Trying to access the archives ....

Charles Butler hannibal at
Sat Jan 31 04:00:51 EST 2004

> On Friday, January 30, 2004, at 04:32 PM, Otter Perry wrote:
> > Well, I was off the list [out of town?  out to lunch?  out of my
> > mind?] for
> > the discussion of TMC and, wanting to read said discussion before
> > bouncing in with some remarks occasions by my rereading of this
> > great work, I dutifully went to the archives.
> >
> > As far as I can tell, the archive by date jumps from 4/14/03 [too
> > early]
> > to 01/01/04 [too late].
> >
> > Am I doing something wrong?

I won't pretend to be able to plumb the mysteries of the suberic archive,
but here's another TMC-related archival oddity I turned up yesterday. I went
to the Times online archive to read the interview DWJ did with Nicolette
Jones (URL =,,923-623182,00.html).
This is the one (I think we discussed it at the time) where she speculates
as to whether JK Rowling had read her books as a child and been influenced
by them. When I looked at it yesterday, it had sprouted the following
disclaimer, printed in biggish black letters just under the headline:

J.K. Rowling has asked us to point out that she has never read any of Diana
Wynne Jones' books

I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure this wasn't there when the article first
appeared! So presumably either JKR herself or one of her crack legal team
insisted on its insertion.

Any comments? I'm happy to take JKR's word for it, but I find it interesting
that, though she has publicly endorsed one or two childhood favourites (such
as *The Little White Horse* and *I Capture the Castle*), at other times she
finds it necessary to insist how badly-read she is in children's literature.
I assume this is regarded as less shameful than the imputation that her
ideas aren't wholly original - even though they clearly depend on their
familiarity for part of their effect.


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