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#76208 - 07/16/02 06:48 PM R.A. LAFFERTY - GONE.
milum Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/03/01
Posts: 872
Loc: Birmingham, Alabama

                   R A LAFFERTY  RIP           

1914 - 2002


Raphael Aloysius Lafferty, one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century died
on March the eighteenth this year.
His death received little notice, his 200 short stories and 20 books were mostly read by off-beat aficionados of
Science Fiction. I was one, and if you are one, join me
in setting down an empty glass in his honor and offer your appreciation and condolences below. -mw





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#76209 - 07/17/02 01:51 PM Re: R.A. LAFFERTY - GONE.
milum Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/03/01
Posts: 872
Loc: Birmingham, Alabama
Hmm...kind words here are as rare as ticks on a turtle.
Let's see if we can dig up some of Lafferty's old friends.

Hey Theodore... Theodore Sturgeon...wake up...What did you think of Lafferty, Theodore?

"There is nobody, there has never been anybody who writes like Lafferty. Under the puckishness, the color-bursts, the wild, weird and wonderful characterizations, the tumble and sparkle of language, is an undercoat of sharp and serious observation - observation of human motivations, of human institutions (universities, for example, or rituals which have lost their reason-for-being) so that, like Gulliver's Travels, almost all of Lafferty can be read as enchanting entertainments, or as sharply-etched political cartoonery. Or as analogs of a superbly thought-out philosophy concerning human nature and human conduct. In other words, you get out of Lafferty, as out of Swift, whatever you're equipped to bring in."

Well said Mr. Sturgeon. Thank you. I sorry I had to disturb your rest.



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#76210 - 07/17/02 03:15 PM a tick on a turtle
modestgoddess Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 833
Loc: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Milo, I saw your post yesterday, and wanted to write something, but I only know R.A. Lafferty by name, not by any of his works. I'm so glad, though, that you saw fit to mark his passing and that his work meant so much to you. And to Theodore Sturgeon....! Nice piece o' prose there.

Let us go in peace to love and serve the board.

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#76211 - 07/17/02 03:34 PM Re: R.A. LAFFERTY - GONE.
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Hey Theodore... Theodore Sturgeon...wake up...What did you think of Lafferty, Theodore?


...and thanks, milum, for waking us up, too.

Book regards,
WordaWaken


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#76212 - 07/17/02 06:34 PM Re: R.A. LAFFERTY - GONE.
milum Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/03/01
Posts: 872
Loc: Birmingham, Alabama
...and thanks, milum, for waking us up, too.
Book regards,
- WordaWaken

Speaking of being awaken, WordaWaken, here's a taste Lafferty style...

One At A Time - from the book - 900 Grandmothers

(John Sourwine, in need of cash, remembers that he buried a friend a couple of years ago, who asked to be buried with a twenty dollar note)

Sour John found the old sand cliff. In half an hour
he had dug out the body of McSkee, It still had a high
old shine on it, but it was better preserved than the
clothes. The twenty-dollar bill was still there, disrepu-
table but spendable.
"I'll take it now, when I have the need," Sour John
said softly. "And later, when I am flush again, I will
bring it back here."
"Yes. You do that," said McSkee.
There are men in the world who would be startled
if a thing like that happened to them. Some of them
would have gasped and staggered back. The meaner
ones would have cried out. John Sourwine, of course, was
not a man like that. But he was human, and he did a
human thing...

well what he did do, you can read it in the 900 Grandmothers Anthology.





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#76213 - 07/17/02 07:52 PM Re: R.A. LAFFERTY - GONE.
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
John Sourwine, of course, was
not a man like that. But he was human, and he did a
human thing...


well what he did do, you can read it in the 900 Grandmothers Anthology.

OK, Mr. Cliffhanger Milum, so big deal. You were one those kids in class who ended book reports by drawling, "And if y'all wanna know what happened, y'all will have to read the book."

Well, this ain't elementary school, you know? We're all adults here, some older than others--some as old as 900 grandmothers--and we need to know what happened NOW!

Please do finish out the tale and tell us what Sourwine said.

Baffled regards,
Wordwonderer



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#76214 - 07/17/02 08:36 PM Re: R.A. LAFFERTY - GONE.
milum Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/03/01
Posts: 872
Loc: Birmingham, Alabama
KNOCK_____________KNOCK____________KNOCK.

Just a minute...I'm in the tub. (now who could that be come calling in the middle of the night?) Hello I...Hey Awaders, look who's here! It's our old friend Roger Zelazny! And guess what? He wants to post his thoughts on Lafferty's book Fourth Mansions. Well just lurch this way Roger, have a seat and post away...

"Whom the gods would destroy, they should first have read FOURTH MANSIONS. The closest comparison I can think of is a psychedelic morality play where the Virtues and Vices keep sneaking offstage and switching masks. One comes away from it as one awakens from a dream.

Oh Rog Babe, that is so so true, thank you for writing it. What? You've got to go? Well thank you again for coming and have a good night...
...WAIT! Uh, escuse me for asking Roger, but, uh, ain't you dea...
... Nothing Roger. Have a good night.







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#76215 - 07/17/02 10:04 PM Re: R.A. LAFFERTY - GONE.
milum Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/03/01
Posts: 872
Loc: Birmingham, Alabama
And just when you we beginning to think that Lafferty is a complete madman beyond earthly description, he writes a sweet mainline short story about domestic disputes of the most ordinary kind. The beginning is excerpted below...

Hole In The Corner -from the book- Nine Hundred Grandmothers

Homer Hoose comes home to his cliche family to find his wife being devoured by a monster that looks just like him!! Or does it ?

