dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #99

Gili Bar-Hillel abhillel at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 14 04:58:20 EST 1999

Philip wrote:
>I also have difficulty storing the books....

Do you have them all in double rows yet? Shelves in the kitchen and 
bathroom? I recently aquired two new bookcases, so the problem has been 
temporarily relieved. But I don't know what will happen if my mother ever 
insists that I clear out all my books from my old room in Jerusalem, or for 
that matter, adding in my boyfriend's books when we move in together soon... 
(his primary reading language is Hebrew, so we don't have that many doubles, 

Courtney and Philip:
>The Princess and the Goblin is (I think) by George MacDonald.  The sequel 
>called "The Princess and Curdie".

Right on both calls. I very recently brought up both books, and mentioned 
liking the first more than the second, which scared me, because it was 
apocalyptical, like "The Last Battle". Not to sound paranoid, but could it 
be that some people don't read my posts because they are mailed as a 
response to the digest, thus don't get tacked on to a particular thread?

Philip again:
>Gosh!  That would be like me coming out and admitting I've never read a 
>Terry Pratchett novel!

I liked, but did not love, both "Guards Guards" and "Soul Music". Barely 
remember them now at all.

When I first got to Harvard and there was this sort of introductory fair for 
new students, I rashly signed up to all the clubs that even minorly 
interested me on campus, giddy with the brand-new concept of campus life 
which doesn't really exist in Israeli Universities (at least, the two I 
attended...) and then of course for a week was pestered by these various 
clubs to come to their introductory meetings, which in many cases I had very 
little inclination to do. Horrible me. Getting to the point, the HRSF club 
(Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction) sent repeated emails, and at some point 
late in the week started tempting people to come because Terry Pratchett 
would be at the first meeting. I found this very hard to believe - thought 
they were bluffing just to get people to come. But it worked, and he WAS 
there, and he was HILARIOUS. Funnier in person than his books are, even, 
because there's something self-effacing about him that is very endearing in 
combination with the non-stop wit. Anyway, I'm a fan without even reading 
that many of his books... (Still, I never attended another HRSF meeting. Got 
too caught up with campus theatre.)

Philip AGAIN: > Dog people and cat people.

I've never liked this distinction, because I've always loved both cats and 
dogs, and get offended by the reasons people give for not liking either. And 
yet it's a distinction I make myself, as recently, in my introduction, 
mentioning that one of the reasons I like DWJ is because of her great cats. 
So many authors either tend to villify cats, or write cat characters that 
just don't ring true, as if they're never really known a cat in their lives. 
Wheareas many of Diana's cats, like Throgmorton, Benvenuto (sp?), Fiddle, 
are not only loveable but *faithful*, despite having the worst of cat 
qualities as far as being spoiled, vain, self-absorbed, and in the case of 
these three cats, ugly. In short, they are neither stereotypical nor 
unbelievable as cat characters. Which has been my experience with my cats as 
well. They are perfectly capable of utter devotion despite their vanity and 
selfishness ("Oh yes, granted, books make a *lovely* swishy sound when you 
turn the pages, but how could you be paying such rapt attention to anything 
else when *I* am obviously the most interesting thing in this room by 

The dog cat issue is also currently the biggest holdup keeping aformentioned 
boyfriend from moving to aformentioned house with me. He has a dog, I have a 
cat. Our first attempt to introduce the two of them brought me to the 
emergency room - I needed six stitches in my lip. This was the cat, of 
course. By now she is no longer as terrified of the dog, but my boyfriend 
lives in terror that she will beat chew and scratch up the dog. And rightly 

Hi Joyce! I'm glad it *is* you. I would have given a much warmer greeting 
had I realised this before... :-)

Deborah this time, though I could have answered Philip on the same topic:
>Come on, someone on the Diana Wynne Jones list has to admit to
>  being a huge soap opera fan, who reads DWJ books between monster
>  track rallies and makeovers.

Noops, not I. Sorry. I get one & 1/2 (very fuzzy) channels on my T.V. but 
never turn it on, because I'm too aware of my potential for staring for 
hours the screen like a zombie, bored out of my wits but unable to stop. 
Boyfriend, however, has cable, but we're trying to be selective. We tape ER 
and Friends to watch when we have time, will (rarely) indulge in a Xena or 
Buffy, and news. We can't not watch news, we're Israeli. We need regular 
doses of news or we get nuts. I discovered this about myself after two years 
in the states, where even the best radio news on NPR didn't get updated 
nearly often enough for me. Now that I work where I'm expected to be up on 
the latest out of Reuters and AP, I'm probably even worse.

I just killed well over an hour on this post. Back to work...


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