DWJ in Israeli newspaper

Ika blake at gaudaprime.co.uk
Fri Feb 13 07:21:54 EST 2004


Gili Bar-Hillel wrote:

> I find it hard to believe that no one responded to this. Is there a
> problem
> with the list, or am I not getting messages again?

And I got it, but I only joined the list a couple of days ago and am
suffering from the conviction that whatever I say will have been said here
eighty zillion times already: but I was v interested to see the article &
very grateful for the translation.

The thing that struck me, which is something I've been trying to put into
words for a while so bear with me if I don't make much sense, was that
it's a little jarring to me to see DWJ's work set in the framework of the
Potter books, eg:

> For 30 years Diana Wynne Jones has been writing  about Witches and Wizards
> who reside in dark castles, about he whose name must not be mentioned, and
> about children who learn to do magic and are unwittingly drawn into
> magical
> adventures full of fire and blood.

because actually for me it's the elements in DWJ that are *not* shared
with the Potter books that make them... I mean, not only such good books,
but also such good resources for thinking. Magic and fire and blood and
dark castles are all very well, of course, but it's DWJ's emotional
complexity and precision - her unpredictable, but always truthful, takes
on situations and relationships (her "exacting wisdom"?) - that make her
the writer that she is. She's actually provided a whole emotional
vocabulary and framework for experiences that aren't often part of
mainstream narrative. I guess I wish *that* framework was the virus that
was sweeping the world, to which all other children's fantasy was
compared.

But see, I bet this conversation has been had a million times already, and
- like the article said -

> Nowadays Rowling's name follows her everywhere.

and I feel a bit bad about contributing to that. It's not a very helpful
comparison, anyway: like comparing Antonia Forest's school stories to Enid
Blyton's. Same genre, but completely different in every other way.

Love, Ika

PS: Hello, everybody. I'm excited to be here. Is there an initiation I
have to undergo or anything? ;)

-- 
"There are some bad people on the rise" - Moz
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