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Re: [mythsoc] Quick take on Lord Dunsany?

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  • John Davis
    Would you consider Charles Williams a fantasy author? John ... From: dale nelson To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 3:43 PM Subject:
    Message 1 of 22 , Jun 28, 2011
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      Would you consider Charles Williams a fantasy author?
       
      John
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 3:43 PM
      Subject: [mythsoc] Quick take on Lord Dunsany?

       

      Would anyone care to question this assertion, that Lord Dunsany was the greatest British writer of fantasy for adults during the period between the end of the Victorian era and the Thirties?  

      I'm deliberately not defining "greatest," although for some that may make the statement almost meaningless.

      The assertion implies that Dunsany's eight or so collections of fantasies and The King of Elfland's Daughter etc. comprise a "greater" achievement than that of E. R. Eddison, William Hope Hodgson, Hope Mirrlees, David Lindsay, and others who published major works such as The Worm Ouroboros, The Night Land, Lud-in-the-Mist, and A Voyage to Arcturus in that period.

      I'm asking because in a short piece I have drafted for Beyond Bree I make this claim, but there's probably time for me to change it if need be.  Conversely, if the statement seems right to you, I'd be happy to know that too.

      Dale Nelson

    • David Bratman
      Why don t you just say that Dunsany was a great fantasy writer? I find these greatest comments invidious, because your elaboration makes it sound like you re
      Message 2 of 22 , Jun 28, 2011
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        Why don't you just say that Dunsany was a great fantasy writer?  I find these "greatest" comments invidious, because your elaboration makes it sound like you're bashing Eddison in order to praise Dunsany.  I personally am more fond of Dunsany than of Eddison, but they're both great writers, and it shouldn't be necessary to bash one great writer in order to praise another.

        -----Original Message-----
        From: dale nelson
        Sent: Jun 28, 2011 7:43 AM
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [mythsoc] Quick take on Lord Dunsany?



        Would anyone care to question this assertion, that Lord Dunsany was the greatest British writer of fantasy for adults during the period between the end of the Victorian era and the Thirties?  

        I'm deliberately not defining "greatest," although for some that may make the statement almost meaningless.

        The assertion implies that Dunsany's eight or so collections of fantasies and The King of Elfland's Daughter etc. comprise a "greater" achievement than that of E. R. Eddison, William Hope Hodgson, Hope Mirrlees, David Lindsay, and others who published major works such as The Worm Ouroboros, The Night Land, Lud-in-the-Mist, and A Voyage to Arcturus in that period.

        I'm asking because in a short piece I have drafted for Beyond Bree I make this claim, but there's probably time for me to change it if need be.  Conversely, if the statement seems right to you, I'd be happy to know that too.

        Dale Nelson


      • Mike Foster
        David makes a good point. “One of the greatest” would be more flame-proof than “the greatest.” Mike From: David Bratman Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2011
        Message 3 of 22 , Jun 28, 2011
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          David makes a good point. “One of the greatest” would be more flame-proof than “the greatest.”
           
          Mike
           
          Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 10:05 AM
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Quick take on Lord Dunsany?
           
           

          Why don't you just say that Dunsany was a great fantasy writer?  I find these "greatest" comments invidious, because your elaboration makes it sound like you're bashing Eddison in order to praise Dunsany.  I personally am more fond of Dunsany than of Eddison, but they're both great writers, and it shouldn't be necessary to bash one great writer in order to praise another.

          -----Original Message-----
          From: dale nelson
          Sent: Jun 28, 2011 7:43 AM
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [mythsoc] Quick take on Lord Dunsany?



          Would anyone care to question this assertion, that Lord Dunsany was the greatest British writer of fantasy for adults during the period between the end of the Victorian era and the Thirties?  

          I'm deliberately not defining "greatest," although for some that may make the statement almost meaningless.

          The assertion implies that Dunsany's eight or so collections of fantasies and The King of Elfland's Daughter etc. comprise a "greater" achievement than that of E. R. Eddison, William Hope Hodgson, Hope Mirrlees, David Lindsay, and others who published major works such as The Worm Ouroboros, The Night Land, Lud-in-the-Mist, and A Voyage to Arcturus in that period.

