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In memoriam: Diana Wynne Jones - Input Junkie
March 26th, 2011
03:05 pm


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In memoriam: Diana Wynne Jones
She was an excellent SF writer, with a notable mix of the intensely strange and possibly the best depictions of abusive vs. nurturing relationships in SF.

My favorites of what she'd written include Archer's Goon (probably the oddest premise I've ever seen, notable also for depictions of deadline pressure and sensitivity to loud noises), Fire and Hemlock, Cart and Cwidder (has a lot about organizing a traveling musicians troupe), and Howl's Moving Castle (holds a complex plot together, is emotionally satisfying and unless I missed something, doesn't have the creepy mercy for the Witch of Waste that the movie did).

I'm putting in a good word for her The Game which is a concentrated version of everything I like about her work. The bit about the evil guardians (?) spending hours and hours trying to comb the main character's hair into good order when the main character is really a [spoiler redacted] is some of the best shorthand I've seen for a certain kind of abuse.

She said she preferred writing YA fiction because young people were more receptive to truth than adults.

I only talked with her once-- she told me about the tendency of what she wrote to turn out to be true. (Actually, I don't want to think about that too much... the premise of either A Sudden Wild Magic or Deep Secret is a bit unnerving that way.) She mentioned that she based the main character "Who Got Rid of Angus Flint?" (a horrible fellow who responded to all criticism by standing on his head, which somehow made it impossible to continue the criticism) on a real person. In the interests of plausible deniability, she dressed the character in a cardigan of a sort the real person would never wear, and then she saw him wearing exactly that cardigan.

This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/476811.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.

(3 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:March 26th, 2011 09:25 pm (UTC)
That article you linked to was very, very interesting.

Diana Wynne Jones seems like she was a marvelous person. I felt sad to read of her death, all because of people I know who cherished her and her work.

[User Picture]
Date:March 27th, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
Thanks for the boost of nancy's pointer to the article. I had mis-supposed that she was talking about some form of child abuse and didn't want to read about that, but after reading your comment I clicked on it & am glad I did.

For other readers: The post is about certain aspects of advice, well-intentioned advice, bad advice, and the perception that one has discovered "The Truth" about X, Y, or Z. The abuse comes in when the person who thinks they know The Truth is a boss or otherwise in power over someone else. Or so ISTM.
[User Picture]
Date:March 27th, 2011 03:22 am (UTC)
It's somewhat stronger than that-- part of the point is that people can underestimate how much influence they have, sometimes just by being a friend or being authoritative-sounding.

It all gets worse if there's actual power involved.
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