Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Silverberg; Gorman

Terrific overview of Robert Silverberg's work and life in the LA Times today by Scott Timberg. One section of the piece focuses on the republication of Silverberg's masterpiece Dying Inside:

""Dying Inside" never found a wide audience, but it's been hailed by those who know it. Michael Chabon has called it "one of those rare novels that manages to be at once dazzling and tender." The book, which the New York Times once called "the perfect science fiction novel for people who don't like science fiction," was reissued last month by Tor.

"Part of what makes the novel so resonant is that Selig's power, which he likens to "an endless radio broadcast without commercials," begins to fade. This thing that's alienated him has also provided his sense of self. When it starts to die, he says, it's like hearing the sentences of the New York Times fragment into a Joycean steam of consciousness.

"Like much of the best science fiction, this dying gift acts as a particularly open metaphor -- for aging, for impotence, for a writer's powers of empathy and insight. Jonathan Lethem, an admirer of Silverberg's, has described the novel as "an intimate allegory of the artist's quandary."

"Silverberg was a very disenchanted writer," Lethem says -- and one who, like Roth, exposes male anger. "Sometimes it comes across in a very ferocious way -- his own brilliance comes burning through the framework of the story, and it can be quite bracing."

Silverberg's editor was so braced, in fact, when she read his manuscript that she inquired about his mental health.

"I wasn't feeling all right," Silverberg recalls. "But it wasn't the story of my life."

for the rest go here:


Guild should be on the stands about now. I wanted to dazzle you with review quotes but the only one I could find (twenty-six years old) was on a torn yelllowing piece of paper that appears to be Booklist:

"Annie, the avenging angel, is a strange angel indeed with a little-girl innocence that her own past has not been able to touch...the other characters, major and minor, are drawn with careful touches that make them unique and that make the book disturbing and memorable."


RJR said...

Ed, hope Leisure will print the other Guilds. These books were some of your best work.


Gonzalo B said...

Just got Guild in the mail yesterday along with the first Gabriel Hunt book. I'm looking forward to read it. BTW, Michael Dirda reviewed Silverberg's book two weeks ago. A very perceptive article, as usual with Dirda.