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Loreina

[SG Faire: The Ogier] Old vs New Books

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Well said, Nightangel. And I am planning to add excerpts of the zombie version to my class for that very reason. :smile: I especially liked the part where Elizabeth imagines punching her silly, empty-headed younger sister Lydia. The Lydias of this world need punching. :dry:

 

"overwhelming Christian overtones"? Ok, now it is definitely moving up the reading list. I am intrigued. Celtic, Christian, Atlantian, Arthurian...that is some mix. :smile:

 

Well, the author is Christian, so that's part of it. It also makes sense in that he shows the arrival of the religion to the British Isles and how it impacts the culture/beliefs there, especially with how the Grail legends and Celtic myths became intermixed w/the Christian faith. It begins to bother me a bit later in the series though as some characters who, in my mind and in most mythologies, have old-world beliefs begin converting to Christianity, when for me personally I don't feel they would have. But as a lover of Atlantean myth and Arthurian legends, I do like that he manages to incorporate all of these things in a way that sounds plausible.

 

This brings up another old/new contrast with the old Arthurian tales, and newer takes on it such as Mists of Avalon, which is from the female's perspective.

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Nightangel, I enjoyed The Mists of Avalon very much. :smile: So, I am thinking I will like the Pendragon series too, though, as you said, it is disconcerting when an author takes characters we are accustomed to and makes them do things that don't correspond to our expectations. It sort of 'breaks the spell' the story weaves.

 

Ahmoondah, it does sound interesting!

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Nightangel, I enjoyed The Mists of Avalon very much. :smile: So, I am thinking I will like the Pendragon series too, though, as you said, it is disconcerting when an author takes characters we are accustomed to and makes them do things that don't correspond to our expectations. It sort of 'breaks the spell' the story weaves.

 

Ahmoondah, it does sound interesting!

 

I loved all of her Avalon books, I'm waiting for a copy of a book she wrote that takes place in Atlantis which is now out of print. And whiel I wait, I had to pick up a copy of Taliesin to re-read now!

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I did not know that about Ulysses and The Odyssey! *bows* Since you're a scholar in this field, (and we Ogier revere scholars you know!), would you point out some other pairs for us? *recites an old Ogier saying* We live to learn.

:smile:

 

Now I'm blushing. I'm only a scholar in training but thank you.

 

I don't do a lot with adaptations but I have a colleague who is doing an entire project on adaptions of medieval stories in modern fantasy novels. I skimmed her list and here are the ones that jumped out at me:

 

Beowulf and Gaiman's American Gods

 

Robin Hood legends and Beagle's The Last Unicorn, Roberson's Lady of the Forest

 

I haven't read any of Gaiman's stuff. Does anyone know if American Gods matches up with Beowulf?

 

Ar'tara

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I did not know that about Ulysses and The Odyssey! *bows* Since you're a scholar in this field, (and we Ogier revere scholars you know!), would you point out some other pairs for us? *recites an old Ogier saying* We live to learn.

:smile:

 

Now I'm blushing. I'm only a scholar in training but thank you.

 

I don't do a lot with adaptations but I have a colleague who is doing an entire project on adaptions of medieval stories in modern fantasy novels. I skimmed her list and here are the ones that jumped out at me:

 

Beowulf and Gaiman's American Gods

 

Robin Hood legends and Beagle's The Last Unicorn, Roberson's Lady of the Forest

 

I haven't read any of Gaiman's stuff. Does anyone know if American Gods matches up with Beowulf?

 

Ar'tara

 

It doesn't, not at all, except that (IIRC) Graendel shows up. Gaiman's works tend to stand on their own (though one reviewer said Good Omens was essentially "The Apocalypse as Done By Monty Python")

 

Joel Rosenberg's Guardians of the Flame series has books that intentionally riff on old books (with titles like "Not Exactly the Three Musketeers", "Not Quite Scaramouche" and "Not Really the Prisoner of Zenda")

 

Oh, and all of Terry Brooks' later Shanara novels were simply reworkings of the original series with thinly disguised "new" characters. Does that count? :biggrin:

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:laugh: No Kivam, I don't think rewriting his own stories counts.

