McKinley

deborah deborah at suberic.net
Wed Feb 18 01:54:07 EST 2004


On Tue, 17 Feb 2004, Robyn Starkey wrote:

|Okay, so I haven't read Sunshine yet, but I will.
|
|I just have to say the thing I say every time we talk about McKinley, which
|is why do people accuse her of being stylisticly bad?  Can someone please
|attempt (again) to explain the problem to me? I am starting to suspect that
|she is getting bagged for being too literary or something. I think she is a
|really good writer, but then, I like Vikram Seth, so maybe I am immune to
|wealth of detail as a fault.

I feel that in her earlier books she came up with a treasure of details
and doles them out at lovely times in the text.  So in _Beauty_ there's
a strong narrative but with precious moments I'll always remember, such
as Beauty rifling through the papers and inks on the desk in her room in
the Beast's castle.

In her later books, I always feel that she's come up with the same
details, only hundreds and hundreds more, and she doesn't edit out any
of them.  So reading _Spindle's End_, any given sentence is some lovely
detail about a character, or the land's metaphysics, or someone's hair
ribbons.  Yet there are so many that, after two readings, my impression
of the book is one big muddle.  I can't remember it, because the details
are gems settled in an enhancing a narrative, but are one big bag o'
diamonds drowning the narrative and obscuring one another.  I don't know
what I'd cut, but I'd cut *something*.

I think it's an asset that she knows so much about her characters and
her worlds.  But I don't think I need to know it, too.

-deborah
--
"I assume that some great catastrophe has occured that would
require us to sit upon a weeping lady?"
	-- Loveday the butler, _Lady Dangerous_

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