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Old 09-06-2014   #81
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

Quote Originally Posted by brendanconnell View Post
I think stylistic merits would be the most interesting. But "of my choosing". I have not read a great deal of Mashima, but have not liked what I have read. I think however that Justin has read a good bit and might be willing to take up the gauntlet.
Mishima wasn't really a Buddhist! He was a Shintoist ... !

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Old 09-06-2014   #82
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

Having said that, I don't know a damn thing about Ernest Hello. So I'd better find out! Thanks for the tip.

On which note, I'll call it a day.

Mark S.

"You have no idea how much nastier I'd be if I were not a Catholic. Without supernatural aid I would hardly be a human being." Evelyn Waugh
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Old 09-06-2014   #83
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

None of my Hello books are in English, so I will have to translate I guess. My current level of sobriety does not invite accurate translation. But Huysmans thought very highly of Hello. He is one of the few French writers he genuinely admired. Hello's work is very Catholic. His name also has a friendly ring to it. He wrote quite a bit of non-fiction, and a good number of strange tales. He is the only person I know of who has consistently written strange short tales that are absolutely Catholic. In the sense that they actually deal on some level with Catholicism. Some short story titles: “Memoires of a Bat”, “Cain, what did you do to your brother?”, “The Nocturnal Washerwoman”. Some of his non-fiction books : "Physiognomy of Saints", "The Century and the Centuries", "Man".
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Old 09-06-2014   #84
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

I quote Huysmans on Hello: "A single volume remained on a shelf, within reach of his hand. It was the Homme of Ernest Hello. This writer was the absolute opposite of his religious confederates. Almost isolated among the pious group terrified by his conduct, Ernest Hello had ended by abandoning the open road that led from earth to heaven. Probably disgusted by the dullness of the journey and the noisy mob of those pilgrims of letters who for centuries followed one after the other upon the same highway, marching in each other's steps, stopping at the same places to exchange the same commonplace remarks on religion, on the Church Fathers, on their similar beliefs, on their common masters, he had departed through the byways to wander in the gloomy glade of Pascal, where he tarried long to recover his breath before continuing on his way and going even farther in the regions of human thought than the Jansenist, whom he derided. Tortuous and precious, doctoral and complex, Hello, by the piercing cunning of his analysis, recalled to Des Esseintes the sharp, probing investigations of some of the infidel psychologists of the preceding and present century. In him was a sort of Catholic Duranty, but more dogmatic and penetrating, an experienced manipulation of the magnifying glass, a sophisticated engineer of the soul, a skillful watchmaker of the brain, delighting to examine the mechanism of a passion and elucidate it by details of the wheel work. In this oddly formed mind existed unsurmised relationships of thoughts, harmonies and oppositions; furthermore, he affected a wholly novel manner of action which used the etymology of words as a spring-board for ideas whose associations sometimes became tenuous, but which almost constantly remained ingenious and sparkling. Thus, despite the awkwardness of his structure, he dissected with a singular perspicacity, the Avare, "the ordinary man," and "the passion of unhappiness," revealing meanwhile interesting comparisons which could be constructed between the operations of photography and of memory. But such skill in handling this perfected instrument of analysis, stolen from the enemies of the Church, represented only one of the temperamental phases of this man. Still another existed. This mind divided itself in two parts and revealed, besides the writer, the religious fanatic and Biblical prophet. Like Hugo, whom he now and again recalled in distortions of phrases and words, Ernest Hello had delighted in imitating Saint John of Patmos. He pontificated and vaticinated from his retreat in the rue Saint-Sulpice, haranguing the reader with an apocalyptic language partaking in spots of the bitterness of an Isaiah. He affected inordinate pretentions of profundity. There were some fawning and complacent people who pretended to consider him a great man, the reservoir of learning, the encyclopedic giant of the age. Perhaps he was a well, but one at whose bottom one often could not find a drop of water. In his volume Paroles de Dieu, he paraphrased the Holy Scriptures, endeavoring to complicate their ordinarily obvious sense. In his other book Homme, and in his brochure le Jour du Seigneur, written in a biblical style, rugged and obscure, he sought to appear like a vengeful apostle, prideful and tormented with spleen, but showed himself a deacon touched with a mystic epilepsy, or like a talented Maistre, a surly and bitter sectarian."
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Old 09-07-2014   #85
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

