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Thu Jul 2nd, 2015


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09:26 pm - Rewards, and fairies
I was ready to push off on my bike but had to wait for a pickup truck moseying up the street and taking its own sweet time. Passed me, I saw it was full of bits and pieces of stuff, guy jumps out several doors up and goes to inspect a barbecue left out for the garbage pickup. Light dawns. I peddle up. 'You take scrap? I have this window screen and an aluminum pole--' Yup. Two more bits the garbage collectors wouldn't take, happily removed from my front porch.

Chrome famously fails to give sound to Youtube. I thought I could hear the preview to JS&MN because it was embedded in someone's post. But when I went to the youtube site, mirabile dictu, Chrome had decided to give me sound again. Of course, this XP groans mightily when playing vids there, which drowns much of it out. But still am I content. Might even attach speakers to hear things better.

Am reading the book so that I can read people's spoilers for the series without spoilering the book, if you follow. Was thinking the other day why it is I have to see the people in JS&MN before I can think of writing them, whereas I feel no such need with Pratchett, and would feel no such need with O'Brian if I wrote Aubrey/ Maturin. Style, I think. Pratchett's voice *is* the Discworld; a Discworld fic done in another style would feel not like Discworld. The visuals are secondary to the sound, as it were. Ditto O'Brian. His style isn't quite as unique as Pratchett's but his characters' voices are as individualistic and instantly recognizable as Pratchett's authorial voice. As long as Jack and Stephen sound like themselves, you're fine.

But Clarke is already doing pastiche. Echoes of Dickens, echoes of Thackery: one could do that if needed, but it's not what makes her books unusual. There's an uneasiness of atmosphere there which is close to M.R. James', but I've never known how James gets his atmosphere. (Partly because I dare not reread his stories so as to analyze it.) Her fairies aren't like any other English author's, with their unpredictability and strange values and glamour mixed with mud. Have a feeling TH White was close, but he was using a different style as well, one that made them humourous. Some of the Celtic myths get close to the feel, in a way-- as in 'these people don't think like me, they don't have my values, and I'm not quite sure how it is they *do* think or why they do what they do.'

Clarke's fairies are rather like Ima Ichiko's youkai in some ways. As Grandfather says, a fairy or a youkai might very well demand your life in return for the loan of an eraser because their values just aren't ours. One can't take that too far. Youkai are rather short on the glamours and long on the dirt (or earth: an earthy lot, Japanese youkai.) The fairies know how to produce the illusion of riches and luxury, but it remains illusion. Maybe for them illusion is good enough, or even better than reality? or else it *is* their reality? This line of thinking makes my head hurt.

Whatever I think all this might make more sense if one were to see it; and so I wait to do.

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