Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

Read Post

Busytown: Silence is golden (Talking: priceless)

26 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 Newer→ Last

  • Megan Clayton,

    "Nipples of Brass" could be the unreleased B-Side to "Heart of Glass".



    This may not be much practical help in finding things to do in SLC, but as an associative link it's not, I'd wager, too bad.

    Christchurch • Since Feb 2007 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    This may not be much practical help in finding things to do in SLC, but as an associative link it's not, I'd wager, too bad.

    Yay! The original blogger Dooce makes it on to PAS. The circle is complete. The greatest snow on earth (it says so on the Utah number plates) lies up Little Cotton Wood canyon but that I guess may be not your number one priority?

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I read S&A to my kids (it was really hard to find in the US), got through the next one but we didn't make it much further - it became hard going - the first one had all that mystery that kind of got lost later - and in some sense it's a period piece, I couldn't help but compare Susan-as-mother to Peter Pan's Wendy-as-mother - not nearly so bad though - I found myself transliterating whole swards of Peter Pan as I read it trying to edit out the sexism and racism (which to be fair I didn't remember from my childhood)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    And finally, anyone out there know anything about Utah?

    Oh and be careful crossing the roads, especially with young children. The streets are so wide because they were built so that a bullock train could do a U-turn without backing up. You're a long time exposed to the traffic till you make the other side.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I found myself transliterating whole swards of Peter Pan as I read it trying to edit out the sexism and racism (which to be fair I didn't remember from my childhood)

    Hum... try giving your kids a little credit, and if the book is such an offensive swamp of misogynistic racism why the hell are you reading it to them in the first place? The one thing that shocks me about Barrie - as opposed to the Disney-fied bowdlerizations that are more commonly available - is how infantile his work is, how 'growing up' is seen as little more than a living death; the 'real' world is, at best, indifferent and cruel or outright malicious.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Craig - I think that's a fair point - if the book had been what I'd remembered it being as a kid there wouldn't have been an issue - silly me for not reading it again before I started - I started reading it to them and a few bedtimes into it I discovered what a load of crud was in there and just had to keep on going ....

    I forgot one other wonderfull read that does live up to my memories - The Wind in the Willows - however it's worth reading Grahame's notes to parents (in the back so you can't miss them ....) which suggest reading roughly every other chapter to the little ones .... this is because those are the good parts with toad etc in them, the other chapters are insanely boring allegories and meanderings on the wonders of an idealised english countryside

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I read S&A to my kids (it was really hard to find in the US), got through the next one but we didn't make it much further - it became hard going - the first one had all that mystery that kind of got lost later

    Skip a few to Winter Holiday - always my favourite. And We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea has a great adventure in it.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3211 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Waterfield,

    Just about finished reading Swallowdale to our 'lil one Katia - she's just about 7 mths old, obviously it's way over her head, but hopefully something's sinking in there.. after all I read her Swallows and Amazons while she was still in the womb.

    I'm reading them for the first time, but my partner Anya read them as a child, and is unsure as to whether Swallowdale is the 2nd book... does anybody know what the order is?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2007 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Simon - as usual, Wikipedia has the answer.

    Swallodale is second, but Peter Duck - a story within the story so not really within the timeline - can be seen to take place before it.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3211 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Waterfield,

    Ta for that Graeme - and yep, it's the Peter Duck stuff that confused Anya...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2007 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Jolisa Gracewood wrote:

    It’s all there, folks, in black and white, and sometimes? In invisible.

    Many apologies for not reading between the lines, Jolisa. In fact, it was my shortcomings in this department that caused me to abandon my undergraduate literature studies (but for my inability to see Wordsworth's daffodils as ejaculating phalluses the world would have one less energy engineer).

    So I stand corrected...

    If he wasn't so smoochable and downright funny, I'd have to sell him to the circus.

    This is an outrageous and deeply offensive statement for a parent to make -- I'm shocked! Don't you realize that a child's behaviour is entirely the parents' fault. If only you'd just let him scream in agony for hours until he lapses into unconsciousness... that would have solved his (and your) problems in no time.

