > Does anyone know of any other authors who write in a similar vein to
      > Charles Williams? Aside from Lewis' 'Hideous Strength', I don't know
      > of any, which makes coming to the end of the last two of Williams'
      > books rather sad...
      >
      > John
      >
      > --
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      David Lenander
      d-lena@...
      2095 Hamline Ave. N.
      Roseville, MN 55113

      651-292-8887
      http://www.umn.edu/~d-lena/RIVENDELL.html

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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    • hoytrand
      Doris Lessing published *The Golden Notebook* in 1962. In the mid-1960s, she read Idries Shah s 1964 book *The Sufis*; that book had an enormous impact on her,
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 20, 2009
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        Doris Lessing published *The Golden Notebook* in 1962. In the
        mid-1960s, she read Idries Shah's 1964 book *The Sufis*; that book had
        an enormous impact on her, which she has spoken about in many places
        since. The murkiness began with the next book she published, *A
        Briefing for a Descent into Hell* in 1971, and continued on through
        the five-volume space-fiction series beginning with *Shikasta* (1979).
        I have read the first three books of that series, and I absolutely
        love them. But many critics lamented her shift from realism to
        speculative fiction [http://tinyurl.com/acbmfm%5d.

        I hadn't connected *A Briefing for a Descent into Hell* with Charles
        Williams beyond the title; thanks for the tip, David. I see that the
        article is in Mythlore 15 (4:3) from 1977
        [http://www.mythsoc.org/mythlore/15/%5d; I'll have to check that one
        out. I believe this is the only article in *Mythlore* on Lessing;
        anyone know any other society publication that mentions her?

        Thanks,
        ~randy


        > Doris Lessing apparently admired Williams and paid homage in some
        > of her work, I suppose most clearly in _A Briefing for a Descent
        > into Hell_, at least according to an old Mythlore article (but
        > I've never read it). More obvious influence may be in her long
        > and murky SF sequence which includes _Shikasta_, but I could
        > never really get into those. But they were best-sellers, and
        > received some positive reviews, and the murkiness itself may
        > show some influence. (I liked _The Golden Notebook_, but don't
        > recall any obvious Williams influence).


