[DWJ] Monthly read-along - includes spoilers for Angus Flint

jstallcup at juno.com jstallcup at juno.com
Fri Feb 10 22:05:19 EST 2012


I LOVE this story.  It makes me laugh my head off everytime I read it,
particularly when "the tables turn."  What a fabulous way to make that
tired old phrase come to sparkling life!  (Literally!)

I agree as well with your point about the parents.  I've taught this
story and another DWJ story (can't remember the title now??) in which the
adults all completely abdicate their parental responsibility and the kids
have to fix things.  Students find it disturbing, I found, but also very
fruitful for discussion about adult-child relationships, power,
assumptions about childhood, etc.  

Ugh, now it's bugging me that I can't remember the title of the other
story!  There was a little boy who could control things with his mind,
maybe?  And birds?  And weird neighbors?  It's in the big collected
stories, which I don't have here to check. 

Well, come to think of it, this pops up a lot in all of dwj's writing. 
Eight Days of Luke, for example, which I just finished re-reading and
re-enjoying.  And certainly Time of the Ghost...

Jackie

P.S.  I get to teach my childhood and the fantastic course next
year--lots of DWJ!  yay!  Looking forward to it.


On Wed, 8 Feb 2012 13:35:04 -0800 (PST) estairm at yahoo.com writes:
> Who Got Rid of Angus Flint kept surprising me the first time I read 
> it, because of the conventions it didn't follow.
> 
> 
> It has a lot packed into a slim story. 
> 
> 
> 1.  the richly horrible personality of the unwelcome guest (and I 
> think I remember he was based on a real person!?!)
> 
> 2.  the relationships among the siblings -- not stereotyped into 
> all-get-along OR some you root for and some you can't stand.  The 
> reader makes hizzer own judgments on the characters of the sibs, 
> doesn't go along with the (pungent) judgments of the teller of the 
> story.
> 
> 
> 3.  the personalities the different items of furniture convey 
> without words.  It so could have gone another way, with the 
> furniture just wooden soldiers following the child commander. 
>  Instead, we got real personalities conveyed without one word -- 
> MAGIC.
> 
> 
> 4. the curious ineptitude of the parents -- also not expected, based 
> on conventional stories for children -- and the reaction of the 
> children -- protective of and exasperated with the parents at the 
> same time.  Complicated, unusual situation, but conveyed so clearly 
> and naturally.
> 
> 
> Loved the handwritten notes, too.  
> 
> 
> Esther
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> >________________________________
> > From: Kylie Ding <kylie_ding at hotmail.com>
> >To: 'Diana Wynne Jones discussion' <dwj at suberic.net> 
> >Sent: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 12:23 AM
> >Subject: [DWJ] Monthly read-along
> > 
> >A slightly late reminder that this month we are reading Cart and 
> Cwidder and
> >discussing Who Got Rid of Angus Flint and Eight Days of Luke.
> >
> >
> >
> >Kylie
> >
> >_______________________________________________
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> >
> >
> >
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