New to the list Fire and Hemlock

Alex alex.mb at zoo.co.uk
Wed Apr 5 11:05:48 EDT 2000


Hello everyone,

I'm new to the list and a fervent reader of DWJ. I'm really frustrated by
the way her books have been largely ignored by the academic community (I'm
researching on E Nesbit for a PhD here in the UK). Whenever I mention her,
no-one knows who she is!

My favourite book of all is Fire and Hemlock, though I find the transition
of Polly from child to lover rather disconcerting. Nevertheless, she's a
marvellous heroine and I still find the book fascinating whenever I read it.

I looked back on some of your previous discussions and saw that many of you
didn't like the end of the Dalemark chronicles. I really enjoyed it actually
though it's better on a second or thrid reading. I think it deals with the
alienation felt by the undying in a really poignant way. Poor Duck, instead
of becoming more than human and almost Godlike, has become rather less than
human in the way he exploits Maewen. I like the way too, the story
discredits the factual explanations given for things by modern historians
etc and demonstrates the truth of the impossible through the 'real'
expereince of a modern girl. I think DWJ is critical of our views of the
past/future; it's as if we believe that the only truth resides in the
present and we refuse to acknowledge the differnt truths which come to us
from outside or own time/experience. Look at A Time Of Tale City, for
instance, where only the children take the old legends seriously. And I
think there's an intersting parallel between the museum exhibits in both
Dalemark and Time City. It is significant that the curators, Duck and the
android (can't remember his name, sorry) are both not entirely human and
both see how the exhibits can be used (the Statue of the One and the mind
protection suits).

Sorry to babble on.

I'm really looking forward to this list.

Alex (PS, I'm female though that may not be relevant!)

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