Thursday, July 16, 2009

Jack Vance in the New York Times

And it's not his obituary, thank god. The NYT Mag actually has a writeup on Vance, born in 1916 and the last great writer of his great generation. Pretty good, especially in that it actually quotes a bit of his work:
‘I can resolve your perplexity,’ said Fianosther. ‘Your booth occupies the site of the old gibbet, and has absorbed unlucky essences. But I thought to notice you examining the manner in which the timbers of my booth are joined. You will obtain a better view from within, but first I must shorten the chain of the captive erb which roams the premises during the night.’

‘No need,’ said Cugel. ‘My interest was cursory.’
This of course when Cugel is casing the booth. I also liked the author's imagined interview with Vance:
I tried to banish the irrational expectation that Vance and I would exchange Vancian dialogue. Me: “Why did you persist in writing hurlothrumbo romances of the footling sort favored by mooncalfs?” Him: “The question is nuncupatory. I grow weary of your importunities. Begone.”
(Via Bookslut, which in other news tells us, "Raymond Chandler had a cameo in the 1944 film Double Indemnity — and nobody noticed for 65 years." Hidden in plain sight, reading a book.)

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