Juniper, Gentian and Rosemary loops back to Elitism

Ven ven at
Fri Sep 29 20:42:57 EDT 2000

Hi everyone, 
                 Way back when this thread started it was me who had 
been reading the book and asked what people thought, so I thought 
I must owe at least a two pennorth on the subject. I too found it a 
compulsive read, very hard to put down but also with a rather 
soporific effect, as someone said it is as though what happened to 
Gentian is happening to you too. And its a bit annoying. And I don't 
know what Julius Caesar has to do with it at all -- maybe if I'd read 
or seen it............ or perhaps Pamela Dean was just showing off.

At first  the villain/devil/whatsisname kept reminding me of a folk 
demon called a love talker -- or gean conner . These can be of 
either sex, they lure young people to remote places (away from 
friends and family) with talk of love, and over the course of several 
encounters they literally talk the life out of the victim. Its a fair 
metaphor for what it looks like from the outside when someone is 
in some kinds of damaging relationship. Unfortunately I don't think 
whatisname was as interesting as a love talker. He didn't have a 
credible allure for me. 

What is emerging here is how much of a love hate thing several of 
us have with PD. Her work is certainly hard to ignore (someone 
wrote recently about books you didn't think you liked but which 
lodged in the brain). One thing I admire is how resolutely 
uncommercial she is, even though thats the flipside of the elitism 
thing. I have from somewhere the idea that she doesn't actually 
have to write for a living, which could be relevant!.

The first stuff of hers I ever read was in the Liavek shared world 
anthologies edited by Emma Bull and Will Shetterly. her stories 
were written in close collaberation with Patricia Wrede about the 
same family.  I have to say I think it was better work than either of 
them have turned out since not least because it was more complex 
than Wrede and much clearer than Dean................

Anyhow I've just watched the first episode of the series where Buffy 
goes to college. Its so great and yet another angle on US college 
life.  And after I send this I've an episode of Angel to watch-- bliss.


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