Thursday, December 30, 2004

Jeff Vandermeer responds

Posted by Trent Walters at 1:35 AM
Jeff V speaks of forgiving us, like Lovecraft, for having imagination despite, presumably other failings of craft. What is he talking about? Presumably (please pardon if this reads too much into Vandermeer's remark), he's referring to Lovecraft's singular fascination with style or mood evoked [see his major critical work, ‚ÄúSupernatural Horror in Literature‚ÄĚ]. This was how he was able to dismiss Henry James as an artist. By Lovecraft's criteria, he was justified in doing so. But is James an inferior artist to Lovecraft? Hardly.

Which bring us to our criteria. Are we suggesting judging all literature by one criterion? Well, no, although it may appear that way since our focus is revolutionizing the subject materials to see what new arises. We're simply asking people to reexamine the way they look at science fiction. We're asking "to cordon off a section that highlights real futures, to cordon off possibility from probability. The problem with putting it all into one box is that we miss the very important conclusion of what's happening in the world today" as I wrote over on the Asimov message board. Even the manifesto brings up our interest outside subject matter:
We also recognize... [a] new focus on human beings: their science, technology, culture, politics, religions, individual characters, needs, dreams, hopes and failings.
How people will interpret Mundane will be up to the individuals interpreting but some interpretations are better than others. Certainly, if a reader has read much of Geoff Ryman's work, he could not be accused of writing simply for ideas.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I think you did read too much into it. At the very least your syntax makes me sound like a bigger asshole than I actually was, in that particular context.


1/07/2005 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger Trent said...

Definitely not intended. Beg pardon.

1/10/2005 03:44:00 PM  
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