Melissa Proffitt Melissa at
Wed Nov 19 00:12:57 EST 2003

On Tue, 18 Nov 2003 20:54:49 -0700, Robyn Starkey wrote:

>>I see these changes as being much more incremental.  He started addressing
>>serious subjects as early as _Reaper Man_, and everything since that point
>>(except maybe _The Last Continent_)
>I have to take issue with you, there Melissa. As someone who lived for many 
>years in XXXX, I think there was a deeper something in that book although 
>most of it was a (fairly accurate) satirical portrait. 

That's why I said "maybe"--because I don't know enough about Australia to
know if he did have a deeper point.  There were so many moments in that book
that were familiar as parodies (like the drinking and the repetition of "No
worries") that I couldn't tell if he was repeating the old cariacatures of
Oz or if he had observed the culture and was taking off on it from direct
experience.  The part about creation is deep enough, though I think it works
best in conjunction with how the wizards try to trample all over it,
offering advice to the creator....

>>has touched on similarly deep
>>topics--war, free will, faith, racism.  But until recently I've thought that
>>the serious subjects were on a secondary level--not less important, but
>>disguised by the obviously humorous situation or plot.
>I think that's true. I was interested in Otter's comment about the idea 
>that he has fans who will follow him now, so he can write more seriously.

If that's the case, though, he's still risking alienating his core audience
if he drifts too far away from what made those people fans in the first
place.  Though that's so obvious I don't know why I bother pointing it out;
it happens all the time.

> I've read a couple of comments in which he 
>resists the idea that literary critics might be reading his work, but I 
>wondered if that was false humility or leg-pulling.

I'd heard that too.  I would come up with a suitable thesis title, but I am
too tired.

Melissa Proffitt

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