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AllanW's Avatar Jump to comment 79 by AllanW

Well SaintStephen it brought a warm glow of nostalgic recollection to my wizened old heart to remember the mid-Seventies and how I devoured everything Moorcock. Sadly not too much of his output stands the test of time but he was always thought provoking.

Elric is bleakly interesting (no, Richard is far too nice to be an anti-hero; the guy who plays Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films is the one I picture playing the role. Still hasn’t happened even though rumours and negotiations have been going on for thirty years about a filmed Elric project).

I particularly enjoyed the Jerry Cornelius stories (don’t even ask how they affected my hormone-fuelled adolescent mind) but the only stuff off the top of my head that feels really worthwhile now would be ‘Gloriana’.

I did read recently that he has been approached to write something for ‘Doctor Who’ next year; that should be interesting if it happens although Moorcock has a history littered with negotiations for film and t.v. projects that have not seen the light of day.


Damn it. I was born too late.

Moorcock conjures for me the feeling, sights and smells of hanging around the ‘Dungeons and Starships’ shop on Colmore Row in Birmingham in the Seventies. Tank tops, baggies and mullets; wispy moustaches, acne, and Hawkwind/Led Zep t-shirts; earnest, timid youths spending hours wading through the vaults of records, graphic novels and science-fiction books. If someone could bottle the smell of second-hand bookshops from that era I would buy it all (mould, paper, dust, damp leaves in autumn, sicklied o’er with the faint pall of inadequately washed bodies).

I was also thinking of the question of how legends are created and propagated out of hearsay: a story with little factual basis could nevertheless take hold because its message resonates with people at some level.

Exactly so. Powerful story themes that speak to most humans are normally the product of a long gestation period through many minds but we know that once they reach a certain pitch they are remembered more easily and get recycled endlessly in different formats.

Based on the Wiki link Moorcock seemed to be more fascinated by the psychology of an enigmatic character who consciously turned himself into the 'real' Jesus.

Read the book. There is that element in it but he was really playing with the notion of the dichotomous and wilfully capricious nature of the human condition as he did in most of his output (Elric, Jerry Cornelius, Dancers at the end of time etc). I don’t think his exploration of gender and sexual blurrings are at all ‘Freudian’ but rather a reflection of the times; an exploration of the possibilities.

Wed, 02 Dec 2009 08:58:00 UTC | #419350