Long time, no see.
emcmullin at kl.com
Mon Dec 13 12:10:27 EST 1999
Regarding Dahl, Max said:
"Anyway, I read his autobiography "Boy" and it was a
> real eye-opener and explained a lot. I have a quote from "Boy" that I can
> dig out of the essay if anyone's curious. I do like his subversiveness
> though, and I think that may be part of what appealed so strongly to me as
> child and still does. And I think there may have been something
> about how black and white everything is in his world. People are Bad or
> they're Good. That's comforting to hear at a time (childhood) where
> makes sense and people say one thing but do or mean another. As an adult,
> though, I don't find that black and white distinction quite so comforting,
> I have to admit."
Hmm, maybe I'll have a look for that autobio. Thanks to all you
remarkable folks on this list, I'm having a renaissance of interest in Dahl.
Now I'm curious about what I haven't liked and why. Partly arising from, I
just realized as I read the above that (eureka! of course!) I always
identified absolutely with the Bad! So I didn't find it comforting At All
that there was no wriggle room in such a dichotomous picture, since it meant
I was as Doomed as any of the Bad characters, and apparently deservedly so,
according to the story. This also goes a long way toward explaining my
fierce devotion to Mitt as my all time favorite character.
Huh. How bout that. Yet another reason to think about how cool dwj
is. One thing I like is, for example
Deep Secret Spoiler
...in Deep Secret, Janine and Gram so clearly have many reasons to
give up being Bad. They have families, friends, people who are there for
them and who care about them - or would care about them if they tried for
half a minute. So it isn't just the evil they do, but the lost opportunity
of the good they fail to see or appreciate or participate in. And then, for
a nice contrast to them, there's Rupert's older brother Will with happy,
though not artificially sweet, home with 6 exuberant children, spirited
debate and copious joyful animals. I got the feeling that it was a place
where people didn't get smooshed by others expectations, and where everyone
was encouraged to appreciate each other.
And then, I really love the character Nick because he's just so
wonderfully muddled in between and about good and bad right through the very
end when he's determined to become a magid still.
"But I think DWJ is subversive too, in that she is wholeheartedly
> belief that individuals should think for themselves, and take
> for themselves, and that's right up my street."
Yeah, what you said!
Welcome to all new and newly de-lurked folks. It's wonderful to
read all the introductions. And welcome back Max!
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