Anthologizing Update

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Fri Jan 28 19:27:04 EST 2005


Kyra wrote:

>I actually got up to Gerald Manley Hopkins in the Norton last night.  The
>introduction actually says that he was listed in the Modernist section of
>the anthology as opposed to the Victorian from when the anthology was
>first developed up until the late seventies.  I thought Minnow might like
>to know ;-).

Thank you!  I assume that means they've moved him to something a bit more
chronologically reasonable, which I find reassuring.  Let me guess: is he
next to Walter Pater, by any chance?  Or does he get stuck with following
Swinburne, who might make him thoroughly unhappy as a neighbour?

>Also, even the fully Canonical anthology does include Lear and Carroll.  I
>just failed to notice them earlier, silly me.

Hurrah!

>ObDWJ: So, it's the 23rd Century, and you are given the task of putting
>together the big, Canonical anthology of literature from the late
>20th-early 21st century.  Because DWJ is such a highly acclaimed author,
>studied in literature courses around the world, of course she gets in.
>But what particular work or works do you choose?  Keep in mind that the
>Norton does include several reasonably short novels, so a full novel is
>definitely an option.

That's a *terrible* question, and I can't easily choose between two.

*Dogsbody*, because it's so very much a "learning" book.  It has a lot of
"magic isn't the point, or even the answer to any problem, it's what you do
in the way of growing-up that really matters" (and not a lot of
trad-fantasy magical stuff at all), and also has the marvellous rejection
of all forms of bullying whether by or of the protagonists, each of whom
either grows out of that behaviour during the book (Basil and to some
extent Sirius-as-luminary), never embraces it (Sirius-as-dog) or rebels
against it and wins (Robin, who manages to be brave in spite of it, and
Kathleen).  I'd also choose it because it has the "Mundanity/Otherness"
divide-and-juxtaposition that is also in her earlier books (Ogre and
Wilkins in particular), but taken a bit further and with more layers, so
that the Sun is the sun but is also Sol, yet still has things in his sphere
that are clear to eg dogs but which he cannot easily perceive, and ordinary
policemen are involved as hazards in Sirius' Quest for the utterly
un-mundane Zoi.  And it also has a lot about the ways in which people who
ought to know better can let other people down (the parents/step-parents,
the Companion, and the entire judicial process that condemned Sirius).
Lots of layers for investigation, without the confusion of *Hexwood*.

*Fire and Hemlock* because it has so much about relationships of all sorts,
and the importance of Truth-with-a-capital-T and the power of words and how
not getting them right, or failing to understand them, may be disasterous,
all again within the context of the need to grow up in order to deal with a
problem.  (Tom grows up eventually.  :-)  )

Of the short stories, "The Master", because it's going to go on being
opaque for a good long time, probably.

Minnow


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