Who invented the modern fantasy genre?

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Fri Aug 20 14:40:55 EDT 2004

Charlie said...

> Not Tolkien, apparently, but Stephen Donaldson - at least according to
> article from the Bookseller:


Credited *by whom*, I ask.

Now, I admit I am biased here.  I read the first volume of the TC
Chronicles, and only finished it because I'd promised the person who lent it
to me that I would.  I thought it was terrible.  This was a good 15 years or
so ago, so I don't even remember *that* much about the book,
and...well...I'm probably not really qualified to comment.  But I'm going to
anyway. :-)

What really stuck in my mind was the sheer awful whininess of the main
character (TC himself).  He's a bit like Louis in "Interview with the
Vampire" in that respect.  He spent the entire damn' book feeling sorry for
himself and failing to think about anything outside of his own problems.  I
wanted to kick him.  A lot.  Very hard.

> (Seems SD is about to published the first volume of the last quartet of
> Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, after a 25-year gap.) I haven't read him -
> but I know some/most of you have. Did he add anything significant to the
> Middle-earth mix? Enough to credit him with the invention of a genre?

Hm.  He did the "person from the real world must save the fantasy land" - C.
S. Lewis, for one, did it a lot earlier.  He did the "protag is deeply
flawed and fucked up".  He did the "protag is a whiny creep".  Don't know if
those last two were done earlier, though I daresay you could argue that
various of Tolkien's characters could count as FAFU.

I'm sure Donaldson has had an influence on the genre - but more influence
than any other fantasy writer since Lord Dunsany?  I doubt it.


To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at suberic.net with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at http://suberic.net/dwj/list/

More information about the Dwj mailing list