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From: "Andy Robertson" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Jack Vance or There are Doors?
Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2002 00:04:11 -0000

Um, I disagree.   The original  picaresque novels did not have the grace of
a fantastic **deus ex machina** every three paragraphs.

Love Vance, hate THE DYING EARTH (except the first novel)

,nitc od
----- Original Message -----
From: "James Jordan" 
Sent: Friday, December 20, 2002 11:51 PM
Subject: Re: (urth) Jack Vance or There are Doors?

> At 05:29 PM 12/20/2002, Dave R. wrote:
> >I think you might as well read the Dying Earth stories, since they're a
> >quick, easy read.  Contrary to some other views on the list, I think
> >is a good but definitely not great author.  I do think he should get some
> >credit for writing such an entertaining set of stories where the main
> >character in most of them (Cugel) is a completely unlikeable bastard ;)
>          The Cugel stories are in the tradition of "picaresque tales"
> (tales about rascals) and we've seen very few in recent times, though they
> were common in Spain in the 16th c. You're supposed to both like and
> disdain Cugel, and that's the strength of a picaresque tale, which exposes
> the attractiveness of wicked behavior and makes us feel the humanity of
> even wicked people, all the while entertaining us humorously and
> showing us that wickedness is .. well .. wicked. It's a kind of realistic
> humorous moral tale that is hard to pull off, and Vance does it
>          Whether on thinks Vance is "great" or not, the Cugel tales are
> deft and exquisite exemplars of a neglected genre of Western literature.
> Nutria
> --


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