More magic stuff

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Wed Oct 27 17:56:54 EDT 1999

I don't know if the list has actually been down, or just very quiet.  I
guess it's a question of always feast or famine - usually things go way too
fast for me to be near keeping up.  I know this is going way back, but
Alexandra's post from a long time ago (I can't find it to quote) about the
understanding which is a necessary prelude to people using their abilities,
set me thinking about a bit in F&H (I know, I know, all roads lead to
F&H!).  I'd always glossed right over it, mostly out of too-quick reading,
and also maybe because it didn't quite appeal.  It's where Polly is waiting
at Miles Cross to try to save Tom, and she says "It was not because of the
things Fiona had said, or Granny, or because she was determined not to be
embarrassed off this time.  It was not even because Tom had given her an
awkward, sideways goodbye kiss.  It was because this really was the only
way she knew to prevent certain murder."

It suddenly occurred to me that this was a heroic approach.  The hero's
quest is not about personal motives, but seeing that Justice or Right is
served.  So maybe part of what Polly needed to learn about herself was that
she had become a hero in her own right, rather than just Tom's

Becca and I are reading Robin McKinley's _Beauty_ right now.  I'd read it
before, a long time ago, but it's interesting re-reading it in the light of
discussions here.  There's certainly a strong connection with F&H in the
sense of a male hero "using" a female to save his own skin.  I think DWJ
did a far better job in dealing with this potentially thorny issue, but
what else is new!

hallieod at

Now I do know - our server has been trying to deliver this for a week, with
no success.  Definitely there are list problems.  I'm tossing this out
again, in hope...


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