Friday, July 23, 2004

Ex Libris: A Post of Two Books (part 2)

(This is a continuation of a review of Elizabeth Lynn's Watchtower and Patricia McKillip's Forgotten Beasts of Eld from a previous post. )

However, a quick check on the Google according to this site shows Lynn wasn't breaking new ground with her themes of feminism in her award-winning fantasy book. Neither, it seems, was homosexuality.

I don't know: my reading gives no indication why this book won the said award. Could it be a case of relativism, i.e. that it was groundbreaking at the time?

My opinion still stands in that the book seems dated as compared to McKillip's story-- first published in 1975-- which has borne the test of time. In fact, I would posit that McKillip, with her beautiful prose and her sympathetic yet complex characters, is one of the most underrated fantasy authors in the genre's history.

Her promise as a great writer is shown here-- one of her earlier tales-- of love and revenge amidst some very fantastical animals. This book still resonates with the same power and pathos when it was first published that I'm not surpised it won an award when it came out.

McKillip's prose on her third novel is rather straightforward yet ethereal, a fairy tale for adults or a female Jack Vance comparable to his Lyonesse books (if that's possible). Interesting enough, this ethereal touch is also present in her more well-known works like The Riddlemaster Trilogy and her later works though these are now riddled with ambiguity.

An interesting comparison: Lynn's book seems not to have aged well because of the modernity of its ideas whereas McKillip's story of age-old emotions like love and anger has done pretty well.

Wala lang.

No comments: