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relatively speaking, was dialog CAS's greatest weakness?
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 3 August, 2020 09:07PM
I've always thought that some of CAS's dialogue used in his "modern explorer" stories, where the main characters are wise-cracking adventurers whose slang and usage is contemporaneous with is CAS's Weird Tales days--30s/40s--is really distractingly weak.

Thinking more on the topic, I come to realize that while he seems to use relatively less dialogue in his themed stories (Zothique, Hyperborea, etc.), this dialogue is not notably strong, either, but it's somehow more acceptable because the diction and usage are archaic and hence acceptable as "exotic" or "colorful" to the modern reader.

So I'm of the growing opinion that the strongest area of his work, which has managed to engage me for 50 years, is his third person omniscient or limited omniscient narrative point of view.

Thoughts/opinions?

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."

Re: relatively speaking, was dialog CAS's greatest weakness?
Posted by: Cathbad (IP Logged)
Date: 5 August, 2020 11:26AM
Yeah, pretty much! (to the extent that I can recall little or no CAS dialogue)

Re: relatively speaking, was dialog CAS's greatest weakness?
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 5 August, 2020 01:32PM
I think his dialogue is far superior to speech we hear in real life.

Re: relatively speaking, was dialog CAS's greatest weakness?
Posted by: Hespire (IP Logged)
Date: 5 August, 2020 04:49PM
I think the quality of dialogue depends on the story, but I agree it wasn't one of his strengths. Given his background as a poet and an outsider, perhaps he was more comfortable with elevated verse rather than everyday speech. I certainly prefer his effortlessly eloquent, larger-than-life dialogue in such ancient fantasies as "The Dark Eidolon" and "The Last Hieroglyph", whereas the dialogue of his science-fictions and modern settings usually feel less believable, less natural, and even somewhat funny (though maybe this was intentional in some places, since many of his science-fictions were satirical). Even so, I enjoy this latter form of speech. It's weirdly memorable how these rough explorers and hard-working laymen can so casually combine poetic metaphors and mythical references with common slang and rustic dialect! I'd love to meet these characters just to see how colorfully strange they'd sound in a conversation.

Quote:
Knygatin
I think his dialogue is far superior to speech we hear in real life.

Especially online!



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 5 Aug 20 | 05:04PM by Hespire.

Re: relatively speaking, was dialog CAS's greatest weakness?
Posted by: Knygatin (IP Logged)
Date: 6 August, 2020 01:09AM
Hespire Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Especially online!

Listening to people, online or in the street, and looking at their eyes, often remind me of the dead raised to animation by the necromancers of Zothique.

Except for a few gentlemen and gentlewomen, like yourself and the distinguished gang on this particular site.

Re: relatively speaking, was dialog CAS's greatest weakness?
Posted by: Sawfish (IP Logged)
Date: 6 August, 2020 12:07PM
Knygatin Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hespire Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Especially online!
>
> Listening to people, online or in the street, and
> looking at their eyes, often remind me of the dead
> raised to animation by the necromancers of
> Zothique.
>
> Except for a few gentlemen and gentlewomen, like
> yourself and the distinguished gang on this
> particular site.

This site is a treasure: make no mistake.

Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Life is a tragedy to those who feel, a comedy to those who think."



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 6 Aug 20 | 12:58PM by Sawfish.



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