Tolkien (was Re: Who invented the modern fantasy genre?)

minnow at minnow at
Wed Aug 25 12:17:33 EDT 2004

The Knowledge Pika remarked:

>Angela Thirkell's descriptions of rationing and 'Them' are
>excellent examples, and truly made me understand a bit about what it was
>like. She treats them with gentle humor, and you can see her attitude
>improving over time.

She also brings out the beastliness of the weather in the years just after
the war: one summer with the fewest hours of sunshine and most rain in the
Met Office records for much of the country, and one winter that was so cold
it broke all records for *that*.  That must have seemed like the last straw
to quite a lot of people!  (She blames the awful summer on Them and Their
messing about with the clocks and Double Summer Time, I seem to remember.)

>(One thing I found amusing in a
>raised-in-a-dysfunctional-family sort of way was her comments about
>women so worn out with trying to make rations stretch that they'd like
>to just lay down and die except that would reduce the rations for the
>rest of the family...)

I lifted her wonderfully-named "Ministry for General Interference,
Department of Red Tape and Sealing-Wax" wholesale once for something I was
writing.  It seems to me to sum up everything that is wrong with
bureaucracy, that organisation's title.


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