Roberston Davies, Deptford Trilogy

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Roberston Davies, Deptford Trilogy

Postby DavidTate on Tuesday, 09 December 2008, 1:38 pm

I note that Robertson Davies is listed on the "candidates" page, with the caveat that it's not clear which, if any, of his novels are actually speculative.

I've read the Deptford Trilogy (Fifth Business, The Manticore, and World of Wonders), and while it's an exceptional work of fiction, I have to say I didn't see anything SFnal about it. Then again, I could say the same about Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, so I'm apparently not the most attentive of readers, and you should take my opinion with a grain of salt.
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Re: Roberston Davies, Deptford Trilogy

Postby Torcuato on Monday, 22 December 2008, 8:27 pm

I do agree with Mr. Tate about these books quality; they are wondrous page turners, full of wisdom and warm. "Fifth Business" is the best, to my reckoning. It is in this novel where we can find the fantastic, even if it is disguided as "miraculous". I suposse considering a resurrection as fantastic it depends on your views about religion. A miracle might be possible, I guess, but still, it is rather speculative. I know that religion, as a whole, doesn't quite qualifies as an element of fantastic literature, but miracles should, in modern literature, at least until we know better.
In Chabon novel, the fantastic arrives in part six, chapter sixteen. It is an arrival told as a matter of fact but still utterly inexplicable, and it only makes sense in a highly allegorical plane. The arrival speaks about the heavy burden of tragedy - the shoah, in this case - and the need to remember, but also to carry on living (and loving) so the ashes have meaning.
In short, he became so absorbed in his books that he spent his nights from sunset to sunrise, and his days from dawn to dark, poring over them; and what with little sleep and much reading his brains got so dry that he lost his wits.
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