Random thoughts.. and a question about your child-mind

Neil Ward neilward at dircon.co.uk
Sat Apr 21 06:04:56 EDT 2001


Hi everyone,

Having polished off "Hexwood" and "The Homeward Bounders" in short order (for me, anyhow), I am now reading "Howl's Moving Castle". I do intend to comment on all of these - each wonderful in their own way - but I'd prefer to take a look at the archives before I do that.  Am I right in thinking that there isn't a search option on the website?  IIRC, there was a "coming soon" note, but I haven't spotted anything since I joined (that was about 10 months ago).

I'm sure most of you will be amused by the fact that I didn't know which book "Ingary" came from, and didn't realise the significance of the images on the website.  I didn't like to ask, for fear of looking a fool.

I think I broke my synchronicity spell by telling you about it, as there was nothing with "The Homeward Bounders".  I did start *looking* for synchronicity, which is not how it works.  If you try to make it real it becomes unreal.  Perhaps that was my synchronic message: you can't pin things down like that.

One quick thing I will say about "Howl's Moving Castle" is that I keep expecting Chrestomanci to appear.  It has that fairytale feel about it, rather like "The Magicians of Caprona".

NOW.... A QUESTION

Does anyone else here strip themselves of adulthood when reading DWJ's books?  I think I try not to question things too much or bring my adult cynicism into my reading of them, in an attempt to imagine the wonder of reading these books as a child or teen.  I am in the enviable position of not having read most of DWJ's work and, therefore, have the opportunity to read each of her books as a virgin reader.  I've been delighted every time.  I'm almost 40 (next month), but I think I have, somehow, reclaimed my youthful mind, in this process.  Once I've read the books with my child-mind, my adult-mind resurfaces and starts to analyse.  I can't stop it.

Please tell me I'm not bonkers.  Am I inclined to do this, subconsciously, when I recognise a writing style aimed at children/YA? Is my brain capable of taking me back - literally - to my 11-year-old self, at will?  Or am I merely entering a state of mind, as one often does with a book, where the outside world does not exist at all unless the book mentions it?

Neil



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