Saturday, January 15, 2005

Alternative reading

Michel Basilières finally has a new column up at Maisonneuve, this one on Fritz Leiber, of whom I've never heard.

I don't entirely trust Basilières as my guide into SF, but he manages to drop a few nuggets worth cracking. As an aside, he writes:
The expression "virtual reality" entered our language not via computers and cyber geeks, but with the translation into English of Antonin Artaud's masterpiece, The Theatre and Its Double. Artaud was one of my favourite kinds of writers: the insane French intellectual. He believed a play was not successful unless it affected the audience so profoundly that spectators were physically altered by the experience. He said going to the theatre should be like going to the dentist: you leave physically changed.


He also traces the evolution of science fiction by decade.

Basilières' asides are far more provacative than anything he has to say on his central topic. It's what makes me want to trust him, even when his column subjects are obscure, poorly informed, or poorly conveyed.
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