 

Thank you Artara! No, they aren't modern retellings of the same old stories, which is what we started off talking about. But it is interesting how many ways authors use characters and creatures from myths, legends, and religions in their new stories, which is kinda what this thread has become. And that is just as interesting if not more so. :smile:

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Hehe I loved Good Omens, and the Terry Pratchett books in general, definitely a humorous take on the fantasy genre.

 

Another funny "fantasy" type sereis I read was Sir Appropos of Nothing, though I can't remember much about them other than that they were hilarious for poking fun at some of the fantasy tropes.

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I also kind of miss the language in older novels. Nowadays even in a book with medieval type settings the descriptions and dialogue just tend to be more modern. But I was reading some Victorian era novels recently and I love all the eloquence and rich vocabulary, words you just never even see in books anymore. I attribute my own rather large vocabulary to reading, so it makes me sad to think that there are less, well, words to discover in newer books.

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Me too, and though I don't miss the extremely long, convoluted sentences, I think they did play a part in training my working memory and concentration. And you are right; they were eloquent in a way that few modern writers are. :smile:

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I think the convoluted sentences of "old Books" is why my husband writes in these long, convoluted sentences in his writing for school.

He used to be a literature major, before he went into mythology, and when he writes, he uses these long sentences that are just shy of run-ons.

 

I have to keep remind him 'Read this stuff out loud. If you need to take a breath mid-sentence, re-write."

 

Taliesin was a good one.

 

And, speaking of Terry Pratchett, I love Hogfather.

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speaking of old novels with convoluted sentences, i just fininshed reading Our mutual Friend, by Charles Disckes, and i posted this on theoryland, but maybe it's not out of place here. it's part of the postscript of the book:

 

(um, and major spoiler, if anyone cares for a book this old)

 

***********************************************************

 

"When I devised this story, I foresaw the likelihood that a class of readers and commentators would suppose that I was at great pains to conceal exactly what I was at great pains to suggest: namely, that Mr John Harmon was not slain, and that Mr John Rokesmith was he. Pleasing myself with the idea that the supposition might in part arise out of some ingenuity in the story, and thinking it

worth while, in the interests of art, to hint to an audience that an artist (of whatever denomination) may perhaps be trusted to know

what he is about in his vocation, if they will concede him a little patience, I was not alarmed by the anticipation.

 

"To keep for a long time unsuspected, yet always working itself out, another purpose originating in that leading incident, and turning it

to a pleasant and useful account at last, was at once the most interesting and the most difficult part of my design. Its difficulty was much enhanced by the mode of publication; for, it would be very unreasonable to expect that many readers, pursuing a story in portions from month to month through nineteen months, will, until they have it before them complete, perceive the relations of its finer threads to the whole pattern which is always before the eyes of the story-weaver at his loom. . . ."

 

 

************************************************************

 

i think this really shines a light on the level of influence that old masters like dickens had over RJ and the WOT, at the very least.

Edited by cindy

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Cindy, I think you are right about that, and as soon as I started to read that last bit about how the readers had to read the story in pieces spread out over 19 months I immediately thought about WoT too! Except we have had to wait 19+ years... :rolleyes:

Edited by Loreina

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if you've read the book, you can definitely see the threads being woven. i think it's an idea RJ expanded on exponentially, instead of weaving a few dozen threads he wove a few thousand, and as you point out, over decades instead of many months. dickens would have loved that, i believe. austen does very similar interwoven threads of concealment and suggestion, especially in emma, her best to me, but i haven't read her use those specific thread/pattern words about it.

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*lolez*

 

News flash for anyone who owns a Kindle and is interested in trying Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Amazon is selling it for 99 cents (or 71 pence). :rolleyes:

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