(urth) SRD on obscurity

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes danldo at gmail.com
Fri Jun 9 15:52:32 PDT 2006

On 6/9/06, Daniel D Jones <ddjones at riddlemaster.org> wrote:
> > No ... I don't mean Samuel R. Delany, but a writer many on
> > this list probably disdain, Stephen R. Donaldson.
> Why would you assume that many here disdain him?


I'd better explain that. I don't mean that this is a particularly
disdainful group of readers/fans. But Donaldson has come
in for a great deal of disdain over the years, partially of the
"Covenant is a horrible character" variety -- which I don't
suppose would particularly faze Wolfe's readers! -- but
also of Donaldson's _prose_, which is a lot harder to defend.

Donaldson is a very conscious stylist, who deliberately
chose a very unpleasant and (frankly) offputting style for the
Covenant books. I don't mean his use of "big woids," which,
again, ought not to bother Lupines, but the thudding rhythms,
especially of the first trilogy. Until I read some non-Covenant
work of his, I thought of him as "a conscioius, and
conscientious, stylist with a tin ear." (In fact, even the new
Covenant book is much better-written than the old books:
it's the same basic style, but handled much more deftly.
Donaldson has become a much better writer.)

At any rate, you have but to mention his name in most
fannish contexts to get people urgghing, which I think a
pity: he brought something desparately needed to the
fantasy market.


Dan'l Danehy-Oakes, writer, trainer, bon vivant

"One o'th'flay-rods gone out o'skew on th'treadle."

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