Square peg (was: Philosophical rambling)

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at ic.ac.uk
Tue Jul 18 06:56:54 EDT 2000

I was thinking - gee these lads must have got a bit of ribbing from
mates in their teens - based on my own experiences of being the teen you
have when you're not having a teen.
Which brought to mind an e-mail I had from a 15 y-o correspondent. She
and writes fantasy, and is hanging grimly on at school, feeling like an
alien. She usually just talks books and writing with me she's writing a
novel for someone's birthday) but today she told me about her "problem"
which is, basically, that she doesn't fit in with anyone. She's with
but not of them etc.
- surely a lot of DWJ's heroes fit that mould?

I never felt this particularly- not that I fitted in well, I was just
oblivious. I read, I went to school and did well, I hung around with people
but didn't have Best Friends, I argued a bit with my parents, I had no
boyfriends. And then I went to sixth form and it was better because most of
the people had chosen to be there, and then to university and enjoyed that a
lot, and now in Real Life I know more strange people so it's a lot easier. I
can also afford to buy a few more books.
I think all adolescents feel strange and alone. For the ones who don't join
clone groups to deal with that, reading makes life much more bearable. It
also makes them more interesting people (now that's something I wouldn't
dare to say outside of a group of readers!)- adolescents with ideas and
knowledge of things outside their own experience make way better adults.
I think a lot of heroes of any kind of story are "strangers", but you're
right, dwj's do seem to be cut off from society quite often.
To Tanaquil- I missed the Newsnight thing, which is a shame. I've read about
half the HP book by standing in bookshops and sneaking a chapter at a time
under the guise of browsing, and I'm quite enjoying it but I'm certainly not
going to buy it in hardback.
A book I ordered finally got here today- Diane Duane's The Door Into Fire- I
found the 3rd book of the trilogy ages ago and have since been frantically
trying to find the others. I opened the parcel and all I can say is it's a
good thing I already know it's going to be good. The cover is a man in
armour holding a glowing sword above his head with a naked woman draped at
his feet, and all the blurb conforms to that. Bleuurgh. I may have to make
it a jacket.
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