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
fantasy.
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.
Kathleen.

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

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