Wild Robert

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Mon Oct 9 19:18:40 EDT 2000

On Sat, 7 Oct 2000 12:59:24 EDT, JOdel at aol.com wrote:

>Somehow the "marginalized" existance around the edges of Castlemain in Wild 
>Robert never ticked off a Time of the Ghost alert for me. The way that it was 
>presented was benign enough that what I was linking to was E. Nesbit's The 
>Enchanted Castle. (Probably because while Heather was lonely, I didn't get 
>the feeling that she was actually neglected.)

I think I was in a very strange mood at the time.  All sorts of things
seemed very sinister in this story--in a way that I recognized it was mostly
my own interpretation and not common at all.  Like the ending...I was just
waking up when Heather is putting it all together and then realizes that she
can go back and rouse Robert again the next day, and the way it was worded
made me think that Robert was really taking advantage of Heather and she was
being an enabler!  This is impossible for a couple of reasons, but you see
where my brain was at the time.

The other problem is that if _Wild Robert_ were actually _Time of the
Ghost_-lite, I would expect _Wild Robert_ to have been published first, but
it's later by ten years.  If it were the other way around (and if I were
feeling perverse enough) I could turn this into a case of _Wild Robert_
being the exploratory form for _TotG_.  :)

> And in that context the 
>"preocupied parents" shtick settles into the traditional device of getting 
>the grown-ups out of the way so an adventure can happen in the first place. 
>If you think back, Mabel, the caretaker's neice in EC was a fairly lonley 
>child until she met the others and brought them to the castle to play. 

That's a very good connection, actually.  Makes me want to reread _The
Enchanted Castle_.  Specifically, I remember thinking, "hmm, Heather lives
in a Stately Home and Sally lives in a school, and both their parents are
involved in their work...this is probably what Sally's life would have been
like if her parents were real parents instead of self-obsessed ogres."

>I had forgotton about this little story. (I'm going to have to reread it.) It 
>is another one of Jones's rare products in the very traditional style, like 
>Ogre Downstairs. And open-ended to the point that you half-way expect it to 
>be the first of a series of Wild Robert stories. 

Definitely.  My kids are loving it; I think they're young enough that some
of DWJ's more non-traditional stuff would be too complicated, but you never
know.  They listen to most of the story every night. :)

>That "fizzing" sensation was used both in Ghost (where Sally was drinking the 
>blood to be able to speak) and in Crown of Dalemark, whenever Maywen got 
>close to Kankredin's minions.

Thank you for the references!  (hahaha, there's more _Time of the Ghost_!)

Melissa Proffitt
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