dalemark and linear thought.

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Thu Jul 24 17:09:18 EDT 2003


Deborah wrote:

>Huh.  One of the things I love about reading DWJ is that I get to take
>this convoluted non-linear storyline and *make it right* in my head;
>fixing Robin's skirt, shall we say.  But that's, ironically, because I'm
>so linear.  One of my troubles with Hexwood is that I cant do this.  And
>I've tried, mapping the book out with pen and paper as I read; to a
>certain extene I love it because I'm convinced one day I'll figure it
>out.  Proof of how retentive I am (warning: link contains spoilers for
>various dalemark books):

I can't do the web bit so I may be entirely missing your point because I
haven't seen what you're referring to there...

If you really want to figure the Hexwood thing out for yourself read no
further, because I think I might be going to spoil that for you.


Have you read *Tom's Midnight Garden* by Phillipa Pearce?  The chronology
in that would drive you mad if you tried to make it linear.  The main line
is ok, Tom goes into the garden every night in a chronological sequence;
but what he finds/meets there follows no sort of sensible order, really,
though sometimes it seems to.

It isn't until the end




Oh,


spoiler in case anyone out there hasn't read it,





and if anyone hasn't






it is strongly recommended







It isn't until the end that you discover that the reason everything *in*
the garden seems so muddled up is that what Tom finds there each night is
what someone is dreaming/remembering, rather than being on a linear path.

Similarly, what happens in the Hexwood seems to be what the Bannus happens
to be "thinking about" when whoever goes into it arrives.  So it really is
pretty-much non-linear, working the way a memory generally does -- in lumps
rather than in a chronological progression.  Like trying to fit together
one's own memories of childhood, or at least what happens to me when I do
that: I have a collection of vivid scenes, but sometimes they are quite
without a date or year to hang them to.  ("I know that must have been
before I was nine because...." things.  Or "That happened in the house in
Oxfordshire that the people we visited sold in 1965, so it must have been
before that".)  If a book were happening partly in my "memory" it would be
very confusing to try to follow events in an orderly way related to the
flow of time during that fourteen years.

Does that help, or hinder, or just make you go "blast!"?  (I hope the first.)

Minnow


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