Jane Austen was a load of re that I snipped off - now coming back on-topic

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Mon Jun 18 15:40:16 EDT 2001


This subject line showed up as "Jane Austen was a load of r", and I 
thought Ven had changed it to: JA was a load of rubbish.  Wouldn't 
have been the first time that opinion was expressed, so maybe there's 
some excuse for coming up with this. :)

Anyway, I'm thinking I may have been horribly simplistic and really 
stating the obvious in answering Melissa's post.  Anyone have a more 
elegant (and less disgusting) expression than the one about teaching 
your grandmother to suck eggs?  Apologies for doing this, Melissa.

Actually, I think what got me was a growing realisation over the last 
couple of days that there are times and combinations of first 
encounters with DWJ books/writings which could have bounced me off 
her hard.  As for example, if I'd read _Sudden Wild Magic_ and then 
maybe _Time of the Ghost_ and then seen her remark about wanting her 
mother to recognise herself in all the nasty older women, and it just 
might have seemed too anti-mothers.  (I only discovered DWJ a few 
years ago, so didn't really hit the books at the "right", ie before 
becoming a mother myself, stage.)

This turned into a rather interesting dinner-time discussion.  It's 
sort of a circumstantial combination which might have bounced me off 
DWJ.  And I can imagine similar ones bouncing someone off Connie 
Willis.  But I can also see more constitutional combinations which 
could bounce people off Connie Willis.  Either end of a religious 
spectrum would probably do it with several of her books - being 
anti-religious (or possibly specifically anti-Christian), or being 
religious and needing religious beliefs very simple and certain. 
(I'm not saying this is a necessary outcome obviously, but one I can 
easily imagine, especially having just read _Passage_.)

So what about a constitutional mind-set which would really be likely 
to bounce people off DWJ?  Aside from the obvious, such as disliking 
fiction in general or sf/fantasy in any variety.  We didn't do very 
well, but thought possibly people who wanted books to be more 
"realistic" rather than "escapist" (which we would consider hopeful 
or upbeat).

Becca (2 more days, 2 more exams to go) said that people who wanted 
their characters black or white, rather than messily normal, might 
dislike characters such as Reg and Ivy.  We all could imagine people 
who were vehemently egalitarian disliking the idea of Crestomanci or 
the magids.

Of course if you'd just written a "door-stopper" High Fantasy tome 
you'd be likely to bounce hard off _Tough Guide_. :)  But anybody got 
other ideas?

Hallie.


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