Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[books] Re-reading Frank Herbert's Dune

Having finished up with both Miles Vorkosigan and Discworld, and not being able to find my copy of Ringworld, I am currently re-reading Frank Herbert's Dune. This is perhaps the fourth or fifth time I've read it, but the first in at least ten years.

Wow, is it a different book to me now. I may wind up wishing I'd left it alone with my memories. The intense SFnal crunchiness is still there, with all the fun and delight of that, but I keep getting distracted by the unselfconscious sexism (with all due credit, he does have a number of strong female characters, but the casual treatment of female servants, wives, and women-in-the-background is wince-inducing to my contemporary eye) as well as the prose bordering on the clunky, and sometime incursing well into the land of clunk. SF these days tends to place a strict rigor on point-of-view control, but POV in Dune flows like sand down a slipface. Different times, different styles, and nothing is immutable in literature. These things I all know. But the head hopping is distracting me somewhat from the story.

I'll enjoy it, but (once again) I have to say reading this book as a writer is very different from when I read it as a reader.

Tags: books, process

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