New article etc

Tanaquil2 at Tanaquil2 at
Sat Jun 17 10:02:26 EDT 2000

In a message dated 6/16/00 11:06:20 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
jennifer.rowland at writes:

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

Well, that makes lots of sense too and I don't think the two are mutually 
exclusive.  Someone posted ages ago (Deborah maybe?) about Sophie inventing a 
new persona for herself of an old woman as a way of freeing herself from 
being trapped in the story  of the eldest of three (I hope I'm getting that 
right) and I thought that was really interesting.  I hadn't seen it that way 
before but it fit.  I think it's cool how DWJ's stories work on so many 
different levels and absorb all these different and equally valid 
interpretations, and the more you re-read them the more you discover and the 
more they open up.

>  > 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'?
>  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.

>  Donne
>  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.

I don't know this one <blush> but I like the snip you quoted.  I hadn't 
really thought of  "Song" as anti-woman though I suppose it is really.  I 
remember what made the biggest impression on me was how it opens up with all 
this wonderful magic and then turns around and says magic is for fools.  It 
just sounded so much like someone who believed in magic by inclination but 
got betrayed so badly that it soured everything for him.  (tsk. can you tell 
I get *way* too involved in stories?  This character isn't even real but he's 
got this whole life history in my mind.   After reading "Howl's Moving 
Castle" I wished he could have met Sophie instead of whoever it was that 
betrayed him.  Matchmaking fictitious characters.  Clearly I have too much 
time on my hands.)
>  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.


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