    By the way, just out of interest, what do circuses pay as the going rate for a baby these days?

    Craig Ranapia wrote:

    The one thing that shocks me about Barrie - as opposed to the Disney-fied bowdlerizations that are more commonly available - is how infantile his work is, how 'growing up' is seen as little more than a living death; the 'real' world is, at best, indifferent and cruel or outright malicious.

    I tend to agree with you here, Craig. Although I can see why Peter Pan has become a classic, I find that the Victorian sentimentality makes it difficult to see Barrie's literary merit in comparison to his contemporaries such as Nesbit or Grahame... rather than the issues of racism and sexism, per se. It's interesting to compare Peter Pan with The Story of the Treasure Seekers (published a decade before the PP book). Nesbit is head, shoulders, and torso better than Barrie as a writer (in my energy engineer's opinion, of course).

    Paul Campbell wrote:

    I read S&A to my kids (it was really hard to find in the US), got through the next one but we didn't make it much further - it became hard going - the first one had all that mystery that kind of got lost later - and in some sense it's a period piece

    Well, Paul, after my duel-to-the-death with Bart Janssen, and after my scheduled "rumble"-to-the-death with Jolisa -- and presuming that I survive both encounters -- then you're next on my hit list...

    Are you mad? Ransome is one of the great children's writers! He's just warming up on the first S&A and continues to improve throughout the series (my personal favourite is 'Picts & Martyrs', the second-to-last one he wrote). It "became hard going", my arse. Peter Duck and Swallowdale are brilliant: it's not possible to have too many pirates, treasure, and/or water spouts in a book; and secret valleys are almost as good...

    And read the beginning of the chapter 'Snow' in Winter Holiday and tell me that Ransome can't write great prose.

    I pity you for your taste in children's literature, Paul*. When would be a convenient time for a duel -- and do you prefer flintlocks or cutlasses?

    P.S. Did you know that when Ransome was the Daily News (and later the Observer) correspondent in Russia he used to play chess with Trotsky and nobbed Trotsky's secretary? He later married the secretary, by the way.

    * Just kidding here, Paul. Everyone's taste is different, of course. Wouldn't it be terrible if we all agreed?

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    If you read about Barrie, you discover that he had an absolute horror of a childhood, including actual psychogenic dwarfism from lack of affection. Seen in the light of his personal history, his writings about children and childhood take on a rather different hue, manifesting his experience of loveless, cruel and indifferent adults. Lucky for him that Victorian sensibilities were so receptive to what are essentially healing fantasies for the abused.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Skip a few to Winter Holiday - always my favourite. And We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea has a great adventure in it.

    Winter Holiday is excellent, but my favourite was always Pigeon Post - pigeon messages! Gold-mining! Science! Missee Lee isn't bad either, although some of the more cringe-worthy stereotyping becomes more obvious when you re-read as an adult.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    If you read about Barrie, you discover that he had an absolute horror of a childhood

    And that gets the prize for understatement of the week. Alison Lurie wrote a fascinating book called Don't Tell The Grown-Ups, which argued (pretty convincingly to my mind) that there's thick strain in classic kid-lit of seriously fucked up people sneaking in enormously subversive undertones under the sentimental uplift. Even Edith Nesbit's The Railway Children (a book I adore) is sad and more than a little desperate.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    P.S. Did you know that when Ransome was the Daily News (and later the Observer) correspondent in Russia he used to play chess with Trotsky and nobbed Trotsky's secretary? He later married the secretary, by the way.

    Nobbed? What sorta weird-arse lingo are they teaching energy engineers these days?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Stephen Judd wrote:

    If you read about Barrie, you discover that he had an absolute horror of a childhood... Lucky for him that Victorian sensibilities were so receptive to what are essentially healing fantasies for the abused.

    Yes, and not to mention the death of his brother, etc. which, I think, Humphrey Carpenter makes a big deal about in 'Secret Gardens'... the original model for the boy who never grew old.

