*Breathes* is it over? Did I finish? Yes I did!
I’ve written on the prior sections of the Treasury in earlier posts, and now will sum up my thoughts on the final two sections and the collection in general. Before starting, I noted that for an author that is rarely if ever circulated now despite his massive early influence, it’s interesting to look at all the awards that he won or was nominated for.
How many authors win awards all across the mystery, sci-fi, and fantasy genres? The entire Treasury itself also won and was nominated multiple times. Naples won a world fantasy award. Davidson is like a shadow, an influential and widely acclaimed author that everyone seemed to love but now hardly anyone knows or talks about anymore.
As far as The Seventies and newer stories, I largely liked Davidson’s older works much more than the newer ones. I have been reading through the collection slowly to avoid burn out but so much of the later stories just went straight over my head. Should I have DNF’d? Idk, I wanted to sample the works across the years. I can’t say why the last bunch were my least favorites other than that I just tended to not understand them, or be bored by the long and winding trails from point A to point Avram.
I’ve been reading the collection since the end of January and definitely struggled at times, but feel like I learned a lot about genre history, general history, many odd facts, and about myself and my own reading habits where I love eclectic & brilliant minds but struggle to keep up sometimes. If an author gives the editors hell and is considered Out There, I will gravitate towards it. (Y’all remember the Bukowski kick I went on recently)? That said, I can also admit when an author is just far, far too smart for me.
In the afterward, Ray Bradbury (my favorite short fiction writer, sorry Avram) agrees and stresses that reading one or two stories a night depending on the length is the best and only way to consume a book like this. I also would stress that Davidson’s style starts ‘in a fog’ (Bradbury) and then slowly reveals itself, often times making us wait until the last paragraph or even the last sentence to get “the point” of the story. And oh, you’d better have been able to follow Davidson’s train of thought along the way too 😅. That’s where he lost me towards the end.
I’m not sad. I don’t feel like I wasted my time reading these. I tried. If you want to try too, go for it. I think this is a great collection to get some highlights of his work and related words from other authors. I think Davidson has some great classic stories that deserve to stay in circulation today, but there’s always going to be a lot of ‘other’ to wade through.
From my final batch of stories, I’d like to nod to my favorites: essentially everything from the 70’s I loved except Manatee Gal, Wont You Come Out Tonight. Crazy Old Lady is sad and Selectra Six-Ten is hilarious. Obviously Polly Charms has much attention as well.
The 80’s & 90’s
This final batch just did not connect with me. The Slovo Stove was probably my favorite because if nothing else, I thought the running joke and legitimate but impossible interest in obscure customs was hilarious. As a group these went over my head
The last thing I’ll do is share an article I found by Henry Wessels
He wrote one thing that I feel wholeheartedly and have mentioned before while reading some of these stories, which is that reading Davidson just makes me feel like my reading is lacking in so many ways. So many great authors and great stories are mentioned that I’ve never even heard of. It makes me feel inadequate 😅 I hope Wessels won’t care that I linked to his article, it’s something I do when frankly someone just says something more eloquently than I can!
Anyway, these are my thoughts and I hope you’ll check out my other writing on Avram Davidson as I’ve made my way through this wild, difficult, wonderful book!