17 July 2008

Free of earthly bounds

On Independence Day, a wonderful writer took his own life at the age of 68. Thomas M. Disch was a creative giant. He wrote everything from gothic novels to SF to poems to librettos to children's books. The Priest, The Genocides, Echo Round His Bones, and The Man Who Had No Idea (short stories) sit above me on the bookshelf. Mr. Disch was always dark and violent, proving again that noir is a universal schtick, not confined to "crime writers." He was funny, as well, in a grim and fatalistic way, but it was his speculative power that hooked you. He could really take you places, and manage to talk about love and death and beauty and horror and anguish and redemption at the same time. He was a cynic and a heretic, but his writing is inspirational and uplifiting. He had some chops, that's for sure, and I've got several more of his books on the "must-read" list.

Recqueiscat in pacem.

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