Merlin (with spoilers was RE: Ready for Merlin?

Charles Butler hannibal at
Fri May 23 06:34:07 EDT 2003

I'm not sure if selfish is the word for Nick. I think he is quite
thick-skinned, and isn't as sensitive to the feelings of others as he might
be because he assumes that most people are as thick-skinned as he is and
can't (won't?) make the empathetic effort to see that they aren't. One of
the things I like about MC is the way this characteristic is, so far from
being a bolt-on feature, a vital part of the plot, particularly vis a vis
his laughing at Japheth, whose reaction even at the end of the book is a
mystery to him ('What of it? You trod on an egg. It was funny.')

And there is a kind of reassuring consistency in all this, as Sally says. I
don't think Nick has double standards. He wouldn't have got too hot under
the collar if someone had laughed at him in similar circumstances.


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