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Old 09-21-2017   #141
Robert Adam Gilmour
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Re: Aickman's Philosophy

The reason was already given. But it is funny to imagine someone would be so offended by Sutherland.

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Old 09-21-2017   #142
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Re: Aickman's Philosophy

Quote Originally Posted by Robert Adam Gilmour View Post
... it is funny to imagine someone would be so offended by Sutherland.
It sure is! But then Aickman wasn't your regular guy out in the street.
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Old 09-21-2017   #143
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Re: Aickman's Philosophy

Quote Originally Posted by cannibal cop View Post

I don't believe that burial or obfuscation was the point at all.
Thank you for making me see that i have not made myself clear. Let me try again. I had assumed we were talking of Aickman's technique & i do think that is the aim of his technique: to not foreground the weird as other writers might. The point of his stories may be a thousand different things, some of which the author may not even be aware of, but the conscious effort, the technique, is focused on the obfuscation, or the sleight-of-hand, i do think.

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Old 09-22-2017   #144
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Re: Aickman's Philosophy

Joanna Russ said it best: Aickman's tecnnique was simply leaving out the parts that would make sense of it all.

She was a fine and insightful critic but I do think she didn't fully give Aickman his due. She liked him much better when she thought he was a woman (really).

I'll bet Ramsey remembers that.
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Old 09-24-2017   #145
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Re: Aickman's Philosophy

Quote Originally Posted by Ibrahim View Post
Thank you for making me see that i have not made myself clear. Let me try again. I had assumed we were talking of Aickman's technique & i do think that is the aim of his technique: to not foreground the weird as other writers might. The point of his stories may be a thousand different things, some of which the author may not even be aware of, but the conscious effort, the technique, is focused on the obfuscation, or the sleight-of-hand, i do think.
According to Aickman himself, his stories were not consciously composed but rather almost entirely dictated by his subconscious. I see no reason to dispute this. Nothing about his s stories has ever struck me as contrived or formulaic, but I suppose if one reads deeply enough into anything it is possible to infer patterns that may or may not exist.

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Old 09-24-2017   #146
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Re: Aickman's Philosophy

Quote Originally Posted by cannibal cop View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Ibrahim View Post
Thank you for making me see that i have not made myself clear. Let me try again. I had assumed we were talking of Aickman's technique & i do think that is the aim of his technique: to not foreground the weird as other writers might. The point of his stories may be a thousand different things, some of which the author may not even be aware of, but the conscious effort, the technique, is focused on the obfuscation, or the sleight-of-hand, i do think.
According to Aickman himself, his stories were not consciously composed but rather almost entirely dictated by his subconscious. I see no reason to dispute this. Nothing about his s stories has ever struck me as contrived or formulaic, but I suppose if one reads deeply enough into anything it is possible to infer patterns that may or may not exist.
I am quite ready to dispute anything any author asserts about his or her own work. Wm. Blake, who remains one of my most cherished artists & authors, claimed to write from dictation, yet his manuscripts feature line upon crossed-out line, rewritten and rearranged.

Plus i know from experience that even the editing can feel 'dictated' if one is in the midst of the rush and whirl of composition.

There is nothing 'contrived' about technique.

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Old 09-24-2017   #147
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Re: Aickman's Philosophy

Quote Originally Posted by Druidic View Post
Joanna Russ said it best: Aickman's tecnnique was simply leaving out the parts that would make sense of it all.

She was a fine and insightful critic but I do think she didn't fully give Aickman his due. She liked him much better when she thought he was a woman (really).
Fine and insightful, eh? I guess I have to take your word for it, Druidic.

Maybe it's too much exposure to the internet in recent years, but I'm starting to believe the purpose of the professional critic isn't about judging quality from a basis of sound technical understanding and experience, or even simply expressing a genuine, rounded response to the work under scrutiny, but rather the ability to provide long-winded, self-important, self-righteous diatribes of any political persuasion on demand as the occasion requires, with an ample serving of smug snark mixed in for "entertainment value" (or what currently passes for it, anyway).

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Old 09-24-2017   #148
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Re: Aickman's Philosophy

Yes, Cannibal, Russ was a good critic. She had the occasional mean streak (as Colin Wilson and others discovered-- but what critic doesn't?) but her judgments were usually solid. I loved how she brought Damon Knight to bitter tears with her appreciation of Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness"..

But she was human and I think her bias tripped her up on Aickman. Aickman was a still living 'enemy'; Lovecraft was a long dead genius.

Interestingly, her radical political beliefs never interfered with her enjoyment of HPL, as it did with Tolkien. She was a self-described "Lovecraft nut " in a time when most SF critics disparaged the Gentleman. She loved "The Shadow Over Innsmouth."

If you want to read a good SF novel check out Russ' "Picnic on Paradise". I never cared for her other novels that much--though I read them all and they have their moments-- but I loved her short stories, all of 'em. "Souls" was magnificent.

Does anyone here remember Jo Russ?

Dear God.

Last edited by Druidic; 09-24-2017 at 03:19 PM..
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