        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Lenander <d-lena@...> wrote:
        >
        > In some respects, no one writes like "Chuck"--and in some ways, one's
        > almost inclined to conclude that that's a good thing. But, of course,
        > there are reasons to look for more writers. Whether or not these
        > writers are influenced by Williams may be another matter, but I've
        > heard a number of writers declare their appreciation for his work, and
        > some acknowledge his influence. Here are a few to try:
        >
        > Joan North wrote a number of children's or young adult novels. Two
        > that I recall, _The Whirling Shapes_ and _The Light Maze_ certainly
        > evoke some of Williams's characteristic plot and circumstance. In
        > fact, I can't think of a writer who has more reminded me of Williams.
        > _The Light Maze_ was a finalist for our MFA one year, back before we
        > divided the children's and adult lists. I think I liked _Whirling
        > Shapes_ better.
        >
        > James Blaylock is the other writer that I think of most often. A
        > perennial MFA finalist (definitely in the adult column) you might want
        > to look at such novels as _The Paper Grail_, _The Last Coin_, _All the
        > Bells on Earth_. Blaylock doesn't do Good and Good characters as well
        > as Williams (nobody does), but he's got the petty bad ones down cold.
        > And after initially disliking his bumbling, incompetent and annoying
        > protagonists, I've come to love them. His good friend and sometime
        > collaborator, Tim Powers, in such novels as _Declare_, _Last Call_,
        > the MFA winner, _The Stress of Her Regard_, _The Gates of Anubis_,
        > etc. may also resemble Williams in some respects, though I think more
        > distantly.
        >
        > Doris Lessing apparently admired Williams and paid homage in some of
        > her work, I suppose most clearly in _A Briefing for a Descent into
        > Hell_, at least according to an old Mythlore article (but I've never
        > read it). More obvious influence may be in her long and murky SF
        > sequence which includes _Shikasta_, but I could never really get into
        > those. But they were best-sellers, and received some positive
        > reviews, and the murkiness itself may show some influence. (I liked
        > _The Golden Notebook_, but don't recall any obvious Williams influence).
        >
        > John Crowley, in a book like _Little, Big_ or some of his later books,
        > and Gene Wolfe in books like _Castleview_ and perhaps _Free, Live
        > Free_ may share some of Williams's ornery brilliance and arcane
        > interests, and all of these are brilliant books, but I'm not sure how
        > far these writers felt any Williams influence. Though I think I can
        > recall Crowley mentioning him--he certainly has talked about some of
        > C.S. Lewis's lit crit like _The Allegory of Love_. Neil Gaiman's
        > _American Gods_ might also fit into this category, if less annoyingly
        > brilliant.
        >
        > In a weird way, Greer Gilman's _Moonwise_ is similar to Williams's
        > awareness of mystery and holiness and magic permeating all of creation
        > or all of Nature (if you prefer) and is as difficult to follow at
        > times, and possibly as poetic--in a different way, while such
        > contemporary urban fantasies as _Waking the Moon_, by Elizabeth Hand
        > (which also won an MFA), is in some ways closer to Williams's plot and
        > action and if her prose is much clearer, if less poetic, most readers
        > won't complain. Speaking of "contemporary urban fantasy," if you
        > consider Williams something of a grandfather to the sub-genre, you'll
        > find a lot out there. Some other perennial MFA finalists in this area
        > would include Charles de Lint and Lisa Goldstein.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > This is a list for the Mythopoeic Society, an international literary
        > and educational organization devoted to the study, discuss
        > > Messages In This Digest (1 Message)
        > > 1a.
        > > Charles Williams From: John Davis
        > > View All Topics | Create New TopicMessage
        > > 1a.
        > > Charles Williams
        > > Posted by: "John Davis" john@... mcxg46
        > > Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:31 am (PST)
        > >
        > > Hi,
        > >
        > > (Not sure if this is off-topic of not - if so, many apologies...)
        > >
        > > Does anyone know of any other authors who write in a similar vein to
        > > Charles Williams? Aside from Lewis' 'Hideous Strength', I don't know
        > > of any, which makes coming to the end of the last two of Williams'
        > > books rather sad...
        > >
        > > John
        > >
        > > --
        > > I am using the free version of SPAMfighter.
        > > We are a community of 5.9 million users fighting spam.
        > > SPAMfighter has removed 153003 of my spam emails to date.
        > > Get the free SPAMfighter here: http://www.spamfighter.com/len
        > >
        > > The Professional version does not have this message
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        > > Back to topReply to sender | Reply to group | Reply via web post
        > > Messages in this topic (20)
        > > RECENT ACTIVITY
        > > 1
        > > New Members
        > > Visit Your Group
        > > Yahoo! News
        > > Fashion News
        > > What's the word on
        > > fashion and style?
        > > Sell Online
        > > Start selling with
        > > our award-winning
        > > e-commerce tools.
        > > Get in Shape
        > > on Yahoo! Groups
        > > Find a buddy
        > > and lose weight.
        > > Need to Reply?
        > > Click one of the "Reply" links to respond to a specific message in
        > > the Daily Digest.
        > > Create New Topic | Visit Your Group on the Web
        > > Messages | Members
        > > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
        > > MARKETPLACE
        > > From kitchen basics to easy recipes - join the Group from Kraft Foods
        > >
        > > Change settings via the Web (Yahoo! ID required)
        > > Change settings via email: Switch delivery to Individual | Switch
        > > format to Traditional
        > > Visit Your Group | Yahoo! Groups Terms of Use | Unsubscribe
        > >
        >
        > David Lenander
        > d-lena@...
        > 2095 Hamline Ave. N.
        > Roseville, MN 55113
        >
        > 651-292-8887
        > http://www.umn.edu/~d-lena/RIVENDELL.html
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • hoytrand
        Correction: the article is in Mythlore 13 (4:1) from 1976. [http://www.mythsoc.org/mythlore/13/] Thanks, ~randy
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 20, 2009
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          Correction: the article is in Mythlore 13 (4:1) from 1976.
          [http://www.mythsoc.org/mythlore/13/%5d

          Thanks,
          ~randy


          > I hadn't connected *A Briefing for a Descent into Hell* with
          > Charles Williams beyond the title; thanks for the tip, David.
          > I see that the article is in Mythlore 15 (4:3) from 1977
          > [http://www.mythsoc.org/mythlore/15/%5d; I'll have to check that
          > one out. I believe this is the only article in *Mythlore* on
          > Lessing; anyone know any other society publication that mentions
          > her?
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