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Re: Least Favourite Character!

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Posted by Alex Forbes on September 02, 2018 at 08:55:54 user Pitsligo.

In Reply to: Re: Least Favourite Character! posted by Jo on September 02, 2018 at 07:47:38:

In some ways that improves my hypothesis: both times when Nancy's halo slips a little are in the meta-fictions of PD and ML. If PD and ML are "tales told by the others," as I have understood them to be commonly accepted as, wouldn't it make sense that the others might (perhaps in amicable jealousy?) add a little bit of fallibility to their Golden Child comrade? Sea-sickness is a very human shortcoming for an otherwise exemplary sailor, and a poor grasp of the reality of the situation is a startlingly plausible blind spot for a young woman who has otherwise been virtually infallible in her management of her social environment.

If the others "wrote" ML post-SW, when Nancy muscled in and re-directed the entire focus of the expedition toward a more fantastical scenario --not necessarily for the better if one looks at the original, cartographic premise of the expedition-- Nancy's glaring obliviousness to the difference of real/fantasy pirates becomes a dark mirror to her redirection in SW. One could imagine meta-Nancy's obliviousness in ML might have been John's (or even Susan's or Titty's) slightly reprimanding contribution to the ML story: "Your fantasy is not always appropriate, Nancy, and not only does it sometimes foul up more serious plans, it could even get people hurt."

Of course I don't know --can't know-- if that's actually why Nancy is perhaps a little less perfect in those two stories. It seems a very meta thing for AR to have 1) thought through, and 2) implemented. But given some of his other subtleties, I like to think this is where AR allowed some of his own resentment against Golden Children (I expect we've all known one or two) to be expressed gently, and to humble even Nancy, his favorite. It is, after all fiction within fiction, so Nancy herself, in the "real life" of the other books, could still be magnificent.

(And as a side note, yes, Titty reliably shines. Her faults are plausible and sympathetic, and her successes are genuine triumphs. If I, as a writer, could choose one character to go out sailing with for an afternoon, it would be Titty.)


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