Where should some one start and how should someone proceed with reading Michael Moorcock? Elric? Nowhere specific? A very specific order?
I am asking because there are stories with different characters in different times/universes.
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Years ago as a teenager I managed to meet Mr Moorcock face to face at a book signing in Hollywood, CA. Naturally I showed up with all my Moorcock books for him to sign (around 30-40 total) which got a grin and a laugh out of him - very nice fellow. He asked that we only get a few books signed each time we got back in line, and that each time we approached he would answer a different question for we obviously hardcore fanboys. I happened to ask him almost this exact question amongst others: "Why do all your heroes seem to have the same name or a variation [and other overlapping aspects]?" MM: "I just wanted to link all the universes together into a kind of giant story." "Which hero comes first?" MM: "Thats the point - they all sort of exist simultaneously."
I am guessing this answers the question? Having personally read almost everything he ever penned, I think a good answer would be to follow the age of the Old Gods (i.e. Arioch) as they seemed "younger" in the Corum series than in Elric. But by Moorcock's own words, it really doesn't matter. To quote Dr Who, "its all that Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey...Stuff."
Hope that helps. Enjoy the books - they are legendary. My favorites were The Dancers At The End of Time (genius IMO), The Blood Red Game (a bit obscure), Rituals of Infinity (loved the concept), and the Corum Series. But they are all pretty excellent. Even Time of the Hawklords was good fun. :)
p.s. Dancers At The End of Time was one of the last things he wrote, and its a beautiful "End Note" to his whole universe, though admittedly not at all like his sword & sorcery stuff. Brilliantly conceived nonetheless.
The Elric novella "Elric at the End of Time" crosses over with the Dancers series so, if anything, it would make most sense to read the Elric stories first. I would also familiarize yourself with the Decadent artistic movement, since this influenced the attitudes Moorcock speaks of in the Dancers series. Moorcock also gained inspiration from a Victorian writer George Meredith and in particular, Meredith's novel The Amazing Marriage. How, specifically, I don't know.