[identity profile] sprog-63.livejournal.com
Inspired partly by the question from [livejournal.com profile] schwarmerei1 about sexting and partly by my boredom at my own incompetence technologically I am wondering which Marlows, indeed which characters in Forest overall, would embrace technology and social media and who would struggle ....

Ginty, of course I see as facebook (and similar) obsessed, on her phone all the time.
Lawrie perhaps following actors/actresses she admires on Twitter?
Ann competant and a surprisingly enthusiastic user of social media.
Karen, having left University before the web, found it hard to get back into academic work, as she lacked the necessary on-line research skills.
Anthony Merrick becomes an early adopter of all things web-based, one of the first MPs to tweet reguarly, and Chairing parliamentary committees about social media.  Some are surprised at this, but he explains that his theological position does not make him a Luddite.  He is also an anti-pornography campaigner, much to Helena's emabarrassment.
Patrick held out until not having an email address made functionning in the adult world very difficult, but has never read one of Anthony Merrick MP's tweets on principle.

At school ...
Jan didn't join the class of 19xx leavers facebook page set up by Val ...
The consquences of sexting are immediate expulsion, but it takes a while for the staff to believe that such a thing could happen, let alone at Kingscote.  That is as far as I care to go down that street - but others may be braver!
[identity profile] theladymoppet.livejournal.com
I recently snapped up reasonably-priced copies of PR and CT and re-read them for the first time in quite a few years. Here are some of my thoughts:

1. The Bronte discussion in the library in PR is fascinating but are we really supposed to agree with Karen that Gondal and Angria were a complete waste of time? Charlotte gave up Angria but it's an obvious influence on the Rochester backstory in Jane Eyre. I seem to remember from Juliet Barker's biography of the Brontes that Wuthering Heights is much more of a Gondal story than it seems as the Gondal setting was similar to Yorkshire. If Gondal and Angria were essential to the published works, weren't they a necessary part of the Brontes' creative development? Has critical opinion changed on this in the decades since PR was published?

2. When Peter pins Nicola down and twists her arm behind her back, it seems cruel and out of character for him. It could just be that he hasn't quite realised that he is getting too strong to fight with her like they did as children - but then I remembered that Foley does something similar to Nicola in TMATT and I wondered if Peter was subconsciously copying him. Foley gets mentioned in PR (because of the treachery theme coming up again I guess) and it's stated that Peter doesn't remember all that happened. I wondered if the arm-twisting incident was something he internalised and is now acting out - so that, whatever he says, Foley is still an influence on him.

3. Cricket Term - how far ahead is Karen planning? She tells Nicola that Colebridge Grammar is one of her arguments for staying in the Tranters' cottage. I wonder if she is looking ahead to starting a family of her own, because if they save on school fees and/or her family waive the rent for the cottage it makes it harder for Edwin to say they can't afford any more children. I can't see him being keen on going through the dirty nappy stage again and maybe she is already thinking how to counter his arguments?

Otherwise, I'm not sure why Karen is so keen to stay near to Trennels. Edwin doesn't get on that well with her family and you would think they'd do better making a fresh start further away.
[identity profile] tabithabun.livejournal.com
Two random questions: firstly, how do you pronounce Oeschli in your own head?  Eshli? Eeshli? Eskli?  Eesklee?  (These things bother me...for years I said Sanger to rhyme with Hanger and now think probably it's pronounced Sanja.)

Secondly, is it too far-fetched to think that one of the reasons Chas and Rose are so keen to accompany Edward to Switzerland is that's where their mother's plane crashed?  I remember Karen's comment at the pantomime about having to hurry back to Rose and Chas in case they think she's finally abandoned them, which gives her bonus points for psychological insight in my book.  

Oh, and a third question: do you suppose Giles told Edward's father what their name was and was there ever any contact between them?

What exams?

Jan. 2nd, 2008 11:03 pm
[identity profile] alliekiwi.livejournal.com
I was vaguely pondering Karen today, and wondering what exams she would have sat before leaving Kingscote...if we were to do an AF and put the exams in the time of the writing of that novel. Didn't Karen finish school before 1951 when O-levels and A-levels came in?

I have a feeling it was something like School Certificate before that. However I'm not certain what year in school you sat those exams, considering it was 5th Form in New Zealand, with Higher School Certificate in 7th (Upper 6th), and I think some states/territories in Australia still have Higher School Certificate, and they must have got those exams from somewhere.

Anyone know?
[identity profile] widgetfox.livejournal.com
[livejournal.com profile] coughingbear and I are in Marlow's bar.

We did not go out looking for it, I add hastily. It is the bar in our hotel.

