Un article de Robert Silverberg


Robert Silverberg a signé sur le net un article intitulé : In The Bush Of Ghosts.

Voici le début :
"There was a time, fifty-plus years ago, when fantasy fiction was the pathetic ragged stepsister of science fiction, a scrawny little genre, beloved only by a special few. Publishing fantasy was a sure way to lose money, and those magazines that specialized in it, notably John W. Campbell’s Unknown Worlds, had tiny circulations and quickly became sought-after collector’s items.

All that changed once J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy became a campus craze in the 1960s. Tolkien paperbacks sold by the zillions, and in their wake came the vast hordes of Tolkien imitations, invariably trilogies (though often the first three in a set led to three sequels, and three more after that) that obediently followed the Tolkien formulas: the Disinherited Prince, the Jolly Sidekick, the Dark Lord, the Slithery Secondary Villain, the Virginal Guardian Angel, the not-so-Virginal Wizardess, the Quest for the Talisman of Power, the climactic struggle between Good and Evil, and all the rest. By now one could fill a whole library with the many fat volumes that endlessly rehearse the tropes of commercial fantasy, and still they come, pretty much the same stuff over and over, so far as I am able to tell, but obviously meeting the needs of an ever-enthusiastic audience.

I would not wish to deprive anyone of any sort of reading pleasure. Reading is a private thing; tastes differ. Go thou, if so you wish, and read trilogy after trilogy, and may you have much joy of it. But I do have a book to recommend to those fantasy readers who might yearn for a less formulaic example of the genre: a novel by an African writer that dips deep into the infinite well of the unconscious and offers a remarkable exercise of the free play of imagination: an extraordinarily rich journey through a fantastic realm that owes nothing at all to the ritualized formulas of modern post-Tolkien trilogistic fiction.

The book is My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, by Amos Tutuola, first published in 1954, and still in print. Tutuola (1920-1977) was a Nigerian, the son of cocoa farmers who belonged to the Yoruba tribe but had converted to Christianity. After six years of education at a Salvation Army school, he became a blacksmith, then worked at an assortment of menial jobs, and suddenly, in 1946, despite the skimpiness of his education, produced a full-length novel, The Palm-Wine Drink-ard."

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