Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Serendipity

A rather amusing coincidence of posting is occurring over The Cimmerian, a blog you ought to be reading in any case.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the pointer to that. A very enjoyable read. “a clash of symbols” Beautiful!

    My memory fails me, have you addressed the role of Elric as source material for D&D? As I understand it, Moorcock was going for an opposite of both Tolkien and Howard. Do you place it within or without the pulp fantasy that informs D&D?

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  2. My memory fails me, have you addressed the role of Elric as source material for D&D? As I understand it, Moorcock was going for an opposite of both Tolkien and Howard. Do you place it within or without the pulp fantasy that informs D&D?

    I haven't talked a lot about Elric, because, truth be told, I'm not a huge fan of Moorcock. His influence over D&D is real, though it's less than people suppose (Law vs. Chaos is really from Anderson, which Moorcock himself admits).

    I'd say that the "Eternal Champion" stories are certainly part of the pulp fantasy tradition, though they're also a negative commentary upon it, so they occupy an unusual place.

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  3. That's a really nicely written piece, and suitably unafraid to be over-the-top. Somehow I'd never connected Bowie with Elric, but it makes perfect sense that he'd be into Moorcock.

    It strikes me that Bowie's enthusiastic patchworking of alterna-culture elements might have something in common with the Gygaxian gumbo: there's something only-half-amalgamated about the product that seems to promise more than a full synthesis - it's like looking at someone's notes, rather than their novel; you can see what they're doing eternally suspended on the crux of coming into being (and, critically for open game design purposes, fill in the gaps yourself). I used to think Bowie was like a fashion designer in the pop world, mining whatever he could from the current moment and re-presenting it, sans serial numbers, as his own unique synthesis. Now I'm starting to think his impatience might have been the key to his success: he could be all things to all fans because he never quite arrived at any decisions or definitive statements.

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