It is not a very good bar. It claims to be a cocktail bar, but they do not know how to make a margarita and [livejournal.com profile] coughingbear's martini has pineapple juice in it. Not even Daniel Craig would be okay with that.

We are not quite the only punters, but it is a close-run thing.

We think it is run by Kay. Any advance?

Who would run the best bar? Which would you go to?
[identity profile] leapingirbis.livejournal.com
The discussion about Kay below made me wonder how many children each of the Marlows would end up producing. I hope this hasn't been discussed before - if so I apologise! My thoughts are as follows:

Giles - lots, of course. Borne by a meek and long-suffering wife?
Kay - not sure. Maybe two, by a later marriage.
Rowan - I haven't decided whether Rowan will settle down in a same-sex partnership, in which case I don't think she will bother with children, or whether she will marry, initially decline children, but then suddenly decide in her mid-thirties that her biological clock is ticking and ultimately end up with two sons.
Ann - Ann will marry mid-twenties and - ironically and unfairly - have great difficulty conceiving. They will adopt two children before she finally produces a daughter.
Ginty - boy and girl? Followed by divorce?
Peter - don't know. Perhaps he will surprise everyone by becoming the real pater familias?
Nick - I reckon four boys, and would quite like them to be by Robert Anquetil.
Lawrie - after a succession of affairs with her leading men (and because she likes to shock and likes the attention probably a couple of leading ladies too), Lawrie will settle down with a somewhat older and very dashing film star, will initially reject the idea of children, but aged 37 will suddenly decide she wants one and immediately and without difficulty produce a daughter, which will really rub Ann's nose in it.

What does everyone else think?
[identity profile] res23.livejournal.com
Let's hope this works. I have finally remembered my user name, but it's taken me ages to remember how to post a new message instead of a comment...

Anyway, I've always wondered what the various Marlow siblings were like as children, and a comment in the thread below about prequels made me think about it even more. I find the twins different in Autumn Term than pretty much everywhere else, somehow very much younger (Nick jumping out of the train, etc). And I'd be curious about how much all the others changed as they grew up, too. It would be easiest to write a prequel with them all much as they are now - Ann being very good, Rowan still supremely confident, Kay very academic, but I think that would be losing something. Was Rowan as insecure as Nick sometimes is about her capabilities? Was Ann always so at peace with helping everyone, or did she sometimes resent it more as a child? Was Karen ever silly? How did Ginty's bomb shelter experience change her? Was she always pretty, and did she notice as a child, or is some of her shallowness later on a result of that? What was Lawrie like before she realised she was supremely good at acting? (and indeed, was that actually known before the play in Autumn Term? It seemed like it was really sort of discovered then - was Nick always seen as the one who was best at everything before then?) Did Peter hide his fears just as well as a child? (I guess we get some clues in Falconer's Lure, that Patrick at least knew some of them. Come to that, we also hear a little about Nick as a child in that one too, wanting to trail after the boys), and a million other similar questions... So, what do you think all the characters were like as children??
[identity profile] geebengrrl.livejournal.com
This has been puzzling me (ignorant young colonial with no clue about how the British school system works that I am).

In Autumn Term, Karen is in the Sixth. Rowan is Upper Fifth, as is Lois Sanger. Jan Scott is in the Sixth also. In End of Term / Cricket Term, Lois is Games Captain, which presumably means she is in the Sixth; and she leaves at the end of Cricket Term, as does Jan Scott.

However, Rowan says that Jan Scott was always a year ahead of her.

So is this just an inconsistency? Or is the Sixth actually two years long and members of the Sixth can leave at the end of either year? Or what?
[identity profile] geebengrrl.livejournal.com
There are three things that always troubled me a bit about this book:
a) Why did Karen suddenly up and marry an older man, with kids, and chuck in her degree;
b) Why is Edwin such as bastard; and
c) the cooling of relations between Rowan and Karen

I re-read the book over the weekend, and I came up with a few theories, so thought I'd put them out there and see what the general opinion is.

(a) Why did she do it?
At the time the book was written, the '60s were beginning to make themselves felt. There are references to dolly birds for example, and things pointing to a gap widening between youth and age. I get the feeling that Karen is quite old-fashioned. She's studying Classics (and she studies - in Peter's Room she's spending her whole xmas vacation pouring over the books), her sisters refer to her as "straight", she doesn't seem to be partying her time at Oxford away. Could it be then, that Karen found she didn't want to be part of this brave new world that was opening up - she doesn't seem the type for pop music, free love, drugs etc and she doesn't seem to have any friends at Oxford. Does it make sense that she saw an academic career was not going to be what she wanted, not because she doesn't want to be an academic, but because she doesn't like the way academia is going (maybe she even has inklings of the coming tide of post-modernism). If you're 19 and a young fogey and not a particularly good "coper", is it an easy solution to your problem to marry a much older man whose interests seem to align more with yours, so that you can feel more comfortable in your skin?

