Thursday, September 21, 2006

I see you under the midnight

Freaking hell, David Gemmell died 2 months ago and nobody told me? Holy crap. Best quote from Wikipedia:
"I tried to quit smoking and found that the years of polluting my brain with nicotine meant that I couldn't string a reasonable sentence together without filling my lungs with smoke. I went three months without a drag, took a good look at the crap I was writing and lit up."

David Gemmell I've always seen as the Agatha Christie of the Fantasy world - someone who could spin a damn good yarn, and even though it was essentially the same yarn as the last book he kept interesting enough that you didn't care. And he never jumped the shark, unlike some of his contempories **cough** David Eddings **cough**. Anyway, I think the reason I like Gemmell (aside from his writing about when men were Men and women wore chainmail and leather) is he wrote explicitly about honour; about people who were honourable not because they were inherently good, but because they weren't but they made the effort of will to be good inspite of their nature.

Isn't it shit that the moment you talk about "honour" or "heroes" you start to feel twee? Damn.

Anyway, if you're a fan also you might want to pop over Legend of the Silver Slayer and check out some interesting articles (I'm a fan of the timeline myself).

One of my favorite quotes is from Morningstar (1993):
The enemy is always reviled, pictured as the despoiler of women, the eater of babies, a living plague upon the earth, a servant of Satan. Wars are never fought for plunder or gain. Oh no, they are always depicted as ultimate battles between good and evil. But then, looking at the nature of Man, that is understandable. Can you imagine the scene, the great King gathering his troops before an epic battle. 'Right, myy lads," he says, as he sits upon his great black stallion, "today we fight for my right to steal gold from whomsoever I choose. The enemy are men much the same as yourselves. A good bunch, probably, with wives and children back home. And at the end of the battle, when I have more riches than I'll ever spend in a lifetime, many of them - and indeed many of you - will be wormfood, or crippled. Better to be dead, really, because I'll have no use for you once you can no longer raise a sword. All right lads? Let's be at them!
What if they called a war, and nobody came?

1 comment:

Paul said...

I know what he means about writing without nicotine.

Charles Baudelaire, who first translated Edgar Allan Poe into French, attributed Poe's early death to his drink problem but said that Poe had to drink in order to get the imagination to write his stories. Poe was thus a martyr to his art.

Baudelaire is talking romantic nonsense and he uses this argument to justify his own dope habit, but perhaps David Gemmell's death by smoking is a martyrdom for fantasy fiction.

On the other hand, if he had got over the withdrawal symptons, he would still be alive and writing.

I need a cigarette.