Scales was re Diana's replies

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Wed Apr 18 16:56:49 EDT 2001

I first read that as "Scales" from DLoD!  Oh well, he's entertaining AND wise.

>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.

Mine doesn't either.  But then Melissa had to go and give her 
four-dimensional scale, while we were just struggling with one each. 

>It's funny Hallie, I'm sure Bujold does have wisdom but I've already
>mentioned my low opinion of Austen.

Why don't you bring that up again next time the list gets too quiet? 
I'm sure we could have fun discussing all the ways in which you can't 
abide 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.

Well, you don't agree with all your friends all the time, do you? 
At least you're not throwing the books out the window.  Seriously, 
though we both started by saying we were only presenting totally 
subjective views, I think I'm realising there are even more layers to 
the subjectivity than I'd thought at first.

In the case of Cynthia Voigt I haven't read all her books, and don't 
like all I've read, but some just really hit me hard.  _A Solitary 
Blue_ possibly most of all.  Just recently, I had an Incident (Minor, 
but not that minor in its impact), and I spent about two days 
thinking over and over how *perfectly* my feeling was described by a 
passage in that book.  So wisdom as I was using it probably relates 
more to character, and ways in which people learn to understand 
themselves and others, than to other possible meanings of the word. 
And the kids in the Tillerman books, to me, have to learn the same 
kinds of things about dealing with very, very difficult parents, that 
a lot of DWJ characters have to learn.

>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

One reason I like Connie Willis's funny books.  Not that many writers 
I can think of can be both high on the light (= entertaining, 
easy-to-read) scale and expanding, as you struggle to keep up with 
chaos theory and temporal anomalies.

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

...not to mention less money for books after feeding them, and paying 
exorbitant vet fees.  You're right.

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