New John C. Wright Book!! …and then some more rambling on Lafferty

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I would have posted this several days ago, but I was in the middle of moving. New John C. Wright book out! It is a Kindle download, 313 pages (Kindle estimate of print equivalent) and $4.99 – which I consider a steal.

Because of my moving this week I have not had time to either download yet alone read it yet (and I have to finish Lafferty’s PAST MASTER which has been slow going because… you guessed it –  that great fun we call moving!). It consists of 4 novellas taking place in the dark fantasy world of William Hope Hodgson’s 1912 dark fantasy THE NIGHT LAND.

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Sadly I have not read that either. But I did read one of Wright’s novellas that comprises this volume, SILENCE OF THE NIGHT, a few years back and it was excellent. Dark, morose, and hopelessly depressing, but done really well. At least that is the way I remember it, I have changed much of my philosophy since then, but the excellent part I remember well. Can’t wait to have the whole collection.

Now go download it so this man can get rich writing, quit his day job, and spend all day writing me more stories! Do it now!

I, as usual, have a plate of reading that is spilling over. On the way as I speak is R.A. Lafferty’s Fourth Mansions. Here is the cover of the edition I bought.

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Yep, that appears to be a giant frog-like being (and you can see all the towers or spires or whatever have such creatures atop them) with beaming green eyes and all against the backdrop of a setting sky (or dawning) or a sky afire.

Funny thing about the cover (of course having not read it yet) is the book is based on St. Teresa of Avila’s The Interior Castle.

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Here is a basic explanation of St. Teresa’s book given to me by a reader that relates to Lafferty’s book:

“Fourth Mansions,” what a nice title. Here is a little hint on the original meaning: the Fourth Mansions are the first spiritual night, the night of the senses, when the soul walks in pure faith without the comfort of perceptible graces often bestowed on beginners. It prepares the soul for the following stage, which is the mystic engagement and union of the will to Christ the Groom. The Third and Fourth Mansions are then the dwellings of most faithful Christians; the subsequent are the province of saints.

Given this I wonder just how much Lafferty lunacy is in this book based on the frog-things on Lafferty’s cover. Of course not all covers directly relate to what is inside. But, if you have ever read him, it is not too great an assumption to suppose the frog-things are there. Lafferty usually has deep Catholic underpinnings in his fiction, but they are buried deep. It is not like Lewis or Chesterton whose religious allegories practically come out and slap you across the cheek.

Then again another cover for FOURTH MANSIONS looks like this:

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Who knows? Maybe both covers reflect what is in the book. You just never know where a theme of his is going to go.

And don’t worry, I’ll give a report on how poor Sir Thomas More fared as ruler of Golden Astrobe in PAST MASTER and if he ended up still loving his Utopia come to life. Now there is a strange book.

 

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7 responses to “New John C. Wright Book!! …and then some more rambling on Lafferty

  • alauda

    Even if I liked Wright, I wouldn’t buy it from Vox Day’s publishing house.

    • bensira587

      That’s… not even interesting as a personal preference. One wonders why the time was spent typing it. If all you contribute is a personal opinion of dislike for something (which means nothing except to you) you have to at least present some reason for why you wouldn’t buy from Vox Day.

      Now perhaps if we knew each other and I mentioned that I was excited about a new John C. Wright book, and you stated that you didn’t care for John C. Wright and even if you did you wouldn’t buy it from Vox Day, then I may inquire – why? Why not?

      That is IF I knew you. That is hurdle one. Then, since you merely offered a personal opinion with no reasons, the second hurdle would be, do I care about your opinion knowing you?

      As not belonging to the first class, it behooves you, by default, to automatically give reasons behind likes and dislikes, and not simply state your preferences.

      Suppose I posted about a great place to eat sushi. And suppose you were a co-worker of mine to whom I had given my blog address so you could read it. We know each other to some degree, and by the fact that I gave you access to my blog, we can surmise our work relationship is not marked with hostility, perhaps it is even amicable. Now, you read the post on sushi and leave me a response “I don’t really care for sushi that much.” That has relevance. It may even be useful information to me. If there happened a situation that we were to dine together, I probably wouldn’t suggest a sushi bar.

      But we have no association at all, I have no way to gauge your personal preference as perhaps knowledgable, thoughtful, crazy, malignant, generated by a troll-bot, or if you are simply a troll.

      Without any sort of elaboration, without giving reasons, there is nothing unjustified with my saying “so freaking what?” to your personal opinion and simply deleting your comments.

