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 Post subject: Re: Fan perception of EBD and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2010, 12:36 
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Order Mark!
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Joined: 23 Jul 2008, 23:36
Posts: 176
Location: Ireland
Fiona Mc wrote:
I know though, I do feel like I 'know' writers from what they've written, when in actual fact I probably don't; which is why sometimes I think it's better off not meeting your favourite writers in case you are disappointed. I met someone who met Roald Dahl in real life as a child, who said he seemed really uncomfortable around kids, which I wouldn't have thought from his books at all.


The author I met who is exactly as I imagined from her writing is Maeve Binchy, super!


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 Post subject: Re: Fan perception of EBD and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 27 Sep 2010, 21:40 
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Joined: 25 Aug 2010, 10:02
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MJKB wrote:
The author I met who is exactly as I imagined from her writing is Maeve Binchy, super!


So glad to hear that, I've always loved her without having known anything but her books! On a similar note, I sent a friend off to interview Alexander Mcall Smith and he too is apparently exactly how you would imagine him to be from his books: wise, humane and witty.


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 Post subject: Re: Fan perception of EBD and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 Oct 2010, 14:47 
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Discovering that JMB lives next door
Discovering that JMB lives next door
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Joined: 08 Feb 2006, 20:27
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What a brilliant discussion topic! I always wonder about this, especially when discussion stray into areas about, say, the sexuality of characters.

My sense of EBD from Helen McClelland's writing about her is that I would have found her rather trying. To me, her behaviour (inventing names, dressing eccentrically, neglecting her teaching work for writing etc) smacks a little of someone *performing* the role of an artiste. I always imagine EBD to have been rather loud, wanting to be the centre of attention, who believed herself to be very sensitive but who actually wasn't a very good listener. I don't think she was a very deep thinker, and I suspect she had a lot of half-formed ideas and theories on a number of subjects, and wasn't afraid to voice them. But that they may often have been transient and thus often contradictory. When I am feeling uncharitable, I often think her conversion to Catholicism was born from a yearning to do something dramatic. A more extreme re-invention of herself than changing her name to Patricia Maraquita!

There are numerous reports of her being a kind and caring person, and helping out the elderly ladies who lodged with her, so I expect her heart was very definitely in the right place. I'm sure this would have made up for a lot of the above!

As all of this is based on very limited information, it probably says more about me than the 'real' EBD, but this reading of EBD has always informed how I respond to adult Joey, who's character and behaviour often does not tally (and is the more interesting for it) with the authorial description.

This post id significantly lacking in data or well-reasoned arguments, and doesn't address Mia's main points. But I need to think about those a bit more before posting!


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 Post subject: Re: Fan perception of EBD and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 06 Oct 2010, 18:59 
Tor wrote:
My sense of EBD from Helen McClelland's writing about her is that I would have found her rather trying. To me, her behaviour (inventing names, dressing eccentrically, neglecting her teaching work for writing etc) smacks a little of someone *performing* the role of an artiste. I always imagine EBD to have been rather loud, wanting to be the centre of attention, who believed herself to be very sensitive but who actually wasn't a very good listener. I don't think she was a very deep thinker, and I suspect she had a lot of half-formed ideas and theories on a number of subjects, and wasn't afraid to voice them.
... but this reading of EBD has always informed how I respond to adult Joey, who's character and behaviour often does not tally (and is the more interesting for it) with the authorial description.


I agree with a lot of this - I often feel that the way EBD writes adult Joey suggests she was in her own life someone who craved attention and affection, but wasn't necessarily the best judge of what kinds of behaviour would best elicit those kinds of responses from others. As Tor says, what she tells us about adult Joey, and what she shows us about adult Joey are often two very different things. We're told about someone who is appealing, wise, sensitive, charismatic, and a brilliantly original character, but what we're shown at times (not always, obviously) is a rather smug, tiresome attention-grabber BUT who is nonetheless universally beloved. This to me does suggest that EBD may not necessarily have been the best judge of her own effect on those arround her. Certainly, if she herself behaved in her life as she has adult Joey behave when she's at her most 'breezy' - all that whirling around, aiming to make a sensation, attention-grabbing, joky put-downs and 'my child' stuff - I can easily imagine she was very tiring to be around! :shock: :D

The difference of course in fiction is that she gets to invent Joey as a version of herself who is greeted with the universal acclaim and affection she didn't necessarily get with Joey-like behaviour in the real world...


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 Post subject: Re: Fan perception of EBD and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 15 Oct 2010, 18:03 
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Rescued by doctors
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Joined: 22 Feb 2008, 18:42
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Quote:
On a similar note, I sent a friend off to interview Alexander Mcall Smith and he too is apparently exactly how you would imagine him to be from his books: wise, humane and witty.




He is. I've interviewed him a couple of times and really liked him.

I met Mary Wesley at a book signing once and she was chic and unfailingly pleasant - other writers have been less so.....


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