Have any of Bloy's books been translated into English? I've never seen any. I really wish I knew how to read French because there are so many 19th-century writers associated with the French Decadent movement that haven't had all of their books translated into English. Jean Lorrain comes to mind. I loved his novel Monsieur de Phocas (which Dedalus did an English translation of some years ago), but as far as I know none of his other books have been translated.
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Old 09-07-2014   #86
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

Quote Originally Posted by Druidic View Post
Lovecraft's legacy certainly doesn't depend on an award given out to writers I mostly consider irrelevant. A bust of Dean R. Koontz should solve the problem nicely.
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Old 09-07-2014   #87
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

Quote Originally Posted by Justin Isis View Post
Current society isn't much different from the Victorians...ask anyone who has failed a job interview because of the wrong pictures of them coming up on Google...in some respects it is worse than the 19th century.
That is very true. I've been calling it the "media puritanism" but it's just middle-class prudishness rearing its ugly head once more.
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Old 09-07-2014   #88
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

Quote Originally Posted by Frater_Tsalal View Post
Have any of Bloy's books been translated into English? I've never seen any. I really wish I knew how to read French because there are so many 19th-century writers associated with the French Decadent movement that haven't had all of their books translated into English. Jean Lorrain comes to mind. I loved his novel Monsieur de Phocas (which Dedalus did an English translation of some years ago), but as far as I know none of his other books have been translated.
Leon Bloy's Disagreeable Tales is coming out from Wakefield Press soon, or so they say. Here's what their website says:


Disagreeable Tales
Léon Bloy
Translated, with an introduction, by Erik Butler

Tales of theft, incest, murder, and cruelty from the “ungrateful beggar” and “pilgrim of the absolute,” Léon Bloy. Disagreeable Tales, first published in French in 1894, collects Bloy’s sermons from the depths: a cauldron of frightful anecdotes and inspired misanthropy that represents a highpoint of the French decadent movement and the most emblematic entry into the library of the “Cruel Tale” christened by Villiers de l’Isle-Adam. Said Franz Kafka: “[H]is fire is nurtured by the dung-heap of modern times.”
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Old 09-07-2014   #89
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

I seem to recall seeing a book of Bloy's in English in the Brooklyn Library, sometime around 1992-93... I mean, if my memory is correct. Brian Stableford once sent me a story he translated. Not sure if it was ever published. As for Lorrain, Stableford translated a whole collection that Tartarus put out. Unfortunately Tartarus has not put out other similar books. I have other books of his that are not in English. My favorite Lorrain material I have not seen translated. On a someone on topic note, Lorrain also did write a novel that I would call anti-Semitic called "L'Aryenne" - it also is the weakest of his work that I have read. His best work is probably his short stories though, which are really marvelous. I believe he wrote around twenty collections - though some of them are quite short.
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Old 09-07-2014   #90
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Re: Octavia E. Butler against Lovecraft (World Fantasy Award).

Ah, you said Bloy, not Hello. Not sure about the book mentioned, but I do believe that Stableford translated Histoires désobligeantes which is in the hands of Heiroglyphic Press. The one thing however is the book doesn't seem to be quite the same as its French counterpart, in that some stories from other collections are added. Maybe also some are left out, I am not sure. There is also a novel "The Woman Who Was Poor" which was translated. I read that translation a long, long time ago and don't think it was all that great. Most of his output was non-fiction, and he wrote a great deal of it, though I am unsure if anything is in English. I vaguely recall there being a book titled "Quest for the Absolute".
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