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Michael Moorcock: Between Chaos and Order

Fantasy.fr offers you an exclusive interview of Michael Moorcock legendary author of The Eternal Champion cult serie shown through Elric, Corum, Hawkmoon or with such writings as Gloriana, The War Hound and the World's Pain or Mother London.

Par Emmanuel Beiramar | Traduction : Grégory Bouet
23 juillet 2010 | Mis à jour 23 juillet 2010
Michael Moorcock: Between Chaos and Order
Michael Moorcock: Between Chaos and Order

Fantasy.fr: Do you remember how you first encountered Fantasy?

Michael Moorcock: That was probably seeing FANTASIA during WW2. Everything was grey and bleakoutside. On screen were colours I'd never actually seen before. Especially indigo. And SNOW WHITE contained images which continued to scareme for years afterwards!
 

Fantasy.fr: Elric’s a mix of yourself, of Zenith the albino and some of these days classics. How would he look like if he were to be born today?

Michael Moorcock: He's more of a mix of myself, Zenith and the 19th century Gothic/Romantic characters -- Byron, Melmoth and so on,  I suspect he would be pretty much the same if he were born today, since the influences (including Robert E. Howard) would likely be the same.  I never read a huge amount of generic fantasy after the age of 17 or so, perhaps because by that time I was writing my own!  I wrote a series of articles called ASPECTS OF FANTASY in the same magazine in which I introduced the first Elric stories and they pretty much reflect my tastes to this day.  I wrote about what I considered the Jungian/Freudian elements in heroic fantasy and haven't really changed my mind.  I'm still inclined to reach for them when planning a new Elric  story, as well as Shakespeare.  The Shakespeare is based on the idea that even if you produce something fairly ordinary you should at least try to write to the best standards.  The resonances of Shakespeare made me aim as high as possible within the conventions, of course, of the sword and sorcery story!
I'm not, of course, claiming that my work comes close to such  a great  writer, just that it helps me turn out a slightly more ambitious  story!
 

Fantasy.fr: How about the Elric movie ? The Weitz  brothers project seems to be  jeopardized, doesn’t it?

Michael Moorcock: Universal have shown no serious interest for some time, since generally  they have not done well with ambitious fantasy projects. Chris Weitz  isn't, in my view, likely to find another major studio for a  while.
 

Fantasy.fr: You once said, Elric would only grow  with intelligent people. How about  the comics, video games? Did you  turn down some projects?

Michael Moorcock: I turned down a movie for years and am still inclined to turn  a movie down unless I completely trust the director/producer.I have enjoyed  writing new Elric stories and am about to sign with a new company who want to  produce new comics as well as put all the old ones back into print.  I have written a video game which was very satisfying to me because, again, I trusted  the company -- that was Silverheart -- but I'm not at all interested in  producing 'the mixture as before'.

 

Fantasy.fr: You said you like the Solomon Kane movie  and even added you’d like working with Michael J. Bassett. You meant on Elric,  didn’t you? The two characters having many things in common. 

Michael MoorcockMichael has wanted to do Elric since he was a boy and I think he has the right instincts and crew to make it work.  His main producer [Samuel Hadida] lives in Paris and we'll be getting together later to discuss the realities of  putting either an Elric or Hawkmoon project together.
 

Fantasy.fr: The Basset movie wasn’t well thought of  through and Howard fans screamed blue murder…

Michael Moorcock: A  friend of mine, who ran the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, once described this as  'the anxious ownership' syndrome. One of my acquaintances in Texas even complained that he had 'not been consulted' over the movie.  That's like  me saying because I edited an Edgar Rice Burroughs fanzine as a kid I should  have been consulted over A Princess of Mars. I see this mostly as a typical case of 'I'm a fan therefore I own what I love'.  Bassett clearly hoped to do the Howard stories once he had established the character. The film didn't do great box office -- and still hasn't opened in the US yet but it's making a lot of money as a DVD, so it could still happen.  A friend of mine who is a dedicated Howard collector and fan says he thinks the  movie is great and has watched it some 15 times!  So clearly opinions are divided!
 

Fantasy.fr: You don’t read much Fantasy and quote few  authors of the kind. Do you think one should stand apart from it before taming  it and becoming one of the masters of the kind?

Michael Moorcock: Whenever I'm  asked about becoming an heroic fantasy writer I suggest that the reader stop  reading fantasy altogether and read everything else  instead.
 

Fantasy.fr: You began to write at an early age. Were  you young today, what kind of career would you choose as an  adult?

Michael Moorcock: Writer.  I never wanted to do anything else.  But if  I had to choose another job it would either spend more time on my music or  perhaps go infor acting.
 

Fantasy.fr: You said, you didn’t change much as an  author. Did your writing method stay the same? Do you have a standard  workday?

Michael Moorcock: Not any more.  For  years, when I had children growing up, I worked to a very strict  routine.  Now I still work every day but not necessarily to the same  times.  Once a book is going, however, it is still likely to bewritten to something close to a daily 10-6 routine.
 

Fantasy.fr: Your Doctor Who novel just hit the  shelves. Whay was it so important foryou to write one?

Michael Moorcock: I set myself the task of writing a space opera as if written by PG Wodehouse, since I'd always seen the Doctor as that combination. Dr  Who has 'appeared' before in Cornelius novels, for instance. He's an  English institution, like pantomime and seaside pierrots, so it was a real pleasure to work on a book featuring him.
 

Fantasy.fr: During an interview, you quote books  you’d like to see read in the future. Why don’t Corum, Elric and the others  appear in that list?

Michael Moorcock: I  suppose I don't expect them to be appearing much after I  die...
 

Fantasy.fr: Could you tell us more about your  upcoming projects ? What about the Elric novels with Fabrice Colin? Why  did you decide to work with him?

Michael Moorcock: Fabrice and I were  introduced by a mutual friend and I admire what he does.  He seems the  ideal person to bring a new, contemporary angle of attack to the Elric stories.  I'm enjoying working with him.  He has an original turn of  mind. I'm really looking forward to the first one coming  out.

 

La version française de l'interview de Michael Moorcock est disponible ici.

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