    Perhaps I didn't express myself very well. It seems to me that a test (but, of course, not the only test) for children's literature is that it can also be read as literature by adults. For me, Barrie doesn't stand up as well (even putting aside the 'of the time' claims of racism and sexism) as some other children's writers of the same period -- -- such as Nesbit and Grahame, or (somewhat earlier) children's writers such as Carroll and MacDonald.

    To me (disappointingly) Barrie's work seems much less good as an adult than as a child, whereas the other writers seem equally as good but in a different way...

    But, hey, as noted earlier, I'm just an engineer (now working as a journalist -- all commissions accepted, by the way)...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Nobbed? What sorta weird-arse lingo are they teaching energy engineers these days?

    Indeed. It's supposed to be 'boffed'.

    I never got the Ransome thing, it was all a bit Boyish to me. But when I was a kid I inherited my brothers' old copies of Malcolm Saville's Lone Pine adventures. I love them, I've passed them to my kids, but I've never run across anybody else who's read them.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Kyle Matthews wrote:

    What sorta weird-arse lingo are they teaching energy engineers these days?

    Did I say 'nobbed'? I meant 'became romantically involved with'...

    By the way, Evgenia was as much a critic of Ransome's work as Paul Campbell. I blame her for discouraging Ransome from finishing his last book... she hated 'Picts and Martyrs'...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Did I say 'nobbed'?

    It's not the crudity, it's the lack of a 'k'! Lest we forget them in their silence.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    I stand corrected for the second time today, Kyle...

    I've never had cause to actually write the word before now. In my naiveté I had naturally assumed that the word was derived from 'noble'... rather than "a small protrusion". Perhaps I really am an optimist, after all.

    Emma Hart wrote:

    I inherited my brothers' old copies of Malcolm Saville's Lone Pine adventures

    One of my regrets about the demise of Wayne Mapp from his role as 'Spokesman for the Eradication of Political Correctness' is that I never got around to sending him a copy of Saville's 'The Gay Dolphin Adventure'. I think it would have really spoken to Wayne.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    sigh - I wasn't dissing Ransome or the later books (which I didn't reread with my kids but remember from my childhood) - it was my kids who found them 'hard going' - we didn't make it thru the 3rd book - too much derring-do and not enough action .... personally I blame Harry Potter, the early books at least make just the most perfect bed time story fodder, each chapter is just the right length, and there's usually a little bit of a cliff hanger at each one - in the later books the chapters get just way too long (as do the books)

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Sorry, Paul, I misunderstood RE: Ransome. I stand corrected for the third time today.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    One of my regrets about the demise of Wayne Mapp from his role as 'Spokesman for the Eradication of Political Correctness' is that I never got around to sending him a copy of Saville's 'The Gay Dolphin Adventure'. I think it would have really spoken to Wayne.

    There's a song which Tenacious D covered, but it was originally written by some Canadians called Corky and the Juice Pigs, called 'Eskimo' (lyrics: I'm the only gay Eskimo in my tribe) youtube for those who want to see

    Because every good book should have music to go with it.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    One of my regrets about the demise of Wayne Mapp from his role as 'Spokesman for the Eradication of Political Correctness' is that I never got around to sending him a copy of Saville's 'The Gay Dolphin Adventure'. I think it would have really spoken to Wayne.

    Or possibly not: if I recall correctly, one of the key clues to the mystery was the bible verse which tells us "the love of money is the root of all evil". Not a message many National MPs would take to heart, one feels.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    One of my regrets about the demise of Wayne Mapp from his role as 'Spokesman for the Eradication of Political Correctness' is that I never got around to sending him a copy of Saville's 'The Gay Dolphin Adventure'. I think it would have really spoken to Wayne.

    There's a song which Tenacious D covered, but it was originally written by some Canadians called Corky and the Juice Pigs, called 'Eskimo' (lyrics: I'm the only gay Eskimo in my tribe) youtube for those who want to see

    Because every good book should have music to go with it.

    I have the book, and the song (the Corky version). And an oasis of intelligent well-read satirical bastards. My life is complete. If you like Corky, you may wish to try Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.