[DWJ] Big week for Fire and Hemlock

Jameela Lares Jameela.Lares at usm.edu
Fri Jul 12 22:05:08 EDT 2013


Thanks, Martha.  Your comments are very helpful. 

Jameela Lares
Professor of English
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive, #5037
Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
601 266-4319 ofc
601 266-5757 fax
________________________________________
From: dwj-bounces at suberic.net [dwj-bounces at suberic.net] on behalf of Martha Hixon [marthahixon at gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, July 12, 2013 8:35 PM
To: Diana Wynne Jones discussion
Subject: Re: [DWJ] Big week for Fire and Hemlock

Jameela,

I have found *F&H* to fizzle, as well: first, the students have to know the
stories Jones is drawing from (Tam Lin and Thomas the Rhymer), and then
they have to be able to accept that the actual TL story doesn't really
surface until late, and then that ending is so ambiguously written . . . .
Plus, as you say, so much of it isn't "real" fantasy to them. Plus, the age
difference between Tom and Polly really bothers some of them for some
reason. It takes a good bit of talking through for many the class to really
appreciate the book, I've found.

Reading Jones's essay about what she thinks she was doing (written after
she did it, of course, so it's hindsight, as she says her editor pointed
out) helps them a bit. But it's not a successful read for many of my
students. And I'm talking about grad students, I'm afraid. *Howl's Moving
Castle *works better, though it's not one of my favorites of hers (I like
it, don't get me wrong. It's just not in my top 10). But even it doesn't
work for everyone. And I refuse to show Miyazaki's film because I think he
butchered her narrative, no matter that Jones *said *she liked it, and no
matter that I do like Miyazaki's films in general. He butchered *Wizard of
Earthsea*, too.

*Time of the Ghost* might indeed work better. I've never tried it. Or *
Dogsbody. *Jackie Stallcup, you never reported back on how *Hexwood* went
for your class last year--?

Martha

Dr. Martha P. Hixon
Department of English
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
615-898-2599 / martha.hixon at mtsu.edu


On Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 7:52 PM, Jameela Lares <Jameela.Lares at usm.edu>wrote:

> Oddly enough, the big week fizzled.  Either I need to pick another DWJ for
> this adolescent lit class--such as going back to using _Howl's Moving
> Castle_ or trying _The Time of the Ghost_, which would work well with some
> of the other texts--or I need to do MUCH more preparation.  Most of the
> students were confused. Some were frustrated that the actually showed up so
> late, wondering if the book were not in fact just a domestic tale. A few
> perceptive ones wanted to reread it, but the short summer semester is a not
> amenable to a class rereading.  One big plus, however, was having René
> Fleischbein there in class. If she has a minute to add anything. . . .
>
> Jameela Lares
> Professor of English
> The University of Southern Mississippi
> 118 College Drive, #5037
> Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
> 601 266-4319 ofc
> 601 266-5757 fax
> ________________________________________
> From: dwj-bounces at suberic.net [dwj-bounces at suberic.net] on behalf of
> Jameela Lares [Jameela.Lares at usm.edu]
> Sent: Tuesday, July 09, 2013 5:25 AM
> To: Diana Wynne Jones discussion
> Subject: [DWJ] Big week for Fire and Hemlock
>
> This week in my summer adolescent literature class, we are doing DWJ's
> _Fire and Hemlock_ as our token fantasy novel. It gets even better:  René
> Fleischbein will be joining the class for the week.  I am excited to
> finally be able to teach the novel.  IIRC, the last few times I taught the
> class, F&H was not available. I still taught a DWJ, but it was _Howl's
> Moving Castle_, which was useful in some ways but not as rich to my
> thinking for YA lit as F&H.
>
> Jameela Lares
> Professor of English
> The University of Southern Mississippi
> 118 College Drive, #5037
> Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
> 601 266-4319 ofc
> 601 266-5757 fax
> _______________________________________________
> Dwj mailing list
> Dwj at suberic.net
> http://www.suberic.net/mailman/listinfo/dwj
>
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