Magicians of Caprona

Robyn Starkey rohina at shaw.ca
Fri Sep 13 12:11:26 EDT 2002


At 12:09 AM 13/09/2002 -0400, you wrote:
>I came across this livejournal entry the other day:
>
>http://www.livejournal.com/talkread.bml?journal=verdandi&itemid=178408
>
>and wondered what the list might think of it.  I had never seen
>MoC as overtly sterotypical before, but this post has made me
>wonder.  Does anyone else read it this way?  Are there any
>Italian DWJ readers who have commented on the portrayal of the
>magical families, either onlist or elsewhere online?  Has this
>already been discussed and I missed it?  (If so, I'm sorry.)

Well, I would have to say that the author of this rant struck me as 
arrogant and a bit shallow. I think there is a reason for the stereotypical 
italians in the book, echoing Shakespeare's stereotypical italians, and as 
such it isn't nearly as silly and obvious as is suggested. Also, I am 
sorry, but a lot of italian people *are* like this. My brother-in-law and 
his family, of whom I am quite fond, could easily be in this book. I think 
DWJ captured a lot of the nicer aspects of the stereotype. And finally, the 
people in the book essentially save themselves, following a bit of advice 
from Chrestomanci, so I think the comment about the British guy sweeping in 
to save him is as exaggerated for effect as all the other comments.

The other comments in this entry certainly didn't make me feel like this 
was a person I wanted to get to know or discuss books with. But I guess 
that's why he/she is writing a ranty journal instead of writing on a list 
of informed and interested others.

>The livejournal writer also seems to feel that WW is the best of
>the Chrestomanci novels.  I had not really seen them as a series,
>although I understand they are being marketed that way.  Given
>those four books, however, I would also probably say that WW has
>the best set-up, although I think I prefer the character of
>Christopher in LOCC to any of the WW students.  Or does ranking
>the Chrestomanci books in this way only lead to ignoring their
>individual merits?

I think it is strange to treat them as a series in a strict sense, because 
Chrestomanci is quite a different character in each. Although he appears, 
not all the books are really about him, so it is a bit hard to compare. You 
can say, I like this book better than that one, but to me, it is like 
saying I like peaches better than grapes. Personally, I like them all. They 
all have qualities; I would say that I like LoCC the least because Cat's 
stubborn ignorance annoys me.

Robyn


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