A Few Things
I’m putting these here so I remember them.
John Coulthart has a great post on past attempts to produce covers for M. John Harrison’s Viriconium sequence. Am I fan of Harrison? Of course I’m a fan. Coulthart then has a follow-up post on what he’d like to see in new covers. Speaking of Viriconium, over at M. John Harrison’s blog there’s a new piece of fiction set in that city.
This essay by Ursula K. LeGuin over at Book View Cafe. I can’t agree with it enough. How about these quotes:
Literature is the extant body of written art. All novels belong to it.
The value judgment concealed in distinguishing one novel as literature and another as genre vanishes with the distinction.
Every readable novel can give true pleasure. Every novel read by choice is read because it gives true pleasure.
And finally, a poem by Meng Jiao (a Tang Dynasty poet):
The thread in the hand of a kind mother
Is the coat on the wanderer’s back.
Before he left she stitched it close
In secret fear that he would be slow to return.
Who will say that the inch of grass in his heart
Is gratitude enough for all the sunshine of spring?
Ah, cover art! I don’t recall back in the days of Viriconium Nights that there was nearly as much attention paid to those covers as there is today about ANY AND EVERY cover. The visual orientation of the ’60’s and early ’70’s was a complaint of those who liked to complain. But covers were and are ads not for the particular book but for the genre, the sub genre, the cult of which the particular book was part.
A thing which amuses me (and is accurate) about Mad Men is the extent to which the ad copy, the product’s motto, not the visual is paramount.
I wonder if this is the result of the book becoming a fetish-object (again) and therefore must be a total experience that not only gives me something to read but something to signify who I am.
Then again, maybe it’s just the Internet. “These are my reactions, let me share them with you.”