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"The Heritage of Heinlein" Book 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:40 pm
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Post Re: "The Heritage of Heinlein" Book
A http://www.nyrsf.com/2014/07/being-a-review-of-two-recent-volumes-about-robert-a-heinlein-robert-a-heinlein-in-dialogue-with-his-century-volume-2.html#more review of Heritage of Heinlein (and also vol 2 of Patterson).


Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:31 pm
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Post Re: "The Heritage of Heinlein" Book
I'm now halfway through Heritage and thoroughly enjoying it. It's a thoughtful analysis that exposes many things I didn't know, is respectful without being obsequious and critical without backstabbing *cough*Panshin*cough*.

Apropos of the earlier comment re: ST in this thread, the book asserts that Heinlein was obligated to keep sending books to Scribners as long as they kept accepting them, and wanted out of the juveniles contract; therefore Troopers was a deliberate ploy to craft a book that would be completely unacceptable as a juvenile and therefore release him from his bonds. Makes sense to me. Comments?


Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:01 pm
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Post Re: "The Heritage of Heinlein" Book
Not that I don't also disagree with the comment about Troopers treating its readers like children, but that would open up a very rusty can of worms. I do find Heritage refreshingly vacant of literary pretense; it doesn't attempt to use five dollar words to convince you that you're a Neanderthal incapable of seeing an allusion to Proust if it smacked you upside the head. Instead it points out the sorts of things you always wanted to know about the stories but somehow missed. A perfect antidote to Panshin.


Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:35 am
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Post Re: "The Heritage of Heinlein" Book
PeterScott wrote:
Not that I don't also disagree with the comment about Troopers treating its readers like children, but that would open up a very rusty can of worms. I do find Heritage refreshingly vacant of literary pretense; it doesn't attempt to use five dollar words to convince you that you're a Neanderthal incapable of seeing an allusion to Proust if it smacked you upside the head. Instead it points out the sorts of things you always wanted to know about the stories but somehow missed. A perfect antidote to Panshin.


I have never been much of a literary critic, but I fail to see anything in ST that treats readers like children. Not only in ST, but I can never recall any time that RAH talked down to his readers, even, especially, in the so-called 'juvenile' books. (What you label ST as is problematical).

As for RAH wanting to have them reject ST so that he could get out of his obligation to Scribners, that may or may not have been the case, but I know that he certainly wrote that he felt extremely upset as to the way in which they treated the rejection and made the comment that they could have least treated him fairly by publishing the book even if they thought it would be a losing proposition in their eyes, because of the history of winners that he had produced for them.


Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:21 pm
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Post Re: "The Heritage of Heinlein" Book
I need to pick up a copy of this book; it sounds interesting.

It was pretty clear to me that by the late 1950s, Heinlein was bored with doing juveniles and ready to move on to something else, but Scribner didn't want the "something else". Other writers run into problems with their publishers when they start writing for a different audience or different kinds of books. Publishers mostly don't want to help the writer "expand" except to sell more books; they're in it to make money. I don't say that as a criticism, but a fact. It's just like the big Hollywood movie companies or the big music labels. Once you hit a winning "formula", they just want to repeat it with minor variations because they view it as a "safe" thing.

Most writers, most directors, and most musicians get bored with that sooner or later.

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Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:46 pm
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Post Re: "The Heritage of Heinlein" Book
Neither do I find anything in Heinlein to be condescending. I do think that Troopers, like, but more so than, anything else in the oeuvre, is part Rohrshach Test and part Shibboleth. Heinlein's fans feel that he was writing just for them (I certainly do). So I think each will read into Troopers something that reveals more of themselves than of Heinlein.

But that's as much as I want to say about that particular book in this thread. If you want to explore it further – and I am certainly game – then let's take it to a different thread, because I want to reserve this one for Heritage.


Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:06 pm
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