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From: "Alice K. Turner" 
Subject: Re: (urth) alga's experiences with 5HC
Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2002 10:07:01 -0400

From: "Michael Andre-Driussi" 

> Alga wrote:
> >In my own case, I fell for 5H because of its perversity and cruelty. I
> >(I really don't recall) that I first read only the first novella, which I
> >found (and find) dazzling, a model of what science fiction could do if it
> >grew up.(Does that mean I consider perversity and cruelty to be grown
> Well iirc you don't like (Harold Bloom's favorite) A VOYAGE TO ARCTURUS
> enough to re-read it because it is too much in the perversity and cruelty
> dept.  So maybe the 5HC novella marks the practical limit for your tastes?
> Terminus est, as it were.

Not fair: Arcturus is crude beside 5H, and the violence is cartoonish and
nasty (though not nearly so dumb as in Bloom's own book, Lucifer). 5H's
violence is subtle and dreadful; if you recall I also lovved "Shayol" for
the sheer ingenuity (and perversity) of its cruelty. New Sun has some of the
same flavor. especially in the first book. To admit the dreadful truth, I
even liked the Elric books when they first started coming out--of course I
was pretty young then. So I guess I'm sort of attracted to cruelty, but
totally repelled by coarseness and crude violence. Come to think of it, I
like J.M. Coatzee for some of the same reasons, though there is (for me)
more pathos in his writing (the good books--Ratty, you would like some of
Coatzee; if he's not a Christian, he does a good imitation of one).

> This is the bit that still surprises me!  Because you were so enthused
> about "Tracking Song," I find it hard to remember that you don't like "`A
> Story' by John V. Marsch."  I always expect that this would be your
> =favorite= of the three novellas in 5HC, because, in my mind, at least, I
> tend to think: "A Story" is like "Tracking Song" and "The Tale of the Boy
> Called Frog."

You have far too good a memory! I myself don't recall not liking that
story...er, may I say as gracefully as possible that I have changed my mind?
I love that story. In fact maybe I'll read it again today.

> You don't have to explain or anything, alga!  I'm just saying that it
> surprises me, which in turn shows my shaky grasp on things.

Oh yes I do! And you're the least shaky of us. I have just proved my own



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