steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Lichen Rhymes with Kitchen

...or so one gathers from Derek Hart in this 1960 Tonight interview with John Wyndham. And if Wyndham had meant it to be pronounced differently - to rhyme with "hikin'", for example - he surely would have said. So, yah boo to my biology teacher for "correcting" me in 1975. Revenge is sweet.

It's an interesting interview, too, for what Wyndham says about the constraints he feels when writing, which seem to come mainly from a sense of his own and his audience's tastes, rather than, say, narrative logic or the laws of physics. He tries to avoid spaceships because the English (unlike the Americans) don't care for them; and generally strives to make the experience of reading his books "pleasant". It's how I imagine a classic ghost story writer like M.R. James might talk about his work, rather than what I think of as an SFnal approach. But then, SF isn't mentioned at all throughout. Hart refers to his work consistently as "fantasy" about "evil", and although Wyndham demurs at the latter word, he lets the former go.
Tags: books, links
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