          I'm asking because in a short piece I have drafted for Beyond Bree I make this claim, but there's probably time for me to change it if need be.  Conversely, if the statement seems right to you, I'd be happy to know that too.

          Dale Nelson


        • Darrell A. Martin
          ... John: I am not sure I would take seriously any definition of fantasy that did NOT include Charles Williams. It is possible, I know (one common definition
          Message 4 of 22 , Jun 28, 2011
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            On 6/28/2011 9:48 AM, John Davis wrote:
            >
            >
            > Would you consider Charles Williams a fantasy author?
            > John

            John:

            I am not sure I would take seriously any definition of "fantasy" that
            did NOT include Charles Williams. It is possible, I know (one common
            definition includes the presence of dragons and/or unicorns, medieval
            technology, fake Old British diction, and a wilderness-over-urbanism
            jingoism) but as I said, "take seriously".

            I have never connected with the fantasy of the era in question, except
            possibly H. Rider Haggard and Edgar Rice Burroughs (each of whom is more
            reasonably than Williams excluded from "fantasy"). The defect is without
            question mine, and may yet prove amenable to repair.

            Darrell
          • Darrell A. Martin
            ... Mike: I m with you, and will quote with approval the cliche de gustibus non est disputandum . The prase one of the greatest focuses on Dunsany himself,
            Message 5 of 22 , Jun 28, 2011
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              On 6/28/2011 10:25 AM, Mike Foster wrote:
              >
              >
              > David makes a good point. “One of the greatest” would be more
              > flame-proof than “the greatest.”
              > Mike

              Mike:

              I'm with you, and will quote with approval the cliche "de gustibus non
              est disputandum". The prase "one of the greatest" focuses on Dunsany
              himself, not how he ranks competitively against others. Even better
              might be, "one of the two or three greatest" -- especially if the other
              one or two are *not* named. That allows anyone quick to defend their own
              favorite to relax, even if that favorite is someone few have heard of
              [grin].

              Darrell
            • dale nelson
              Yes, but then his novels don t begin to appear till the Thirties. ________________________________ From: John Davis To:
              Message 6 of 22 , Jun 28, 2011
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                Yes, but then his novels don't begin to appear till the Thirties.



                From: John Davis <john@...>
                To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Tue, June 28, 2011 9:48:56 AM
                Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Quick take on Lord Dunsany?

                 

                Would you consider Charles Williams a fantasy author?
                 
                John
                 
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 3:43 PM
                Subject: [mythsoc] Quick take on Lord Dunsany?

                 

                Would anyone care to question this assertion, that Lord Dunsany was the greatest British writer of fantasy for adults during the period between the end of the Victorian era and the Thirties?  

                I'm deliberately not defining "greatest," although for some that may make the statement almost meaningless.

                The assertion implies that Dunsany's eight or so collections of fantasies and The King of Elfland's Daughter etc. comprise a "greater" achievement than that of E. R. Eddison, William Hope Hodgson, Hope Mirrlees, David Lindsay, and others who published major works such as The Worm Ouroboros, The Night Land, Lud-in-the-Mist, and A Voyage to Arcturus in that period.

                I'm asking because in a short piece I have drafted for Beyond Bree I make this claim, but there's probably time for me to change it if need be.  Conversely, if the statement seems right to you, I'd be happy to know that too.

                Dale Nelson

              • John Rateliff
                I think this statement is self-evidently true of Dunsany for the first two decades of the twentieth century, the period of his eight collections of fantasy
                Message 7 of 22 , Jun 28, 2011
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                  I think this statement is self-evidently true of Dunsany for the first two decades of the twentieth century, the period of his eight collections of fantasy short stories and most (not all) of his major plays. But he's not as strong a novelist, so his productions of the twenties and thereafter represent a falling off. Why not say "the greatest fantasy short story writer, bar none, and the most influential fantasy writer of the first half of the century"?

                  As for Charles WIlliams, I think it's perfectly possible to construct a definition of fantasy that calls into question whether anything he wrote is fantasy -- in fact, just such a definition underlay my first dissertation proposal.

                  In any case, the statement as it stands is defensible, and if it's what you believe you shd go with it. I'll look forward to seeing the BEYOND BREE piece.

                  --John R.


