Obernewtyn (was recommended books)

Kathleen Jennings s368333 at student.uq.edu.au
Sun Jun 23 00:13:58 EDT 2002

I have the same trouble with Obernewtyn that I do with a great many
Australian fantasies - its an odd feeling, something to do with the fact
that the story almost always feels hot (temperature-wise, deserts, haze,
whatever the weather actually described), and that it is so often
post-holocaust. I don't know why I notice this or why I dislike it. Just one
of those things - most of my friends love Obernewtyn but it always made me
feel uneasy.
Warning: if you don't like generalisations, don't read what follows.
I find the "cultural thing" in fantasy really obvious - does anyone else? By
that I mean, Australian fantasy usually has a gritty, post-holocaust feel
and is often very much into interrelationships and the personality of the
characters. American (and I'm talking 'mainstream' high-to-sword&sorcery
fantasy) tends to be very merry, under-the-greenwood,
group-of-companions-go-off-to-save-the-world. The Germans are into
psychology, the sub-conscious etc (comes of being a "land of poets and
philosophers" I suppose). And the British are firmly rooted in the past and
incredibly DARK, even the happiest of stories has a depth and a reality that
you don't usually get elsewhere. And I think the British have the best comic
Sorry for unsubstantiated remarks, these are just the feelings I get. I
think that the body of work representing a country's contribution to a genre
is bound to bear marks of being influenced by the society, culture, history,
traditions, legends and mythologies out of which the authors have come.


Hve blásnautt er hjarta sem einskis saknar.
How destitute is a heart that misses nothing.
       - Ýmir, Einar Benediktsson
Kathleen Jennings
s368333 at student.uq.edu.au

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