jessie shelton at alumni.princeton.edu
Mon Jul 3 15:45:15 EDT 2000

Ven suggests that Astrid and Luke are going to have a liason.

I don't think this is true -- the problem is that Luke already has a
Significant Other (not sure whether in Eight Days of Luke she's a
girlfriend or a wife -- but, you know, the red-headed girl), and amoral
though he may be, Luke does care quite about about the emotions of those
close to him, of whom the red-headed girl is obviously one.

I always thought Astrid's wistfulness was because what happened between
Siegfried and Brunnhilde was something which matched her own dreams,
somehow; the idea that love and the demands of love could be so beautiful
as to make any amount of unhappiness worthwhile.  I daresay that was an
idea that she consoled herself with for a while, until she realised that
she had *never* been happy with Cousin Ronald.  Astrid has always been
unhappy, and to an extent I think she empathises with Brunnhilde; I think
she wants a reassurance that there is something which can make any degree
of unhappiness worth it in the end.

So, IMHO it is something more abstract, and Astrid doesn't need a concrete
set of circumstances (like a new fling) to feel the way she does.

> Luke's response to David's enquiry about Astrid's question (deep
> breath!)  is the apparently inconsequential "Tell you on Monday I have
> to go to sleep now. It's urgent."  which makes sense if you assume
> he's recovering his strength for the night ahead.............

No, no!  It's just that Luke has been "crouching and quelling the heat of
the fire for nearly two days and a night."  This is very exhausting for
him: when David emerges with the hammer, "Luke was crouching just below
him looking tired to death, ten times more tired than he had looked after
Mr Wedding caught him."  Of course Luke has to urgently go to sleep.  
It's like pulling an all-nighter, with the added fillip that whatever
subject you are studying will burn you to a crisp if you let your
concentration slip for a moment.  That's all.  (:

I am, by the way, very happy to be able to quote from Eight Days of Luke
at last.  THis is because there has apparently been a curse on me
regarding that book for quite some time.  I managed to find all the other
DWJ books I was interested in in used bookstores and the like; but I never
could find EDOL.  Finally I gave in and ordered it via abebooks, which I
don't like to do because you have to pay postage and you don't get to see
what you're buying, and usually the prices are much higher than the usual
used-books prices; and I moved before the package got to me, and it never
arrived.  (Sally, I think the same thing happened when you tried to send
me a copy -- in any case, it never arrived, and I still owe you five
dollars or so, and I haven't forgotten.  I have, however, lost your
address <sheepish>)  So I tried ordering it *again* this year, and *again*
the same thing happened, and I was quite put out, because that meant I
had now paid for that book three times and never received it.  But I'm
home this summer, havin g just graduated from college, and the localy
library actually has a copy, so I read it at the library -- and lo and
behold, that very day I got a slip in the mail indicating that the last
book order had managed to track me from New Jersey to Minnesota, and
nothing terrible happened to me on the way to the post office, so now I
have my very own copy of EDOL at last.  

Moral: libraries have strange occult curse-breaking power.

Laurie writes:

> I was roaming through the sci-fi section on Saturday and two books
> caught my eye:  _The Last Unicorn_ and _A Fine and Private Place_,
> both ny Peter Beagle.  Any thoughts on these books?  Are they worth a
> read?  They looked good.

Peter S. Beagle is one of my very favorite authors.  HIs stuff is
extraordinary; _The Last Unicorn_ in particular is astoundingly beautiful.
Beagle shares with Thurber and to a certain extent Le Guin the kind of
prose which is so beautiful and so elegantly perfect that it quite
literally takes my breath away in spots.  By all means read it.

_A Fine and Private Place_ is Beagle's first, and IMHO although it is
quite good I don't think it's as good as his other stuff; I'd say try
_Innkeeper's Song_ and _Giant Bones_ first.  But if AFaPP interests you
more, it is also a good book.

Tarja writes:

> Now I'll just have to run to a bookstore stocking English language
> titles to see if I could find _Five Hundred Years After_ and if not,
> then to Amazon... Even the titles of the novels are great, very
> Dumas-like =).

Ah, FHYA is a beautiful, beautful book, better even than TPG.  I've
decided that FHYA is the best thing Brust has done yet.  (:  He does
things with structure and tension in this book that make me catch my
breath in ways very similar to Beagle's prose...


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