The expansive homes, Gothic...
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And that is about all we ever hear of Smade's Tavern save for a chapterful of things that happen there but that could just as well have happened in any nondescript--consider thatword!--tavern anywhere. But Vance can work his magic in even fewer sentences:
An essay has been defined in a variety of ways
Period: end of sentence, end of paragraph, end of chapter, end of Euville. An entire world, defined well enough that we can supply from our own minds, pointed by the description, enoughmore to make a place we can visualize well--all that in scarcely over a hundred words, several of which are germane to the tale proper and not the imagined world. And Vance can and does dothat sort of thing over and over, all the time.
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--nor is he unable to manage complexities when he chooses, for in a few instances (such as the "Lyonesse" series) his plots are complex yet competent.
Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works: Jack Vance
My own belief is that Vance can best be conceived as a tailor of prose, to whom plots are the tailor's dummies on which to array the wonderfully cut and remarkably colored garments thatare his real business. The dummies must be sturdy and shaped well enough to properly hold and show off those garments, but fashioning such dummies is not what his craft is all about.
The speculative-fiction work of Jack Vance evaluated as literature.
In the other three areas of pleasing, Vance is triumphant. His language use is literally wonderful: he coins exotic words so true to roots that one needs to search an unabridgeddictionary to discover which of his unfamiliar terms are real (his vocabulary is monumental) and which of his coining. --those are indictionaries you can pick up and read; --those are pure Vance (, though not to be found in my copy of the OED, turns out also to be a realword, or name anyway).