Mixed messages was Re: [DWJ] Big Bad Read/Narnia

Elizabeth Parks henx19 at gmail.com
Sat Jun 24 22:10:10 EDT 2006

2006/6/22, shawyer at mail.utexas.edu <shawyer at mail.utexas.edu>:
> Well, Dickens was writing in a serial genre that used stock characters.
> Sykes is
> a bit like a Jacobean villian (ex: Bosola in The Duchess of Malfi, who is
> a bad
> guy because he tells us he is) who doesn't need much motivation or
> character
> development.
> I once was upset that DWJ seemed to have so many evil females, but then, I
> was
> mollified by their being so interesting. So interesting in fact, that I'm
> always forgetting their male conspirators--Mr. Whosit with Laurel or Sir
> Whatsisname with Grundo's mother. Its a bit like how the Last Governess
> always
> faded into the background around Uncle Ralph, but with opposite genders in
> many
> cases.

But I find the Last Governess so memorable for some reason, while I really
don't find most of the male characters memorable at all.  It might be
because LoCC is one of my favorites (especially the line the mermaids say
about "Tell us what makes you a clistoffer!"), and it might be because of
the Last Governess' hidden prettiness (which is kind of how I think of
myself, these days), and it might be because I always wonder what happens to
Jason the bootboy if he doesn't turn into Michael Saunders.

I drove through most of Virginia today and spend some of the time thinking
about how much I hope the Pinhoe Egg features: Tacroy, Michael Saunders, or
Jason the Bootboy.

On a wholly different note: I love the BBC's Get Writing series.  I came
across it while trying to find out the names of David Mitchell's children
(Hana and Noah) online (does anybody else follow children naming like I do?
Shiloh's quite all right, Suri's okay, but Kingston is a disappointment and
Julia Roberts' Hazel always reminds me of Nabokov's Hazel Shade.  Apple has
grown on me tremendously and Jason Lee's Pilot Inspektor makes me laugh
every single time.) and spent some time going through it--

I'm currently halfway through a two year MFA program in creative writing so
I'm very interested in how people teach writing, but I hadn't realized that
Diana Wynne Jones had contributed something, so now I'm quite excited
(though really when you get down to it, the best advice about being a good
writer is always to read, read, read, as much and as diversely as you can. .

Narnia thread: Horse and his boy and Magician's Nephew are by far my
favorites, and the only ones I've reread in the past ten years or so, which
is why I was so very surprised to read that all of the family but Susan (who
I always felt alternately sorry for and mad at, because after all it was her
choice but still!) had died in that train crash.  I only read The Last
Battle once, or, more accurately, had it read to me when I was about eight,
and I'm not sure if this was my interpretation or my dad's explanation, but
I just thought that Aslan took them off the train, that it was like going
through the wardrobe.  I certainly didnt' realize that they'd died until
this conversation. . . and now I'm quite annoyed at that.  What a cop-out!



Re: Narnia: When I read Homeward Bounders, the ending always reminded me a
> bit
> of Narnia: Susan and Jamie left behind to help keep knowledge of the Real
> place. Doesn't quite work, but maybe I just felt sorry for Jamie in the
> same
> way that I felt sorry for Susan, being left out of all the fun the friends
> and
> family might be having.
> S
> > On 22/6/06 12:21 PM, "Ian W. Riddell"  wrote:
> >
> >
> > >
> > > Bill Sikes was just downright evil, evil, evil. Not much makes me more
> > > uncomfortable than someone singing "As Long as He Needs Me" (Nancy's
> song
> > > from the musical "Oliver") out of context. I mean, for pete's sake,
> she
> > > sings it just before . . . .
> > >
> >>
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