Britocentric fantasy

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Fri Apr 16 15:33:23 EDT 2004

Coming in very late on this - sorry.


>That's a good point: British fantasies do tend to be much more set in this
>world, don't they? So when you save the world, you save it from Britain.

And heaven knows, we all need to be saved from Britain! ;)  (Sorry, 
couldn't resist.)

>Seems to me that DWJ, over the years, has got much more into world-saving.
>If we except the Chrestomanci books and the Howls/Dalemarks, she tends to
>concentrate more on saving the family (e.g. Ogre, the Stopping for a Spell
>stories), or town (e.g. Archer's Goon, Aunt Maria) until the 1990s, when her
>horizons suddenly expand.

I sent _Deep Secret_ out on a BookCrossing book-ring a while ago, and 
it was universally loved.  A few people had minor quibbles with the 
book however, and one of these concerned the hiding of 'deep secrets' 
in the nursery rhymes.  At the time I didn't think that much of this, 
but it occurred to me when Charlie brought up this question.  The 
person is Portuguese and said that she'd never heard of the nursery 
rhymes, and felt that the whole idea was flawed to her by this lack 
of universality.  (This person is a good friend and someone whose 
opinions I respect greatly - as well as a fan of *all* the best 
authors, btw. :) )   Makes a lot more sense to me now I'm thinking 
about it - as it must be a bit strange to have people from other 
*worlds* know a nursery rhyme you've never heard of, when you're in a 
country in the same continent!  It also made me remember Rupert's 
statement that he was just back from America, 'where I had, almost 
single-handed, managed to push the right people into sorting out some 
kind of peace in the former Yugoslavia and Northern Ireland.'  I'm 
not sure that I'd go so far as talking of an 'unsettling imperialist 
edge', but agree that it is quite odd that other British fantasists 
have been accused of this while DWJ doesn't appear to have been.


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