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2697Re: [mythsoc] Redwall and other Beast-fables

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  • Margaret Dean
    Nov 2, 2000
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      ERATRIANO@... wrote:
      > In a message dated 11/01/2000 9:21:31 PM Eastern Standard Time,
      > margdean@... writes:
      > << My elder son, who's ten, likes them a lot. Myself, I rebelled at
      > reading them aloud to the two boys after the third one with
      > essentially the same "Evil Overlord" plot. I have trouble not
      > only with this, but also problems of scale (I'm sorry, I can't
      > see a badger sitting down at the same table with a bunch of
      > mice...) and the idea that certain species of animals are
      > =always= the "bad guys" while closely related species are
      > =always= among the "good guys." (E.g. stoats, weasels, and
      > ferrets are Bad while otters and badgers are Good.)
      > OTOH, the writing isn't bad, and the books have Good Food
      > Values. :) >>
      > Good food values? You mean they eat a lot of vegetables? ggg

      <g> Well, they do -- I mean, we can't have the good guys,
      especially, eating =each other,= now can we? -- but what I meant
      was that meals (especially Feasts) are lovingly and meticulously
      described, in the preparation as well as the eating. This, to my
      mind, is a Good Sign in fantasy in general. Tolkien and Lewis
      both have Good Food Values, whereas in the cheap second-rate
      fantasy lampooned by Diana Wynne Jones in THE TOUGH GUIDE TO
      FANTASYLAND, all anybody ever eats is stew. :) Right?

      > I can see the trouble with scale, but personally I'd get over it okay. I
      > have more trouble, in Paksenarrion, with all this male-female interaction and
      > no flirting.. lol. Have you tried Horwood's Duncton Wood and it's
      > companions? Those moles? I guess the thing to read before Duncton is Adams'
      > Watership Down. They are like yet unalike. There is a familiarity of
      > landscape throughout.

      I read Duncton Wood years and years ago; I remember that it was
      good, but not much about it otherwise. Watership Down, OTOH, is
      an old favorite, many times reread. Now, =that's= what I =want=
      a "beast-fable" to be like.

      > Are the Redwall books set as if in the UK?

      More or less, though there don't seem to be any human beings
      around at all. Or rather, in the first book (REDWALL) you get
      the feeling that there might be some offscreen (where else would
      a horse and cart come from?), but that feeling fades away in the
      later books. Various of the animal species (notably the moles)
      speak in dialect, and I'm pretty sure these are modeled on
      specific U.K. dialects-- though as an American I'm not as
      knowledgeable on these things as I'd like to be.

      I guess, more accurately, you'd say it's set in an imaginary
      country but very much based on England as regards language,
      flora, fauna, etc.

      --Margaret Dean
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