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Author Topic: Stephen R. Donaldson's Thoughts on Fantasy  (Read 1606 times)

Offline Davis Ashura

Stephen R. Donaldson's Thoughts on Fantasy
« on: March 19, 2015, 09:22:55 PM »
Here's an interesting article by Stephen R. Donaldson (hat tip r/fantasy) about fantasy. It's a nice synopsis and cogent defense of fantasy fiction. It might lean to the literary for some and come across as self-justification for others with no room for authors who simply wish to entertain and not tackle 'life issues'. But it does explain how fantasy-the oldest genre (not the oldest profession)-shouldn't be pigeonholed or dismissed. Oddly, the content reminds me of something I once read by Scott Bakker. I wonder if Donaldson has read The Darkness that Comes Before or if Donaldson was an influence on Bakker?

http://www.nyrsf.com/2015/03/fantasy-is-the-most-intelligent-precise-and-accurate-means-of-arriving-at-the-truth-s-p.html

Reason for edit: I screwed up the link. I think I got it fixed now.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2015, 11:47:31 AM by Davis Ashura »
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Offline JMack

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Re: Stephen R. Donaldson's Thoughts on Fantasy
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2015, 11:43:52 PM »
Here's an interesting article by Stephen R. Donaldson (hat tip r/fantasy) about fantasy. It's a nice synopsis and cogent defense of fantasy fiction. It might lean to the literary for some and come across as self-justification for others with no room for authors who simply wish to entertain and not tackle 'life issues'. But it does explain how fantasy-the oldest genre (not the oldest profession)-shouldn't be pigeonholed or dismissed. Oddly, the content reminds me of something I once read by Scott Bakker. I wonder if Donaldson has read The Darkness that Comes Before or if Donaldson was an influence on Bakker?

http://www.nyrsf.com/2015/03/fantasy-is-the-most-intelligent-precise-and-accurate-means-of-arriving-at-the-truth-s-p.html
That was pretty awesome. I'd put everyone's @name here to get them to read it. What a wonderful validation of (much of) what we read and write.

I haven't started to read Malazan, so can have no comment, but Donaldson makes a very interesting arguments for its seriousness and importance.

The idea of reintegration is quite interesting. I think of Sanderson and Mistborn, with his positive and negative attributes of creation that have become separated. How? No idea. Why? No idea. But terribly iportant to reintegrate them.

Sanderson is also interesting to me in comparison to Donaldson and Lawrence. In each of the three, a terrible crime is committed (IMHO). In Donaldson, it's the rape. In Lawrence is the condoning of the rape (I'm actually not remembering this exactly, so don't hold me to the exact). In Sanderson, it's the murder by Jin of the tower full of guards. In both Donaldson and Lawrence, a fallen character is redeemed over the course of three books, and the crime is central or at least so of a piece with the character that it's never fully forgotten. But in Sanderson, I feel that Jin's crime is treated as just a slightly unfortunate incident when she was confused, lonely and pissed off. It's this type of unevenness that undermines pieces of Mistborn for me.

Still, take all three books discussed here: Donaldson, Lawrence, and Sanderson - each is about restoring a broken world to a more loving and logical foundation. I think it can be argued that this is also a key theme in Martin, Tolkien, and, and, and...

Reintegration to achieve a more loving and human world than what we see around us. Works for me.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 11:46:55 PM by Jmacyk »
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Offline Roxxsmom

Re: Stephen R. Donaldson's Thoughts on Fantasy
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2015, 09:50:56 PM »
The link in the original post appears to be dead, at least for me (server not found). But I found another link to what is (I think) the same article. Worth a shot if the above one is down for good.

http://www.nyrsf.com/2015/03/fantasy-is-the-most-intelligent-precise-and-accurate-means-of-arriving-at-the-truth-s-p.html

Offline Skip

Re: Stephen R. Donaldson's Thoughts on Fantasy
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2015, 02:35:55 AM »
The server wasn't down, the url was malformed. It had a quote mark at the end and was missing the colon. And it had an unencoded UTF blank space at the beginning. The perils of copy/paste!
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