Wednesday 17 June 2015

Michael Moorcock's "Epic Pooh" essay on Tolkien and the Inklings




John Fitzgerald said...

Though I've always had a soft spot for 'V for Vendetta', I find Alan Moore another faux 'hard man' rebel who ticks all the PC boxes yet insists on trumpeting himself as a standard bearer for rebellion, giving two fingers to the establishment, and so on and so forth.

I recently read and introduction of his to a collected volume of HP Lovecraft's stories. Moore inevitably calls out Lovecraft for his conservatism while falling to perceive that his own views are in fact highly conservative - certainly in the sense that they in no way challenge prevailing orthodoxies vis-a-vis religion, sexuality, sovereignty, etc.

Never been a Moorcock fan either. Totally puffed up with his own importance. No class. No humility or humour. No style either. His books seem very formulaic to me, not rising from the deep wellsprings of the imagination a la Tolkien, Lewis et al.

A show pony, in other words.

Nice post.

Bruce Charlton said...

@JF - I would regard Alan Moore's Watchmen as brilliant, innovative and powerful - but I never re-read it because it was such a horrible, despair-filled world. I didn't much like V for Vendetta - probably because I was too old for it (aged about thirty).

Anonymous said...

Alan Moore does his best to do ceremonial magic. Depending on your opinion of such efforts, you can think whatever you like of Moore.

Moorcock, on the other hand, was a lucky slacker who had a lot less talent and skill than he was paid to exercise.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Anon - You can't call Moorcock a *slacker*! Not with the number of books he published.

Credit where due. The man is a propagandist for evil; but he is at least a workaholic, Trojan beaver propagandist for evil.

JP said...

I found Moorcock appealing when I was a moody, sneering adolescent - probably because all his protagonists are, in effect, moody sneering adolescents.

"The man is a propagandist for evil; but he is at least a workaholic, Trojan beaver propagandist for evil."

To adapt Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord, nothing causes more mischief than the evil and energetic... fortunately a great many evil people are lazy and easily distracted.

Bruce Charlton said...

@JP - Yes - it is their virtues which enable wicked people to do such harm.

Nonetheless, their virtues still are virtues!