calder willingham the neglected genius

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calder willingham the neglected genius

1mysticskeptic
Editat: juny 22, 2007, 12:40 am

Hello everyone! I have just joined the group.

Please tell me there are other Calder Willingham fans here.

His novel Eternal Fire is one of the greatest books of the Twentieth-century, yet on LibraryThing he barely rates a mention.

There must be others who appreciate this great, and sadly neglected (apparently) author.

2briconcella
gen. 12, 2008, 3:21 pm

You are so convincing that I am going to buy it. But if it is so little known, I wonder i f can get a copy in Paris, where I live. Thanks, anyway. I love unsung great authors.

3SaintSunniva
març 29, 2009, 9:28 pm

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak...630 pages? Oh my, that's daunting...but I'm going to give it a go.

4ateolf
març 29, 2009, 11:56 pm

it seems to be out of print...but he cowrote the screenplays for The Graduate and Paths of Glory, that's a strong recommendation...maybe i'll track a used copy of that book down...

5tonyshaw14
abr. 13, 2009, 12:02 pm

I read Rambling Rose a few days ago - completely ignoring the trashy 1970s cover with its strong suggestions of porn, and hey, Calder Willingham is indeed a very good writer. What a topsy-turvy take on the Southern lady! Must read more of this guy.

6mysticskeptic
Editat: gen. 4, 2018, 8:11 am

I have just finished reading his only short story collection "The Gates of Hell". First published in 1951, the stories are amazingly fresh, wide ranging and brilliantly written (only the first one is a little dated - it was published in Playboy) and in many cases can only be described as experimental and surreal. There is much sly humour, honesty and incisive characterization.

My respect for this fascinating author continues to grow. "Rambling Rose" is probably the next book of his I will read.

7elenchus
gen. 4, 2018, 9:56 am

>6 mysticskeptic:

I'm curious what you think, I've not heard of Willingham before your OP. The situation reminds me of a parallel situation with a fav author of mine, also Southern and also "neglected" -- James Branch Cabell. It would appear Cabell and Willingham are very different writers, though.

Encouraging you to post an update once you complete Rambling Rose.

8frahealee
Editat: jul. 20, 2022, 9:09 pm

Aquest missatge ha estat suprimit pel seu autor.

9elenchus
Editat: set. 26, 2018, 1:10 pm

Cabell is notable both for his stylised prose (critics call it affected) --influenced by the Provencal poets and Romanticism which Cabell studied at university-- and for his dry sardonic humour. A good portion of his stories and novels are "fantasy" insofar as they feature magic and myth, but it's a far cry from Tolkien or C.S. Lewis. Even in these, there is much commentary on modern life, especially social mores and gender relations.

There is an LT group dedicated to his work, The Rabble Discuss Cabell, if interested in reading more.

AFTERTHOUGHT: There are several short stories linked in dedicated threads within that group, for a convenient taster of Cabellian fiction. The threads are not as developed as the analogous threads in The Weird Tradition, but the germ is there.

A suitable option is this story, later incorporated into a novel (as was Cabell's wont).

10mysticskeptic
Editat: gen. 19, 2019, 9:38 am

>7 elenchus: elenchus

Rambling Rose is wonderfully entertaining and funny and in the end a deeply moving novel. The characters (mostly based on the author's own family during the Great Depression) come fully alive. Deceptively slight story but the writing is original and charming as usual with Willingham. Highly recommended, though not as enthusiastically as Eternal Fire.