Beauty

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Tue Jan 18 05:27:45 EST 2000


>On Mon, 17 Jan 2000 17:54:16 -0500 (EST), deborah wrote:
>
>> This was entirely a gut reaction, that lasted.
>> But I think McKinley (unlike DWJ) specifically writes what she
>> loves, so if you love it too, you love her books.  Which  worked
>> for me with most of her books, but not with _Rose Daughter_,
>> because I don't love what she loves in that book.  She doesn't
>> make you love it, you already have to in order to share her
>> love.

And Melissa replied:

>I think this is extremely insightful.  I didn't care for _Rose Daughter_
>much; not actively disliking it, but not feeling very attached to it either.
>And yet I could tell the subject was something McKinley cared very much
>about.  I love books; I don't love gardening.  I wonder if it really could
>be that simple.
>
NO!  No no no no no!  Sorry.  Of course, I meant to say that I am
experiencing some degree of difficulty believing that this is the
explanation.  Phew.

Melissa's post came in last night just before I went to bed, and I was
feeling quite pleased at having such a straight-forward explanation for
postmodern theory (or at least Melissa's version thereof, which is quite
good enough for me), and feeling that I would like to continue discussing
the interesting divergence between us on what constitutes emotional abuse
and manipulation and what is romantic.  Then I read Deborah's post at 6:45
am.  Now I'm massively confused again.

As I like the fact that the sisters aren't nasty, and I love the books and
the library and the desk (I *really* love the desk too, as I'm embarking on
an Open University course with NO desk, no study, no guest room I can set
aside a corner of for study, no formal dining room, den, nothing!).  Drat,
better start again after that aside.  Anyway, I love these elements of the
book, and I really like Beauty for loving books and her family and being
honourable too, but that actually makes it worse.  I come pretty close to
feeling betrayed that Beauty is then thrown into this "horrible story", as
the horror for me doesn't come only from the sisters being nasty, or
Beauty's not being honourable (in fact, I think that's clear in the
original fairy tale as well).  Nor do I dislike fairy tales, or even ones
where the female isn't wildly heroic.

Unfortunately, I'm only about a quarter of the way through Rose Daughter,
so I can't add a reaction to that as any contribution to the discussion.
But I have a hard time believing that people on the list who prefer Rose
Daughter to Beauty are all avid gardeners?  Maybe I'm totally wrong on
that, but a lot more feels different so far between the two books than the
gardening.

I also wish you'd explain/elaborate on your "McKinley unlike DWJ..."
statement, Deborah.  Maybe this is the post-graduate level of lit crit - it
seemed to make sense to Melissa, but remains frustratingly out of reach to
me!  But intriguing.


Hallie
hallieod at indigo.ie




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