Elitism was Tam Lin

Ven ven at vvcrane.junglelink.co.uk
Mon Sep 11 14:11:28 EDT 2000

On Monday 11th Sep Sallyo quoted
> >You make really good points about Pamela Dean expecting everyone to know
> >all the literature that she does. I agree, it is elitist.
then said
> <vbg> I think DWJ is elitist too. I'm all for elitist. I'm not all that
> bright, but I'd rather reach up than squish down in my reading.

I don't think we mean the same things by elitism here. What I 
meant was people brandishing their knowledge like a keep out sign 
to exclude those not in the know. I did get that feeling at times 
form Tam Lin (I'm not sure it was intentional). When DWJ mentions 
something people might not know, like the books Tom sends in 
Fire and Hemlock, its like she's saying "Hey, take a look at this," 
not "this is something you ought to know, and you must be a bit 
thick if you don't". I owe a lot of my knowledge of literature, history 
etc to books that encouraged me to find out more about things. 
However the approach in Tam Lin (and I'm a bit sorry to be using 
this as an example, there are far worse) made me feel a bit 

Its also interesting to note that I got a second hand Madelaine 
L'Engle book on the strength of PD's enthusiasm and I thought it 
was awful, which made me feel better about my ignorance!

Being friends with non readers? Kyla and Lizzie both touched on 
this. Its great having  friends who read the same kind of stuff as 
you do (whyever else am I on this chatlist? ;-).) but I think you can 
miss out if you base friendship solely on this kind of common 
ground, let alone judge people by it. I guess it was part of my 
growing up process when I learned first that a person didn't have to 
do higher education to have a lively mind and secondly you didn't 
have to have "everything" in common to get on with someone. EG 
I'd no more turn from my mate Sid because he doesn't read much 
than he would from me for not knowing my punk and heavy metal 
music! Though we do have common interests, thats not where our 
affinity is grounded. On my soap box, it not what you know that 
makes a better person, its what you do with it.


You are trapped in that bright moment where you learned your doom.
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