fire and hemlock people

Kyra Jucovy klj at
Wed Aug 24 18:21:42 EDT 2005

On Wed, 24 Aug 2005, Colin Fine wrote:

> Yes, absolutely. Of all the DWJ books that are my favourite DWJ book, HB
> is the one that is most often my favourite DWJ book. The combination of
> that exile with the depth and intricacy of the Hope and Anchor theme
> appeals to me very much.
> Colin Fine

I'm currently in the process of rereading all my DWJ books (something
about seeing the HMC movie had this effect).  I haven't gotten to either
F&H (my favorite the last time I reread all my DWJ books three years ago)
or AG (my favorite when I was a preteen) yet, but HB has very definitely
been my favorite so far.  Yes, very much on a personal emotional level,
and because of the theme, but I have to admit that reading through: A)
much of the English canon (Shelley, anyone?) and B) some early literary
criticism really also enhanced my feelings towards its complexity (I
brought this up on the list a while ago, before actually rereading the
book).  I saw it very much as an engagement with Platonist ideas, in a way
that I quite liked (not the biggest fan of Plato, here, though he has his
moments).  So it works on three levels, for me - 1) emotional resonance (I
also think it's quite funny, surprisingly so, given its subject) and basic
plot/character/etc. stuff, 2) individual theme, hope is an anchor and so
on, and 3) intertextual - I really saw it as being connected to Greek
mythology, philosophy, English literature, etc.  Such an expansive book,
and in a nice, neat little package, too - I suspect I got more out of it
at eleven than I did with F&H, much as I get out of the latter now :).


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