Monday, August 15, 2016

Another Facebook post

Saw this in my coffee table book "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Fantasy" many years ago (right-hand picture).

At Miami Book Fair International in 2006, while at the CLMP's booth (Council of Literary Magazines and Presses), I found the short story collection (left-hand picture) by a press called Manic D. Press.
Bought @ Miami Book Fair Int'l 2006

I suddenly took to reading these short-short stories (some were as little as four-pages while others were up to the average 15-20 page short stories) and became mesmerized by this visual feast of words and creative imagery. The only time I read such beautiful stories - both grammatically and visually was when reading "The Arabian Nights".  

Ever since I began to read Lord Dunsany did research start to mention the countless authors both past and present owed to this man. What I learned was that the modern fantasy genre we credit to men such as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis could not have happened without Dunsany. He preceded both men and had even the great poet Yeats as a contemporary write highly of him.

There can never explain so much of speculative fiction's debt to him. There wasn't any of the fantasy or science fiction tropes we now expect and take for granted. Lord Dunsany created the language that did not exist. He created the tropes no one had. I spoke that Dunsany was the science fiction/fantasy writer's Shakespeare. Perhaps I speak too hastily. Perhaps there are Dunsany scholars out there that could analyze better what I speak so effusively as a fan. And yet, many of the authors I mention have been quoted that Lord Dunsany influenced them, inspired their writings, made them into the literary powerhouses we now look back with admiration.

However, there is no doubt in me that without Lord Dunsany, there would be no C.S. Lewis, no Tolkien, no H.P. Lovecraft, no Fritz Leiber, no Garth Nix, no Katherine Kerr, no Diane Wynne Jones, no Charles de Lint, no Rowling, pretty much modern fantasy may not have developed into the genre it is without Lord Dunsany...

*If you have the Aldiko e-book app, most of his short story collections are FREE. Lord Dunsany's works are also available through public domain. 

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