dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #745

Sarah sarah-neko at dove.gen.nz
Tue Nov 11 16:24:49 EST 2003

> Deborah: Lunar Eclipse?  US Election Day?  I dunno what it is, but  
> we're in a
> controversial mode.  Even about on-topic postings, we're being snippy.
> (I don't exempt myself from this; I'm the one who flamed DWJ.  DWJ!)
> Some folks have expressed discomfort with current conversation topics,
> and I have to respect that, especially when the threads are off-topic.
> So for the immediate future, could we restrict ourselves to on-topic
> conversation, please?  DWJ, DWJ books, and other children's and YA
> fantasy.  I retract my snark about the SFX article (after all, it's not
> fair that y'all only saw the bit I chose to post).  No discussions of
> racial politics outside of books, sexual harrassment not counting that
> scene in Dark Lord, or anything similar.  Until we get back into our
> normal happy mode, which I expect will happen soon, and then we can  
> stop
> policing ourselves.

Well, I've said my say, I'll stop it now. (Actually, I'd written a big  
blurt in response to Ven's message but I've edited it out. The part I'd  
like to preserve is, well said, Ven.)

> I'm sorry to go into hyper-policeman mode.  This is the third time in a
> very short span I've felt the need or been asked from outside.  But  
> that
> in itself, I think, is a sign that we're responding badly to earlier
> sunsets, or something (Oz, NZ, and isn't someone in South Africa?  
> folks,
> pick your own excuse).  Like I said, it's me, too.  But if we spend a
> week in "before I hit send, will this hurt or upset anyone?" mode, then
> I think things will drop back to normal.

I hope I am not responsible for the problem, as the most recent  
I'd blame the Rugby World Cup but I'm not following it.

> What's the oldest reading-level book people have had read aloud?  Any
> DWJ?  Some of the storiews in Warlock at the Wheel would be hysterical
> read-alouds... But I doubt that's where her strength lies.
> - -deborah

I had to read large chunks of the adult novel 'The Scarecrow' by Ronald  
Hugh Morrieson aloud, to help my dyslexic sister get through it for  
seventh form English. That was particularly enjoyable because of the  
distinct style of dialogue Morrieson gives each character. I did  
voices. I also used to read aloud to my friend Stuart when we were at  
university and I had something a bit heavy to get through. He agreed  
with me that 'Murphy' by Samuel Beckett was bewildering, pretentious  
rubbish but we both enjoyed 'The Faerie Queene.'

> Kyla: The true problem with casting Cary Elwes as Howl is that,  
> according to one
> of the special features on my Princess Bride DVD, Cary Elwes is now a
> perfectly pleasant-looking yet perfectly ordinary-looking man in his
> forties. He *sounds* the same, and yet he doesn't look the same. He  
> looks
> like his own more ordinary brother.

Well, I still thought him awfully handsome when I saw him most recently  
in 'Shadow of the Vampire,' but it's true that his face has thickened  
and settled with age.

> I agree, though, that Howl shouldn't be pretty. He should be so  
> charming
> that he's sexy, which is different.

Phwoar. Nice description *^.^*

> Ven: And don't forget the stuff about the Real boys
> and girls as aopposed to Nan and her ilk!

Another good point. I wonder where being 'unreal' or 'imitation' places  

> Which reminds me that recently I was reading
> someone's schoolday reminiscences of how the
> teachers would take away her books at recess
> because she shouldn't be reading she should be
> socialising. I should think all of us here have
> transgressed that way at some time or
> another......

My teachers gave up. I would just creep back into the classroom during  
break and sit in the library corner reading. They didn't seriously try  
to break me of it until intermediate school, when it mostly took the  
form of telling me I had no social skills and would be friendless and  
miserable. (I actually wasn't miserable being friendless but they told  
me I would be.)
I'm still glad I read all the books, so there.

