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Old 07-27-2017   #11
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Re: Pleasant Tales - Brendan Connell

Quote Originally Posted by xylokopos View Post
Lewis Carroll is pleasantly weird, but not always. Paul Willems comes to mind, there are strong elements of nostalgia and wish fulfillment in his tales, which are achingly pleasant. Michael Ende, for sure. Contrary to Ligotti's assessment, I don't find Schulz systematically unpleasant - there is a sense of lethargic wonder in some of his tales. After this, I am drawing a blank. Symbolists, Decadents, German Expressionists, the rest of the Belgian School, the new Weird, all of that is unpleasant at core.
The Pleasant does not actually contain any antecedents, so the stories in this book are in fact more pleasant than anything produced by the writers mentioned above. I am going through the final revisions of PTII now and I am trying to make it even more mild than Connell's book although it is certainly a difficult task. At the moment it is the final word.
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Old 07-27-2017   #12
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Re: Pleasant Tales - Brendan Connell

Having attempted The Pleasant on many occasions, I can confirm it's much harder than it looks!

"As the Director of one of the five greatest museums in our Eastern States has more than once remarked to me, From the Stone Age until now, what a decline!" - Ananda Coomaraswamy
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Old 07-27-2017   #13
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Re: Pleasant Tales - Brendan Connell

Quoth Morrissey: "It's so easy to laugh, it's so easy to hate, it takes strength to be pleasant and blithe."

"As the Director of one of the five greatest museums in our Eastern States has more than once remarked to me, From the Stone Age until now, what a decline!" - Ananda Coomaraswamy
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Old 07-27-2017   #14
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Re: Pleasant Tales - Brendan Connell

It sounds intriguing. But what is meant by "pleasant?" If it's about a sort of childlike wonder, then I'm all in.

I'm usually cautious about new paradigms, but I just might check this out.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 07-29-2017   #15
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Re: Pleasant Tales - Brendan Connell

Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Veech View Post
It sounds intriguing. But what is meant by "pleasant?" If it's about a sort of childlike wonder, then I'm all in.
I don't think it's child-like, though there is maybe a certain innocence about the characters. A kind of hazed, almost automata- or puppet-like innocence as they live their unquestioning lives, while behind them lies an extremely knowing author. I'm also not sure it's a paradigm as such, more an aesthetic the author is playing with. The 'pleasant' is there in the colourscheme of the stories - a palette of vivid familiar colours that sit on you with slightly unnerving weight. The distilled essence of a glossy, mundane and sometimes odd world, knowingly presented in a kind of literary art gallery. There's a hint of irony in the title, even subversion, only not directly - more in the sense of presenting portraits, slices of life and odd occurrences and allowing us to realise just how strange they are.
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Old 08-02-2017   #16
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Re: Pleasant Tales - Brendan Connell

2pleasant4me


This is my life. This is my damnation. This is my only regret--that I ever was born.

-- Swans, "Beautiful Child"
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Old 08-03-2017   #17
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Re: Pleasant Tales - Brendan Connell

Quote Originally Posted by Eibonvale View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Veech View Post
It sounds intriguing. But what is meant by "pleasant?" If it's about a sort of childlike wonder, then I'm all in.
I don't think it's child-like, though there is maybe a certain innocence about the characters. A kind of hazed, almost automata- or puppet-like innocence as they live their unquestioning lives, while behind them lies an extremely knowing author. I'm also not sure it's a paradigm as such, more an aesthetic the author is playing with. The 'pleasant' is there in the colourscheme of the stories - a palette of vivid familiar colours that sit on you with slightly unnerving weight. The distilled essence of a glossy, mundane and sometimes odd world, knowingly presented in a kind of literary art gallery. There's a hint of irony in the title, even subversion, only not directly - more in the sense of presenting portraits, slices of life and odd occurrences and allowing us to realise just how strange they are.
Ah, I see. I wasn't using "childlike" in a pejorative sense, though I'm sure you knew that.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #18
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Re: Pleasant Tales - Brendan Connell

Here is the "First Manifesto of the Pleasant" that Justin Isis and I wrote. He is calling it "The Vow of Chasity":

1. Conflict is a vulgar engine. Minimize it!

2. Restraint is good. Vulgarity is not so good. Restraint is pleasant; vulgarity is not. Whoever uses proper diction is sweet. Everyone likes to walk around in an empty house.

3. The tale must emphasize the absolute certainty and security enjoyed by human beings in our well-lighted universe.

4. The tale must not contain explicit sexual or violent content that would render it unsuitable for juvenile and/or particularly sensitive readers. Gratuitous scenes of horses being disciplined with rods are particularly unwelcome, as are scenes involving the consumption of insects for dietary protein.

5. Just as the peach blossom sheds its flesh-colored petals, so should the author shed their desire to incite lust and other untoward feelings in the reader. The peach petal can never be put back on the blossom once it has fallen.

6. Beach parties and walks in the park are particularly pertinent themes for the Pleasant. A Hawaiian atmosphere is also welcome whenever possible.

7. Enlightened and wise individuals refrain from wearing sandals and socks. In the same manner, the writer of Pleasant tales never adds long-winded discourse to their lightness of touch.

8. People worry. It is the duty of the Pleasant to offer some respite from life’s rough handling. We blow the pipes and strike the bells, drowning out untoward ringtones and the offensive accents of aged Valley girls.

9. The characters must not be placed in threatening or unpleasant situations. The writer is not a sociopath out to recklessly endanger the characters for the puerile entertainment of "the Reader."

10. Unpleasant situations are okay! Let’s not fight about this. The important thing is RESOLUTION! We are all sentient beings who need to understand one another, even if it means raising our voices. IT IS OKAY TO ARGUE!
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #19
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Re: Pleasant Tales - Brendan Connell

Why is explicit sex and lust deemed unpleasant?

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #20
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Re: Pleasant Tales - Brendan Connell

It's a noble goal but personally I couldn't write anything that fell under these criteria. Mainly because I tend to find existence itself a threatening and unpleasant situation.

I also like writing explicit sex scenes. Just because I never have sex in real life doesn't mean my fictional creations should suffer the same fate!

"The Outsider must find a direction and commit himself to it, not lie moping about the meaninglessness of the world."
-Colin Wilson, Religion and the Rebel
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