Linkblogging For 23/11/10

I was going to re-start my Doctor Who From The Beginning posts today, but I’ve got a migraine, so you can expect my thoughts on The Aztecs tomorrow, along with possibly more Mozbats. For now, some links:

Lance Parkin is starting a series of posts on what he calls “The Gray Tradition” in literature – a group of writers which includes “Douglas Adams, Ballard, Iain Banks, Roberto Bolano, Borges, Michael Chabon, Junot Diaz, Phillip K Dick, Umberto Eco, Alisdair Gray, David Lindsay, CS Lewis, HP Lovecraft, David Mitchell, Michael Moorcock, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Philip Pullman, David Foster Wallace”

Millennium Dome on the aid to Ireland.

Colin at Too Busy Thinking About My Comics has just done a wonderful four-part series on All-Star Superman and Superman: Earth One, and why the former is infinitely superior. Parts one, two, three, four. I really don’t know how Colin does it, but he writes more than any three other comic bloggers put together, and finds more to say about really quite unpromising material than I could find in Ulysses… While the comics he covers are very different, he’s become as important a voice as Jog or Abhay or David Allison, as far as I’m concerned.

Bob Temuka also looks at comic characters from a moral perspective.

And The Aporetic on polling

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5 Responses to Linkblogging For 23/11/10

  1. Oh wow, okay, I am subscribing to Parkin’s blog RIGHT NOW given the list – hmm, I’m really interested in this ‘tradition’, reading the post – the list contains I think at least six of my favourite, absolute favourite writers ever ever.

    Although Adams is no longer one, I must say, but a necessity to read as a teen, I’m sure.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Yeah, Parkin’s work has always seemed to me to show a great deal of similarity to those writers (though closer to Adams than to Borges if you were to place them on a scale). I keep meaning to write about his Faction Paradox novel Warlords Of Utopia here.

      And I’ve gone off Adams myself in recent years, but he was such a huge influence on me growing up, he’d still make a ‘most important writers to me’ list…

      • Mike Taylor says:

        I think the quality of Douglas Adams’s writing often tends to be underrated precisely because it’s such fun to read that most of us first encounter and love it as pre-teens, hoover it all up, and move on to other material by the time our critical faculties are developing.

        But for sheer perfection in the choosing of words, Adams remains hard to beat: his books absolutely brim with throwaway gems — which of course is why they are so eminently quotable — in a way that is almost unique among prose writers; in fact, I can only think of one other novelist who produced anything similar, and that’s P. G. Wodehouse.

        The point of Adams is not really his outlandish plots (funny though they can be), but the simple delight of a perfectly turned phrase. “That is, there was just the one hat which he habitually wore, but he wore it with a passion that was rare in one so young”. “… currently trading under the name Gently for reasons which it would be otiose, for the moment, to rehearse” . And so on.

        I wonder whether, if you returned now to the Adams books you loved years ago, you’d have more appreciation for the seemingly effortless technique than you did then?

  2. >”While the comics he covers are very different, he’s become as important a voice as Jog or Abhay or David Allison, as far as I’m concerned.”

    Jesus, that’s some company to be put in! Uh, thanks Andrew. Not sure I belong there, but thanks!

    That Too Busy Thinking About My Comics chap is very tasty though, isn’t he? And he puts on such a feast – honestly, I feel like a very mean host in comparison…

    The Gray Tradition is very exciting to me as an idea, but then again I almost wrote a dissertation on the politics of postmodern revolution via Moore, Moorcock and The Invisibles, so the fact that Parkin says he’ll be writing about something roughly similar… well!

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      I wouldn’t have put you in that company if I didn’t believe you belonged there. You’re doing very different stuff from those two, of course, but your writing’s as *good* as theirs.

      And it’s not all about quantity, although the fact that Colin manages to produce *so much* good stuff amazes me.

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