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Auctorial signalling
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Joe Bernstein
2018-08-29 17:15:14 UTC
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I've just started Eva Ibbotson's <The Star of Kazan>, 2004, which
seems to be one of her non-speculative Cinderella-ish stories. Its
protagonist so far is a foundling who dreams of her mother coming
and finding her, saying specific romantic words. The book is pretty
long, with dozens of chapters. Chapter five ends with a somewhat
scarily described woman speaking those very words to Our Heroine,

and then chapter six is titled: "Happiness".

That word is as far as I've read, and it really struck me. The
contrast between that one word and the remaining thickness of pages
makes it very clear that this is a Wrong Resolution, and that much
of the story ahead will *not* be happy, actually rather strongly
contrasting (in turn) with the previous few chapters' moderately
idyllic depiction of a childhood. I'm not used to seeing this kind
of precise effectiveness from Ibbotson, and am impressed.

Other examples of this sort of thing?

Joe Bernstein
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Joe Bernstein <***@gmail.com>
Robert Carnegie
2018-08-29 23:56:55 UTC
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Post by Joe Bernstein
I've just started Eva Ibbotson's <The Star of Kazan>, 2004, which
seems to be one of her non-speculative Cinderella-ish stories. Its
protagonist so far is a foundling who dreams of her mother coming
and finding her, saying specific romantic words. The book is pretty
long, with dozens of chapters. Chapter five ends with a somewhat
scarily described woman speaking those very words to Our Heroine,
and then chapter six is titled: "Happiness".
That word is as far as I've read, and it really struck me. The
contrast between that one word and the remaining thickness of pages
makes it very clear that this is a Wrong Resolution, and that much
of the story ahead will *not* be happy, actually rather strongly
contrasting (in turn) with the previous few chapters' moderately
idyllic depiction of a childhood. I'm not used to seeing this kind
of precise effectiveness from Ibbotson, and am impressed.
Other examples of this sort of thing?
Have you read _The Stainless Steel Rat_? Caught... (ROT13)

Vg jbhyq ng yrnfg or gur raq bs ybaryvarff. Sevraqfuvc
jbhyq znxr hc sbe jung V unq ybfg.
PUNCGRE SBHE
V unir
arire orra zber jebat.
Gur crbcyr V zrg jrer qhyy gb gur cbvag bs rkgvapgvba.
Gurl gerngrq zr yvxr whfg nabgure pbt tbvat nebhaq jvgu
gur erfg bs gur ...

----

Harry Potter? His life changes when he learns that
he's secretly a natural-born wizard. It promptly
changes again when he learns that many of the wizards
that he now lives amongst are very far from being nice
people - not necessarily the evil world conqueror type
(there, obviously) but just pettily unkind, sometimes
quite creatively so.

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