poll which is far too full of washing

alexandra.bolintineanu at utoronto.ca alexandra.bolintineanu at utoronto.ca
Thu Sep 9 20:35:55 EDT 1999


Dear Deborah:

Please excuse me if I've replied to the poll before.  I'm not sure if
that's when I got forcibly logged of or not.  Anyway, here's my response
again.

The "In which" style reminded me of a certain eighteenth
century novel of mildly gargantuan proportions--"Tom Jones".
Interestingly enough [TOM JONES SPOILER HERE], this novel is also about a
rakish young man who, after many misadventures of the heart (some
involving a nasty older woman, farfetchedly reminiscent of the Witch of
the Waste), is reformed by and marries a strong-willed young woman named
Sophia.  I thought the style of Howl's Moving Castle had a faintly
eighteenth-century feel to it, what with the cooly elegant irony, the
wonderful, almost farcical topsy-turviness of some scenes, and (of course)
the figure of that wretched little duelist (the Count of Cattarack, if I'm
not mistaken).  (Please excuse the syntax.)  I think the "In which"-es
enhanced that sense of the narrator's quiet amusement that one gets in
Tom Jones (and, of course, in Jane Austen)--because, of course, the titles
are rather misleading, picking up some little element of a chapter's plot
and blowing it out of proportion.  

I apologize if this is all worthless blather... My only excuse is, I'm in
the middle of moving back into university residence, and my life is about
as orderly as Howl's pre-Sophian bathroom.

Alexandra

On Thu, 9 Sep 1999, deborah wrote:

> I'd like to ask folks' opinions about the style of the Howl's
> Moving Castle table of contents:
> 
>   Chapter 1: In which Sophie talks to hats
>   etc...
> 
> Did the "In which" style conjure up any specific images for you?
> Any particular books?  Particular genre or age?  Was it
> completely unfamiliar?  How did you react to it?
> 
> I want to know your original reactions, so no fair seeing someone
> else's response and claiming it as your own.  <grin>
> 
> -deborah
> deborah at suberic.net
> --
> In plain then, what forbids he but to know,
> Forbids us good, forbids us to be wise?   -- Paradise Lost
> 
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