Thursday, December 17, 2009

Leigh Brackett : no long goodbye is good enough - Rosemarie Arbur

In :

The Feminine eye : science fiction and the women who write it / edited by Tom Staicar

New York : F. Ungar Pub. Co., c1982.
viii, 148 p. ; 22 cm.
ISBN 0804428387 0804468788 (pbk.)

spans from p 1 - 13. (thanks to Elizabeth Caplice at the NLA)

"With few exceptions, Brackett's works have not been presented seriously to those too young ever to have read the pulps, to those too old to consider science fiction equal in value to the other, more traditional forms of literature, and to those who regard science fiction as the chief literary movement of this century. Brackett's achievements only rarely find themselves in the company of those that deserve (if not demand) respectful critical scrutiny as well as hours of enjoyable reading.
But they do belong in that company. Because they do, I take my title from a major screenplay she wrote and turn its emphasis around: the objective of this essay is not to look back at Leigh Brackett's science fiction accomplishments as if they were receding toward a region inaccessible to us because it no longer exists; the objective is to look at them straight on, as they (still) really are. If readers of this essay are somehow influenced to look into what they have not already read or to reread a favorite Brackett tale, or to examine and adjust the list of authors in their secret, personal SF hall of fame, then this essay—the French word is "attempt"—will have succeeded. In the excitement of (re)discovering the fine things Brackett did with language, readers may forget the need to say their goodbyes, for they will have immersed themselves in prose that is strong, timeless, and alive."

4.5 out of 5

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