Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lloyd Alexander

Lloyd Alexander (1924-2007) was a successful fiction writer who wrote mostly children stories, but some other varieties as well including a total of over 40 books!

I was reading about him today when I came across this quote in an article of tribute that was published at his death.

The quote from Lloyd Alexander is in reference to his main character in a five book fantasy series who starts out as an assistant pig-keeper. Although his work is sometimes predictable and his female characters are often unbearable, Alexander was a great children's writer. I have been greatly influenced by his style and have enjoyed hours of it, in my youth. ;-)

"For Mr. Alexander, the uses of enchantment were clear: fantasy, he often said, was a powerful way of talking about real-world injustice.

'In whatever guise — our own daily nightmares of war, intolerance, inhumanity; or the struggles of an Assistant Pig-Keeper against the Lord of Death — the problems are agonizingly familiar,” he said in his Newbery acceptance speech in 1969. “And an openness to compassion, love and mercy is as essential to us here and now as it is to any inhabitant of an imaginary kingdom.' "

And from an interview published after his death...

"SF: Of all your books, do you have a favorite book or character?
I can’t single out one of my books or characters as a favorite. In the same way that I don’t have a favorite kidney, my books are organically all part of myself. I might even say that put all together, the books are one ongoing, developing story—which, not coincidentally, happens to be my own lifestory.

SF: What was it like to win the Newbery Medal?

LA: The only way I can describe winning the Newbery Medal is: indescribable. Elation? Astonishment? Those are very pale words. What I did realize after the jubilation calmed down a little (it never calmed down completely) is that all awards, marvelous as they are to receive, are given for something already done. The point is not to look back, but to look ahead to what you hope still to do.

SF: What were your favorite books growing up, and who were your favorite authors?

LA: Favorite books and authors while growing up—I’d need a book to list them all. For the sake of brevity: Shakespeare, Dickens, Mark Twain, Victor Hugo, world’s mythology, the Arthurian legends. And the unabridged dictionary. And they’re still my favorites. They get better each time I read them."

(You can see the whole interview

For more info on Lloyd Alexander go to:
this interesting, short bio or Wikipedia.

Just thought I'd share.
Miss Pickwickian

(P.S. Perhaps his nose influenced my writing style as well. ;-)


Miss Rose said...

Nice post dude! :) I really like some of his books... wow, that guys nose is HUGE!!!!

dura mater said...

He looks nice! I like what he said about awards and the past and future. Thanks for posting this!

Johanna said...

His nose is the best part about him. :-)

Esmeralda Gatsby said...

I loved Lloyd Alexander when I was younger too. :) I agree though, his girl characters are sometimes annoying... I LOVE his nose!