As We Know It.

I have been re-reading the 800+ page book, Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons, in my limited downtime i.e. lunch breaks and smoke breaks etc. This book (in-coincidentally written by my all-time favorite author) is so profoundly elaborate and intricately designed throughout; historically rich and speculatively mind-bending in content, it unfailingly causes the reader to re-evaluate certain pieces of “history” as we ALL think we know it.
I was wondering to myself, upon actually beginning to read the emotionally jarring first chapter again, what it is about this author’s works that enthrall me like they do; and I realized it is exactly what I described above about this specific story, that envelopes me in each one of his stories: the bold twisting of “facts” and “historical events” as we know them, and always have.
The Hyperion Cantos (my all-time favorite literary saga) attracted my attentions, and has held them ever since, for the very same reasons. The span of time that Dan Simmons is notorious for including in most, if not all, of his stories is difficult enough in itself to wrap one’s mind completely around. He tends to create FAR FUTURE science fiction, CENTURIES old speculative fiction, and incorporates numbers, the ancient mysteries, Romance and Victorian Eras, with a sprinkling of specific historical characters from Jesus to JFK. His writings are so infused with cross-references and obscure connections to various things throughout time and space.
As an example:
The 800+ page I am reading now is called Carrion Comfort, which was a direct reference to the celebrated Victorian Era Poet and Priest: Gerard Manley Hopkins, who designed the piece as a Fuck You to God during one of his infamous melancholies. There is no reference at all throughout the storyline of carrion birds or scavengers – on the contrary, the plot revolves around the loose concept of “Mind Rapists” – far from any scavenger. So, to any true lover of puzzles or literature, this strange title prompts the reader to further enlightenment through the age-old sense of curiosity. And THAT, is what makes a damned good writer, in my opinion.

4 thoughts on “As We Know It.

  1. Rise above says:

    I’m slowly reading the Cantos series, a little birdie dropped them off for me at my door in Toronto; he’s definitely a detail oriented writer, it’s a slow process for me but it’s well digested thus far.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy says:

    I’m intrigued – sounds like 800 pages is quite an undertaking. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

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