Essential Library for DWJ fans.

alexandra.bolintineanu at utoronto.ca alexandra.bolintineanu at utoronto.ca
Mon Apr 16 23:12:24 EDT 2001


So many *fascinating* things being said of late, and here I am in the grip
of my Enormous Essay, with not nearly enough time to leap in and comment.

Neil wrote:

> I'd recommend the inclusion of Alan Garner's "The Owl Service".  It's a book
> that transfers an ancient legend into a modern setting, and it describes how
> that legend possesses three children and forces them to re-enact it.  It has
> some fairly surreal moments, some poetic phrasing, and it's described by the
> author as a ghost story.  I see parallels with "Fire & Hemlock" (and perhaps
> similar DWJ work that I haven't read???).

I loved that book.  In general feeling, I'd associate it with Time of the
Ghost--in the almost sickening surreality of the atmosphere (sickening
in a good way, I might add!) and the sheer disturbingness of the way
something old and dark, mythical and irrational comes out to haunt and
possess and destroy.  Also, if I'm not mistaken, the kind of almost
impersonal but terribly possessive "feminine principle" that appears in
both books as the form of the supernatural.

Sorry.  That's not terribly coherent.  But I'll tell you what:  I've been
reading various scholarly stuff on Tolkien and Beowulf, and I picked up
Diana Wynne Jones's essay "The Shape of the Narrative in The Lord of the
Rings".  It's *such* a good essay.  What an eye for detail and story
mechanics she has.  And her essay is such an oasis in the desert--the rest
of the book is mostly full of pseudo-freudiana, impertinent assumptions
about private lives, and moralistic links between The Lord of the Rings
and LSD consumption. :)

Alexandra
who had a moment's dizziness to find that her Enormous Essay topic had
been suggested by DWJ some twenty years before she thought of it

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