The Best of James Branch Cabell

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Re: The Best of James Branch Cabell

Postby Guy V. on Saturday, 29 June 2013, 1:07 pm

I myself have not liked Cabell, though I certainly have TRIED to like his work. Of what I've read, I have found no sincerity, only a sort of tour de force brilliance of writing style that adds up in my mind in the end to not very much satisfaction. I had hoped often enough to find another Dunsany or E.R. Eddison in his books. In that I've been vastly disappointed, though this can hardly be said to be Cabell's fault. He had great tools, but he chose not to use them in the building of such secondary or parallel worlds as I am passionate about. There is nothing, IMO, to love or feel passionate about in the sleek, ultra sophisticated parody of James Branch Cabell. Give me the simple sincerity and easeful beauty of Austin Tappan Wright, mighty world builder, every time over the self conscious wittiness of Cabell.

Islandia IS sincere. Thus it breathes and seduces. I say the same, only with far greater love, for that magnificent wonder of colossal rolling rhythms called The Worm Ouroboros. Yet Eddison seemed to lose this intensely appealing flow and rhythm and swagger and even story telling simplicity in his Zimiavian Trilogy, which I have had the determination to churn through, as though tacking against a stern head wind, remembering almost nothing of its characters, nor any story much worth retaining in my soul. Lessingham does this or that, appears, vanishes, appears again...is about all I could offer as a precis of that immense volume of words. It is as if the mighty Worm Ouroboros sucked from E.R.E. all sense of fun and delight.
Guy V.
 
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