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Changes in Blaylock's writing over the years (Read 15485 times)
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Re: Changes in Blaylock's writing over the years
Reply #15 - 24. Dec 2003 at 19:35
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[quote author=Mike  link=1068828636/0#14 date=1072291339]I hope I'm not offending anyone, but as a monotheist... [/quote]
I imagine the implication that polytheists approve of profanity might offend polytheists...
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Jake Squid
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Re: Changes in Blaylock's writing over the years
Reply #16 - 09. Jan 2004 at 00:57
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[quote author=Forum Administrator  link=1068828636/0#5 date=1068929291] In All the Bells on Earth, for example, Walt Stebbins seemed to me to be a vestigial sort of Andrew Vanbergen: one lacking the enthusiasm needed to changed the course of events. [/quote]

That's true.  But it's true that you find Andrew in nearly every Blaylock story.  The villain in Winter Tides, the protaganist in the Rainy Season, the protaganist in Night Relics.  Also in RS you will find Mrs. Gummidge to be present.  To some extent Andrew is Jeremy Bing, cheesemaker from Balumnia.  I can't be the only one who has noticed this.  And, really, many authors do the same thing.  I still find Andrew as Winter Tides villain to be very, very creepy
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Mike
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Re: Changes in Blaylock's writing over the years
Reply #17 - 20. Jan 2004 at 04:11
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[quote author=Jake Squid  link=1068828636/15#16 date=1073620675]...To some extent Andrew is Jeremy Bing, cheesemaker from Balumnia...  
[/quote]

Not to get too technical, but...it's Jonathan Bing, and he's not from Bulamnia, he merely visited it on one occasion.
 
In response to the previous point, I never meant to imply that polytheists, as a rule, approve of any sort of foul language, merely that most monotheists are supposed to dissaprove of it.
 
The reason for my concern is that, while I'm not capable or entitled in any way of judging Mr. Blaylock, I can't help but notice that his writings may indicate a "slipping away" from the values which he seemed to have held when he produced his earlier work.  While his relationship with God, admittedly, is none of my business, this sort of trend would generally be seen as a "bad sign".  At the same time, it is quite possible that he was not aware of this discrepancy, and that a gentle reminder might actually be welcomed.  
 
This leads us to wonder whether there's an assumption on my part that Mr. Blaylock is carefully following what's written in this discussion board.
Hmmm...I'm not sure I should say any more at this point.
 
Mike
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W. Chris Smith
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Re: Changes in Blaylock's writing over the years
Reply #18 - 25. Jan 2004 at 02:57
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Now, you haven't offended, but to accuse him of being a "potty mouth" is rather off-base in my book.

It's pretty nigh impossible to exist in modern America without being exposed to the curse-words brought to common usage by popular culture.

So, anyone writing a book set in the contemporary millieu is going to be aware of this, and some of their characters just might speak in that fashion.

Blaylock's writing has changed in a couple of key ways over the years.  His early writing was much more humorous, fantastical, and tended more often to be set in a reality that bears little to know relation to the real world.

Over time, he became more serious in his novels, and the themes of moral self-examination seemed to increase, while the settings moved into the real world.

As his stories are now set in the real world, it's not unreasonable to expect that some of his characters may speak as people commonly do today.

That having been said, he's never resorted to any sort of gratuitous sex or violence, so amongst contemporary writers I think you can feel some level of safe expectation that you won't be needlessly dragged through the gutter.  I can only recall one (abortive) sex scene in his writing, and that was in a short story and was a highly funny and charming moment in the life of a married couple.

With so many of today's books and movies having what I call scenes of gratuitous sex and violence, where such scenes or so much /lingering/ upon them are totally unnecessary, Blaylock's work remains dedicated to propelling the story much more professionally without resorting to that.

So, I don't think you can reasonably expect him to write as he did 20+ years ago, and I'm a little surprised that you find any cause to be overly disturbed at his more recent writing.

I'd respectfully suggest that you might be better served by shopping for books in inspirational book stores, or in the juvenile section.  (I'm not saying that to be insulting or anything -- indeed, at times I read juveniles such as one I read a few weeks back by Joyce Carol Oates.)

