The Ghost of Marmalade

Charles Butler hannibal at
Thu Sep 23 04:50:45 EDT 2004


> > She says there is a deliberate mystifier in *Eight Days of Luke* too
> > but she won't tell me what it is, and I haven't spotted it, which I
> > suppose just goes to show how easily I accept things as making sense
> > even if they don't.
> My money is on the Knowing One's reply to Alan's sister in Chapter 12,
> when she asks what they're doing. It's nicely mystifying, and it's
> never explained anywhere.

If it's the line I'm thinking of you may well be right - it certainly makes
no sense to me, except in the sense that the Sister (as well as DWJ) is
clearly trying to be confusing.

> (I've just noticed that the chapter title - "The Sisters" - is a
> double entendre. It's the chapter about the Knowing Ones, who are
> sisters, but it's also the chapter with Alan's sisters in it.)

DWJ often takes puns as starting points for her books, doesn't she? "Urban
gorilla" gave her the starting point for Archer's Goon, I think, for
example. So I'm not surprised that her titles have double senses.

(What surprised me more, recently, was noticing how full of such things the
titles of Alan Garner's books are, starting with the Owl Service - a pun JK
Rowling clearly picked up on - on through Red Shift, and then through all
four titles of the Stone Book quartet - except arguably the first. They all
misdirect you as their real meaning, if you don't happen to be fluent in


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