New article etc

Rowland, Jennifer jennifer.rowland at ic.ac.uk
Fri Jun 16 11:01:37 EDT 2000


In a message dated 6/13/00 12:02:54 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
jennifer.rowland at ic.ac.uk writes:

> (He likes dwj's adult books but when I 
>  recommended HMC said "Isn't that a children's book?". Some way to go 
there.)

<g>nice understatement!


>  What I wanted to ask was if anyone else has noticed what seems to me
to be
>  a recurring theme through Diana's books, characters who are in
disguise in
>  some way, either through mistaken identity, deliberately posing as
someone
>  else, or having been turned into someone else/forgetting who they
were, but
>  in any case are showing a different face. (The new one can be more
"real" 
>  than their previous identity, eg Sophie, or let us see different
parts of 
>  themselves). This is in so many ways that it seems to go beyond the
"true 
>  virtue of the hero showing through" thing in many heroic books.

yes, that's so true because in quite a few of those books you get the
sense 
that the character is just near-sighted or really modest when it comes
to 
recognizing their hidden talents, but in DWJ's stories there seems more
a 
sense of the characters deliberately repressing (consciously or 
unconsciously) the memory or knowledge of who they are.  Kind of like
they're 
afraid to take responsibility for their power in case they use that
power and 
things go wrong.  They then have to spend most of the book fighting to 
retrieve this knowledge and reclaim their power after learning the hard
way 
that sitting on power doesn't make it go away. (eg Sophie and the
enchanted 
suit that enchants her). Needless to say I prefer DWJ's approach :)

I don't think I'd looked at it that way, but it makes lots of sense. I was
seeing it sort of as characters being masked and that freeing them.

> I say or-EGG-an-o instead of or-eg-AHN-o and get funny looks
>  from English Italian cooks

and  'bayzil' instead of 'bazzil'?  How long have you been in England?
All 
your life?  And if so, did you happen to have an American accent as a 
toddler?  My daughter had two accents when she first started to talk --
an 
English one for me and an American one for her dad.  Too cute!  Now it's
completely American but she hasn't lost the knack for English accents
(all kinds too, not just mine)

No, basil and herb and lever etc I pronounce English-English. Mum says that
I always had an English accent, and in fact went so out of my way to avoid
sounding American that I called ants "aunts" (going on the analogy of not
calling aunts "ants") until Dad pointed out that *he* said ant. Peer
pressure at a very young age maybe? I've never been able to do an American
accent.

In a message dated 6/13/00 2:07:50 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
bill-sarah at mindspring.com writes:

> What I like about DWJ is that they don't only find out
>  that they're special (and that they're never special because they're
lost
>  princes or something like that) they also find out that they're
flawed.  
Cat
>  realizes that he's let Gwendolen use him, Howard realizes that he
could be
>  quite horrible and arrogant and use people, Vivian in Tale of Time
City
>  realizes that she's been playing games with people.  It's the
combination 
of
>  the special and the flawed that I identify with.

yeah!

Yes, in a sense her heroes could be "us" more than any of the aristocratic
or just plain perfect ones are.


I do like Donne and his way (like DWJ) of matching improbable things
together 
and following the consequences through to a logical conclusion only it's
not 
necessarily the logical one you'd expect.  I also like how DWJ kind of 
reclaims "Song" which is really quite a bitter poem once you get to the
end 
of the second stanza, and replaces the unfaithful woman with loyal busy 
unruly Sophie.

Yeah. Luckily a lot of his other poems are less on the man's side. I like
"Ts true, tis day" where the woman is trying to persuade her lover to stay
with her. 
Must business thee from hence remove?
Ah, that's the worst disease of love.
The poor, the foul, the false love can
Admit, but not the busied man.
He that has business and makes love doth do
Such wrong as if a married man should woo.


In a message dated 6/14/00 5:03:47 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
emcmullin at kl.com 
writes:

> We've talked food - perhaps weird slang from around the world should
be
>  next??

that scene in Witch Week where Charles is in detention always cracks me
up:
"What ripping fun!" exclaimed Watts Minor. "I'm down for scrum half this

afternoon!" 

I like the Monty Python sketch where a WWII fighter pilot is trying to warn
his squadron that bombers are coming but his slang is completely
impenetrable. "Cabbage crates coming over the briny" and so on.

Jennifer
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