Homer the man was a powerful and quick-moving
fellow. He fell on the monster with judo chops and solid
body punches; and the monster let the woman go and
confronted the man.
"What's with it, you silly oaf?" the monster snapped.
"If you've got a delivery, go to the back door. Come
punching people in here, will you? Regina, do you know
who this silly simpleton is?"
"Wow, that was a pretty good one, wasn't it, Homer?"
Regina gasped as she came from under, glowing and
gulping. "Oh, him? Gee, Homer, I think he's my hus-
band. But how can he be, if you are? Now the two of
you have got me so mixed up that I don't know which
one of you is my Homer."
"Great goofy Gestalten! You don't mean I look like
him" howled Homer the monster, near popping.
"My brain reels," moaned Homer the man. "Reality
melts away. Regina! Exorcise this nightmare if you have
in some manner called it up! I knew you shouldn't have
been fooling around with that book."
"Listen, mister reely-brains," wife Regina began on
Homer the man. "You learn to kiss like he does before
you tell me which one to exorcise. All I ask is a little
affection. And this I didn't find in a book."
"How we going to know which one is Papa? They
look just alike," daughters Clara-Belle, Anna-Belle, and
Maudie-Belle came in like three little chimes.
"Hell-hipping horrors!" roared Homer the man. "How
are you going to know -- ? He's got green skin."
"There's nothing wrong with green skin as long as
it's kept neat and oiled," Regina defended.
"He's got tentacles instead of hands," said Homer the
man.
"Oh boy, I'll say!" Regina sang out.

_______________*******

( trust me Wordwondering, you don't even want to know the ending to this one.)



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#76216 - 07/17/02 10:38 PM Re: R.A. LAFFERTY - GONE.
milum Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/03/01
Posts: 872
Loc: Birmingham, Alabama
Rriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnngggggg!!!

(Now what? Good Grief! It's two in the morning. Damn Lafferty, I've got to get some sleep.)

Yes? ... I see, you just happened to be in the neighborhood and you wanted to stop by and say something nice about Lafferty. Well there's the damn computer, and don't let the door hit you in the butt when you go out. Good night!



On the book ARRIVE AT EASTERWINE

There is only one R. A. Lafferty -- luckily. It is doubtful that tired old Earth could stand more. But Lafferty was never the man to be content with being one of a kind. It is necessary for Lafferty, who is drunk on words at least nine-tenths of the time, to create other one-of-a-kinds. That way he has company. And since no mere mortal would even want to be cast in this role, it is really very logical that Lafferty should make a companion of a multi-personalitied machine. Really. It follows that ARRIVE AT EASTERWINE is a logical book. Other people call it "hilarious," "surrealistic," "a carnival," "Science Fiction?", "for large public and academic libraries," "delighting, bemusing and exasperating," "I'm not sure what it is," (there's always that percentage), "witty," "mind-tingling" and so on, ad infinitum. We bet we're the only ones who find it logical. You make up your own mind.
- the unknown visitor




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#76217 - 07/19/02 09:24 AM Re: R.A. LAFFERTY - GONE.
milum Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/03/01
Posts: 872
Loc: Birmingham, Alabama
Well, this ain't elementary school, you know? We're all adults here, some older than others--some as old as 900 grandmothers--and we need to know what happened NOW! - Wordwind

Great Day in the Morning! Bop-Ting-A-Ling! Wordwind honors Lafferty by thinking that he has a plot. Well in your honor Wordwind here is the ending, or is it the real beginning, with Lafferty it's hard tell. -




The flavor of Lafferty's prose is less descended from the refinements of the European literary tradition than the roughness of the American frontier, mixed with the heady visionary fervor of ancient Irish bards. Let us hear from the voice of the man himself... - CRASH LITERARY REVIEW


Hole In The Corner from 900 Grandmothers

Homer Hoose came home that evening to the golden cliche: the unnoble dog who was a personal friend of his; the perfect house where just to live was a happy riot; the loving and unpredictable wife; and the five children; the perfect number (four more would have been too many, four less would have been too few).
The dog howled in terror and bristled up like a hedgehog. Then it got a whiff of Homer and recognized him; it licked his heels and gnawed his knuckles and made him welcome. A good dog, though a fool. Who wants a smart dog!

Homer had a little trouble with the doorknob. They don't have them in all the recensions, you know; and he had that off-the-track feeling tonight. But he figured it out (you don't pull it, you turn it), and opened the door.

"Did you remember to bring what I asked you to bring this morning, Homer?" the loving wife Regina inquired.

"What did you ask me to bring this morning, quick-heat blueberry biscuit of my heart?" Homer asked.

"If I'd remembered, I'd have phrased it different when I asked if you remembered," Regina explained. "But I know I told you to bring something, old ketchup of my soul. Homer! Look at me, Homer! You look different tonight! DIFFERENT!! You're not my Homer, are you! Help! Help! There's a monster in my house!! Help, help! Shriek!"

"It's always nice to be married to a wife who doesn't understand you," Homer said. He enfolded her affectionately, bore her down, trod on her with large friendly hooves, and began (as it seemed) to devour her.

"Where'd you get the monster, Mama?" son Robert asked as he came in. "What's he got your whole head in his mouth for? Can I have one of the apples in the kitchen? What's he going to do, kill you, Mama?"

"Shriek, shriek," said Mama Regina. "Just one apple, Robert, there's just enough to go around. Yes, I think he's going to kill me. Shriek!"

Son Robert got an apple and went outdoors.

____________________**********_______________________

Good-bye Lafferty Lovers I'm off to eat in a cave and sleep in the Kentucky woods with 900 Yankees none of whom, I imagine, give a hoot about Lafferty. See you all Monday. -mw


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