Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ursula Le Guin Vs. Oliver Cromwell

SOMEHOW, without quite knowing it, i wrote two brief pieces on ursula le guin, and both have recently gone up.

the first is mostly an extended intro to my LATimes profile, which adds some excised lines from author/ essayist/ cosmopolitan pico iyer as well as sci-fi scholar/ critic annalee newitz.

the second, here, is the seed of what i hope is a bigger project some day on the transition away from dogmatic realism in american (and to a lesser extent, british) literature. i begin with david mitchell's enchanting "black swan green" before ending up with jonathan lethem, oliver cromwell, and others. (it ran on the Guardian's books blog and is my first piece in an english paper since i was a student in brighton almost 20 years ago.)

as for the movement to genre/fantasy, etc. michael chabon has written quite well on the issue, of course, and i recommend his recent essay/criticism collection "maps and legends" to all.

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