                  On Jun 28, 2011, at 7:43 AM, dale nelson wrote:
                  Would anyone care to question this assertion, that Lord Dunsany was the greatest British writer of fantasy for adults during the period between the end of the Victorian era and the Thirties?  

                  I'm deliberately not defining "greatest," although for some that may make the statement almost meaningless.

                  The assertion implies that Dunsany's eight or so collections of fantasies and The King of Elfland's Daughter etc. comprise a "greater" achievement than that of E. R. Eddison, William Hope Hodgson, Hope Mirrlees, David Lindsay, and others who published major works such as The Worm Ouroboros, The Night Land, Lud-in-the-Mist, and A Voyage to Arcturus in that period.

                  I'm asking because in a short piece I have drafted for Beyond Bree I make this claim, but there's probably time for me to change it if need be.  Conversely, if the statement seems right to you, I'd be happy to know that too.

                  Dale Nelson

                • dale nelson
                  Thank you, each and all, for your thoughts. John, the BB piece really is short, basically just a couple of paragraphs tied to the news about the 20th Dunsany s
                  Message 8 of 22 , Jun 28, 2011
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                    Thank you, each and all, for your thoughts.

                    John, the BB piece really is short, basically just a couple of paragraphs tied to the news about the 20th Dunsany's death.  I reproduce the list of 16 stories from the 1954 Sword of Welleran collection so that readers can see what the stories were that Dunsany and his wife chose as the ones he wanted to be remembered by.


                    From: John Rateliff <sacnoth@...>
                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Tue, June 28, 2011 12:34:54 PM
                    Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Quick take on Lord Dunsany?

                     

                    I think this statement is self-evidently true of Dunsany for the first two decades of the twentieth century, the period of his eight collections of fantasy short stories and most (not all) of his major plays. But he's not as strong a novelist, so his productions of the twenties and thereafter represent a falling off. Why not say "the greatest fantasy short story writer, bar none, and the most influential fantasy writer of the first half of the century"?

                    As for Charles WIlliams, I think it's perfectly possible to construct a definition of fantasy that calls into question whether anything he wrote is fantasy -- in fact, just such a definition underlay my first dissertation proposal.

                    In any case, the statement as it stands is defensible, and if it's what you believe you shd go with it. I'll look forward to seeing the BEYOND BREE piece.

                    --John R.


                    On Jun 28, 2011, at 7:43 AM, dale nelson wrote:
                    Would anyone care to question this assertion, that Lord Dunsany was the greatest British writer of fantasy for adults during the period between the end of the Victorian era and the Thirties?  

                    I'm deliberately not defining "greatest," although for some that may make the statement almost meaningless.

                    The assertion implies that Dunsany's eight or so collections of fantasies and The King of Elfland's Daughter etc. comprise a "greater" achievement than that of E. R. Eddison, William Hope Hodgson, Hope Mirrlees, David Lindsay, and others who published major works such as The Worm Ouroboros, The Night Land, Lud-in-the-Mist, and A Voyage to Arcturus in that period.

                    I'm asking because in a short piece I have drafted for Beyond Bree I make this claim, but there's probably time for me to change it if need be.  Conversely, if the statement seems right to you, I'd be happy to know that too.

                    Dale Nelson

                  • WendellWag@aol.com
                    Dale, if anyone questions your assertion about Dunsany, you can quote the statement below by John Rateliff and say that he is one of the most important living
                    Message 9 of 22 , Jun 28, 2011
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                      Dale, if anyone questions your assertion about Dunsany, you can quote the statement below by John Rateliff and say that he is one of the most important living Dunsany scholars.  I don't think there are many Dunsany scholars.  I just Googled on "Dunsany scholar" and found only two people mentioned - Darrell Schweitzer and S. T. Joshi - neither of whom did a Ph.D. dissertation on Dunsany.
                       