> Adding to what Minnow said: Throughout the
> fifties people had been campaigning for reform of
> the law on homosexuality. In 1968 the Victorian
> laws against male homosexualty were repealed,
> and, while more limits were applied than for
> heterosexuals, homosexuality was "legalised". A
> particularly active campaigning group was CHE,
> Campaign for Homosexual Equality. This was a high
> minded kind of group, whose message was tolerance
> and reassurance that the end of civilisation
> would not result.....

A similar message to Dulcinea Wilkes'? *^.^* Yes, being wilful now.

> B and I take turns (one boook each) to read aloud to the rest of the
> family three or four times a week. The reader chooses the book - at the
> moment it's _The Satanic Mill_ by Otfried Preussler (definitely YA),
> but we've had Paul Biegel, Annie M.G. Schmidt, Tonke Dragt (mainstays
> of Dutch children's literature), Roald Dahl and Astrid Lindgren. As the
> kids grow older, the choice becomes wider; B read The Hobbit when they
> were six and eight (they're now eight and almost ten).
> We don't intend to stop reading aloud; if we were that kind of people,
> we'd have stopped when they learned to read on their own :-)
>    Irina

I'd like to do that if I had children.
Sometimes I think 'Oo-er, what if I had a child and it was handicapped  
somehow...' and then think 'Oo-er, what if I had a child and it didn't  
like silly books and animals?' The latter is much scarier.
I mean, if I spawned a rationalist mathematician, I wouldn't know what  
to *do* with it.

> I shall soon get over this 'casting Howl' business. It's just that  
> it's my
> favourite topic...
> Another pic of Nicholas Nickelby from IMDb, with an almost identical  
> facial
> expression as my version of HMC's cover art (the one with the  
> fantastic blue
> suit and Calcifer over the shoulder, very bright colours and Michael  
> in the
> corner with a potion.
> http://us.imdb.com/gallery/ss/0309912/ 
> Nickleby_4_big.jpg?path=pgallery&path_
> key=Hunn
> Aimee.

Yes, I have that edition from the library at the moment... the photo is  
not quite as smirky *^.^*
Calcifer looks... *possessive*.

> that wos that Gwendoline that wos.
> I fort Fiddle liked to be a cat, same as like wot Frogmorton does.
> Minnow

I wonder if Fiddle can ever be put back into Cat, so to speak. We know  
that Fiddle would have to be killed for all Cat's lives to be  
sacrificed in the garden. Does that mean that Fiddle acts a bit like  
the nose-ring with Hasruel's life in it, in 'Castle in the Air'? If Cat  
lost his remaining lives would he still survive as long as Fiddle did?  
Could you use Fiddle to hold Cat to ransom?

> Maybe what was going on when I was little was that I felt very slightly
> that I was being made privy to the sort of family-mockery that is fine
> within the family but shouldn't be given to all and sundry as it is  
> when it
> is in a book.  I knew about making mistakes through ignorance (why not  
> the
> east pole and the west pole?) and being ribbed for it gently, but I  
> would
> have minded very much if my father or brothers had told someone else  
> "Guess
> what she said the other day?  She wanted to know why there wasn't an  
> east
> pole!"
> Something like that, anyhow.  It just jarred slightly.
> Minnow

Reminds me of how miffed I feel when my parents and sister bring up,  
for their amusement, my childhood mispronunciations. I never really  
made malapropisms, but because I was always reading, and at a high  
level for my age, I frequently encountered words which I understood  
from context but had never heard anyone use in conversation. So I  
attacked them with logic, never the best idea when speaking English. I  
will never be allowed to forget that I pronounced 'pint' to rhyme with  
You show me one other English word that goes 'consonant-int,' and  
DOESN'T rhyme with 'mint.' *grumble grumble*
I read that Christopher Milne was so mortified by his depiction in his  
father's books that he spent his life trying to be extra manly and died  
early and tragically as a result... or was that the boy 'Little Lord  
Fauntleroy' was based on? Perhaps they both did it.

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

Air and Angels Anime Shrines

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