"Sex, Jingoism & Black Magic"

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gloomysundae
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"Sex, Jingoism & Black Magic"

Post by gloomysundae » Wed 4 Jan, 2006 08:44:38

Just read Jessica Amanda Salmonson's interesting perspective on the wonders of Wheatley, Sex, Jingoism & Black Magic: at http://www.violetbooks.com/REVIEWS/jas-wheatley.html

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Post by Jim » Thu 5 Jan, 2006 01:14:07

Well, it's riddled with errors, but written with enough enthusiasm that it possibly might entice some readers to give DW a try!

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Post by Nick » Thu 5 Jan, 2006 17:33:59

I read this review a while back. She seems to miss the point more than a bit. It is a waste of time applying modern day PC views to DW literature, and it is almost as if she is apologising for reading the books. There are so many errors it makes you wonder if she has read more than one chapter of each. Then again I suppose we should be glad of any mention of Wheatley is this day and age. By the way any news of the proposed filming of a DW novel (as mentioned by Bob)?

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Post by gloomysundae » Fri 6 Jan, 2006 00:05:58

She's certainly been (over?)reliant on Keith Neilson's essay, Two Legacies: Wheatley and Lovecraft in Neil Barron's "Horror Literature" (Garland, 1990).
Well, it's riddled with errors, but written with enough enthusiasm that it possibly might entice some readers to give DW a try!
That's exactly what it did to me. I've not read him in a long while and have mixed memories of the books (except for The Devil Rides Out which I adored). I'm on The Ka Of Gifford Hillary just now ....

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Post by Garry Holmes » Sat 7 Jan, 2006 10:55:55

If you put DW's name into a search engine, you'll find some extraordinary virulent reviews from various sources. It's all rather silly, really, but quite revealing. Some people seem to respond to books as if their only source of interest is in revealing their authors political agenda. Compared to someone like Dornford Yates, DW comes across as almost a hesitant liberal! If some rather silly reviewers are going to burst a blood vessel writing scathing reviews about his work and/or political leanings, then I happy to let them get on with it!

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Post by Nick » Sat 7 Jan, 2006 15:47:42

It gets right up your funnel though doesn't it?

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Post by Bob Rothwell » Sat 7 Jan, 2006 19:27:20

I'm relaxed, I think it's great seeing different views (check out the topic on DW in gloomy sundae's forum) - the old adage still applies: "there's no such thing as bad publicity".

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"embryo traitor"

Post by gloomysundae » Mon 9 Jan, 2006 12:01:26

As a casual reader, I can only say that It would be easier to ignore the politicial party broadcasts if he didn't bash you over the head with them at every opportunity. Personally, I find his soap-boxing often works to the detriment of a good story.

In "Ka ...", Sir Gifford takes a stroll through the poor part of town and is appalled at some of the deprivation he sees. He feels a bit guilty for having never given these people a thought. Fine, but then he breaks off to advise us that he hasn't had a road to Damascus style conversion to Socialism - no worries, Sir Giff, the thought had never crossed our minds - land he's away on another of his rants against Labour Governments, taxation ... etc. To me, it just gets in the way.

But, you know. Relax, it's only an opinion ...

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Post by Alan » Sun 15 Jan, 2006 14:10:08

As a DW fan and a something of a radical, I feel Gloomy Sundae's pain! The funny thing is that though DW is somewhat ultra-conservative in "third person", his characters often display a liberalism and sympathy for the economic underdog quite unlike their creator. One rather bizarre solution (which I utilise) is to think of The Duc and his friends, Gregory Sallust etc as real people, who have had extracts from their lives biographised by some crusty old fascist name of Dennis Wheatley. Then when DW breaks in with another rant against taxation or homosexuality you can just put it down as the biographer exceeding his brief. This is facilitated by DW's habit (common today, revolutionary in his own) of pretending his characters are real people - there is even a letter from Gregory Sallust trying to touch DW for a case of wine at the beginning of "They used Dark Forces"!

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Post by Garry Holmes » Sat 21 Jan, 2006 13:24:11

The day that left-wing novelists flatly refuse to tell us their opinions, then I'll start getting uptight about DW. In the meantime, live and let live!

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Post by Lark » Sun 7 May, 2006 22:40:08

left wing novelists?

there's such a thing? Are you serious? :lol: :lol:

I'm a socialist and I've been looking for socialist novels for years, apart from Orwell who a lot of people take for a straight forward anti-communist rather than socialist opposition, I've found nothing,

I've really got to say, much like Orwell does in his journalism and letters somewhere, right wingers can write entertaining books better,

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Post by Garry Holmes » Sat 13 May, 2006 12:45:50

Hmmm, it seems that the only thing that we can all agree on is that DW is a terrific thriller author! As to radicalism vs conservatism, I think that anyone who commits their opinions to print is doomed to look rather ridiculous if enough time is allowed to pass. As that other great man of British letters, Ian Fleming, said in one of the Bond novels--the most blimpish, outpourings of the crustiest colonel would, once upon a time, have looked like dangerous radicalism!

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Post by Lark » Sat 13 May, 2006 23:04:51

I still think there's something in what Orwell said about the conservatives or right wingers making better novelists, I've never read any books that I would have considered as being written by left wing novelists, I think they try to write literature or serious fictional pieces more often, in my experience too,

I must admit to having socialist sympathies, of a kind, my politics are bit eclectic really and I dont judge people purely by political tags either, but a lot of left wingers I find are gloomy and grim sorts, austere or spartan in their tastes and habits, I couldnt see them writing about characters like De Richleau and Co. adventuring and engaging in acts of heroism between fine wines and finer dinner parties,

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Sorry to revive an old thread :(

Post by gloomysundae » Tue 18 Jul, 2006 14:03:57

Lark wrote:I still think there's something in what Orwell said about the conservatives or right wingers making better novelists, I've never read any books that I would have considered as being written by left wing novelists, I think they try to write literature or serious fictional pieces more often, in my experience too,
There are only two I can think of, and even then I'm not sure about one. Ian Watson, a horror/ SF author who was (is still?) a member of the Labour Party and a CND activist at the time he wrote Power and Meat, two bestselling horror novels of the eighties.

I don't know if Kim Newman is left so much as anti-far right. His Where The Bodies Are Buried novella's are very funny, angry commentaries on the Murdoch empire, as is his The Original Dr. Shade and others. One of his stories, Pitbull Brittan, was dropped by a magazine because they took it as glorifying the Extreme Right.

You really do have to wonder about editors sometimes ...

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