                      Wendell Wagner
                       
                      In a message dated 6/28/2011 1:35:06 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, sacnoth@... writes:
                      I think this statement is self-evidently true of Dunsany for the first two decades of the twentieth century, the period of his eight collections of fantasy short stories and most (not all) of his major plays. But he's not as strong a novelist, so his productions of the twenties and thereafter represent a falling off. Why not say "the greatest fantasy short story writer, bar none, and the most influential fantasy writer of the first half of the century"?
                    • dale nelson
                      What with most of the responses here and elsewhere (to the claim of Dunsany as greatest or most important), I settled on this: This late Lord Dunsany’s
                      Message 10 of 22 , Jun 28, 2011
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                        What with most of the responses here and elsewhere (to the claim of Dunsany as greatest or most important), I settled on this:

                        "This late Lord Dunsany’s grandfather was an outstanding British fantasy writer for adults between the end of the 19th century and the 1930s, the decade in which Tolkien, Charles Williams, and C. S. Lewis began to publish major imaginative works.  Other notable fantasists of the first thirty years of the 20th century  include....etc."

                        Dale


                        From: "WendellWag@..." <WendellWag@...>
                        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Tue, June 28, 2011 8:15:43 PM
                        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Quick take on Lord Dunsany?

                         

                        Dale, if anyone questions your assertion about Dunsany, you can quote the statement below by John Rateliff and say that he is one of the most important living Dunsany scholars.  I don't think there are many Dunsany scholars.  I just Googled on "Dunsany scholar" and found only two people mentioned - Darrell Schweitzer and S. T. Joshi - neither of whom did a Ph.D. dissertation on Dunsany.
                         
                        Wendell Wagner
                         
                        In a message dated 6/28/2011 1:35:06 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, sacnoth@... writes:
                        I think this statement is self-evidently true of Dunsany for the first two decades of the twentieth century, the period of his eight collections of fantasy short stories and most (not all) of his major plays. But he's not as strong a novelist, so his productions of the twenties and thereafter represent a falling off. Why not say "the greatest fantasy short story writer, bar none, and the most influential fantasy writer of the first half of the century"?
                      • davise@cs.nyu.edu
                        ... University Microfilms lists 3 theses on Dunsany: John Rateliff, Beyond the fields we know : The short stories of Lord Dunsany, Marquette U., 1990.
                        Message 11 of 22 , Jun 29, 2011
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                          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, WendellWag@... wrote:
                          >
                          > Dale, if anyone questions your assertion about Dunsany, you can quote the
                          > statement below by John Rateliff and say that he is one of the most
                          > important living Dunsany scholars. I don't think there are many Dunsany scholars.
                          > I just Googled on "Dunsany scholar" and found only two people mentioned -
                          > Darrell Schweitzer and S. T. Joshi - neither of whom did a Ph.D.
                          > dissertation on Dunsany.
                          >
                          > Wendell Wagner
                          >
                          >

                          University Microfilms lists 3 theses on Dunsany:

                          John Rateliff, " 'Beyond the fields we know': The short stories of
                          Lord Dunsany, Marquette U., 1990.

                          Ronald Gallagher, "The uses of the supernatural in the works of Lord Dunsany and James Stephens," U. Washington, 1990.

                          Linda Pashka, "Dunsany's other worlds: The prose fantasy of Lord Dunsany", U. Calgary, 1987.

                          The Wikipedia article also states that Tania Scott is currently doing a dissertation on Dunsany at U. Glasgow. She has given some talks, but does not seem to have published much.

                          WorldCat lists additionally (books and theses)
                          Mark Amory, "Biography of Lord Dunsany", Collins, 1972.

                          Sunand Joshi, "Lord Dunsany, master of the Anglo-Irish Imagination"
                          Greenwood Press, 1996.

                          Max Duperray, "Le monde imaginaire de Lord Dunsany, 1878-1957"
                          thesis, U. de Lille, 1979.
                        • dale nelson
                          As an aside -- I like it when a source who interests me states what or who is the greatest or most important, etc. Just yesterday I was browsing Sellin s
                          Message 12 of 22 , Jun 29, 2011
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                            As an aside -- I like it when a source who interests me states what or who is the greatest or most important, etc.  Just yesterday I was browsing Sellin's study of David Lindsay.  According to Sellin, for the author of A Voyage to Arcturus Beethoven was unequivocally the greatest composer.  I'm glad to know that, not just that Beethoven was one of the great composers according to Lindsay.  I seem to remember blurb copy in which Baird Searles claimed that Dunsany was greater than Tolkien or Peake, not simply one of the great fantasists along with those two and others.  I don't agree with Searles, but I appreciate the statement because it could prompt me to think some more about Dunsany's achievement (in some moods I'm inclined to think of him as basically a very productive and inventive confectioner, sort of for high fantasy what Paul McCartney's been for popular music). 

