Friday, December 28, 2012

[Horror] Lao Ancients and Old Ones up at Innsmouth Free Press

My lastest article, Lao Ancients and Old Ones: An Introduction to Writing Lovecraftian Lan Xang was recently posted at Innsmouth Free Press and as my last article for the year there seems a good way to cap things off before I start up my new regular column over there for 2013.

In this article, I posit that readers "can accept rampaging orcs, hobbits, and great Cthulhu himself. So, an able writer should be able to present epics set in ancient Lane Xang as heroes live by their wits and a big, sharp dap nyai."

This of course remains the constant challenge for the Lao horror writer. We should be making our own legends and fantastic realms, for we have centuries of material that could rival Conan or the Lord of the Rings, but we must also be pushing forward new myths and new legends for the next age as well, if we are to create work that endures, not just makes a profit. 

There's a wide range of material and issues I had to leave out for this article, but I hope it gets some of the more salient points across and encourages readers and writers to look for the imaginative work of the Lao, not just memoirs and histories. 

While I think there's a space for these in every culture, if we remain fixated merely on the past, we cannot begin to articulate a present. Nor can we pass on interesting ideas to the next generation that can speak of a greater Laos, the kind that might one day reach stars and new planets.  That's why I think the work of directors like Mattie Do or playwrights like Saymoukda Vongsay or K.P. Phagnasay will become so crucial in this generation to avoid locking us into the old cliches and tropes or, worse, an appalling century of mediocre art.

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