Saturday, September 19, 2009
'Jane' by PF Jeffery, Book 3, Lundin, Chapter 5
After a wet conclave of plotting and Lifenbud celebration preparations, in this chapter – mainly by dialogue with plumbers (Watergate ones? perhaps not) – I sense we are given a quite wide-ranging picture of much of the plot action, characters' names, language-terminology concerning slavery etc,, quasi-cannibalism, 'pollygoggery' etc, dynastic doings, that are to thread this whole forthcoming series of novels.
I cannot divorce myself from knowing something about those machinations already. It would be interesting to get a view of 'Jane' from someone who comes to it completely afresh.
As it is said itself in this chapter: "Life, I suppose, is complicated."
A telling passage among many:
"We are all a mixture of the praiseworthy and the blameable, but these killers were essentially good women. It was impossible not to like them all. Their deeds of blood seemed to weigh most lightly upon Barguin. Progressing from engaging Barguin in conversation, to speaking with the others, seemed a journey into darkness. Yet the shadows within them attracted me, as well as repelled. Perhaps it was a sense of this that had first drawn me to Modesty the previous summer. At least some of my thoughts on the matter must be attributed to the influence of potent spiced elderberry wine. Dark red liquid fermented by a general. Not a peaceful drink."
There is also talk of 'credit crunch' with fits neatly with the literal audit-trail of this novel!
This chapter ends with a beautiful description of a loving threesome-in-tumble (Jane, another Jane and Nicola), where Nicola's possible qualms can only be imagined!
Links to all my JANE chapter comments:
Posted at 09:49 am by Weirdmonger
October 4, 2009 03:12 PM PDT
Thank you for that!
No typos this time? Crumbs!
When I wrote this chapter, I was expecting the discussions of slave-related terminology and plot twists to be directly relevant to the next volume. This was to be, if you will, an introduction to volume 2. Since then, my plans have shifted considerably. Much of what is said in this chapter will now relate to volume 5, instead of volume 2. Things are being telegraphed, here, at what may seem an excessive way in advance. But, on mature reflection, I feel that it better thus than the way I originally conceived it. I think that what is said in this chapter is sufficiently interesting to stand in its own right (although its inclusion here would be extremely odd were it not to feature in a later volume). By the time the material becomes directly relevant, it may seem to the reader something dimly recalled from long ago. That, I think, will be more effective than someone having read this material comparatively recently. What appears in volume 5 will stand in its own right, but will be all the better for having a vague air of familiarity. Some (although not a lot) of what is said in this chapter is a pre-taste of volume 2. And slavery, as such, is much more relevant to volume 2 than it is to “Jane”.
I agree that it would be interesting to know the view of someone coming to “Jane” entirely afresh.
Life is complicated, and so is “The Warriors of Love”, in all sorts of ways. The text has a prehistory that haunts you and me, but will be unknown to new readers. How that would seem (to a new reader) is a matter for which I have only intuition as a guide.
The quotation beginning “We are all a mixture of the praiseworthy and the blameable…” seems to me to say something that lies at the heart of “The Warriors of Love”. Indeed, I think that the same thing is summarised succinctly in the series title. “Warriors” suggesting harsh deeds and “Love” suggesting gentle ones. Yet love is often harsh, and warriors can be gentle. The novels (I hope) generally have a moral tone, but it is a complex morality, often in shades of grey rather than black and white. Or, more properly, good and bad intertwined – and often interdependant.