W. Chris Smith
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Jim Henry
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Re: Changes in Blaylock's writing over the years
Reply #19 - 10. Feb 2004 at 18:58
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It seems to me that Blaylock has gradually gone from writing comedy with scary bits, to writing tragedy with funny bits.  Both are good, though the latter is not as much fun.  It's similar to the transition Dickens went through from _The Pickwick Papers_ to _Bleak House_.

It also seems to me that the later works - I'm thinking especially of _All the Bells on Earth_, _Winter Tides_, and _The Rainy Season_ - are more moral, or religious, or what have you, than most of the earlier works.  To focus on the fact that some characters in the later books swear is to miss the overall moral structure of the stories.

I may post more after I have re-read more.  Most of the later books I've only read once yet, and my second or third readings of the earlier ones are some time ago now.
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Mike
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Re: Changes in Blaylock's writing over the years
Reply #20 - 02. Mar 2004 at 05:07
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Thanks for the suggestion,
   I just finished Dora the Explorer's "Count with Dora" and wow, I didn't get offended at all.  

  Okay, maybe I was exagerating slightly with my use of the phrase "Potty Mouth", and certainly, Blaylock is still more readable than most of the stuff out there.  But his more recent use of four letter words, and some sexual content is definitely one of the 'changes in Blaylock's writing over the years'.

  And am I wrong to wish that the Elfin Ship had another five to ten sequals?

Mike
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Jeff M.
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Re: Changes in Blaylock's writing over the years
Reply #21 - 03. Mar 2004 at 15:01
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Personally, I'd would love nothing more than a half-dozen more adventures along the river and beyond.  Although I haven't given up hope, I fear that genre just isn't Mr. Blaylocks bag anymore.
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"He'd worked his way through half of G. Smithers, having long ago come to the conclusion that reading is perhaps the finest thing in the world to do in one's leisure time."
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Dave M
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Re: Changes in Blaylock's writing over the years
Reply #22 - 13. May 2005 at 21:25
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My 1st Blaylock was Night Relics. I liked it so much, my 1st AOL screen name was NightRelic. I figured I'd be the ghost in the machine. The Last Coin is another of my favorites. For people having trouble getting into the new stuff, I think Night Relics is a good bridge from Last Coin to the newer stuff. I had no problem going backwards and forwards from it, though I still haven't gotten into the Balumnia books. I bought The Man in the Moon about 6 months ago, read 1/2, put it down and haven't gotten back to it. Maybe I'll pick it up after I'm done with The Iron Heel.
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M. R. Nolan
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Re: Changes in Blaylock's writing over the years
Reply #23 - 27. May 2005 at 23:32
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I'm just a newbie to Blaylock & all I've read so far are The Elfin Ship, The Disappearring Dwarf, The Stone Giant , The Digging Leviathan & I just started Land of Dreams.
The Balumnia books were good but I should have read them 35 years ago when I was in junior high.
I'm older now - I like my books a little more complex.
Then I hit Leviathan & it was just crazy. That book I loved.
And Land of Dreams is good so far.
Trying to go somewhat in chronological order.
My guess is I will prefer his newer stuff.
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terrible_twos
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changes
Reply #24 - 13. Dec 2005 at 09:48
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I think that the change in his writting over the years is profound.  Not to over anayize things, but it appears that there has been a creeping sense of pessimism; of people trapped in the mundane, hopeing to find a spark of "otherness" hidden in the cracks of their everyday life.  Case in point, in his earlier novels, esp the Twombly town trilogy, his charaters inhabited a magical land, so being surrounded by the wonderful was commonplace. In later novels, like "all the bells", Stebbins hides in a shed of childhood wonders, leaving his loving but wistfully bemused wife in the house. It should be noted that even the Giants novel, Escargot is reflects this self doubting character who is frequently misunderstood. What remains constant, however, is Blaylocks consistantly evocative prose.  His ablility to draw the mysical from the mundane, as well as to focus on comfort foods of life is quite commendable. This is just my humble opinion... Smiley
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crumblydonut
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Re: Changes in Blaylock's writing over the years
Reply #25 - 28. Apr 2006 at 23:08
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Mr. Two has it pegged, I  think.

My intro to Blaylock came via a chance gift by my Grandfather. I think he just picked The Elfin Ship as a whim for my birthday gift when I was around 13 or so.

The Digging Leviathan is by far my favorite though. I've started a screenplay of it...we'll see how that works out!

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