[DWJ] author flirting

deborah.dwj at suberic.net deborah.dwj at suberic.net
Wed Jan 28 18:23:57 EST 2009

On Wed, 28 Jan 2009, Minnow wrote:
> Charlie wrote:
>> Can I make a plea for a cordon sanitaire? I don't think this list can really
>> be the place it's intended to be - a forum to discuss all things DWJ in a
>> relaxed and unintimidating atmosphere - if we feel that anything we say may
>> be conveyed to DWJ for comment.

> Since it would be pretty one-sided to talk about what is said here if she
> hasn't read it, and essentially dull for both of us, it's not what I would
> call something to be considered as a very serious risk.  In case anyone is
> feeling as if their shoulder were being breathed over, though, I can tell
> you what I *do* do: in general, only do one of two things:

Actually, I think -- enough people having expressed extreme
discomfort to me in private email -- that I'm going to come down
as list mod on this one and beg please, NO.  Minnow (and everyone
else here who knows DWJ, so Farah and Charlie et al), you are of
course quite welcome to say anything to DWJ you so please on your
own time.  Nobody who posts here is under the impression that
we're writing state secrets, and for all we know DWJ is a lurker
on this list or reads the archives.  But if you talk to her about
something that went on here, please DO NOT bring it back here.
Keep it private betwen you.

This isn't a forum for conveying private information between a
fan community and DWJ.  Anyone who wants to talk to her can
contact her via a publisher or, if you feel comfortable, contact
Minnow to see if she's interested in being a go-between. That's
between Minnow and the people who want that level of contact.
This is a list for talking *about* DWJ and her works, not *to*
her. We talk about what we like about DWJ and their work, and
sometimes what we dislike about it, and the only way we can feel
free to have that forum is if it's not a constantly coming back
to us that "DWJ responded in the following way to that

As somebody for whom it is on record that DWJ made fun of what
I've had to say about her work, I can testify that is really
hurtful, even when it's meant humorously. She's clearly someone
whose work I respect enormously, so to have even potentially
affectionate mockery delivered not to my face does not feel good.
Rather than argue here whether or not she feels affection towards
us and humor about the state of the list, I would rather just not
have that communication channel open at all.

Too often on this list somebody's statements about a particular
book have been brushed  off with insider knowledge at about what
DWJ actually intended. I am sure it is well meant -- many people
in the group probably appreciate the extra knowledge -- but it
has negative side effects as well. It shuts down communication,
it makes people feel sidelined, and it prevents people from
developing and discussing their own ideas.

Sadly, the Q&A forum on Meredith and Helen's site got shut down
years ago, but I'm sure if somebody is interested in doing the
work of being a go-between between DWJ and people who have
questions for her, space could be found for that somewhere
online. Maybe on their site, or maybe on mine, or maybe somewhere
else altogether. Let's keep this list for us.


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