                            Dale Nelson


                            From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>
                            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Tue, June 28, 2011 10:05:09 AM
                            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Quick take on Lord Dunsany?

                             

                            Why don't you just say that Dunsany was a great fantasy writer?  I find these "greatest" comments invidious, because your elaboration makes it sound like you're bashing Eddison in order to praise Dunsany.  I personally am more fond of Dunsany than of Eddison, but they're both great writers, and it shouldn't be necessary to bash one great writer in order to praise another.

                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: dale nelson
                            Sent: Jun 28, 2011 7:43 AM
                            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: [mythsoc] Quick take on Lord Dunsany?



                            Would anyone care to question this assertion, that Lord Dunsany was the greatest British writer of fantasy for adults during the period between the end of the Victorian era and the Thirties?  

                            I'm deliberately not defining "greatest," although for some that may make the statement almost meaningless.

                            The assertion implies that Dunsany's eight or so collections of fantasies and The King of Elfland's Daughter etc. comprise a "greater" achievement than that of E. R. Eddison, William Hope Hodgson, Hope Mirrlees, David Lindsay, and others who published major works such as The Worm Ouroboros, The Night Land, Lud-in-the-Mist, and A Voyage to Arcturus in that period.

                            I'm asking because in a short piece I have drafted for Beyond Bree I make this claim, but there's probably time for me to change it if need be.  Conversely, if the statement seems right to you, I'd be happy to know that too.

                            Dale Nelson


                          • John Rateliff
                            ... Wow. Thanks for the high praise, Wendell. But I think Doug Anderson shd be added to the list; he contributed a good deal to the Joshi-Schweitzer Dunsany
                            Message 13 of 22 , Jun 29, 2011
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                              On Jun 28, 2011, at 6:15 PM, WendellWag@... wrote:
                              Dale, if anyone questions your assertion about Dunsany, you can quote the statement below by John Rateliff and say that he is one of the most important living Dunsany scholars.  I don't think there are many Dunsany scholars.  I just Googled on "Dunsany scholar" and found only two people mentioned - Darrell Schweitzer and S. T. Joshi - neither of whom did a Ph.D. dissertation on Dunsany.
                               
                              Wendell Wagner

                              Wow. Thanks for the high praise, Wendell. But I think Doug Anderson shd be added to the list; he contributed a good deal to the Joshi-Schweitzer Dunsany Bibliography.


                              On Jun 29, 2011, at 6:31 AM, davise@... wrote:
                              University Microfilms lists 3 theses on Dunsany:

                              xJohn Rateliff, " 'Beyond the fields we know': The short stories of
                              Lord Dunsany, Marquette U., 1990.

                              xRonald Gallagher, "The uses of the supernatural in the works of Lord Dunsany and James Stephens," U. Washington, 1990.

                              xLinda Pashka, "Dunsany's other worlds: The prose fantasy of Lord Dunsany", U. Calgary, 1987.

                              The Wikipedia article also states that Tania Scott is currently doing a dissertation on Dunsany at U. Glasgow. She has given some talks, but does not seem to have published much. 

                              WorldCat lists additionally (books and theses)
                              Mark Amory, "Biography of Lord Dunsany", Collins, 1972.

                              Sunand Joshi, "Lord Dunsany, master of the Anglo-Irish Imagination"
                              Greenwood Press, 1996.

                              xMax Duperray, "Le monde imaginaire de Lord Dunsany, 1878-1957"
                              thesis, U. de Lille, 1979.

                              To these shd be added others listed in the "Theses and Dissertations" section of the Joshi-Schweitzer Bibliography: nine in all, including five not listed above. The most important of these is J. F. La Croix's Trinity College Dublin diss. from 1956, since he actually contacted Dunsany and got a little information directly from him (including Dunsany's opinion of Lovecraft). And in addition to Amory and Joshi shd be added Schweitzer's book (portions of which appeared long ago in MYTHLORE), the Bibliography, and Littlefield Smith's memoir. I'd include de Camp's book as well, since it includes a chapter on Ld D.

