[DWJ] Re: Dwj Digest, Vol 24, Issue 4

Charles Butler charles.hannibal at gmail.com
Mon Aug 20 10:41:27 EDT 2007


2.  If you bring it to this level of metaphor, however, it could equally
be applied to any other situation in which discrimination becomes a
phobia: Racism, xenophobia, misogyny, anti-intellectualism, and so on;
and such an interpretation would be just as valid.

In her own comment on this question (in "The Profession of Science Fiction",
which is or at least used to be on the DWJ web site) DWJ refers to a
possible metaphorical reading of *Witch Week* in terms of "secret fears or
racial difference". Ever since Sarah Dove raised the question of homophobia
on this list a few years ago, however, it's seemed to me that racism fits
the bill rather less well than some other forms of prejudice, including
homophobia. This is because a) racial difference is often (not always)
obvious to all, so that keeping it secret isn't really an option; but also
b) there seems in WW to be an element of at least some of the children
wondering whether they're really witches, and trying to face up to the fact
(or run away from it). Again, this fits badly with race, in that most people
know whether they're white, Jewish, etc, but very well with adolescent
speculations to do with sexual orientation (and some other things, to be


Website: www.charlesbutler.co.uk

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