introduction for the third time, if this doesn't work I give
hedberg at vermontel.net
Tue Dec 14 17:08:53 EST 1999
I find that DWJ has a peculiar sort of optimism, in that the WORLD ends up
better, even if the individual does not. HOMEWARD BOUNDERS has a sad ending,
but I love Jamie for the sacrifice he makes knowingly. I contrast this
ending to, for example, Sheri Tepper's BEAUTY, or the Iain Banks' THE USE OF
WEAPONS, which I find to be staggeringly depressing books. There you see the
"success" of the hero, but set against the utter failure of the human race.
Card's TIMEWATCH is kind of in between: the human race fails, but goes back
in time to change history.
I even think Terry Gilliam's BRAZIL is optimistic, in that the central
character does find an escape the demonic humanity offers, in dreams. I
think of it s a brilliant answer to Orwell's hermetically sealed 1984.
One of the things I like about the way Jones "empowers" her characters is
not, in the end to give them the sort of autonomy that leaves the empowered
person alone. in FIRE AND HEMLOCK, Polly is empowered NOT to help herself,
but to help Tom. In HOMEWARD BOUNDERS, Jamie becomes truly empowered when he
uses his alienation to help Prometheus. Etc.
In this regard, I find here similar in kind to Diane Duane's WIZARDRY books,
which I greatly admire as exercises in personal courage for altruistic
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