[DWJ] Age in F&H

Kyra Jucovy arykiy at gmail.com
Wed Oct 15 04:15:57 EDT 2014


Okay, I've been wildly busy for a week, but I want to take some time out to
finally get to responding to this e-mail thread. . . anyway, the Easter Egg
thing was an embarrassing coincidence.  I mean, these kinds of things are
called Easter Eggs, I didn't think it through, if I had intended it maybe
that would have been cool but not having intended it just makes me feel
embarrassed, but, yeah, I think it has to be a reference to the (at least
supposed) age of Christ at his crucifixion, and in my mind anyway (my mind,
which you may have noticed is obsessed with DWJ and intertextuality - there
is a reason that if I had ever decided to write a dissertation there was a
good chance it would have been about intertextuality in DWJ)  *that *is a
deliberate intertextual reference to *The Golden Bough. *After all, in *The
Golden Bough*, a grand metamythology of sympathetic magic and sacrificial
renewal is described as the source of most religions in the world. Tom
gives Polly the book as a hint to his situation in which he is serving as a
"seven year king" like the ones in the myths described in the book. But *The
Golden Bough* was also well-known for treating Christianity as just another
mythology, arguing that the mythology of Jesus's renewing rebirth stemmed
from exactly the same mythological sources as the other myths discussed in
the text. Therefore, given the amount of effort that goes in to creating
these stealth hints that Tom is 33, I can't help but see it as a reference,
since it seems very fitting that Tom would be at risk of sacrifice when he
is the same age as the most significant and renowned sacrificial king was
at the age of his sacrifice.

Mostly it's just a neat thing that I think is neat and clever.  Given my
obsession with intertexuality and *meaning*, and rushthatspeaks' lovely
essay about F&H and *Four Quartets *(the one that starts here:
http://rushthatspeaks.livejournal.com/254549.html and ends here:
http://rushthatspeaks.dreamwidth.org/401546.html), I could probably take
this further - something about the way that *The Golden Bough* is also an
explicit influence on "The Waste Land," and the mythical synthesis in that
poem by the as yet non-converted Eliot, representing the futile search for
renewal including Jesus, being linked to the devastation and hollowness of
Western culture in the Modernist era; and the contrast with the
post-conversion *Four Quartets* and the assertion there, to quote
rushthatspeaks, that there is a place exists where "Here the impossible
union / Of spheres of existence is actual, / Here the past and future / Are
conquered, and reconciled"; but at the same time the importance of the
imagination and the ambiguity of its relationship with emptiness in F&H,
and. . . I don't know.  I see something here but I still don't really have
time to think about it in detail.  At any rate, even without the *meaning*,
it's still a fun intertextual reference for me.

---Kyra

On Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 12:06 AM, Kyla Mackay-Smith <kyla at keyfitz.org> wrote:

> On Tue, 7 Oct 2014, Irina Rempt wrote:
>
>  On Tue, 7 Oct 2014, Joe Nankivell wrote:
>>
>>>  The age of Christ at his crucifixion?
>>>
>>>  Yes, that's what I thought too. (Not until I read "*Easter* egg",
>>> though.
>>>
>>>      Irina
>>>
>>
> I was going to say that I was a bit surprised that DWJ would choose that
> significance, but I bet it's actually Laurel wanting to coopt extra bits of
> power. (I'm half-remembering something about someone trying to get out of
> being sacrificed by saying that they're connected to something Christian,
> and the person who wants to do the sacrificing is all, "ooh, goody, more
> power"--what on earth is that from? I know it's super vague, but I bet
> someone here knows what I'm talking about.)
>
> Also, I find it utterly surreal that I am now *older than Tom is* at the
> end of the book. What? Me? Naw. Relatedly, though, I'm looking forward to
> rereading a bunch of books as an older person, as a mother, etc.--I reread
> A Sudden Wild Magic last year when my son was the same age as Marcus. And
> while I absolutely would also have forgotten to bring toys, just like
> Zillah, thinking about the sheer logistics of "oh, lordy, the *diapers*!"
> and "but where will he sleep? Did Marcus take naps? Because they're not
> mentioned" and the spare clothes--nope, I wouldn't have gotten on the bus.
> And the last time I read an Anastasia Krupnik book, it was great because I
> still totally understood child-Anastasia's thoughts and emotions, but I
> also had so much empathy for her parents, who are awesome parents; and yet
> I could still see how they were *so embarrassing*.
>
> -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
> Xander: So, you just went home?
> Buffy: What was I supposed to do? Say to Owen, "Sorry I
>         was late. I was sitting in a cemetery with the
>         librarian waiting for a vampire to rise so I could
>         prevent an evil prophecy from coming to pass"?
> Xander: Or, "Flat tire"?
>                 --"Never Kill a Boy on the First Date,"
>                         "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
>
>
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