Thursday, April 12, 2018

I is for Immortality: Zelazny A to Z



The ability to live forever; eternal life.
Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.
Even more than car accidents, green eyes or the span of three days, the concept of immortality pervades Roger Zelazny’s work.   Most of his supernatural characters tend also to be immortal or very long-lived.  Of the protagonists of his major novels, only Nameless (from My Name is Legion), Pol (of Changeling/Madwand), Fred Cassidy (Doorways in the Sand) and Hell Tanner (Damnation Alley) spring to mind as those who have not lived beyond their natural lifespans.

Both the Krulik biography and the Call Me Roger segments of the Collected Stories touch on this in greater detail, but the aspect of immortality as it relates to Zelazny’s writing that I find most interesting is the question Corwin raises in the Chronicles. Do people really change, or do changed circumstances bring out characteristics that have been there all along? Long-lived characters allow an author to dig into such questions.

1 comment:

  1. "Even more than car accidents, green eyes or the span of three days,"

    Bravo. I laughed out loud at this. You're quick to weave disparate threads together!