Thursday, 30 May 2013

Jack Vance has died

There is a human quality that cannot be precisely named: possibly the most noble of all human qualities. It includes but is larger than candor, generosity, comprehension, niceness of distinction, intensity, steadiness of purpose, total commitment. It is participation in all human perceptions, recollection of all human history. It is characteristic of every great creative genius and can never be learned: learning in this regard is bathos - the dissection of a butterfly, a spectroscope turned to the sunset, the psychoanalysis of a laughing girl. The attempt to learn is self-destructive; when erudition comes in, poetry departs. How common the man of intellect who cannot feel! How trifling are his judgments against those of the peasant who derives his strength, like Antaeus, from the emotional sediment of the race! Essentially the tastes and preferences of the intellectual elite, derived from learning, are false, doctrinaire, artificial, shrill, shallow, uncertain, eclectic, jejune and insincere.

Life, Volume IV by Unspiek, Baron Bodissey, quoted in The Killing Machine.

The Cadwal Chronicles

Fantasms & Magic

The Durdane series

Lurulu (review for The Zone)

A short profile (also written for The Zone)

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