[DWJ] stereotypes

Sally Odgers sodgers at iinet.net.au
Tue May 15 20:32:03 EDT 2007

The question that might be tricky with a modern setting, becomes even
more so when you consider historical fiction.  Can you present
attitudes which may have been standard at the time but would now be
considered intolerable bigotry or sexism or homophobia?  How can you
write about a time in which those views would have been standard
without either appearing to endorse them OR without indulging in the
worst sort of anachronism?

Sorry about the long quote here... (being on digest I get the full benefit 
of long posts quoted and requoted six times sometimes....)

ANyhoo, Hallie, I think anachronism is worse. You can go either way; have a 
major character with "odd" views which are PC today (and there have always 
been unusual people, and they make better characters than the usual kind) or 
else use authorial comment.

"You see, in those days people thought..."

A-C has been out of fashion for a long time, but people like Nesbit used it 
to good effect, and perhaps it needs to make a comeback in some circs?

Reading journals or letters of famous people of the late 19th C is 
fascinating... one "poor" writer with two little kids and a cottage had TWO 
MAIDS and kept sacking them for being useless. I did think she'd have been 
better off forgetting all the fussing, bitching and sacking and doing the 
work herself.

Mind you... mayhap my view was coloured by the fact that I was a poor writer 
with two little kids and a house at the time... hiring even ONE maid would 
have meant we couldn't eat.

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