[DWJ] McKinley and racism (WAS recommendations)

Gin kalaidiscope at gmail.com
Tue Jul 30 23:03:58 EDT 2013


Hi,

Dark Lord of Derkholm does have the Emir! Who is culturally Arabian/Asian.

Yes "it doesn't need kids of color, it has griffin kids," is a bit odd.

Though strangely, I could see that argument if you were talking about
differently-abled people, rather than POC. Does that  seem reasonable, or
am I being blinded by my own prejudice?

(I do have an autistic nephew- And some of the ways the griffins are *so
very good* at some things and *utterly incapable* of other things, remind
me of him)

Regards

Gin

On Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 12:14 PM, <deborah.dwj at suberic.net> wrote:

> On Wed, 31 Jul 2013, Gin wrote:
>
>  ODWJ reference...Does DWJ have any black characters? I have just realised
>> I cannot name any. Does DWJ go out  of her way to describe characters as
>> white?
>>
>
> Well, there's Wilkin's Tooth / Witch's Business, which as I recall has a
> bit of that 1970s Trying to Confront Racism thing going on it, so it hasn't
> aged so well. Well meaning, certainly.
>
> I had a headdesky moment when a student, in a discussion about the racial
> balance in F & SF (triggered by Gregory E. Rutledge, "Futurist Fiction &
> Fantasy The Racial Establishment", Callaloo 24.1 (2001)), explained that it
> was okay that there were no protagonists of color in Dark Lord of Derkholm
> because there were griffin characters. It was one of those moments that I
> hope I handled well but honestly I was so floored I am not sure.
>
> (For what it's worth, there are multiple arguments about race you could
> make vis-a-vis Derkholm, one of which is that the wider concern, and
> Rutledge's in particular, is about the genre writ large, and an individual
> book is always going to be okay; it is what it is.  And I could see readers
> going both ways on the question of how much Derkholm critiques the racist
> tropes it depicts in Mr. Chesney's idea of Fantasyland. But "it doesn't
> need kids of color, it has griffin kids," is... no. Just no.)
>
> -deborah
>
>
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