Thursday, March 12, 2009

Michael Chabon, Saturday Morning Villains, Hope.

Hello, readers. Happy day-that-you-are-reading-this.

Michael Chabon (complete with nifty hat accessory) appeared at Wondercon with Matt Fraction. io9 did a nice write-up of the event, although, frankly, they were not nearly suspicious enough of Mr. Fraction. Truly, it is a name worthy of Saturday Morning villainy, or at the very least, Electric Company chicanery. Questions should have been raised as to his plots (erm, plans) concerning the Kingdom of Rational Numbers.

But in more topical matters, the content of the panel focused mainly on Chabon's blooming nerdom, the resurrection of his childhood passions in his more recent adult work. See The Fantastic Four references and Lovecraft doppleganger in Wonder Boys, the comic-centric opus, Kavalier and Clay, and his more recent full-fledged forays into genre like the fantasy novel, Gentleman of the Road, or the alternate history Jewish noir, The Yiddish Policeman's Union. Chabon's narrative was placed "within a larger story of a kind of nerd cultural insurgency by which the literary and artistic worlds are gradually being made safe for geekdom." io9 cites writers like Jonathan Lethem, Kelly Link, and Susanna Clarke, who have taken the fairy tales and ray guns of their childhood and crafted awesomeness. This sort of embrace and defiance of genre is near and dear to Chabon's heart. For his own take, check out his collection of essays, Maps & Legends, in which he praises and defends the importance of ray guns, along with mythology, detective novels, comics, and the sometimes frowned upon idea of providing entertainment to the reader.

Chabon's more speculative tendencies were frowned upon while getting his MFA at Irvine, which is what led to his more realistic turn in Mysteries of Pittsburgh. That book is now a movie with Peter Saarsgard and an abundance of dramatic lighting. I hope the Cloud Factory makes an appearance, too. That was a good bit.

No comments: