[DWJ] Hello again, and beards

Eleanor Joslin eleanor at dreamvine.org.uk
Sun Sep 14 18:45:08 EDT 2014


I only worked out his birthday because I suspected he might share it 
with my sister, but he doesn't quite.

Nic W wrote:
> Haha, I once worked out his age, too, though I didn't go so far as his
> birthday.  Hats off to you!
>
> - Nic
>
> On Sun, Sep 14, 2014 at 6:17 PM, Eleanor Joslin<eleanor at dreamvine.org.uk>
> wrote:
>
>> OK, the Witch of the Waste's curse on Howl is based on that John Donne
>> poem, one line of which is "Ride ten thousand days and nights".  This is
>> where I use my inborn talent for opening books at exactly the right page
>> without trying, and find the end of chapter 11, just after Miss Angorian
>> has been reading him the poem:
>>
>>          "Oh, nothing," Howl said airily, leading the way back to the
>> yellow house called RIVENDELL.  "The Witch of the Waste has caught up with
>> me with her curse, that's all."  He seemed to be calculating or doing sums
>> in his head while he opened the garden gate.  "Ten thousand," Sophie heard
>> him murmur.  "That brings it to about Midsummer Day."
>>          "What is brought to Midsummer Day?" asked Sophie.
>>          "The time I'll be ten thousand days old," Howl said.  "And that,
>> Mrs. Nose," he said, swinging into the garden of Rivendell, "is the day I
>> shall have to go back to the Witch of the Waste."
>>
>> Now 28 years is 10,227 days (the number of leap years is fixed at 7 -
>> since the Wales bit is clearly modern, we can ignore the 100-year rule).
>> Midsummer Day is defined in different ways - I picked 23 June.  Howl's 28th
>> birthday falls 227 days after that, which takes it to 5 February the next
>> year.
>>
>> Eleanor
>>
>>
>>
>> Jameela Lares wrote:
>>
>>> Actually, I do not ask about your geekiness.  (What answer could one
>>> return?) I do ask you to explain and or remind me of the chronology.
>>>
>>> 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 [dwj-bounces at suberic.net] on behalf of Eleanor Joslin [
>>> eleanor at dreamvine.org.uk]
>>> Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2014 4:29 PM
>>> To: Diana Wynne Jones discussion
>>> Subject: Re: [DWJ] Hello again, and beards
>>>
>>> Book-Howl is one of the most precisely age-specified characters in all
>>> of DWJ.  On Midsummer Day he is 10,000 days old.  That makes him 27,
>>> with a birthday round about 5 February, depending on exactly when you
>>> think Midsummer Day is, and assuming the calendar in Ingary is the same
>>> as in Wales and that time moves at the same rate in both worlds...
>>>
>>> (Yes, I am a geek.  Why do you ask?)
>>>
>>> Carol Carr wrote:
>>>
>>>> If Michael were depicted as the boy of 15 or 16 that he is, instead of a
>>>> child of 10, it would have been better. I have seen some awful
>>>> illustrations that suggested Howl was about 16 and Michael about 8. Poor
>>>> Sophie, she needs Howl to be at least 20!
>>>>
>>>> On Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 4:55 AM, Philip Belben<philip at axeside.co.uk>
>>>>   wrote:
>>>>
>>>>   Watching the Miyazaki *Howl* on Sunday got me to wondering whether
>>>>>> Markl/Michael's habit of donning a beard before greeting visitors to
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> Porthaven and Kingsbury entrances of the castle might be a subtle nod
>>>>>> to
>>>>>> *Dark
>>>>>> Lord*. Though in truth it made him look more like a dwarf than a
>>>>>> wizard.
>>>>>> Any thoughts?
>>>>>>
>>>>>>   Did anybody answer Cathy's question?
>>>>> It's many years since I saw that film, but I would connect the beard
>>>>> with
>>>>> those two cloaks of disguise that Michael and Sophie used in the book -
>>>>> one
>>>>> made you look like a man with a beard, the other like a horse.  I think
>>>>> Howl even told Sophie to "take off that awful beard" or something at one
>>>>> point.
>>>>>
>>>>> Philip.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
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