Chronology (was this is gonna be weird)

Katarina Hjärpe head_overheels at hotmail.com
Sat Nov 20 01:19:53 EST 2004


>Hang on--in the first line of yours I quoted, was "read" 
present tense or
>past? Stupid spelling.

Both. I've never read them in any other order than chronological. Well, 
except for occasionally reading the ones I liked best.

Interestingly enough, when I was on summer camp, we had The Magician's 
Nephew as a read-aloud, and then we determined that pretty much everyone had 
read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and so we skipped directly to The 
Horse and his Boy. (Which, incidentally, is *my* personal favourite - I'm 
such a closet romantic - so I was happy with the decision.)

In general, I've never been bothered by doing things in the wrong order. I 
saw the Star Wars films in the wrong order too - Return of the Jedi first. 
(Of course, then I'd read the MAD versions of The Empire Strikes Back - 
otherwise I doubt I would have understood much.) In a sense, it does mean 
that the first time of seeing something becomes a kind of re-watching (so I 
caught up on the weird incestuous vibes the *first* time I saw ANH instead 
of the second).

>But whenever I read the books for a really long time, I read them in
>chronological order, just because I wanted to. Unfortunately, that still
>meant that Last Battle came last, and I always think I'm not going to be
>able to make myself read it, and then I do, and it's not as bad as it is
>in my head, but the entire concept still upsets me (um, that being the
>author destroying his own world, and then saying that no! really! it's
>fine! it's not destroyed! there's another world, and it's better! It 
makes
>my non-heaven-believing self highly grumpy.)

It does seem like a bit of cheating, doesn't it? I feel the same way about 
Astrid Lindgren's The Brothers Lionheart (which is a much-loved book in 
Sweden): "Let's make the situation so horrid you can't bear what's 
happening! Let's kill people you care about, and horribly cripple on of the 
protagonists, and make you wonder how on earth this is going to work out 
okay – and hey, look, new shiny world around the corner!" (And I'm sorry for 
spoiling the ending for anyone who might want to read the book, but – gah!)

>Also, for the record, I read Charmed Life before LoCC, but that's 
because
>the latter book hadn't come out yet (and, in fact, it's how I figured 
out
>when I first started reading DWJ). But I think I recommend that people
>read Charmed Life first, because it's not as scary on Cat's behalf if 
you
>know that Chrestomanci is wonderful.

It's true, I never conceived it as scary. I just conceived it as pretty 
annoying in the "let's not tell the kid what's going on, so he can dig 
himself deeper into bad situations" sense. (I tend to find Chrestomanci 
pretty smug and insufferable most of the time. Reading order might have 
something to do with it. As someone who has been Christopher, I feel he 
should have more empathy.)

And this just turned into a completely different discussion...

Katta

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