David Gemmell
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Conn Iggulden : Hommage à David Gemmell

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White Square Conn Iggulden : Hommage à David Gemmell

Message par Dark schneider le Mer 13 Mar - 9:44

In my pantheon of literary greats, David Gemmell stands alone. I read his first book, Legend, when I was fourteen and knew even then that I had found the kind of writer I wanted to be. Like Julius Caesar himself, Gemmell wrote with a spare elegance, racing along with characters and events until I found it was dawn and I had to get up for work. Gemmell is the only writer who ever stole my nights in such a way.
I read Ghost King when I was at university. I was studying Arthurian literature at the time and somehow missed the references to Gian Avur and the Lancelord. It's difficult to recall a last line of any book that was more of a shock to me than that one. Gemmell was superb at endings. Some of them were so powerful that I could only stare at the ceiling with tears in my eyes.
As no one else, Gemmell could explore fear and courage in men and women under extreme stress. The bravery he describes is uplifting and made real because it is set against panic and despair. For someone like me, who grew up with his father's stories of Bomber Command in the Second World War, the grim humour and dark moments all ring true. When Beltzer gives his life to save others in Quest for Lost Heroes, it aches because he truly doesn't want to, but finds something in himself and stands.
I think that is why I've always loved these books. Gemmell could create intricate plots and he wrote dialogue with the simple force of poetry. When I think of the way Jon Shannow quoted the Old Testament, it sends a shiver through me even now.
Beyond that, though, Gemmell wrote the sort of stories that used to be told round fires right back to the caves. Humanity has a few instincts, but our culture has to passed on by stories. I grew up with classic myths and legends as well as inspiring tales of real courage. I still remember how moved I was when I first heard the tale of the Spartan Boy, who was forbidden to keep a fox cub and hid it in his chest. He showed no sign of his growing agony. As his father lectured him, the boy grew paler and paler until at last he fell dead.
It doesn't matter whether it really happened or not. Making the boy a hero shows how much the Spartans valued self-discipline. Some ancient storyteller knew that tales of courage help men to stand when they are frightened, or to let women and children go first into the Titanic's boats while the band played on. Stories are culture and Gemmell almost single-handedly brought back that sort of tale. If you've read Legend and known how afraid Regnak was, well it might just be a little easier to stand when you know you really, really should.
The thing about his best work is that it all rings true. When I've learned something in my own life about fear and courage, I hear it in his characters as they face impossible odds and know there will be no one to save them. How they act then can be inspiring or shameful, but in Gemmell's books, they rise up and meet their fate with their eyes open.
In King Beyond the Gate, there is a scene where Tenaka Khan is seeking to gather his people into one nation, very much as Genghis Khan once did. In the middle of a very tense sequence of chapters, with danger on every side, Tenaka comes across a man buried alive, left to die with only his head above ground. He squats next to the buried man and says, ‘We are seeking the tents of the Wolves.'
The man spits an ant from his mouth and replies, ‘Good for you! Why tell me? You think I have been left here as a signpost?'
Those words made me laugh until my stomach hurt. I'd grown up with that sort of resigned, grim humour from my father's memories of seeing his friends die around him. Gemmell captured it better than anyone else I've ever read. His warriors banter and laugh at the appalling situations in which they find themselves - yet there is never any cruelty in it. Gemmell's heroes are admirable, flawed and very, very human.
Most writers owe a debt to the authors they have read. We're all voracious readers first and we learn to recognize what hits us hard, what works. I'm sure I wouldn't have written historical fiction if I hadn't read Lion of Macedon - a retelling of the Alexander story more powerful than any history. Without characters like Parmenion, I'd never have known where to go with a young Julius Caesar. I probably wouldn't have chosen to write against Genghis Khan without Gemmell's Nadir. That's the debt I will always owe: he put me on the path I still walk today.
When I first heard he was beginning a series on Troy, I relished the news. I didn't know then that it would be the end of an era. There simply isn't anyone else who can write a scene like Helikaon standing on the rock, or the old pirate Sekundus giving his life to save Penelope.
Of his own work, Gemmell once said: ‘All my books contain the same message, but I don't preach about it. The message is for those with the "eyes to see and the ears to hear." If any reader doesn't understand the message, no amount of lecturing from me will bring it home.'
Though the author passed on too soon, his people - Jon Shannow, Helikaon, Waylander, Regnak, Bane, Tenaka Khan, Parmenion, Druss, Connavar and all the others - live and remain.
Gemmell wrote about real heroes and, in doing so, made we want to be one. That's good writing.
Legend by Conn Iggulden - October 2007

Source : http://www.fantasybookreview.co.uk/David-Gemmell/biography.html
Dark schneider
Unificateur des Nadirs

Date d'inscription : 19/01/2009

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White Square Re: Conn Iggulden : Hommage à David Gemmell

Message par Albéric le Mer 13 Mar - 13:52

I probably wouldn't have chosen to write against Genghis Khan without Gemmell's Nadir. That's the debt I will always owe: he put me on the path I still walk today.
Ça c'est du compliment ! :thumright:


Date d'inscription : 16/01/2012

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White Square Re: Conn Iggulden : Hommage à David Gemmell

Message par keyvin le Jeu 30 Mai - 4:28

bravo Dark belle hommage.... a un homme qui par son imaginaire si fertile a su faire réver et évader des millions de personnes dans des contes et des épopées sublimes rest in peace monsieur Gemmell
Légionnaire de la Martia victrix

Date d'inscription : 29/05/2013

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