Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Tolkien Spotting (A. S. Byatt)

So, glanced at the new Pratchett at the bookstore today (A BLINK OF THE SCREEN; his collected short stories), and while skimming the Preface by A. S. Byatt found a Tolkien reference in it. Basically in the process of praising Pratchett she brings in Tolkien's concept of secondary world, paraphrasing his idea approvingly. She follows this up by briefly discussing four fantasy writers: Tolkien, saying that she re-reads him for the landscape and sense of menace; J. K. Rowling, whom she would enjoy more if she didn't write about boarding school; C. S. Lewis, whom she finds too preachy; and Philip Pullman (who spends too much time writing against Lewis rather than doing his own thing).  An interesting little critique of British fantasy by a mainstream 'literary' voice, I thought.

--John R.
--current reading: LEWIS CARROLL by Michael Bakewell
--current viewing: TOP GEAR (guilty pleasure)

1 comment:

Thomas Hillman said...

You couldn't sound more like Byatt if you were doing an impression of her, just enough perception, just enough bite.