I was astonished when I saw this review by Jo Walton of a stage play based on Samuel Delany's Dhalgren. I was dazzled by tbe very idea. I had that same feeling that I have while asleep in recurring dreams when I discover that there exist "lost episodes" original Star Trek. But evidently it's real, this on-stage reimagining of Delany's magnum opus, a play titled Bellona, Destroyer of Cities.
Dhalgren elicits a wide range of reactions. Writers that I admire almost as much as Delany, such as Ellison and Dick, said unflattering things about it, while others, like Sturgeon, heaped highest praise on it. It seems like a lot of people have started reading it and then given up on it. But I adore it. I don't know if I can say firmly that it's the single greatest novel I have ever read, but it would certainly be in the top five. It's not just a stunning achievement of speculative fiction, it is a towering triumph of American literature penned by one of the most literate and subversive writers ever to write sf.
Now that there has been a play, I wonder if there could ever be a movie? It would probably suck, but it's still fun to imagine. Related Articles :