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Author Topic: E.R Eddison  (Read 1215 times)

Offline Brother of the Sixth Order

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E.R Eddison
« on: December 27, 2015, 03:46:33 PM »
Hello all,

Has anyone read anything by E.R Eddison? He was a contemporary of Tolkien and C.S Lewis and apparently a temporary member of the Inklings as well.  He wrote a high fantasy sequence called the The Zimiamvia Trilogy with The Worm Ouroboros serving as a prelude novel.  I came across a great review of his fantasy works on the internet and am thinking yes please to reading it but am just wandering if any of the fine people on here have read anything by him?
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Offline Elfy

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Re: E.R Eddison
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2015, 10:28:59 PM »
Hello all,

Has anyone read anything by E.R Eddison? He was a contemporary of Tolkien and C.S Lewis and apparently a temporary member of the Inklings as well.  He wrote a high fantasy sequence called the The Zimiamvia Trilogy with The Worm Ouroboros serving as a prelude novel.  I came across a great review of his fantasy works on the internet and am thinking yes please to reading it but am just wandering if any of the fine people on here have read anything by him?
I've read The Worm Ouroboros. It wasn't what I was expecting. I can see the influence it had on Tolkien in parts. What makes it rather hard to read, though is that Eddison chose to use a Jacobean style, which is rather archaic for a modern reader.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline DrNefario

Re: E.R Eddison
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2016, 02:59:34 PM »
Eddison's works enter the public domain in Europe today, incidentally.

I'm not sure if anyone else of genre significance died in 1945.

Offline DireWolfSnow

Re: E.R Eddison
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2016, 07:06:43 PM »
The Worm Orobus is only 99 cents on Amazon (US) right now. Too good of a deal to pass up!

The trilogy is $19.99 (somewhat high, even for three ebooks).

Offline JamesLatimer

Re: E.R Eddison
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2016, 12:35:37 PM »
Sorry, just saw this: I have read all of the books now, having found them all in secondhand shops (yay!).

I loved The Worm Ouroborous, though it's not always easy, but will acknowledge that it's not for everyone. It's not just the language that's old-fashioned, but the ideology and behaviours - Tolkien is quite modern by comparison! The Zimiamvian Trilogy is a bit easier to read, and set in a much more realistic world (the names in Worm throw some people). If you like old-fashioned fantasy coming from a different angle than Tolkien, I definitely recommend them, but (as with any older novel) you should know what you're getting into.

The bits I remember being most impressed with were the alternate worldbuilding - even with the silly nation naming in Worm, ERE manages to create memorable characters and locations that have a strong sense of wonder and weight - the sort of people and places that feel real/legendary. I'm not sure how to describe it but it's the sort of thing George RR Martin does really well, too - he can mention a figure out of his world's history and they catch your imagination right away.

There are a lot of bits that, depending on your preferences, might drag or turn you off. Mistress of Mistresses and Fish Dinner at Memison are "romances" where people spend a lot of time walking, sitting, sleeping in fantastic gardens and musing philosophically about all sorts of things. These passages grew on me by the end, but they won't be for everyone (there's some but not as much in Worm, IIRC). When the action does come it's often off-stage (GRRM does this, too, to be fair), but there are still great moments in there. There's also a strange real-world framing story of a sort of alternate incarnation of the main character(s) in contemporary (at time) England, which didn't always make sense either.

Unfortunately, the last of the trilogy is incomplete and largely a series of 'historical' notes, but quite fun for all that!