It was quite the challenge to find good fantasy books with authors whose last name ended in "E." It should be have not been a surprise that I would run into authors I'd never heard of before.
This guy is a wonderful author. Or rather, he thought he was wonderful, because he spends a lengthy preface explaining his wonderful stories. I think you have to forgive him. M.E. wrote these in the 1920s, he was a Hungarian who spoke several languages fluently, and he is considered an astute theological philosopher, so fiction was not ever his intended forte. I had not heard of him before, but a few weeks ago, out of the blue, I found the author of a garden book, of all people, quoting him: "Water precedes all forms and upholds all creation. Every contact with water implies regeneration." Come to think of it: John Crowley had to have read this guy to write The Aegypt Quartet.
These are two stories (hence the title) about the "yogic folklore" or "occult" in India. "Nights at Semapore" is a ho-hum ghost story. The second story, "The Secret of Dr. Honigberger" has promise: a religious scholar (uh-hem) discovers a forgotten library which hides the secret of at least one missing man. It could easily be made into a very good movie with some more flesh added to the story.
Lessons. Goodness me. I don't know. Don't write a forward for your own fiction, I would think. A
Mircea Eliade. Don't take my word. Read about him.
Write like your world is real because your world is a character – but don’t eat the scenery.
Write the story you crave, and make your story do what you want it to do, rules be damned, and give the story readers want to get a ride on – but don’t write your story if it doesn’t have a soul.
Stories are interpretations, not explanations, told in repetitions, echoes, motifs, and totems, where everything – magic included – reflects the theme, and this is how you put a story through its paces – but be wary of cumulative sentences, passive sentences, and flat endings
Write your descriptions as poetic, perfect, and unique, and use words that describe the feeling, even if the words don’t fit the object –but remember that style is meant to express, not impress.
In 2011, I began reading a list of 100 Great Fantasy Novels. I am listing them on this page.