      As it stands, based on my observation of blog behavior over the years, the evidence stands in favor of viewing you as a troll. Trolls, universally, leave one sentence responses to random blogs to people they have no knowledge of, stating their personal opinions. You are following this behavior.

      • bensira587

        Another characteristic I have noted of the troll. Not only do they leave universally negative responses to posts from people they know not at all. But they rarely return to the site of their pathology.

        There is a show on in the afternoons called RIGHT THIS MINUTE. It consists of a group of people watching youTube videos and joking about them and making general commentary. I used to think that one watching this show would be engaging in the worst sort of time wasting. You are literally watching other people watch online videos and commenting on them when you could go and do the same exact thing. And now you can easily do it from the very device (your television) that you are watching other people do it on!

        But I think that not anymore. The internet troll is the biggest waster of time. Literally without purpose except to feed some pathological need to, as his teachers taught him from kindergarten through college, “express himself”. No reason, no aim, no purpose, just “express yourself” spontaneously – whatever it is. As it turns out for a lot of people the activity, driven into one from an early age, of “expressing yourself” supersedes its necessary foundation which is developing a self. And so such a person, without rudder, values, or direction, simply runs about sneering at others.

        Very sad.

        Sadder if the person is over 17 years or so of age. If under, please change your course and get a life!

  • Sylvie D. Rousseau

    Thank you for quoting me. My theological prose seems quite heavy and out of place, especially in view of the covers. But since Mr Lafferty is unpredictable, who knows?

    Funny, it reminds me of one of the last science-fiction/fantasy novel I read many years ago just before I came back to the faith, and it had something to do with the Interior Castle, too. The hero, a prince on a quest to regain his throne, was trying to contact his mother who was living on the central plateau of an island composed of three concentric levels separated by high cliffs. The way I imagined the island, it looked very much like the diagram of the Interior Castle used by the priest who was teaching us the spirituality of St Teresa. We called it jokingly “Father Gignac’s wheel.”

    I now think this novel was Lord Valentine’s Castle by Silverberg. There was also an old wise man in this book, called the Pontifex. I wonder if this is inspired from the pagan title of the high priest in Rome, Pontifex Maximus, or from the later attribution of the same title to the Pope (Roman Pontiff).

    • bensira587

      Not at all, it was just the right amount of information I need to get through the novel. And it will be an extra pleasure when I get to THE INTERIOR CASTLE to grasp some of the stuff in Lafferty’s book that is sure to go over my head.

      I just finished Lafferty’s PAST MASTER tonight. At the novel’s climax Sir Thomas More is upon the scaffold (again, he is nabbed from the past and sent to a distant future to rule hence Past Master) struggling against those trying to put his head on the block when a ghostly, or ephemeral, being comes up to him and whispers into his ear. More replies that he will surely go with him. Then there are two ephemeral figures leaving the scene and a lifeless body submits meekly to the blade. It was very well done and I’ll trust you know who came up to talk to More.

      It was quite an experience.

      I read one Robert Silverberg novel, The World Inside. It was (even though the ending was really good) 80% people of future have lots of casual sex in colossal apartment building . It wasn’t too hard to guess the novel’s date within a few years – I guessed 1969, it was 1971. Maybe by 1980 his hormones had settled down? Was it a good book?

      • sylvietheolog

        Silverberg’s epic tale was interesting enough that I remember most of the story and many details and I probably read it only once. I recall there was an affair with the would-be princess, but no explicit sex scene, I think.

        • bensira587

          I don’t really have a problem with an explicit sex scene (within limits – the gun that kills the victim is always most dramatic off-screen – is the principle I prefer). What I can’t stand is that 60’s style Robert Heinlein STRANGER IN A STANGE LAND, Hugh Hefner, free love, multiple partner stuff.

          I also have a problem with an explicit sex scene that is casual in nature, but I also find that an offensive concept in reality as well and always have – it is insulting to the flesh as well as the spirit. Such a scene can be in a book but I do not care for it if it is outside the context of valuation – done as a “such is life” like eating watermelon.

          On the other hand an explicit sex scene between actual lovers is sort of a contradiction. The consummation between a new man and wife is not about swinging and gyrating genitalia (though there may be such). But the explicit presentation of such act has to reduce it to mere pornography. The only approach is to some diffused allusions because the explicit depiction of the sex act cannot invoke the spiritual aspect; it can only reduce it to the merely physical.

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