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Re: [mythsoc] Brust

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  • Joshua Kronengold
    ... So was I -- LeGuin s point was that most junk fantasy characters speak like modern people, with no voice whatsoever. I can understand not liking Brust s
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 7, 2003
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      Ernest S. Tomlinson writes:
      >That's hardly what I am accusing Brust of (and, by the way, picking on
      >"Poughkeepsie" is a little cheap; I was using LeGuin's famous words for
      >effect, not so much for accuracy.)

      So was I -- LeGuin's point was that most junk fantasy characters speak
      like modern people, with no "voice" whatsoever. I can understand not
      liking Brust's voice in the Jhereg books...but isn't his own, and
      tarrign him with the same brush as Xanthony, Evans, Eddings, etc seems
      a bit cheap.

      >I don't agree that the Taltos books are very much like Dashiell (note
      >spelling) Hammett's work, which despite their colloquial, pulpy style
      >are still not anything as crudely contemporary as _Jhereg_ or
      >_Yendi_. (Mario Puzo might be a closer comparison.)


      >I think that Brust can carry a voice quite well.[*] I just don't like
      >the voice any more.

      That's fair enough.

      >[*] I thought of one definite counterexample. In Orca, there's a scene
      >where Kiera is trying to break into someone's office, disabling magical
      >protections as she goes.

      Hmm. This isn't really nearly as much of a failure of voice as you
      thought at the time, I think. [IIRC, we find out what this is on
      about in Issola or Dragon or some such].

      >describing magic, especially the "witchcraft" which Vlad practices; his
      >passages recounting Vlad's spells read like the ludicrously earnest
      >descriptions of "magick rituals" from New Age spell books,

      Vlad's voice does change into a very faerie tale [I wouldn't say
      they're much like, say, _Spiral Dance_, myself]-ish magic description
      when he's doing witchcraft...but IMO, this is intentional; witchcraft
      is as much about setting a mood as anything else, and is meant to be
      in contrast to the sorcery descriptions, which are like opening the

      >> ...while _The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars_ is one part
      >> [Hungarian] Elfland, and one part modern artistic parable, with each
      >> in its own carefully labeled box)
      >I thought _The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars_ (the only non-Adrilankhan
      >Brust I've read, BTW, except for the collaborative _Freedom and
      >Necessity_) was an interesting failure.

      I disagree, and liked it even better on a more recent second reading
      than a first -- I thought the narrator being a bit too full of himself
      earlier in the narrative was one of the things that made it work.

      But this is a matter of taste, really.

      >"I Don't Care What Happens to These People." Once you find yourself
      >uttering them while reading a story, the author has forever lost you.

      Not -always-, though it's hard to get you back once it's come up.

      Joshua Kronengold (mneme@...) "I've been teaching |\ _,,,--,,_ ,)
      --^--him...to live, to breathe, to walk, to sample the /,`.-'`' -, ;-;;'
      /\\joy on each road, and the sorrow at each turning. |,4- ) )-,_ ) /\
      /-\\\I'm sorry if I kept him out too late"--Vlad Taltos '---''(_/--' (_/-'
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