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Essays discuss Ellison's relationship with the science fiction and fantasy community, his sense that mainstream critics slighted his work, his easy postmodern accommodation of popular culture references and images, and his ambiguous standing in the literary establishment. Also included is a comparison of Ellison's vision of dystopian hell with that of Cormac McCarthy's, and an examination of the underlying mythological and psychological themes of Ellison's works.… (mere)
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I think it is quite obvious that any book of critical essays about an author has to be of interest only to the people who wrote the book, other academics, and the fans of the author. (Okay, maybe the author’s enemies, too.) So, it is similarly obvious that I would only recommend this to fans (and academics.) However, to the fan (and I should quickly add, not the casual fan) it is an interesting, deep look into the fiction of Harlan Ellison.

I won’t go into what is contained herein. It is heavy in academic-speak. I also began to wonder if they recognized there was anything beyond “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” and “A Boy and His Dog” that could be reviewed. But, eventually other stories make themselves known. And, while I cannot find the references now (no matter how hard I have dug), I know there were at least two or three instances where I became angry at what I believe to be incorrect (blatantly incorrect) information.

It takes a certain mindset to enjoy this kind of book. And I’m not sure I have that kind of mindset. Which means, to say I “enjoyed” it would be overstating the fact. However, I did find it fascinating and it will add a new layer of understanding the next time I go back and read Ellison. ( )
  figre | Jul 5, 2012 |
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Essays discuss Ellison's relationship with the science fiction and fantasy community, his sense that mainstream critics slighted his work, his easy postmodern accommodation of popular culture references and images, and his ambiguous standing in the literary establishment. Also included is a comparison of Ellison's vision of dystopian hell with that of Cormac McCarthy's, and an examination of the underlying mythological and psychological themes of Ellison's works.

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