                              If my dissertation has anything that makes it stand out (and I shd point out that Joshi is dismissive of it), it's that so far as I know I'm the only one to have bothered to look at Dunsany's manuscripts (at Austin, in Binghampton, in London, in Dublin, &c) and taken into account what they tell us about Dunsany's method of composition.


                              On Jun 29, 2011, at 7:40 AM, dale nelson wrote:
                              As an aside -- I like it when a source who interests me states what or who is the greatest or most important, etc.  Just yesterday I was browsing Sellin's study of David Lindsay.  According to Sellin, for the author of A Voyage to Arcturus Beethoven was unequivocally the greatest composer.  I'm glad to know that, not just that Beethoven was one of the great composers according to Lindsay.  I seem to remember blurb copy in which Baird Searles claimed that Dunsany was greater than Tolkien or Peake, not simply one of the great fantasists along with those two and others.  I don't agree with Searles, but I appreciate the statement because it could prompt me to think some more about Dunsany's achievement (in some moods I'm inclined to think of him as basically a very productive and inventive confectioner, sort of for high fantasy what Paul McCartney's been for popular music).  

                              I agree with a fondness for critics actually expressing an opinion when they have one. Even if I disagree with it, at least I know where they stand.  As for D.'s achievement, remember that he wrote over four hundred stories and published over seventy books: he's one of those authors who wrote far too much and published almost everything he wrote. Then too his aesthetic creed prevented him from revising anything he wrote, which served him well early on but not later in his career when his inspiration flagged. The best thing anyone can do in Dunsany scholarship, I think, is to point people interested in giving him a try towards the good stuff so they don't flounder right away on the lesser works.

                              And may I add what a pleasure it is to see folks discussing a good fantasy author beyond the Official Three here.

                              --John R.




                            • David Bratman
                              ... Wow - I d consider that comparison to be seriously imperceptive of both Dunsany _and_ McCartney. But I don t want to argue the point; this is just to
                              Message 14 of 22 , Jul 2, 2011
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                                "dale nelson" <extollager2006@...> wrote:

                                >I appreciate the statement because it could prompt me to think some more
                                >about Dunsany's achievement (in some moods I'm inclined to think of him
                                >as basically a very productive and inventive confectioner, sort of for high
                                >fantasy what Paul McCartney's been for popular music).

                                Wow - I'd consider that comparison to be seriously imperceptive of both
                                Dunsany _and_ McCartney. But I don't want to argue the point; this is just
                                to observe how much perceptions differ. If you want to write a polemic
                                article on Dunsany's place in the fantasy canon, by all means go ahead and
                                expound your views in detail. But if you just want to make an incidental
                                point that Dunsany is important, declarations of his supreme greatness, or
                                anything else, will only distract readers from what you're otherwise saying.
                              • WendellWag@aol.com
                                To back up this assertion, you might want to quote what Michael Dirda says in his new book On Conan Doyle. Dirda is generally considered one of the best
                                Message 15 of 22 , Nov 8, 2011
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                                  To back up this assertion, you might want to quote what Michael Dirda says in his new book On Conan Doyle.  Dirda is generally considered one of the best current book critics (and, incidentally, was a guest at Mythcon 25).  Dirda says, "What Conan Doyle is to the detective story, Dunsany is to the modern fantasy: the Master."
                                   
                                  Wendell Wagner
                                   
                                  In a message dated 6/28/2011 10:43:30 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, extollager2006@... writes:
                                   

                                  Would anyone care to question this assertion, that Lord Dunsany was the greatest British writer of fantasy for adults during the period between the end of the Victorian era and the Thirties?  

                                  I'm deliberately not defining "greatest," although for some that may make the statement almost meaningless.

                                  The assertion implies that Dunsany's eight or so collections of fantasies and The King of Elfland's Daughter etc. comprise a "greater" achievement than that of E. R. Eddison, William Hope Hodgson, Hope Mirrlees, David Lindsay, and others who published major works such as The Worm Ouroboros, The Night Land, Lud-in-the-Mist, and A Voyage to Arcturus in that period.

                                  I'm asking because in a short piece I have drafted for Beyond Bree I make this claim, but there's probably time for me to change it if need be.  Conversely, if the statement seems right to you, I'd be happy to know that too.

