[DWJ] Dogsbody

Lucy Pearson lucy.r.pearson at gmail.com
Mon May 21 10:21:30 EDT 2012

On Sat, May 19, 2012 at 8:47 PM, Philip Belben <philipbelben at alice.de>wrote:

> I'm also a little confused as to the nature of the Luminaries themselves.
>  When Sirius and Sol return to guide Kathleen to Patchie's pups, she is
> unable even to perceive them.  This suggests that they are immaterial
> beings, with no bodies as we understand them (unless their spheres are
> their bodies).  On the other hand, Mrs Canning and her new partner move
> around freely pretending to be humans, interacting with Eleanor Partridge,
> breaking into the Duffields', and so on.  I don't think the implication is
> that they are immaterial beings who have co-opted human bodies (which
> incidentally have far more of the Luminaries' power than Sirius had as a
> dog).  They seem to be in their natural form, "containing their heat", but
> still "lit up round the edges".  So what is going on here?
> I wonder if taking corporeal form is actually one of their 'crimes'. After
all, they're interfering in the world in ways which they probably
shouldn't, in order to cover up previous crimes. So, maybe Sirius and Sol
could take on human form, but not without causing other problems which
they're at pains to avoid.

I'm interested by the fact that this is (I think) the only one of Diana's
books where she explicitly brings in real world politics, in the form of
Kathleen's Irish identity and her father's imprisonment. And, now I think
about it, Sirius' story does seem to have some connecting themes there -
the fact he's been framed for his crime, for example. Is the connection
here just about working through similar emotions, or did DWJ have paticular
feelings about the Irish issues?


> --
Lucy Pearson, Lecturer in Children's Literature
Newcastle University Children's Literature Unit

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