Deep Secret, Spoiler Space, Merlin

mecha godscylla mechagodscylla at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 28 15:01:01 EDT 2003










Minnow wrote:

>Either way, I don't think it's something particularly upsetting to the
>reader of whatever age; Zinka is a Good Guy In A White Hat regardless, in 
>the book, for all that she's evidently oozing sex-appeal -- and very useful 
>for charming a chap into giving her whole grain from the hotel kitchen 
>stores it is, too.  She doesn't let her sex-life get in the way of her 
>actions particularly: when called on for help in an emergency she drops the 
>personable tall youth on the stairs and comes to do the job.
>

The following is not about censorship at all.  This is about Zinka's white 
hat and Rupert's reaction to the news of her marriage with his brother.  I 
wondered about Zinka at the time, and I find the current focus on the 
relevant passages have got me wondering again.  Not that I think she is a 
'bad guy' and she is a very nice antidote to Aglaia the Unpleasant, but I 
read it differently than interpretations mentioned so far, so thought I 
might as well put in another 2 cents.

>Rupert describes Zinka as "One-time lover."  He is surprised to learn that 
>she is married.  I don't think he's shocked (not even by his brother having 
>forgotten to mention the marriage sooner), more sad/disappointed that she 
>is no longer going to be available as a shoulder for him to cry on (with a 
>possible bed in the background) now she's married to his brother and 
>presumably busy in the evenings when she isn't working.
>
My extrapolations were - that Rupert is surprised to learn she is married, 
and disconcerted by the idea that his pleasant past fling is now his 
brother's wife. I wondered, but did not reach any conclusion, about whether 
he is disconcerted about the idea of Zinka settling down at all, with 
anyone.  The inference I made was that he was uncomfortably readjusting his 
ideas and associations regarding Zinka.  I didn't take away an idea of his 
being disappointed she would no longer available emotionally or otherwise, 
perhaps because the mention of being a 'one-time lover' seemed casual and 
friendly, a good time had by all.  Though I thought he was perhaps 
disappointed that he had to abandon the happy possibility of future good 
times, if they should happen to occur.

But I'm probably not alone in spending some time wondering about Zinka and 
her paintings, which her husband is sure are done from memory.  Just what 
was she planning to do with the passed out Adonis on the stair while he was 
gently and temporarily hers? Because her husband certainly doesn't seem 
aware that she is going about doing anything, gently and temporarily, or 
otherwise.  Particularly with dwj, I thought it would be best not to assume 
about the situation one way or another.  Consider....

Mild hint-like spoiler warning for Merlin:

S

P

O

I

L

E

R

In Merlin, a White Hat turns out to be doing something very unscrupulous.  
One can see why it began, but my husband and I came up with many, many 
questions about the character and had a great time speculating about the 
implications, his character, his future, etc.  But there again, those 
questions are (to my mind purposely raised and purposely left) unresolved by 
dwj, as I think they are about Zinka and Simon (it is Simon, right?) in Deep 
Secret.

And it reminded me of Charles in Witch Week, whose Simon Says spell always 
makes me laugh, but who has quite the dark streak.  And Mitt in Drowned 
Ammet. But those are main characters on whose struggles the plot turns, 
whereas with the Zinka or the Merlin character it seems to me that DWJ is 
not allowing us to assume they are stock characters.  We just don't get to 
know them so well as the others, and it shows in that one does feel there is 
more to the story.

Elise

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