Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Name-Dropping, Small World, Raspberries

When I was a kid, I lived across the street from a really nice couple of the grandparent-ish variety. They were smart, and bookish, and kind, and when I ran over to their house in brand-new shoes one day and called out from the sidewalk that the shoes were making me dance until my feet were sore like the Red Shoes, they totally got the literary reference, which made me so happy.

They were not only grandparent-ish but were, in fact, actual grandparents, whose grandchildren were a few years younger than me and would come to visit sometimes from the City near our suburb. I think once or twice I even babysat for them. The older grandchild became friends with my younger brother, I think through summer camp, and they've remained in touch through adulthood. This same older grandchild, in one of those weird small-world occurrences, happened to meet and eventually marry a college friend of mine, so they're sort of like relatives on both sides.

And now this selfsame older grandchild of my old neighbors, Mark Dominus, friend of my brother, college-friend-in-law of mine, has gone and gotten himself cited in the kidlitosphere for his thoughtful and deadpan analysis of one of my favorite easy readers, A Bargain for Frances. My college friend Lorrie even makes an appearance, doing our alma mater proud with some hardcore lit-crit speculation regarding the inner life and motivations of Thelma, Frances's nefarious tea-set-swindler pal.

My favorite part, though, is Mark's own rueful evaluation of his attempts to explain the concept of "lying" to his 2-year-old daughter, Iris, using the hypothetical example of his telling her there were no raspberries in the refriegerator, even if there were, if he wanted to keep them all for himself: "I think Iris attached too much significance to the raspberries; for a while she seemed to think that lying had something to do with raspberries."

Well. I don't have any justification for feeling proud by association, but somehow I do. Maybe I can meet Iris in person someday, and we can discuss this crucial raspberry issue further.

Thanks to Fuse #8, now in her new home, for the link.


liz said...

That is a truly terrific piece of analysis.

Genevieve said...

What a great blog! Love the Bargain for Frances entry.

He has another post making an excellent point about the weakness of the Goblet of Fire plot. I'm wondering if anyone's ever satisfactorily addressed that plot problem?
(My own plot problem concerns Prisoner of Azkaban, which we finished reading to our son yesterday. On my re-read (first time for son, multiple time for me) I noticed this problem:


How does Sirius buy the Firebolt for Harry? He said he gave Crookshank the order, in Harry's name, and told them to take the money from his own Gringott's account. What merchant would take money from Sirius Black's account? And if they did, wouldn't everyone know about it, since everyone in the wizarding world was looking for Black?

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Wow! I had always just assumed Thelma was a devious witch of a friend, and didn't make the connection that her mother probably used the same arguments on her that Thelma presents to Francis. I feel a bit more compassionate toward Thelma than I had previously.

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