[DWJ] DWJ article

Joe oddenda at gmail.com
Thu Dec 20 19:09:48 EST 2007

On 20 Dec 2007, at 20:57, Minnow wrote:

<earlier conversation snipped>

> All the Reighners are fairly comprehensively Wrong, aren't they?

Yes, but Reigner One has to be singled out, because of an offhand 
remark he makes towards the end, as well as for the obvious reasons. 
(He calls it 'fun'.)

> Goodness, I see what you mean about BM!  I think the most horrible 
> thing in
> it is the way that the mother completely forgets about caring at all 
> for
> her own son, under the influence of the Evil Old Hag.
> I think Aunt Maria herself is almost like a semi-human version of the
> goddess-creature in *Deep Secret*, wossit, the thorn one, Aglaia 
> Ualaia,
> which I always hear in my head as 'uglier'.  Most of DWJ's older women 
> in
> authority are rather odious, or at best uncaring and unobservant, I
> suspect.  Art following life -- except that DWJ herself is *nothing* 
> like
> that.

I got a fright there when my two-month-old daughter first discovered 
that she had a voice, and she kept saying 'Aglaia Ualaia'. She's five 
months old now, so mercifully she's moved onto other more attractive 

>> However, my sister-in-law called round this morning with some rather
>> delicious-looking BOUGHT CAKE, so perhaps I should celebrate by 
>> curling
>> up with it and BM and a cup of tea, and see if she redeems herself on 
>> a
>> re-read.
> Is it a spoiler to say that I think Aunt M *does* get a comeuppance in 
> the end?

Well, I'm looking forward to it. I've started my reread (alas all the 
bought cake was consumed by my four-year-old while I was at work, so I 
have to make do with one that I baked myself), and I'd forgotten how 
funny it is at the beginning. Chris is still in the picture, being 
rude, and I'm enjoying retrofitting his rudeness into conversations 
that I remember having with some of the unsatisfactory adults who 
featured in my own childhood.

> Not a character who redeems herself: she simply denies that she has 
> ever
> done anything wrong, and sees no need for redemption.  Yick.

> And hey, isn't perpetual imprisonment in a paperweight a pretty 
> horrible
> comeuppance for Chesney?  I always thought that death is It, end of 
> story,
> no more suffering, whereas imprisonment is a sort of torture; so I 
> reckoned
> powerless imprisonment was the right way for the manipulative horrors 
> to
> end up, especially the 'powerless' bit.

True. And they only get to live with themselves too. Reigner One gets 
death, of course, and he deserves much worse (he gets death after 
Mordion vows that there must be no more killing; I've often wondered 
how he squared that, and the deaths of the other Reigners, with 
himself). He also gets the opportunity to fight reasonably fairly, 
unlike Martellian or any of his other victims. Perhaps that's the way 
the Bannus has to work it - although you'd wonder quite how the other 
46 or whatever scenarios would have played out.


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