(b) Why is Edwin such as bastard?
I think you can understand Edwin a little better if you think a bit deeper about the class issues involved. I'm basing this on a few things: Edwin reads the Guardian, he drives a fairly ordinary car*, Karen calls him "love"**, and they send the kids to the village school and the Colebridge grammars. This, to me, points to Edwin possibly being a lower-middle-class grammar school boy made good; but with a bit of a radical/lefty edge. So part of the reason he comes across as such a bastard is that he's wrestling with an internal conflict - he's married a woman who comes from all he despises (money and privilege); AND he's under obligation to the ruling classes because he's staying in their house, eating their food, and having his kids minded by them. Peter's behavior to him is not just a kid being cheeky to an adult, but a member of the ruling classes trying to assert their power over the proletariat. Edwin wants to assert himself in the face of the Marlows' privileged existence, but his radical identity is being swamped by sheer weight of numbers.

* Edwin drives a Hillman Minx, a fairly ordinary, mid-priced British car manufactured from 1947 to 1960.
** I tend to associate this with lower-middle / working class speech. While it comes from Karen in this context, I am speculating that she calls him that because he calls her that. It contrasts to the Marlows, who are always "darling" when an endearment is required.

(c) Why do Karen and Rowan fall out?
In Peter's Room, there is a discussion between Nicola and Rowan in which Rowan admits that, while farming is OK, the staying at home bit of it is very very dull. I get the impression that she is longing for excitement and the company of people her own age - and that maybe she thinks Karen has all that because she lives away from home at Oxford.

Now Karen arrives home, announcing that she is throwing all that away to get married. She announces this just after Rowan has watched someone have a major stroke, has a looming farm disaster (swine fever), which she now has to cope with alone; and also is facing the long term prospect of taking on the farm herself, aged 18 with 8 months experience under her belt, or possibly having to give it up. Yet everyone is running around paying attention to Karen, for the whole book.

So I think Rowan is angry for two reasons: (1) She is going through a bloody hard time with no support; and (2) she is facing the prospect that leaving school to go farming may have been a mistake, she may have to give up farming anyway, she has no A-levels so she's not going to get to university, and here's Karen throwing away the the things that Rowan gave up, to get married AND getting all the attention.


Maybe I'm thinking too much. But it's a plausible explanation to me, and I'm interested to know what you think.
[identity profile] childeproof.livejournal.com
We know that Nicola has a fairly well-established Family Liking List, according to which she habitually ranks the members of her family, with Ann always coming last, presumably after Bucket, Tessa, and assorted Marlow horses. We might also assume that Giles tops the list, with Rowan close behind him.

My questions are (because I've just begun what looks to be hellish workday, full of politicking and collegial back-stabbing, and I fancy some Marlovian amusement on the side):

How do the rankings work in the middle of Nicola's list - who is next to Ann as second-last? Ginty? Does Lawrie figure as a kind of twinnish second-self or would she get her own independent liking ranking?

Also, f we imagine the other Marlows to have their own Family Liking Lists, how do they rank each other? (If Ann were to allow herself for a moment to be uncharitable enough to deviate from 'But of course I love them all the same - they are my family', who would she like most? Karen, who seems to be least unpleasant to her?) What does Giles really think of the Marlovian Lower Deck? Are we to assume Peter hero-worships Giles, or does his slightly-taken-aback reaction to no longer being the only male on the scene in Run Away Home indicate seething sibling-Naval rivalry?
owl: Nicola Marlow (nicola)
[personal profile] owl
The thing that I'm least convinced about of anything in the books is Karen's marriage. As of Peter's Room, the future she seems destined for is to stick around Oxford gathering up qualifications, and eventually settle down, producing sound if obscure research in a hair-pin-losing way, never being able to organise people, giving erratic tutorials and failing to notice her students' personal problems even when they're waving them under her nose. The one constant about her is that she's not really a people person.

If there was even an indication that she couldn't cope with Oxford, or that Classics had turned out to be as dry as dust...but in one book she's being scornful of Gondal and working away happily in the cold, and in the next she's landed with Edwin and the tiny, tiny tots. And I can't quite buy 'love conquering all desire for an intellectual life', seeing that Edwin's still mourning wife #1 in RMF, and Karen doesn't even seem to have the same sort of sense of humour—she goes practically Ann-like when he's laughing at the children's pantomime in RAH. People do do stupid things at nineteen, but I can't see her divorcing Edwin and going off to be an archaeologist. The thought of her in that farmhouse, making baked apples and sewing pantomime costumes until the steps leave home, is just too depressing for words. Anyone else feel the same?

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