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

Sally Odgers sally at sallyodgers.com
Fri Feb 10 22:17:07 EST 2012


Was it Chair Person?

Sally Odgers

On Fri, 10 Feb 2012 19:05:19 -0800, jstallcup at juno.com wrote:
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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