Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Jack Vance was a great writer, full stop. But there are just complaints that he was insufficiently appreciated outside the genres in which he wrote. Michael Chabon said:
Jack Vance is the most painful case of all the writers I love who I feel don’t get the credit they deserve. If ‘The Last Castle’ or ‘The Dragon Masters’ had the name Italo Calvino on it, or just a foreign name, it would be received as a profound meditation, but because he’s Jack Vance and published in Amazing Whatever, there’s this insurmountable barrier.
Truth. The prejudice against writers who write in particular genres is real and unfortunate. It's turned on its head in Fritz Leiber's wonderful Silver Eggheads when the naive Gaspard de la Nuite is tricked into reading as genre whodunnits The Maurizius Case and The Brothers Karamazov, "a little rib-tickler about an Irish funeral called Finnegan's Wake, some light society reminiscences entitled Remembrances of Things Past, a cloak-and-sword melodrama name of King Lear, a fairy tale called The Magic Mountain and a soap opera about suffering families-War and Peace"

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