Scales was re Diana's replies

Ven ven at
Tue Apr 17 21:23:38 EDT 2001

Hallie wrote

> So despite knowing better, I was still reading Wrede making a 4 on 
> Ven's (completely different) list as meaning that Wrede had less 
> wisdom.  But it gets confusing, because I can't quite figure out an 
> equivalent list that works. For me  DWJ has Something To Say, Wisdom 
> (rates a 10 on that scale!), Jane Austen has it, Connie Willis, Marie 
> Elizabeth Pope (at least in Perilous Gard), Cynthia Voigt all do, but 
> I can't figure out some of my other favourites at all, including 
> Wrede, McKillip & Bujold.

My scale doesn't quite work, it doesn't take depth sufficiently into 
account, and hence didn't include wisdom. When I read it over I 
realised it was based most closely on how hard I found things to 
read, hence how much they slowed down my reading speed, and 
whether they made me stop and think things over before I read on. 
Which isn't very profound at all really!    The  important criterion for 
depth is how something rereads, and whether it is, in fact 
rereadable. Some books -- Harry Potters spring to mind -- offer little 
more on the second encounter than was apparent on the first.

It's funny Hallie, I'm sure Bujold does have wisdom but I've already 
mentioned my low opinion of Austen. And Cynthia Voigt I argue 
with in my head all the time I'm reading her books -- so she can't 
be wise because I don't agree with her <g>. it just goes to prove 
how subjective all these things are.

I should have quoted more of your letter, I'm just starting to think 
that there are lots of different kinds of mental enlargement you can 
get from books. Wisdom, as you said -- one of my favourite bits of 
Bujold is "the one thing you can't give to gain your heart's desire 
and that is your heart" -- but there is also the purely intellectual 
expansion that can be found in science fiction. I sometimes think I 
can actually feel my brain expand when I encounter something 

Yeah puppies are good and so are kittens, but there'd be nowhere 
to sit ............................. 


If all the good people were clever,
And all clever people were good,
The world would be nicer than ever
We thought that it possibly could.

Dame Elizabeth Wordsworth, Good and Clever 1990
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