EPUB Kingdoms of Elfin
Sylvia Townsend Warner ñ 0 READI enjoyed Kingdoms of Elfin a uirky unusual collection of short stories ecounting life among the various kingdoms ueendoms actually of FaerieOf the sixteen stories my favorites wereThe Revolt at Broceliande which ecounts the precarious position of mortal changelings in a fey courtThe Search for an Ancestress where a European fairy Joost learns how dangerous it can be to eturn to one s homelandThe Occupation another tale of the dangers of mortal infatuation with Faerie which can only lead to tragedy in this case a trip to BedlamFoxcastle another example of man
fundamental incapacity understand elf and vice versaThe elves of these stories are not the un Fallen Men of Tolkien s Middle Earth nor the humans with funny ears who populate far too many fantasy novels Rather they e the amoral soul less bogies that inhabit the woods and wastes of Medieval Europe In my experience the author who most closely captures the otherworldliness alienness that Warner obtains is Tad Williams in his Memory Sorrow Thorn Shadowmarch and The War of the Flowers novels This one took a long long time for me to finish and I have a feeling I ll be pondering it for uite some time to come It wasn t the uality of the writing at fault for my slowness in eading oh noeach of these stories is full of splendid glittering prose Most of them managed to disturb me in some way Not in an overtly horrifying #way like Poe s short stories It s just that the fairies of Sylvia Townsend Warner s Kingdoms #like Poe s short stories It s just that the fairies of Sylvia Townsend Warner s Kingdoms Elfin which should eally be ueendoms of Elfin but our benighted language has no such word are socold Cold if beautiful creatures Ice cold Snow cold Diamond cold Not cruel necessarily Justcareless Oblivious Oblivious to each other s or to mortal feelings and to the sufferings they cause the mortals that they abduct or otherwise tamper with on their journeys For some REASON FITZGERALD S DESCRIPTION OF TOM Fitzgerald s description of Tom Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby kept springing to mind They were careless people Tom and Daisy they smashed up things and creatures and then etreated back to their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together and let other people clean up the mess they had made So with the oyalty of the Fairy Courts Most of these Fairy tales are grimly grotesuely comic little tragedies None of them has what you might call a happy ending I found myself breathing a sigh of elief when Hey Nobody died In some hideous or just eally. Elfindom is an aristocratic society jealous of its privileges The uling classes engage in such pursuits as patronizing the arts or hunting with the Royal Pack of Werewolves while the lower orders take pleasure in conducting brutal aiding parties into the world. ,s fundamental incapacity
Careless way In this one anyway Makes the Fairies
other tales positively shining with benevolence by comparison If you are an aficianado of the modern fairy story and you haven t ead this collection stop what you e doing and order it It s worth eading for the sheer uality of the writing That s what I end up coming back to what kept me going Sylvia Townsend Warner manages to take the tone of an omniscient polite slightly jaded Court historian or perhaps court stenographer and make it shine Just don t make the mistake of looking for her Broceliande or any of her other ueenKingdoms like the hapless scholar of the last story your encounter with Fair Folk may not turn out like you hopedjust because you e a fan of theirs doesn t make them a fan of yours You ve been warned Beautiful strange and ephemeral stories Sylvia Townsend Warner has to be one of my favourite writers I haven t come across fiction that I viscerally loved as much as Kingdoms of KINGDOMS OF ELFIN by Sylvia Townsend much as Kingdoms of KINGDOMS OF ELFIN by Sylvia Townsend us establish this at the very beginning these are not Tolkien s elves neither the noble and aloof elves of The Lord of the Rings not the passionate and eckless elves of the Silmarillion Where they are passionate it is of anoth A collection of wickedly witty stories about an imagined world of Elfin kingdoms though they are all uled by ather fickle ueens and their kings tend to be in ather precarious positionsAlthough mainly about the Elfin aristocracy there is also a ag tag collection of common elfins changelings werewolves and humans to add a little breadth and depth The locales are mainly northern Europe with the occasional Excursion To Eastern Europe And to eastern Europe and Near East The time is vaguely 13th to 17th century it doesn t eally matter to the elfins as they live for hundreds possibly thousands of yearsThese ar This is a eread of a favorite book Good lord Warner s stylistic control is perfect I am at her feet Unfortunately the book is so much its own strange creature that there s very little it can offer to modern genre fiction its blood is a compound of dew soot and aconite and it does not easily breed A glorious collection of stories eminiscent of Susanna Clarke s The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories and of Mervyn Peake my only experience with his writing being Gormenghast and to some extent The King of Elfland s Daughter and Lud in the MistWarner wrote matter of factly about fantastic things her long To torment mortalsThe Kingdoms of Elfin are diverse and widely scattered than is often thought; from the Welsh Elfins who though constitutionally incapable of faith emove mountains and the elegant and witty French Court of Brocéliande where castration almost be. Ived fairy courtiers are fickle unpleasant often stupid creatures and yet she imbues them with a plain tricky charmThe collection is loosely linked story by story Kingdoms from one story are alluded to in the following ones certain characters crop up by mention on a couple of occasions but each of these could be ead alone They are strange picaresue by turns jolly and grim adventurous and dangerous flighty and ather dark There is nothing I d ecommend uicker to someone who loved The Ladies of dangerousof other tales
flighty and ather dark There is nothing I d ecommend uicker to someoneand ather dark There is nothing I d ecommend uicker to someone loved The Ladies of Adieu as I did it s the closest thing I ve found to Clarke s confident otherworldly style I am consistently fascinated by Warner s writing and this one has paid off all my fascination with interest Deeply strange and often amazing but arely enchanting if there can be such a thing as a clear headed unsentimental study of a phenomenon that doesn t exist then this 20th century English author and formidable fantasist Lolly Willowes Mr Fortune s Maggot has accomplished exactly that Kingdoms of Elfin consists of sixteen stories most of which appeared in the New Yorker in the early to mid 1970 s Warner s last work it was published posthumously in 1977The stories are loosely linked an occasional character will appear in than one story a couple of courts are the settings for multiple stor In 2006 while I was eading The Ladies of Grace Adieu I happened to meet Susanna Clarke s husband through a mutual friend And I said to him how for all the fantasy I d ead I d never encountered anything uite like hers was he aware of much that had influenced her or came anywhere near it And he ecommended this book which of course I then sought out But the time frame here might clue you in that I didn t devour it like I did Clarke s too few books I can certainly see a glancing esemblance in this ather chill vision of the good folk who at times suggest 18th century courtiers taken to their illogical conclusion creatures at once fickle and fixated beset by baffling social estrictions only the low born amongst them fly callous gossips among whom possessing a soul seems the grossest trespass And Warner has a waspish wit and a black humour which keep these curious tales like fables without morals ticking along nicely But from great Broceliande to the parochial kingdom of Catmere there s too much 11 substitution of the appurtenances of mortal aristocracy not a one of these elfin lands has the grand strangeness and dark power of Clarke s Lost Hop. Comes a vogue to the Kingdom of Zuy in the Low Countries trafficking suppositories and eligious picturesSylvia Townsend Warner's ichly exuberant imagination combined with the calm precision of her language conjures up a sublunary ealm that is entirely convinci. .
Sylvia Townsend Warner