[DWJ] OT Tim/Lawrie (was HP and misunderstanding )

Ika Willis blake at gaudaprime.co.uk
Thu Jun 29 11:53:33 EDT 2006


>>I seem to have read about a million [school stories] where the problem
of the
>>too-exclusive relationship
>>between the butch girl and the femme girl is resolved by adding a third
girl  to the mix and the
>> formation of a stable threesome, but apparently this is not usual.

> I so have to ask - do you think Antonia Forest's Tim and Lawrie are a
couple? People on girlsown
> got really angry for me with suggesting it, but I definitely think their
friendship has romantic
> undertones.

I think 'Get Tim. She's the only one in this beastly place who ever knows
what one is talking about' is  one of the greatest romantic lines in
literary history (my gf and I quote it to each other when we're feeling
particularly lovestruck, in fact). So... yes, is the short answer. I mean,
I can see how they don't conform to (some of) the usual rules for
Recognizable Lesbian Couples in fiction, but, depressingly enough, as far
as I can make out most of those rules are about the characters having to
be the targets of some sort of homophobia. Tim and Lawrie clearly love
each other; they're the centre of each other's emotional lives (at school,
at least); and their relationship is recognized and respected by the
people around them. That's pretty much how I'd define a couple.

ObDWJ, though not really as tenuous as the 'ob' suggests: DWJ is probably
the only writer I can think of who does explicit/canonical romantic
relationships in the same way that other writers do slashy ones (I can't
think of a better word than 'slashy' there). Tim/Lawrie is very like
Christopher/Milly, or Howl/Sophie: we get to understand how their
relationship works *on its own terms*, rather than seeing how it conforms
to a given set of romantic and/or sexual conventions. It's part of the way
DWJ avoids ticky-boxes and characters who conform to 'types' in general, I

Love, Ika

PS: I'm surprised, and slightly cross myself, about girlsown being angry
about the Tim/Lawrie suggestion. We know from the references to *The Mask
of Apollo* that Nick, Cromwell and, I assume, AF herself are opposed to
homophobia and to the suppression of references to homosexuality; we know
from Miranda's crush on Jan Scott that Forest characters take same-sex
romantic love seriously; and we know that Tim is the centre of Lawrie's
emotional life. So I don't see why it should be a big deal to suggest that
their feelings for each other are romantic and/or sexual. In fact someone
on the Antonia Forest LJ community, trennels, mentioned a while ago that
AF had been asked about the possibility of Tim/Lawrie in an interview, in
fact, which suggests the idea's been floating about a fair bit among
readers (she said they weren't sexually involved, but then what does she
know? ;) She certainly didn't seem to think it was an outrageous

PPS: Behind on the list atm, sorry, hence belated reply.

PPPS: I should resurrect my .sig about what happened when Nicola Marlow
spent the night with Patrick Merrick in a haystack:

'They passed the time talking about how queer it was'.

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