R.A. Lafferty Devotional Forum

The Fall of Rome
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Author:  aufeldia [ Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:53 pm ]
Post subject:  The Fall of Rome

Has anyone read Lafferty's "The Fall of Rome"? It is not listed in his nonfiction works on the webpage. It is a masterpiece; his imaginative account of Alaric the Goth's successful invasion and defeat of Rome in--I think--410 A.D. I say imaginative, but he obviously had done massive amounts of research, and the imagination involved is backed by very convincing evidence.

It's a hard book to find. But it's worth seeking out. I think it was one of the best things he ever wrote (and that's saying a lot!)

Author:  Nat! [ Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Fall of Rome

This work has another name Alaric under which it is (not very elaborately commented) filed on the Novels page. In my opinion it's not really a non-fiction work, but something of a mockumentary or fictionalized history or some combination of those words roots :)

I have to admit I only read it once. I should give it another try.

Author:  Harold [ Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Fall of Rome

I finally got this book this year (fair quality second hand copy for about 40 dollars on Amazon.com) and I was pleasantly surprised. It's a bit like Okla Hannali, in that it is a fictional account interwoven with real historic events. This can make it a bit complicated to untangle whether what your reading is mere fantasy or has some basis in fact. But then Lafferty has always been good at that kind of thing. Nothing is ever what it seems.

Author:  kevinacheek [ Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Fall of Rome

A question about The Fall of Rome: How much is fiction?

Some of it is obvious myth-making, for example the part where the Gulf of Corinth froze at Alaric's command and his army was able to run across and escape Stilicho's army.

Some of the battles are exactly where and when Wikipedia says, but with different different casualty counts and a different report on their importance.

The only bit of obvious fiction I can find it it is the brief paragraph describing how Atrox Fabulinius interrupts his story to relate the history of the world up to that point. Given his comment about the history being Fabulinian in nature - or a fable, perhaps we could translate the name Atrox Fabulinius as "Atrocious Lie" or at least "Atrocious Fable"

He didn't footnote or list his sources, but I suspect that most of this is real, accurate history, with perhaps a unique Laffertian interpretation on the facts he had read.

Either way, it is a very engaging read, and it makes the reader consider how civilized the Goths must have been prior to sacking Rome.

Author:  Wentintoadream [ Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Fall of Rome

Here is a copy of a letter by Lafferty in which he discusses the sources for "Fall of Rome" at length.

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Author:  gwern [ Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Fall of Rome

Interesting letter, where did you dig that up?

I'm also intrigued by his mention of the 'full' FoR being published - does anyone know what's with that? Are most editions the full version or do we only have the partial version?

Author:  Wentintoadream [ Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Fall of Rome

It's a scan from a photocopy I made from an original letter I bought on eBay years ago. (I've been collecting Lafferty since around 1981.) Beyond the title, I don't know if there's any difference between the UM and Doubleday versions.

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