BD1 Hexwood

Ven ven at
Thu Nov 29 21:57:56 EST 2001

Why is Hexwood so Difficult

I found that rereading Hexwood with the specific aim of discussion 
did wonders for my powers of concentration and observation. I 
certainly engaged more with the book than I ever had before. And 
my opinion of it is higher. So, anyhow,  the first thing I want to 
discuss is why was it so hard in the first place.

As several people have mentioned already there's the subject 
matter. The tale of Mordion's upbringing is appalling (and in this 
reading I met this head on for the first time since my first reading). I 
don't think it is gratuitous, it raises some very uncomfortable moral 
questions. I keep wondering what other choices Mordion could 
have made and whether that is a valid question given the degree of, 
I was going to say brainwashing, but what Reigner One did was 
more like brain bonsai, Mordion underwent. I had nightmares on the 
two nights I was reading Hexwood. The first one left me with an 
enormous sense of relief on waking -- that I was not in fact guilty of 
murdering someone, the second was, worse. I think that on 
previous rereadings I have had my guard up as regards this 
passage to the extent that it blunted my understanding of 
Mordion's character and relationships considerably.

The second reason Hexwood is difficult is in it's structure -- if you 
will forgive the phrasing, but it spontaneously entered my notes -- 
"It's a bleeding f***wit arse-backwards way to tell a story. And it's 
also very clever and quite neccessary -- even if it does make me 
feel like one of those stupid adults Dwj talks about.

Dwj always hides some of her working out. In Hexwood she hides 
just about all of it. In fact she is hiding everything behind everything 
else -- much like the Bannus of course. What I found out on this 
rereading was that knowing that everything and everyone were in 
the field of the Bannus the whole time is not the same as actually 
keeping that in the forefront of the mind when reading (not for me at 
any rate). I managed to keep hold of how the main threads of the 
story fitted together but I couldn't keep track of all the paths and 
byways (and, dammit, isn't that just like being lost in a wood?). I 
was wondering if anyone has ever tried to chart the book's events in 
any way?

There's more I could add, but I'll wait for feedback, so as not to hog 
the floor.

The truth will make ye fret

Terry Pratchett, The Truth.
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