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On Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren

edited by Bill Wood

ISBN: 978-1-5154-2419-2

272 pages, $21.99 (trade paperback)

       

ISBN: 978-1-5154-4772-6

272 pages, $31.99 (case laminate hardcover)

       

Also to be available as an ebook, $price

       

   

Samuel R. Delany is the winner of two Hugos and four Nebula Awards. He has been honored with lifetime achievement awards, including SFWA's Grand Master, the Eaton Award, the Lambda Pilgrim Award, and the Gaylactic Spectrum Award, and was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. Dhalgren, his most popular and most controversial novel, was first published in 1975. It was nominated for the Nebula Award, remains in print to this day, and has sold close to two one million copies in a variety of editions.

In this book are collected reviews, critical essays, and in-depth analyses of Dhalgren as a novel, and as commentary on life and the world. There are also discussions of how to read the novel, and clues to unraveling some of the mysteries hidden therein. Contributors include Douglas Barbour, Mary Kay Bray, Rudi Dornemann, Harlan Ellison, Robert Elliot Fox, Jean Marc Gawron, Kenneth R. James, Gerald Jonas, John Nizalowski, Steven Paley, Darrell Schweitzer, Steven Shaviro, K. Leslie Steiner, Theodore Sturgeon, and, of course, Samuel R. Delany himself.

Contents:
"Only One Hundred Years Till Death of Harlow!" by Steven Paley
"S. F." by Gerald Jonas
"Breakdown of a Breakthrough Novel" by Harlan Ellison
"Galaxy Bookshelf" by Theodore Sturgeon
"The Autumnal City" by Douglas Barbour
"Dully Grinning Delany Descends to Disaster" by Darrell Schweitzer
"Words: And Now Tomorrow" by Gerald Jonas
"Now Read This" by John Nizalowski
"Dhalgren" by Rudi Dornemann
"Of Sex, Objects, Signs, Systems, Sales, Sf, And Other Things" by Samuel R. Delany
"Some Remarks Toward A Reading of Dhalgren" by K. Leslie Steiner
"From 'The Semiology of Silence,' an interview with Samuel R. Delany"
"Looking Back at the Autumnal City" by Samuel R. Delany
"The Instruction Manual" by John Ashbery
"Amnesia" by Steven Shaviro
"An 'Introduction'" by Jean Marc Gawron
"Rites of Reversal: Double Consciousness in Delany's Dhalgren" by Mary Kay Bray
"This You-Shaped Hole of Insight and Fire" by Robert Elliot Fox
"Subverted Equations G. Spencer Brown's Laws of Form and Samuel R. Delany's Analytics of Attention" by Kenneth R. James
"The Making of Hogg"

On September 8, 2021—the day before publication day—the book is the #1 New Release in Amazon's category for 20th Century Literary Criticism (and the trade paperback version is #3).

Reviews:

The heart of this collection is the critical analyses. And the critic who does the most to unravel Dhalgren's engimas, of which there are not a few, is K. Leslie Steiner, a.k.a. Samuel R. Delany.… Steiner's "Some Remarks Toward a Reading of Dhalgren"… is a virtuoso performance that brings Victor Hugo into an examination of the "interplay between perspective, perception, distortion, and architecture"; clues us in as to why all Kid recalls from a truck ride is the word artichokes; touches on Viktor Shklovsky's definition of art as a form of defamiliarization—a concept eminently applicable to Bellona; and, among many other things, alerts us, in the event we didn't notice, that Dhalgren contains pastiches of W.H. Auden, Rainier Maria Rilke, and Paul Valery.… Steiner isn't the whole critical show, however. There are outstanding essays by Robert Elliot Fox, Marc Gawron, and Delany scholar Ken James.— By now it should be clear that On Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren is a book for fans of Delany's most controversial novel. —Vincent Czyz, The Arts Fuse

"Samuel R. Delany's influential and divisive 1975 novel Dhalgren gets a full critical treatment in this immersive and comprehensive collection.… Fans of Delaney's classic will want to snap this up." —Publishers Weekly