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

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Tue Jun 19 17:55:17 EDT 2001


Nat wrote:

>>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).
>
>I think people who think that modernist realism (Hemingway, Updike, 
>Raymond Carver) is what literature is and ought to be, might find 
>DWJ's convolutions and style off-putting. She doesn't put "P.J.F." 
>after her name, but I think she has a lot of sympathy with the " 
>Pre-Joycean Fellowship" concept.
>
>I tried one out on my mother once, and she found the experience too 
>intense and disturbing. For those not used to fantasy/SF conventions 
>of variable space-time, many of her basic plot devices can really 
>give one the heebies.

Hmmm.  I tried LoCC on my mother and she didn't finish it.  I don't 
think she found it disturbing at all, but I never even thought about 
the potential off-puttingness of all the different worlds and 
multiple lives for non-sf/fantasy readers.  NOT that she is a modern 
realism type - and certainly not a Joyce fan!  Wonder if another book 
might have been easier to take?

>
>And, I think religious fundamentalists of any stripe might have a 
>problem with her open-minded, agnostic view of all things cosmic. 
>She doesn't treat any being, god or otherwise, with respect due 
>simply to position, and that is a fundamental premise of all the 
>fundamentalisms I can think of.

I was assuming that sf of any type would be avoided by most religious 
fundamentalists in the first place, but this was a really interesting 
point.  I'd never thought about either DWJ or fundamentalism in that 
precise way.  I'm not totally sure I've got it though - wouldn't the 
concept of a Crestomanci, in charge of overseeing the use of magic 
throughout the worlds, simply due to a fact of his (or her, though we 
haven't seen one yet!) birth, rather go against this idea?  Or not?

Hallie.


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