bunn (bunn) wrote,

  • Mood:

Random thoughts on 'Moonheart' by Charles de Lint

- So your heroine is whimsical, with her green eyes and shocking failure to wear a smart skirt and makeup.  I get it! Whimsical! Now stop banging on the contents of her desk and bookshelves, and get on with the story!

- Somehow Welsh mythology gets a smell of Disney when you transport it to the USA or Canada. I don't know why.  Possibly because many of the grimmer bits of Wales get left behind in transit.

- I just can't take pointy-eared elves playing drums seriously.  I know it's a failing, but I can't.

- I'm pretty sure that if you have to fish about under the needles on the floor in a pinewood for a bit of wood to use as a weapon, then that bit of wood will break off in your hand, being completely rotten, or will be firmly attached, being in fact, a root.  Possibly you meant to set this section of the story in an oak woodland?  

The lights of the town from above are 'like a giant's quilt'.  Giants have black quilts with illuminated fairy lights?  This casts a whole new light on the domestic lives of giants.  Actually, I'd never previously thought of giants as owning quilts....

I've only got half way through so far but every time I think I've managed to suspend my disbelief, something comes along and knocks it over again.

The whole issue of the Welsh / Celtic myths called upon has been swishing around in my mind, and I think I've made some progress on working out why it feels so wrong. 

The setting is Ottowa, and  the protagonists are 'alternative thinkers' - by which the author mostly seems to mean agnostics or people of a mystical bent who are not Christian.  A couple of 'conventional' relatives are mentioned and it's clear that these are Christians, in a very New World sense of the word.  The fantasy elements are based on the fragments of pagan myth, I think from the Mabinogion from what I remember of it. 

So we've got this picture of on the one hand, the pagan celtic mystical world (Woooooo!) and on the other, a sort of white picket fence 'normal' modern Christian world, and Never The Twain, etc. 

But nothing acknowledging 1600-odd years of Christianity in Wales, nothing recognising the Christian mystical tradition or Insular Christianity...   There's a ring decorated with 'Celtic Ribbonwork' which the author clearly thinks of as pre-christian, but I suspect is visualising as something out of, say the Book of Kells, rather than La Tene.

I am not a Christian myself, but I think that's my underlying problem with this setting and concept.  Too much cherry picking of the bits of myth that fit in with the author's world view and method of pigeonholing people. And an attempt at a Welsh flavouring using too many ersatz ingredients... 
Tags: books

  • Theo

    Theo's recall is definitely improving. I mean, I wouldn't rely on it around livestock and I'm very cautious on the local golf…

  • Urgh

    That feeling when you've removed 9999 rusty flat-head screws (because of course they are flat-head, so harder to get a grip on) and you prod the…

  • Frost, loot and New Year

    It is very cold! On New Year's Eve, it was snowing as I went out to walk the dogs, though the land down below was clear and green, and the sun…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded