This interview was a shock. I’d kind of imagined Moorcock as simultaneously living in multiple personas in multiple planes, many of them degenerate and decadent. I’m having a hard time picturing him in a single locality in a place as prosaic as Texas.
These days Moorcock lives in Texas, in the town of Bastrop, just outside Austin. It’s always a risk to meet one’s heroes, and a small Texas town seemed an inhospitable spot for a writer who, throughout all his multifarious work, has retained a specifically English sensibility. Mummery, the knowingly named central character of Mother London (who shares much biographical information with his creator), says "London is my mother, source of most of my ambivalences and most of my loyalties." I wondered if I would find a writer in exile, or adrift.
Instead, I discover Moorcock with his feet up in the den of a charming Victorian house, surrounded by books, cats and a clutter of antique furniture. He is tall, impressively bearded, though less Falstaffian than some of his publicity photos. Why did he and his wife move to Texas? "We’d lived in England for 15 years, and Linda was sick of it. She used to get shit all the time just for being American. I didn’t want to live somewhere that was an enclave of the British abroad. I thought: where am I going to get the most experience and hear what people really think?"
I started reading Moorcock with the Elric stories, but for those of you with an appreciation of blasphemy, you must read his Behold the Man. Nothing I’ve ever written is even close to the contemptuous sacrilege in that story. I loved it.