February 27, 2009

"Imagination is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got."

But there will be no more writing from Philip José Farmer, dead at 91.

Do you think he's gone to Heaven? "I can’t see any reason why such miserable, unhappy, vicious, stupid, conniving, greedy, narrow-minded, self-absorbed beings should have immortality."

16 comments:

mcg said...

Do you think he's gone to Heaven?

I imagine he got exactly what he wanted.

SteveR said...

"I can’t see any reason why such miserable, unhappy, vicious, stupid, conniving, greedy, narrow-minded, self-absorbed beings should have immortality."

It wouldn't be heaven if all that went there. Of course that *would* be the whole idea behind hell.

blake said...

"I can’t see any reason why such miserable, unhappy, vicious, stupid, conniving, greedy, narrow-minded, self-absorbed beings should have immortality."

'cause, you know, who else is there?

Quayle said...

The Mormon answer is that he'll get whatever he truly wants.

If deep in his heart he wants misery, unhappiness, viciousness, stupidity, conniving, greed, narrow-mindedness, self-absorbtion, then that is what he'll get.

If, on the other hand, those were all foolish yet innocent thrashings to attempt to get an existence that was much better, the he'll be happy to be free of them and he'll get that better existence.

What a great cosmic notion - you get exactly what you want.

Edward said...

Many of his books are amazingly imaginative and that indeed will be his immortality.

ricpic said...

Love The Crop

We may be all the things that Mr. Farmer said we are;
We also are the only crop that reaches for a star.
He who only sees our blemishes at first seems wise;
Patience shows true husbandmen have the better eyes.

Pat said...

Farmer's definition of a "dullard" ought to be enough, all on its own, to grant him admission to anywhere he wants to be.

He was one of a kind.

But, then again, aren't we all?

Christy said...

I will forever be grateful for the Riverworld series. Farmer introduced me to Captain Sir Richard Frances Burton with whom I am still fascinated. OK, I admit I have a crush on Burton. My favorite way to learn history is to come accross real people in novels and then research them and their times. Riverworld was rich in such characters.

His porn just creeped me out, however. I found it sordid, not titilating. But hey, that's probably just me.

bearbee said...

“Imagination,” he said, “is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got.”

So, what else is there to do in Peoria?

What did WC Fields say about Peoria?

On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia

O, wait..........no. That's what is supposed to be on his tombstone.

Well, not much difference, I suppose.

Revenant said...

He was a good writer.

hdhouse said...

See you G Opee r's there is hope. Keep writing.

rhhardin said...

Imagination is like a balloon.

Cedarford said...

"I can’t see any reason why such miserable, unhappy, vicious, stupid, conniving, greedy, narrow-minded, self-absorbed beings should have immortality."

But Althouse left out the 2nd half of Farmer's quote:

"But he added, “When considering individuals, then I feel, yes, this person, that person, certainly deserves another chance.” Life on this planet, he said “is too short, too crowded, too hurried, too beset."

The guy was a wonderful thinker and fell into the sci fi genre because it rewarded him with a good living and fame for him making a story out of various "what if's" that somehow percolated relentlessly in his head from childhood. He wasn't a "great writer" but he inspired some of the better historical fiction, fantasy writers. For me, he was "good enough", though. Loved his Riverworld series.

Literary criticism is a closed world in itself, favoring writers of a certain training and focus. Now tilted to favor the politically and identity chic "right" writers to favor...even for Nobels, even if their writing is clearly shit that will not stand the test of time.

Hence the delight when the Nobel Committee finally got a great writer whose works will truly last in VS Naipaul.

But as they wrinkle their noses at such common fodder, critics whose own memory will die when they die - know that Philip Jose Farmer, John MacDonald, Stephen King and other "popular" writers will have endurance.

Orhan Parmuk, Doris Lessing, Jean-Marie Gustav De Clezio, Elfriende Jelinek??? Lotsa luck.

Chip Ahoy said...

No, the one known as Philip José Farmer did not go directly to heaven.

His God fragment returned to the place of the God fragments, and his soul is at rest on this planet, to be reawakened at the time of the next planetary dispensational age along with hundreds of millions of other souls en masse. It's more economic to do these dispensational age things in bulk, transferred to another sphere, there to be reconstructed, soul, mind, and personality, on the next training world midway between the physical world and true spirit spheres, and more significantly reunited with his own personal God fragment that shared his life with him on this Earth, suffering along with him through all his miserable mistakes, rejoicing with him in his triumphs, to resume his long universe training, sphere by sphere, rekeying with each advance to higher spirit levels as he advances through the ages at his own unique pace along with everybody else of his age in preparation for super-universe training, which ultimately results in complete unification of his unique personality, his individual mind/soul, and his own non-personal God fragment. Because the God fragment is the only thing eternal about the individual, it is at the moment of that fusion that his perfectification will be sufficiently complete for it to be possible to enter the ultimate heaven which is utterly complete unity in the desire to do the will of the Father. (The term Father is used because it is best suited for a patriarchal language.)

I sense your incredulity.

Now, please refrain from asking any more theological questions if you're prone to reject the answers. Just wait then, and you'll see for yourself what happens.

Michael McNeil said...

There was an old Outer Limits episode where a soft-spoken intellectual dies and goes to heaven, ending up in a room filled with lilting chamber music and congenial well-spoken folk playing chess and thoughtfully conversing about a myriad of fascinating topics — and the fellow is utterly ecstatic.

The viewpoint shifts to a thuggish ruffian who surrounds himself with raucous noise, coarse companions, and tough talk. He too dies, but goes to hell — whereupon he finds himself in the very same room!

John Burgess said...

Farmer, as others, has to his scattered body gone. To do otherwise would be less than human.