F&H and Austen

Denise DeGraf mustang at sonic.net
Sat Jan 11 11:56:28 EST 2003

Katarina Hjärpe danced around singing:
>I like Tom a lot. I just can't get past that for the largest part of the 
>book, he's a grownup and she's not, and that's the nature of the 
>relationship for me. Her crush on him was part of that to me ­ "training" 
>on love by choosing a safe object for your emotions.

I just have to throw my oar in here a bit... A romantic bond that grows out 
of a friendship between two people of different generations (or polar ends 
of one generation) is quite possible and can be wonderful. My partner is 
nine years older than I am, and a great deal of F&H is in sync with how 
things progressed between us. Years of exchanging letters, stories, books, 
and generally sharing life long-distance took place before we admitted any 
"adult" interest to one another just a few months ago. I just got back from 
two weeks at his house -- the first real time we've spent together IRL -- 
and he treated me with more care & respect than anyone else has in my life. 
There has never been the slightest hint of abusive, controlling, or 
parental behavior on his part.

I will admit, however, that when I read F&H early last year it irked me 
that Tom & Polly became romantically involved, and felt similarly at the 
end of DS.  I've always liked to think that it's possible for two sexually 
compatible (i.e. both gay & one gender or both straight & opposite) to be 
extremely close without becoming (or wishing to become) sexual partners, 
but it rarely seems to happen in books aimed at anyone over 12.  Obviously 
it's quite possible IRL, it's just not offered in literature as often as it 
should be.

Denise DeGraf ~~ http://www.sonic.net/mustang/moggy
"You're down as expendable. You don't get a weapon."
   -- Diana Wynne Jones (Dark Lord of Derkholm) 

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