[DWJ] violence fixed by magic (spoilery for Lackey, Rosenberg, and Dark Lord)

Elizabeth G. Holtrop elizabeth at bouma-holtrop.com
Sat May 6 17:27:00 EDT 2006

It happens in Joel Rosenberg's Guardians of the Flame, too.  I
don't think I have a problem with Rosenberg's quick fix, though,
because the trauma is so very very real before the magic fix
comes in, and then afterwards, the character is changed.  That
is, the magic allowed the fix, but she's still effected by the
experiences she's gone through.

I don't mind magic as a new weapon in our arsenal of time, drugs,
therapy, friendship, chocolate, television, luck and
what-have-you that we currently use to confront emotional
problems.  But magic that just *undoes* the problem altogether,
makes there be no effects to events, that's cheating to me.  In
fiction, I want my characters to react and change according to
the events they experience.  In real life, now, that's a
different story. *g*  But in fiction, I believe in hope and in
healing, but I also want to see characters have to grow and

(To be fair to Dark Lord, Shona doesn't technically have the rape
undone.  I believe it's described as if the event now feels
distant enough that she can process it, as if it happened a while
ago.  But because it's not her story, and becase it's
fundamentally a funny book, we don't see that processing.  She
says "oh, good, I can process now" and then goes about her
business apparently unchanged.  In my opinion, anyway.)

Does that make sense?


  It makes perfect sense, and I think I now understand what  you're saying: That it's trivializing the violence, and quick fixes of  any sort that don't allow for the character to change after the  violence, that bothers you.  (Correct me if I'm wrong.)  I  completely agree with that.  In all the fiction I read -- fantasy  and other fiction, plots dealing with or without trauma -- I far prefer  to follow the characters through some kind of emotional growth and I'm  bothered when there should have been mention of emotional progression  and the author leaves it out.
  After this discussion, the first book on my summer reading list is Dark  Lord!  I read it for the first time last summer but it seems I  forgot or missed a lot.

  I've always had to run
    I don't know just why
    Desire slowly smoking
    Under the midwest sky
  ~Melissa Etheridge

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