Who invented the modern fantasy genre?

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Fri Aug 20 19:11:42 EDT 2004

On Fri, 20 Aug 2004 18:06:00 -0400 (EDT), deborah.dwj at suberic.net wrote:

>Do *any* of us like Donaldson?  Since I live with two Donaldson fans,
>I'm now wondering if there's something about DWJ fans which makes us
>dislike Donaldson.

I liked the first Thomas Covenant trilogy.  It acted as an antidote to much
of the quest fantasy I had already read, which wasn't exactly bad, just full
of unexamined assumptions.  I never really understood why Covenant wouldn't
believe in the world he found himself in, but I was quite young at the time
and he makes a little more sense now (though he is still an unrelieved
whiner and jerk of the first water).  My main interest was in the world and
the supporting cast, most of whom are noble, compassionate, emotionally
engaged in the struggle to save the world, and who put up with Covenant for
inexplicable reasons.  I think it was by contrast with the antihero that I
learned to appreciate all those virtues, particularly the ones that say some
things are more important than vengeance.  The giant--I don't remember his
name, it's been too long, but I was more than a little in love with him and
I couldn't bear it when he died.

The second trilogy caught my attention for purely intellectual reasons, and
I didn't stay interested very long--I either didn't finish it or cruised
through the final volume without really processing it.  My memory is that
Covenant gains some form of redemption at the end, so the idea that there is
more to be told in his story seems odd to me.

Stephen Donaldson remains one of those writers whose works have an
overwhelming visual component for me.  The poisonous green of evil magic,
the argent fire of the white gold ring--the images shaped the story for me,
and that's more or less what I've retained from that series.

Melissa Proffitt

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