introduction etc (was DWJ in Israeli newspaper)

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Wed Feb 18 17:28:01 EST 2004


Kyla wrote

>When I first
>read DWJ's biography on the web site, I said, "Of course! The description
>of her husband! That's why so many people look like that!" It's probably
>one of the True Things she puts in, so I feel that those similiarities
>anchor her books, as opposed to "man, she couldn't think of a *new* way to
>say that?"

"Looks like" as in "has that sort of face"?   (I don't have web access and
so can't go and look to see what is being said about him.)

If I stop and think about it I realise that her husband John is a very
handsome man.  She says that he is also a centaur really, if that helps and
doesn't happen to be on the web site.

I don't stop and think about it until it's mentioned, as it were, because I
think of him in terms of the way he talks and behaves and the way he holds
himself and the gestures he makes with his hands, far more than of his
face.  So I haven't actually noticed any (facial) portraits of him in her
books (though there are people in the books whose behaviour fits his,
sometimes, or at least, I can see him behaving the way they are.  I'm
*certain* he could do a manic Sempintern-getting-ready-to-go-out if he
wanted, or a Quentin-being-stubborn).  Now I feel as if I may have been
being very dim-witted indeed.  Perhaps I just don't take in facial
description as being something I think about when I am considering a
character in books, just as I don't in real life, because what they do and
say makes more impression than their face (which I can't see, after all, in
a book) unless they are somewhat self-absorbed about their looks and so it
gets rubbed in that they have perfect features or whatever.

This is one of the reasons I never worry about "casting" actors in
hypothetical films of books, because for me it would be the way they held
their faces far more than the shape those faces were to start with that
made them right or wrong for the part, in most cases.  Though of course the
Goon, for instance, has to be large, apart from needing to be a head taller
than anyone else in the scene he could be played by any competent actor for
all of me.

Minnow


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