                                  Dale Nelson

                                • Mem Morman
                                  i think i would have to put in a word for Edith Nesbit. mem
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Nov 8, 2011
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                                    i think i would have to put in a word for Edith Nesbit.
                                    mem

                                    On 11/8/2011 3:56 AM, WendellWag@... wrote:
                                     

                                    To back up this assertion, you might want to quote what Michael Dirda says in his new book On Conan Doyle.  Dirda is generally considered one of the best current book critics (and, incidentally, was a guest at Mythcon 25).  Dirda says, "What Conan Doyle is to the detective story, Dunsany is to the modern fantasy: the Master."
                                     
                                    Wendell Wagner
                                     
                                    In a message dated 6/28/2011 10:43:30 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, extollager2006@... writes:
                                     

                                    Would anyone care to question this assertion, that Lord Dunsany was the greatest British writer of fantasy for adults during the period between the end of the Victorian era and the Thirties?  

                                    I'm deliberately not defining "greatest," although for some that may make the statement almost meaningless.

                                    The assertion implies that Dunsany's eight or so collections of fantasies and The King of Elfland's Daughter etc. comprise a "greater" achievement than that of E. R. Eddison, William Hope Hodgson, Hope Mirrlees, David Lindsay, and others who published major works such as The Worm Ouroboros, The Night Land, Lud-in-the-Mist, and A Voyage to Arcturus in that period.

                                    I'm asking because in a short piece I have drafted for Beyond Bree I make this claim, but there's probably time for me to change it if need be.  Conversely, if the statement seems right to you, I'd be happy to know that too.

                                    Dale Nelson
                                  • Bill West
                                    I am forever grateful to Lin Carter for his republishing the authors Dale listed in the original run of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series. I still have those
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Nov 8, 2011
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                                      I am forever grateful to Lin Carter for his republishing the authors Dale listed in the
                                      original run of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series. I still have those editions on my
                                      bookshelves forty years later.

                                      Bill

                                      On Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 5:56 AM, <WendellWag@...> wrote:
                                       

                                      To back up this assertion, you might want to quote what Michael Dirda says in his new book On Conan Doyle.  Dirda is generally considered one of the best current book critics (and, incidentally, was a guest at Mythcon 25).  Dirda says, "What Conan Doyle is to the detective story, Dunsany is to the modern fantasy: the Master."
                                       
                                      Wendell Wagner
                                       
                                      In a message dated 6/28/2011 10:43:30 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, extollager2006@... writes:
                                       

                                      Would anyone care to question this assertion, that Lord Dunsany was the greatest British writer of fantasy for adults during the period between the end of the Victorian era and the Thirties?  

                                      I'm deliberately not defining "greatest," although for some that may make the statement almost meaningless.

                                      The assertion implies that Dunsany's eight or so collections of fantasies and The King of Elfland's Daughter etc. comprise a "greater" achievement than that of E. R. Eddison, William Hope Hodgson, Hope Mirrlees, David Lindsay, and others who published major works such as The Worm Ouroboros, The Night Land, Lud-in-the-Mist, and A Voyage to Arcturus in that period.

                                      I'm asking because in a short piece I have drafted for Beyond Bree I make this claim, but there's probably time for me to change it if need be.  Conversely, if the statement seems right to you, I'd be happy to know that too.

                                      Dale Nelson


                                    • John Rateliff
                                      I think the quote from Dirda sums it up in a nutshell. Dunsany was best, and the most influential, writer of fantasy in the first half of the twentieth
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Nov 8, 2011
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                                        I think the quote from Dirda sums it up in a nutshell. Dunsany was best, and the most influential, writer of fantasy in the first half of the twentieth century.* The quality and significance of his achievement gets overlooked because of his long twilight: the fact he kept writing long after he'd lost the spark. Doyle is luckier in that most overlook the eccentricities (and indeed sheer weirdness) of his final quarter-century and judge him on his earlier work.
                                          --John R.

                                        *in English at least.




                                        On Nov 8, 2011, at 2:56 AM, WendellWag@... wrote:
                                        To back up this assertion, you might want to quote what Michael Dirda says in his new book On Conan Doyle.  Dirda is generally considered one of the best current book critics (and, incidentally, was a guest at Mythcon 25).  Dirda says, "What Conan Doyle is to the detective story, Dunsany is to the modern fantasy: the Master."
                                         
                                        Wendell Wagner
                                         
                                        In a message dated 6/28/2011 10:43:30 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, extollager2006@... writes:

                                        Would anyone care to question this assertion, that Lord Dunsany was the greatest British writer of fantasy for adults during the period between the end of the Victorian era and the Thirties?   

