And Yet Another Newcomer

alexandra.bolintineanu at alexandra.bolintineanu at
Mon Sep 6 12:53:36 EDT 1999

Greetings and Salutations!

I must confess that the discussions on this list have wildly overshot the
interest level up to which I can keep safely quiet, and I simply must join

Firstly, thank you so very much, Deborah, for starting this list.  It
seems simply amazing how many tastes devoted DWJ readers have in common.
Reading through the last few weeks' messages (which I had to do at one
fell swoop, since I've been away from home all that while), I'm still
astounded at the sheer frequency of yells of delight and recognition that
I was plaguing my family with; and once or twice, concerned family members
came up to check that I was chortling and not choking (as in the
description of the wilted grilled cheese sandwiches, or Terry Brooks'
(ab)use of circumlocution).  

Secondly, as I solemnly announced, my introduction.  My name is Alexandra,
and I'm majoring in English and Computer Science (yes, at the same time)
at the University of Toronto. In my spare time and in the Time When I
Should Be Doing Things the Real World Thinks Useful, I read and write,
both compulsively. Last summer a very good friend insisted that I read
Howl's Moving Castle, and one afternoon when I was visiting her gave me
the book.  After a few mumbled apologies to my surroundings (somewhere
after Sophie Talks To Hats) I did not spare them another mite of attention
until later on in the evening, when I finally finished the story... Now, a
year later, I've feasted my way through almost all DWJ books, and dread
the moment when there will be no more DWJ to read for the first time.  My
favourites--but oh, why bother?  I'll change my mind ten minutes later

Thirdly, my little contribution to the discussion.  (Here Be _Black
Maria_ spoilers).  I apologize if I'm merely reiterating stuff that people
have discussed before, or that are simply blindly obvious. :)

After reading Black Maria (partly through a Political Science lecture on
global economy), I was
rather struck with the Merlin parallel, and here's why.  First, there's
poor Anthony Green, magician though he is, imprisoned under the earth by a
treacherous young woman
by the name of Naomi (as Merlin was imprisoned by a treacherous damsel
named Vivien, or--in some accounts--Nimue).  The treacherous Naomi's
mother is named Maria (corresponding to Morgan Le Fay, Nimue/Vivien's
unpleasant mistress).  Naomi's mother's name is Mrs. Laker; and the Lady
of the Lake seems to be, in some Arthurian stories (though not, as I've
just discovered to my surprise, in Malory) Morgan Le Fay's counterpart and
opponent, the  good enchantress.  Also, Aunt Maria (like Morgan Le Fay) 
makes it a point of holding men (especially men as hunters/warriors/knights) 
in thrall.  And finally (though a touch farfetchedly), just as Merlin is
said, ever since T.H. White, to grow old backwards, so Antony does a bit
of that after he is freed.

And that's about the extent of my little theory.  Please pardon my
ramblings, and once more, thank you, everyone, for the splendid postings.



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