Moorcock’s Epic Pooh essay

It had eluded me until today.
Epic Pooh is Michael Moorcock’s throwdown on Lord of the Rings and other Fantasy works, comparing LOTR and others to Winnie the Pooh, which he doesn’t like either.
“If the bulk of American sf could be said to be written by robots, about robots, for robots, then the bulk of English fantasy seems to be written by rabbits, about rabbits and for rabbits. “
It’s a quandry for me because of this: My four favorite fantasy writers are Moorcock, Tolkien, Peake and Lloyd Alexander. In this essay, the first of those writers goes after the second with a meat ax. He also pooh-poohs Alexander. He loves Peake and dedicated a book to him.
But I can agree with him in one way. What he seems to hate most is whimsy. (If you’ve read Elric or Von Bek or just about anything else by Moorcock, you know that he is whimsy-free.) And, frankly, it’s all the whimsy that sometimes makes one blush before telling someone that you’ve just read a fantasy novel.

One Response

  1. Moorcock doesn’t “hate” whimsy; he opposes writers who write in a patronizing way, using a whimsical tone to disguise their feelings of superiority towards both those they write about and those they write for. He clearly likes Terry Pratchett, and Pratchett writes with considerable whimsy … but also, arguably, with wit and respect for his audience if not his subjects.

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