introduction for the third time, if this doesn't work I give up!

Tanaquil2 at Tanaquil2 at
Wed Dec 15 01:57:44 EST 1999

In a message dated 12/14/99 5:29:11 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
hedberg at writes:
> I contrast this
> ending to, for example, Sheri Tepper's BEAUTY....

        This is the one Sheri Tepper I have not been able to re-read.  It is 
just too harrowing.
> 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.

        I liked this movie a lot, but it did make me feel sad at the same 
time.  I was glad he 'escaped' but I really wished there could have been a 
way to save the world.  But then that would have been missing the point I 
suppose.  Robert de Niro cracked me up!  What did you think of "Time Bandits" 
?  (I liked it btw) and think Terry Gilliam is v under-rated as a director.

>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.

        Hmm, that's interesting.  I hadn't looked at it that way.  For me, 
the empowering optimistic part came in her not turning into Ivy or Reg, 
especially Ivy.  Which happens a lot in real life I think.  I felt like that 
was as much a curse Polly broke as the one on Tom that she broke; a sort of 
family curse or something.
I think I mentioned before (long ago) that the ending made me feel sad only I 
didn't know why, and then someone (Melissa?  Elise?  Someone else?  sorry :(  
I don't have the post  ) said something wonderful about it being because they 
don't get to curl up by a nice warm fire demon (or words to that effect).  
And that was it exactly.  But I also later looked at the ending of the 
ballad, and one thing that's in there that isn't in F&H is Laurel / Queen of 
Faerie saying something like "curses; foiled again."  I wondered if that 
would have helped me feel like she had really been defeated (at least for 
this time round).   Alas, I am a diehard fan of the indisputably happy 
ending!  (But F&H is still prob my favorite DWJ)

>In HOMEWARD BOUNDERS, Jamie becomes truly empowered when he
>uses his alienation to help Prometheus. Etc.

        <skulking guiltily> I did *start* re-reading this, but it's lost 
under the pile of all the other books I'm reading at the same time....
        All this has got me wondering who qualifies as a strictly optimistic 
storyteller?  Oh, how about Georgette Heyer?  (I don't know her mysteries 
though, so maybe they'd disqualify her)  It seems to be more common in 
children's stories than adults'--except for romances.

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