Scales was re Diana's replies
ven at vvcrane.fsnet.co.uk
Tue Apr 17 21:23:38 EDT 2001
> 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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