Date: 2009-03-09 02:19 pm (UTC)
I'm really pleased that you did take my invitation as sincere and stopped by to discuss it with me. Admittedly, my first reaction wasn't as calm, but that was because I respect your writing and also admire what you've said about your characters' experience not being yours, but their own.

I've said a little in my reply above to [livejournal.com profile] jordanwillow about the reason I didn't seem able to read Irial in the mostly-metaphorical way you both did. Thinking about it specifically in response to what you've written here, I'm struck by your saying that Irial "didn't make her running to safety harder" and that he - like the drug dealer equivalent - could "truly love someone enough to want them to get out of the world they are in".

It's occurred to me that I might have missed an aspect of Irial's behaviour towards the end which meant he actually WAS allowing her a bit of freedom in full knowledge that she could use that freedom to escape him. By that point in the book, I was so uncomfortable I might have misread his behaviour in seeing it as only trying to allow her enough space from him to prevent her killing herself (intentionally or inadvertently) in the attempt to get away for a few hours. His achieving that by handing over more victims to be tortured so he could be sated was powerful and horrific and carried over to my response to Leslie's feelings about him. Anyway, some of that inability to 'read straight' is a testament to your ability to make the reader see from Irial's perspective and follow the incredibly complex series of shifting views the multiple narratives give of him and his actions! Some might be my own hot-buttons around the use of people who are relatively powerless by those who are supposed to - and do - love them, and supposed to take care of them.

I will keep pondering, and will try to reread with all you've said in mind (though it may not happen soon as I'd wish). And now I definitely will get Fragile Eternity as soon as it's available this side of the Pond. Thank you again for replying to my post.
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