Thoughts . . . by Mark Rich

. . . scribbled . . . scrawled . . . trimmed . . . typewritten . . . grubbed up . . . squeezed from circumstance . . .

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Culture of Collaboration

In Steven Silver's review, I like that he uses the phrase "culture of collaboration" in relation to the Futurians. Cyril's personality seems to have included a considerable appreciation for working in a cooperative manner. This stood him in good stead with the other Futurians, in learning the ropes of his craft while spending weekends in their company. It also put him in the position of having his talents being used to others' advantage, unfortunately. He was a writer of such conscious ability that I believe he knew what he was providing to his elders, including Wollheim, in terms of writing quality. At the same time, however, I believe he little realized how much he was giving away in terms of writing value.

In the biography, I begin the work of establishing to what degree the young Cyril Kornbluth wrote works which later would be attributed to other, senior writers.

The "collaborative culture" mainly involved Dirk Wylie/Harry Dockweiler, Richard Wilson, and Kornbluth, with Wollheim and others also participating. Perhaps because of his personal power in the group, the "collaborative" work involving Wollheim tended to be on a contractual basis -- which is why at least some of Kornbluth's writings disappeared from sight. Kornbluth's most important writing partnership during Futurian days was probably, indeed, with the Futurian chief -- although until Wollheim's papers become available it will likely remain unknown how many stories Kornbluth wrote that would end up attributed to the older Futurian.

Cheers ...

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