dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #755

Sarah sarah-neko at dove.gen.nz
Tue Dec 2 15:38:43 EST 2003

> Robyn Starkey:
> I think this seriously depends on the development of the author. Lots 
> of
> writers' second/subsequent books are better than their firsts 
> (Pratchett,
> Rowling,for example). Some authors clearly get to a point where they 
> stop
> pushing themselves creatively and are happy to churn out the same thing
> (even recycling plots *cough* McCaffrey *cough*). Maybe there's an 
> economic
> incentive, in that surely really popular writers get less editorial
> criticism, but then Pratchett and Rowling are both examples of not 
> letting
> financial success prevent improvement in writing.

However, in recent Pratchett books I have started to notice weird 
little errors that suggest his manuscripts are not being closely 
proof-read. In 'Carpe Jugulum' he starts a scene with Magrat sitting at 
her dressing table, has her get up and go into another room... where 
she sits down at her dressing table. Do Queens get lots of those? In 
'The Truth' William corrects Goodmountain's typesetting of the word 
'night' (he was apparently spelling it 'might') when in fact the piece 
of text he is setting refers to *morning* and doesn't have 'night' in 
it anywhere. In 'Night Watch' a torturer enters bare-chested and is 
later (not having had time or a reason to put on more clothes) seen 
with 'blood on his shirt.' In all these cases it is as if Terry rewrote 
the second paragraph but didn't check back to ensure the earlier 
paragraph was consistent - and no-one else called him on it. It's 
weird. This is a minor, minor niggle, not a serious case of 
'sequelitis' or authorial mental decline. But it throws me a little 
every time I encounter it. Perhaps a little more editorial criticism 
would help.

> There's no reason for Awful to have powers, is there? She's not a blood
> sister to Howard/Venturous. Or does the trace of inheritance (I 
> think...
> while since I read it) in her natural parents reinforce the chance?
> Sallyo.

I think they're related to Hathaway on Catriona's side. When Howard 
sees Awful approaching him through time and she grows up in rapid jumps 
he thinks at one point that she has a very strong look of Shine. 
Recessive genes? Lamarckian inheritance?
Perhaps she's Awful *because* these traits have come out in her *^.^*

> I just reread the book recently, so that's why I thought of it. 
> Hathaway
> makes it quite clear that both of Howard's adoptive parents are 
> descendants
> of his. There is a link made between the geas placed on all Howard's
> siblings to look after him and his parents adopting him *twice*. Also, 
> when
> Awful walks up the stairs to the future, Howard sees a strong 
> resemblance
> between her and Shine.

Snap *^.^*

>  Later he says something about needing to help raise
> her so she doesn't come out like the bad siblings. All these things 
> made me
> think there was a strong possibility Awful will get some powers.
> Robyn

I wonder what Awful would like to 'farm.'

> Sallyo:
> Some things that have no obvious gender can still be definite "she"s or
> "he"s. Look at ships. And some people know if their car is a he or a 
> she.

I was actually informed when buying my current car that it was a girl. 
It didn't have a name then, but it was certainly a girl. Of the cars 
currently owned by my family three are female and only one is male. And 
we think he's been neutered.

> Is the idea of a house with chicken's legs a Japanese one, or is it the
> Baba Yaga house that has them and not others?  It seems slightly 
> strange to
> have grafted in something that's neither in the book nor from the 
> culture
> of the man making the film, so I've been wondering this for a while.
> Minnow

The only example of a house on an avian leg or legs that *I* know of is 
the Baba Yaga's (I don't count Madame Gogol's house on a duck's leg in 
'Witches Abroad' because that's literary, not old-skool fairy tale), 
but I'm not well-versed in Japanese fairylore.

> I too thought he made it clear, but when I check, even that's a little
> ambiguous: Hathaway's daughter Anne marries a man called Sykes and 
> moves
> away from the town, so Hathaway has no record of what children she has 
> nor
> whether Quentin Sykes is descended from her, because his records only
> include those in the town.  We assume Quentin descends from Hathaway, 
> but
> he might not, he might be descended from a brother of the Sykes she
> married.  As it were.

Or *any* old Sykes, since it's not an uncommon name. This must be why I 
only remembered them definitely being related on Catriona's side?

> I agree that Howard has getting Awful to grow up right on his mind in 
> the
> last paragraph of the book  What he seems most afraid of is that 
> Erskine
> may lead her astray when she has grown up.  She does look like a blonde
> Shine when she's in her teens (in a maroon school uniform) as she goes 
> up
> the steps in Venturus's silly edifice, but she seems to have grown out 
> of
> it again when she loses her puppy-fat and reaches Fifi's age.  And she 
> does
> admire Shine rather, but one can admire someone even if she isn't one's
> great-great-great-etc aunt (which is the relationship between Awful and
> Shine).  There doesn't have to be a blood relationship for someone to 
> grow
> up like someone else, not really.

Awful doesn't need to be *led* astray *^.^*

> ------------------------------
> Date: Tue, 02 Dec 2003 09:09:20 -0700
> From: Otter Perry <ottertee at silverwinggraphics.com>
> Subject: Re: Another topic (was Re: Identifying with characters)
>>> Are they uniformly terrible, like movie sequels supposedly are?
> [Godfather 2 is generally accounted to be better.]

I thought Toy Story 2 was better in some points.

E you later,
(the artist formerly known as Sarah-neko)

Air and Angels Anime Shrines

To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at suberic.net with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at http://suberic.net/dwj/list/

More information about the Dwj mailing list