Re Deep Secret -- as Re: On Being a Hot Babe (was Re: Hexwood -- Catchup)

Ven vendersleighc at
Tue Feb 19 21:06:13 EST 2002

I think I'm going to say you are both wrong(!) and consequently I can't find any bits I can fairly snip, so I'm just going to quote the whole exchange.

WARNING there are spoilers throughout and a big one at the end.


> On Wed, 6 Feb 2002 07:28:41 +0800 (WST), Paul Andinach wrote:


> >On Wed, 30 Jan 2002, Melissa Proffitt wrote:


> >> > > I like it too. Aside from its being subversive (see above) it

> >> > > illustrates just how much love does to change your perceptions;

> >> > > Maree, for one, doesn't change much, but Rupert learns to love what

> >> > > she is.



> >>> I think you have that the wrong way around.

> >>>

> >>> Rupert initially perceives Maree's worst points because he's in a bad

> >>> mood and she's caused him a lot of trouble (some of which he really

> >>> caused himself), but once he's calmed down and got to know her better

> >>> he realises she's a nicer person than he gave her credit for. In other

> >>> words, he came to love her after his perceptions changed, not the

> >>> other way around. 

> > 


> > I'm talking about his perception of her physical traits, not her

> > personality.



> >Then you're wrong when you say (above) that Maree doesn't change much:

> >when Rupert meets her for the second time, she's had something done about

> >her hair, and she's wearing clothes he actually approves of.



> Been thinking about this for a while. That's certainly true, that she's

> not the scraggly witchy person he saw the first time. Her heartbreak (I

> should read the book again; she had a name for her state and I can't

> remember it, Crossed in Love or something?) led her to let herself go--not

> cut her nails, not care for her hair, and of course she couldn't afford

> good clothing. When she stops looking this way, she goes back to (I

> imagine) the way she looked before her boyfriend dumped her.

Very likely. 


So it's not

> like the movies, where a haircut and contact lenses can magically turn a

> wallflower into the Prom Queen. And at that point, she's still short and

> a little on the plump side, or at least she believes she is. My

> recollection is that when Rupert saw Maree as a normal person for the

> first time, he still wasn't exactly smitten with her beauty. And it's

> that second meeting that I think is the beginning of their relationship,

> with the first meeting just an unfortunate complication. Neither of them

> was thinking of the other as anything more than a chance meeting the first

> time (okay, Rupert knew who she was, but he'd rejected her as a Magid

> candidate and planned never to see her again, same effect).


I've just been rereading Deep Secret. Rupert is doing his best to avoid Maree at the con at first. he flees form the car park and the lobby when they arrive. Her presence is then forced on him at breakfast -- where his amusement at Nick is the first chink in his armour. Then he is surprised to find himself having coffee with her later, and visiting the stands. Tellingly he gets annoyed with Punt when Punt takes the piss out of Maree.

All that softening is apparently undone when Nick and Maree force themselves on him by following themselves to Will's (interesting reversal of Rupert's "forcing himself" on Maree in Bristol.

The following day Rupert has calmed down enough to admit to himself that he was so angry because what Maree did was so dangerous -- he was afraid of what could have happened. Then he gets jealous of her adoration of Andrew. 

Throughout all this Rupert doesn't mention her clothes or weight at all. His (often disparaging) comments on her appearance concentrate on her hair (bushy) nails (clawlike) and glasses ( being pushed up on her nose). 


> The thing is, I'm not suggesting that he falls in love with her *because*

> his perceptions of her appearance change. I'm saying that as he falls in

> love with her--because of her personality, because he lets go of his

> negative first impressions--her appearance becomes dearer to him. 

Yes, he starts describing her face as "heart shaped" for example. 

I had

> the feeling that his usual type was more like Zinka, tall and glamourous. 

> Maybe it's just because "sleek" is the word that comes to mind when I

> think of Rupert; well-groomed, impeccable, glossy hair, etc. My

> impression (and this is not backed up by fact, just extrapolation, so it

> could be wrong) was that in gaining so much responsibility so young,

> Rupert never had time for serious relationships, and that he'd mostly

> dated women who were glossy and attractive too.

I don't know about this (the glossy and attractive bit). The only one of his liaisons we hear about is with Zinka and she isn't that type.



I think most of Rupert's

> pratlike behavior stems from being a Magid so young; he's a nice guy who

> needs a little humanizing. Finding someone like Maree physically

> attractive didn't enter his mind at first; he's first drawn to her

> contradictory personality and her potential Magid ability, and only later

> to her body.


> Anyway, it struck me that this change happens all the time in real life,

> and I liked that it was reflected in the book. Maree didn't have to

> become tall, thin, and gorgeous for the hero to fall in love with her and

> think she's beautiful.


> >How much this matters, I don't know, but the change isn't all in

> >Rupert's head after he comes to love her.



> No, and I'm sure he never does find the scraggly version attractive. :)


Aah but this is where you are both wrong (sorry but I did so enjoy typing that). I quote from the source:






















"........ I simply looked up and saw Maree coming over the brow of the hill.

She was the old Maree again in every way. She was the right colour again, though pale, and her hair was once more brownish and possibly even bushier. Anyway it seemed to frame her smal serious face in quantities, in tendrils, and in fine frizz, as she bent earnestly over the tiny lighted stub of candle she carried. And she was the old Maree in another way. For some reason she was now wearing the woefully ragbag skirt and top in which I'd first seen her, and large soft shoes that put me in mind of the children on the hill. Even her fingernails had grown long and spiked again. She was using them to grip her candle by it's very end.

With all this I knew she was a whole new Maree. it was hard to say how, but I knew immediately that the same change that had overtaken the quacks had overtaken Maree too. it was not that sdhe was older. it was not that she was more, or larger. it was as if she had not been filling her proper outlines before this. Now she did. A small measure of the change was that she now looked good in her woeful old garments. She looked astonishingly


It gets even better from here, but I can't just quote the end of the book. 

So it's the inner change that makes the difference -- in both of them. Oh and the fact that they love each other.


> (The description of Maree's yellow claw-like nails fascinated me. My

> nails always start breaking on stuff when they get longer than about half

> an inch. I've been trying to remember if I've ever seen nails of that

> texture on real people, but can only think of ancient China and Reigner

> Three's jade nail shields or whatever they were. It's probably some kind

> of Magid trait.)


I'm mildly phobic about very long nails - whether clawlike or "beautifully" manicured I'm afraid. 


.......... almost everyone is boring some kind of reader 
or other.

Pamela Dean Dyer-Bennet

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