                                        I'm deliberately not defining "greatest," although for some that may make the statement almost meaningless.

                                        The assertion implies that Dunsany's eight or so collections of fantasies and The King of Elfland's Daughter etc. comprise a "greater" achievement than that of E. R. Eddison, William Hope Hodgson, Hope Mirrlees, David Lindsay, and others who published major works such as The Worm Ouroboros, The Night Land, Lud-in-the-Mist, and A Voyage to Arcturus in that period.

                                        I'm asking because in a short piece I have drafted for Beyond BreeI make this claim, but there's probably time for me to change it if need be.  Conversely, if the statement seems right to you, I'd be happy to know that too.

                                        Dale Nelson

                                      • Mem Morman
                                        could someone take the time to comment what a stupid, unscholastic assertion just so i know my posts are actually coming through to the list? thanks! mem
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Nov 8, 2011
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                                          could someone take the time to comment "what a stupid, unscholastic assertion" just so i know my posts are actually coming through to the list? 
                                          thanks!
                                          mem


                                          On 11/8/2011 6:22 AM, Mem Morman wrote:
                                           

                                          i think i would have to put in a word for Edith Nesbit.
                                          mem

                                          On 11/8/2011 3:56 AM, WendellWag@... wrote:

                                           

                                          To back up this assertion, you might want to quote what Michael Dirda says in his new book On Conan Doyle.  Dirda is generally considered one of the best current book critics (and, incidentally, was a guest at Mythcon 25).  Dirda says, "What Conan Doyle is to the detective story, Dunsany is to the modern fantasy: the Master."
                                           
                                          Wendell Wagner
                                           
                                          In a message dated 6/28/2011 10:43:30 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, extollager2006@... writes:
                                           

                                          Would anyone care to question this assertion, that Lord Dunsany was the greatest British writer of fantasy for adults during the period between the end of the Victorian era and the Thirties?  

                                          I'm deliberately not defining "greatest," although for some that may make the statement almost meaningless.

                                          The assertion implies that Dunsany's eight or so collections of fantasies and The King of Elfland's Daughter etc. comprise a "greater" achievement than that of E. R. Eddison, William Hope Hodgson, Hope Mirrlees, David Lindsay, and others who published major works such as The Worm Ouroboros, The Night Land, Lud-in-the-Mist, and A Voyage to Arcturus in that period.

                                          I'm asking because in a short piece I have drafted for Beyond Bree I make this claim, but there's probably time for me to change it if need be.  Conversely, if the statement seems right to you, I'd be happy to know that too.

                                          Dale Nelson
                                        • John Rateliff
                                          Hi Mem. It s not stupid at all; I just happen to disagree with it. --John R.
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Nov 8, 2011
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                                            Hi Mem.
                                                It's not stupid at all; I just happen to disagree with it.
                                            --John R.


                                            On Nov 8, 2011, at 10:45 AM, Mem Morman wrote:
                                            could someone take the time to comment "what a stupid, unscholastic assertion" just so i know my posts are actually coming through to the list?  
                                            thanks!
                                            mem


                                            On 11/8/2011 6:22 AM, Mem Morman wrote:

                                            i think i would have to put in a word for Edith Nesbit.
                                            mem


                                          • Mem Morman
                                            thanks! now i know my posts are coming through. mem
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Nov 8, 2011
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                                              thanks!  now i know my posts are coming through.
                                              mem


                                              On 11/8/2011 11:57 AM, John Rateliff wrote:  
                                              Hi Mem.
                                                  It's not stupid at all; I just happen to disagree with it.
                                              --John R.


                                              On Nov 8, 2011, at 10:45 AM, Mem Morman wrote:
                                              could someone take the time to comment "what a stupid, unscholastic assertion" just so i know my posts are actually coming through to the list?  
                                              thanks!
                                              mem


                                              On 11/8/2011 6:22 AM, Mem Morman wrote:

                                              i think i would have to put in a word for Edith Nesbit.
                                              mem


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