[DWJ] Town drain

Eleanor Joslin eleanor at dreamvine.org.uk
Fri Jul 17 11:43:57 EDT 2009

Helen Schinske wrote:

> I mapped the Archer's Goon town onto Oxford simply because that's the 
> only place in England (apart from London, which it obviously isn't) that 
> I've lived for any length of time. (I was there for a semester in the 
> fall of 1983.) I've never been to Bristol at all. And I did notice the 
> town drain, I am pretty sure. It's very much Quentin's sort of joke, I 
> think, but DWJ's, too.

Yes, now I'm wondering what else I haven't spotted in Quentin's dialogue.

The town never felt like Oxford to me.  I've lived there since 1996, but 
I read the book in 1991 and my mental images of it are rather like the 
TV series.

1983 is when Archer's Goon is set, isn't it?  Cornmarket still had 
traffic then (I was a student when they banned the buses, and I'm not 
sure when they banned the cars) so there would have been less room for 
old ladies to riot.

If Farah's theory that nothing exists outside the town is correct, and 
Archer and family made the town as its own self-contained universe, they 
could well have borrowed bits of Oxford when they did it.  (Although in 
that case where are all the products in the shops imported from?  And 
where does Auntie Mildred live?  And when the Goon goes out to travel 
the world, where will he go - and how much outer space does the world 
have for Venturus's spaceship to visit?)


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