THE NUTMEG POINT DISTRICT MAIL

the Avram Davidson electronic newsletter

Vol. VII No. 1

8 May 2002

ISSN 1089-764X

Published bimonthly by whim and fancy for the Avram Davidson Society.
Contents copyright 2002 The Nutmeg Point District Mail and assigned
to individual contributors. All rights reserved.

Henry Wessells, Editor.
Cooper Wessells, Honorary Secretary.

All correspondence to:
TEMPORARY CULTURE
Post Office Box 43072, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043-0072
Electronym: wessells@aol.com

Use this electronym for requests to be added to or dropped from the
mailing list. Back issues are archived at the Avram Davidson Website,
URL : http://www.avramdavidson.org

PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THE ORIGINATING ADDRESS

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Press Clippings : 'active as popcorn in a skillet'

Guy Davenport opens his column in the April 2002 Harper's Magazine with
praise for Avram Davidson's writings, particularly The Other Nineteenth
Century
and Adventures in Unhistory : Davidson's bouncy style is an
explosive mixture of Sterne, Robert Burton, Rabelais, and Plutarch. Davidson's
mind was as active as popcorn in a skillet [. . .] these Adventures have the
weight of about a hundred doctoral theses in anthropology or folklore, none of
which would be salted with Davidson's wicked and wholly subversive sense of
humor." Davenport, a frequent correspondent of Davidson's in later years, tells
a splendid anecdote about genius and Tolstoy and Davidson. "Ranking geniuses
is still an inexact science." Calling "El Vilvoy de las Islas" the "masterpiece" in
The Other Nineteenth Century, the Sage of Lexington notes : "The
rediscovery of Avram Davidson is a true resurrection. I have on my desk the
unpublished proofs of his autobiography. [. . .] His letters will be a publishing
event" (p. 71). The column is nicely illustrated with the principal motifs of "Or
All the Sea with Oysters."

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A MODEST PROPOSAL : UNCOLLECTED DAVIDSON

On the ninth anniversary of Avram Davidson's death, some reflection upon the
steady return to print of the author's work seems apt. Successive issues of the
District Mail have chronicled this phenomenon. Much of Davidson's best short
fiction is readily available, and the Wildside Press initiative to reprint his early
novels is well under way. What is surprising is how much first-rate material
remains uncollected or not yet reprinted, even after the Treasury, the
Investigations, Everybody Has Somebody in Heaven, and the most recent
volume, The Other Nineteenth Century. Accordingly, there follows a
possible "table of contents" for a volume of Uncollected Davidson that might
prompt a few readers to seek out some "new" stories. A few generally
eccentric thematic headings are briefly catalogued to suggest the range of these
pieces : Antiquarian Pursuits, Fabulous Beasts, Classical Themes, Retirement
Life & Pensions, Crime & Detection, Fantasy, and Short Shorts.

Antiquarian Pursuits, Fabulous Beasts, Clas