Time of the Ghost - Spoilers, questions on the ending

Kyra Jucovy klj at sccs.swarthmore.edu
Thu Apr 5 01:58:26 EDT 2001


	And now that I'm done disagreeing with you at length and in nearly
incoherent ways, let me get back to nice, sane, happy discussion!
	He-he - I'm glad to see that Imo was someone else's favorite,
too.  It always alarms me slightly - because Cart is clearly DWJ's mapping
of herself, and so I feel somewhat guilty.  But of course it was probably
intentional, and if I were doing the same kind of thing, I would try to
make my mapping less sympathetic too.  No need for arrogance.  And, of
course, Cart _is_ easily my second favorite.
	And as long as I have managed to bring the mapping bits into the
conversation - this is something I've always been curious about ever since
I first read the book.  First of all, although the sisters are not only
clearly reminiscent of DWJ's family life but also of specific members of
her family, as made clear by the autobiographical sketch, of course one
hardly imagines that an author as skillful DWJ would just lift them
straight from real life and plop them down in fiction.  I mean, clearly
these sisters have circumstances somewhat different from DWJ's - aside
from the different era and the boarding school vs. youth center bits,
there's also the fact that insofar as I'm aware, none of DWJ's sisters
were ever nearly killed by an evil supernatural force ;-).  I hope.  But
you see what I mean.  And I'm just so in awe of this ability.  Frequently
I've found myself meeting real people and thinking - oh, they map nearly
exactly to this fictional character I made up years ago!  How
bizarre!  But I can never do it the other way around, except with
myself. . . so I really really respect that DWJ could do this.
	And secondly, there's Sally - the fact that the whole book is from
the point of view of this fourth sister, with no obvious mapping,
fascinates me.  I try to imagine the process of looking at my family
through the eyes of a non-existant family member, and it's even more
difficult than mapping us.  I'm simply amazed that DWJ could step back
enough to do this - while still enough into the material that it's obvious
how much she feels for her family, etc.  God, it's funny - this discussion
really does make one realize how good a book this is, doesn't it.  And it
really, really does grow on you.  Thanks, all :).

						---Kyra

"Crucification was Rome's way of punishing criminals - the only reason
it's so glorified in religion is because they happened to do it to
Christ.  If they'd hung him up on a meat hook instead, then meat hooks
would be. . ."

		---Amber Michelle Kitch, Mother of All Humanity

On Wed, 4 Apr 2001, Melissa Proffitt wrote:

> It is, and it probably shouldn't be.  :)  But I can't help mapping the
> reality of Isobel onto the fictional life of Imogen.  As though it's the
> fulfilment of Imogen's great potential...because the book ends with Sally
> thinking something like "she's not drab anymore, and who knows what she'll
> do with her life, but it's going to be something magnificent."  And I like
> Imogen best of the sisters.  (Fenella kind of reminds me of my mother's
> youngest sister, the one who could get round her parents the best, and
> physically they're similar too.)
> 
> Melissa Proffitt

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