Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Samuel R. Delany & the uses & limits of myth

In his early science fiction of the 1960s, Samuel R. Delany incorporated myth into his quest scenarios, in a highly unconventional manner, even with his first novel written in his teenage years, The Jewels of Aptor.

But already in The Einstein Intersection, Delany posits the limits of myth in providing models for the human condition. Delany's art attained a new level of maturity in the 1970s, always pushing the limits and posing the fundamental questions.

The limits of myth can also be seen in Tales of Nevèrÿon (1979) and Neveryóna, or: The Tale of Signs and Cities (1983).

I am hardly doing justice to the conceptual richness of Delany's fiction. I am broaching Delany's work on this blog in conjunction with my project on the limits of myth, however retooled and reinterpreted to create a perspective different from traditionally authorized meanings. Read this post in conjunction with my preceding posts on the Eden and Cain/Abel myths and Erich Fromm.

See also my capsule description of Delany's work published in the letters column of the Washington City Paper:

Bonny Delany: on science fiction writer Samuel R. Delany

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