Lord Foul’s Bane, by Stephen R. Donaldson

Forgiveness would bring responsibility, and responsibility brings guilt and guilt brings pain. If Covenant can avoid responsibility, he can avoid pain. But this also connects to the idea of the dream world: in feeling responsible for the things in this world, Covenant would have to acknowledge their reality. Conversely, by denying their reality he can deny his own responsibility.

Occasional Mumbling

I have a feeling that Lord Foul’s Bane may come as a surprise to many readers. It’s on the ‘fantasy’ shelf, and fantastical things do occur, but this isn’t meant to be how fantasy works. At least, not these days.

Some history is in order. Lord Foul’s Bane is one of the most important books in the history of the genre. It came out in the epochal year of 1977 – in October, I think. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons had been released in stages through the year, with the Monster Manual released sometime that autumn so far as I can make out. Tolkien fans would have been at fever-pitch with the long-awaited release of The Silmarillion in September. In January that year, Terry Brooks had released his own shameless rip-off loving homage to Tolkien. Up until then, fantasy was mostly the soft fringes of science fiction, itself already a niche…

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