A Very Deep Secret (spoilers)

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Sat May 5 08:29:45 EDT 2001

>Hi everyone, I'm rereading Deep Secret for the nth time. Consider:
>                          BIT OF A SPOILER COMING UP
>I set out for the Empire. It took several moves from lattice to lattice,
>with its attendant feeling of being a pawn on a chessboard hopping
>from square to square -- but downhill, since I was moving
>Ayewards. I thought as I went that Lewis Carroll had got it right in
>Alice Through the Looking Glass. No one had ever told me, but I
>have always suspected that Carroll was a Magid. It is a very
>influential thing to write books like the Alice books; and influence is
>what being a Magid is all about. Subtle influence. "
>"Blow all that about deep secrets! Rupert and Maree say that the
>basic job of a Magid is to gradually release all the special
>knowledge anyway."
>"So, Diana," I want to ask "Are you a Magid then?" And I think I
>just might, can't wait for the answer to that one.

Nice one, Ven!  In fact it was occurring to me a while ago that the 
list was acting to move this world ayewards.  All the exchanges of 
books around the continent, and book recommendations, and questions 
about the best way to get other people hooked onto DWJ.  "Subtle 
influence" is about right, I guess.

>One of the things I find about Deep Secret is that while, when I
>begin it, I intend to look out for occurences of this and that I tend to
>get caught up in the story and forget all about them. However this
>time I did spot something -- the Bristol Suspension bridge -- a
>ribbon of road hung from cliff to cliff between two quasi -Egyptian
>towers. It sounds very much like the road to Babylon to me -- in the
>first place the narrow road and in the second the hanging gardens
>bit, with the vegetation slung from towers. Clearly the bridge is an
>important part of Bristolia and if one bit of disguised Bristolia turns
>up there ought to be more, anyone else spotted any? Its a long
>time since I was in Bristol and about all I remember is the bridge,
>and my brother's hall of residence. Oh and staying in another hall
>and being woken up at dawn by the lions roaring in the zoo.

I like the idea of the bridge being the road to Babylon!  Never 
noticed that and probably never would have.

>The significance of the bridge makes me wonder if Dwj shares my
>not-quite-phobic unease about them. I have sinister dreams about
>bridges that sway alarmingly or suddenly turn out to have broken in
>two. dangerous things bridges <g>.

Are there bush ladies on the other end, telling you to be more ladylike???
I hate bridges too - there was a suspension bridge (pedestrian-only) 
in Ithaca and I went on it once when my mother was visiting and 
nearly died of fright.

>                              DIRTY GREAT BIG SPOILER
>Another question I have is that I never quite figured why Rupert had
>such a low opinion of Nick. He is quite convinced that if Maree
>doesn't ask for her restoration herself Nick won't do it. As a reader I
>wasn't surprised that Nick did do the decent thing   -- he was very
>fond of Maree and as he said there were other ways to get what he
>wanted.     It certainly adds to the suspense of Rupert's night
>watch on the candle road but there shoulfd be more of a reason
>than that.

It's not just Rupert either - I checked just now, and it's both 
Rupert and Will. Even Zinka when she finds the slave spell in Nick's 
room describes him as a "selfish kid".  I agree that this is 
puzzling.  When I was looking through it just now, the description of 
Nick as ruthless jumped together with Rupert's realising that 
everything felt Intended, as he thinks of "those ruthless bastards in 
the Upper Room".  But then Maree and Rupert and Stan seem to lack 
that, so it can't be a required Magid trait.

It's clearly time for another read of DS!  Among many other things...


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