Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

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steepholm steepholm
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Enchanting Places
My keynote from last month's Diana Wynne Jones confererence is now up as an article at Strange Horizons.

Oh, that was quite good. Thank you for the link.

My pleasure - and thanks for mentioning it over at yours!

I was hoping to see the discussion that I am still too tired to generate (just returned from travel, and while it was excellent in all ways, I am short on sleep)

Fabulous! Thanks.


Glad you like it!

My keynote from last month's Diana Wynne Jones confererence is now up as an article at Strange Horizons.

It's great.

Thank you!

Very good. I especially liked the description of how the city in Archer's Goon is simultaneously Bristol and Oxford. Things work that way sometimes, and it's good to have that pointed out.

I am reminded of my own indulgences in fantasy local geography: that I've conducted a "fantasy walking tour" of Berkeley, visiting sites described in fantasy novels taking place in the city and its avatars, with historic Sixties sites and some private favorites of my own salted in, and also that many years ago I prepared a fantasy reader's tourbook of Britain. A rather crude production, it seems to me now, omitting not only any DWJ (of whom I had read nothing at the time, but then, she hadn't written much at the time) but also - with less excuse - Green Knowe, which I also hadn't read but at least knew about. But, in those days, it took considerable research to track down as many places as I had, especially from thousands of miles off: I still remember the thrill of first finding Watership Down on a real topographic map, or of determining that the Hundred Acre Wood was a real place and where it was located.

That can't have been an easy book to produce. I've seen books with a similar theme since, but I suspect you'd do a far better job - perhaps you should update it?

It was not very long, or very specific. It'd require a lot of research to do over, and do right. It's something I might think about.

Well, if you need a base for your research, you're welcome to stay!

Thank you! But it would need book research first, lots of book research.

Thank you!

This is just *brilliant*. I posted a bunch of comments on sartorias's blog, and I've quoted you bunches over on Twitter. You cover all aspects of the experience of finding/knowing places in literature--so excellently done. I especially liked your handling of the problems of exclusion and your eventual conclusion about the enriching, intertextual element that a knowledge of place can have.

*Goes pink with pleasure*. I'm so glad you liked it!

Actually, the question of exclusion is something I spent quite a bit of time on in Four British Fantasists (in a chapter called "Longing and Belonging"). It's long, but if you're interested PM me your email address and I'd be happy to send you a copy.

Thank you!

I definitely want to read Four British Fantasists. I think I can't in good conscience let you send me a copy, though. I'm swimming in books (though less so than many people--but I'm a slow reader, so it feels like more), and I would feel very guilty not to read it *right away* if you sent it to me. I have two books on my floor staring up at me right now in an accusing fashion, and others lingering in resigned neglect.

Let me see if my library system has it, or if I can get a copy that way. If not, *then* I might take you up on it, but I'd want to pay for it.


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