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Date: Sat, 21 Dec 2002 08:51:46 -0600
From: James Jordan 
Subject: Re: (urth) Jack Vance or There are Doors?

At 08:00 PM 12/20/2002, the Slime wrote:

>Oh Ratty, picaresque tales are very much with us today! Without even using
>my waning brain power, I'm thinking -Tom Jones-(and then the movie), Felix
>Krull-, -On the Road- and a zillion Hollywood "road movies" including the
>great -Thelma and Louise-, movies that Jack Nicholson inhabits, with -Easy
>Rider- only the first of them. It's become a very American form, though the
>Irish -The Ginger Man- de rigueur in my college days, was another one. And
>on and on. Picaresque doesn't really mean rascally, it's more an unplotted
>tale that moves from adventure to adventure without much formal structure.
>But rascally helps! And the Cugel stories fit perfectly, though most of
>Vance is a bit more plotted. Let's see, in sf (which I'm less familiar with
>than some of you) Pangborn's -Davy-, some of Delaney I think, the Fafyrd and
>Mouser stories if they're thought of as a narrative (maybe that doesn't
>count, but it almost does). Nearly everyone here can probably improve on
>that list.

         I won't argue that picaresque tales are not still around. I'm 
happy to be corrected.
         However: "The word picaresque derives from the Spanish picaro, 
which means rascal or crafty good-for-nothing" (Michael Alpert, 
introduction [p.7] to *Two Spanish Picaresque Novels*, pub. by Penguin.) 
*Tom Jones* is a decent example, from the same historical period (roughly).
         But that's just a detail.



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