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What are those old women doing?
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Here to me, she's reverting back to regular old "grammaw" behavior:
"you are careless and won't take care of valuable possessions (think about the broken gazing ball), so I must take care of this for you"...

I see a protective aspect to her actions (at least, in her mind--though of course, we have no idea what's really in her mind).


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Taoist "Wooo-weeee!" The bosom that can be tamed is not a real bosom.

Dammit babies, you've got to be kind!
~Kurt Vonnegut
 
Posts: 179 | Location: yes | Registered: January 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Cele
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quote:
Originally posted by Primate:
Then why take it to the island?

(Because that's where the action was going to be, perhaps. But why did they find out that the action was going to be there? Considering that they didn't have the proper supplies to send him off the first time, not even black candles for pete's sake, we clearly aren't talking about regularly practicing witches. They already did their bit, so why and how did they find out about the island?

And why hide from him once on the island? Mrs. Higgler could have told her family to keep an eye out for Fat Charlie. Instead, the family stonewalls Fat Charlie, which could be from local culture or on Mrs. Higgler's orders. If they were trying to be helpful, why did she make it so hard?

And why did she then just give it up? She waited until Fat Charlie had already spotted her, which suggests that finding her was a test of some sort. After all, if she was waiting for him, she could have stuck around after the singing, which is when he spotted her. But instead, she hid just a bit off, so she could swoop in just as Fat Charlie really began grilling her nephew about seeing her. If she was determined to see him, she could have hung around, and if she was determined to hide from him, she could have ran. So, what reason did she have to test him?

And why the hell am I always asking after the motivations of secondary characters?) Smile


1) [black candles & herbs] Old Ladies are sometimes lazy about ingredients - sometimes it's more for mood and effect though a traditionalist like Mrs. Dunwiddy may be annoyed.

2) They're from the island - CallyAnn just took a trip home.

3) Why does she keep disappearing? If you are at all familiar with a very ancient computer game written originally in narrative and on 5-1/4" floppy disks, you might notice a slight resemblance between the actions of CallyAnn Higgler on the island and Marvin the Paranoid Android upon the Heart of Gold.


'Seanachaidh to the Elvish Horde'
~~
"It gives me a headache just trying to think down to your level."

- Marvin, the Paranoid Android
 
Posts: 56 | Registered: November 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Cele:

3) Why does she keep disappearing? If you are at all familiar with a very ancient computer game written originally in narrative and on 5-1/4" floppy disks, you might notice a slight resemblance between the actions of CallyAnn Higgler on the island and Marvin the Paranoid Android upon the Heart of Gold.

The Infocom Hitch-Hikers game (this one) right?

To get into Marvins room you had to generate a paradox, right? I don't see the connection.
 
Posts: 17 | Registered: February 02, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Jay:
quote:
Originally posted by Cele:

3) Why does she keep disappearing? If you are at all familiar with a very ancient computer game written originally in narrative and on 5-1/4" floppy disks, you might notice a slight resemblance between the actions of CallyAnn Higgler on the island and Marvin the Paranoid Android upon the Heart of Gold.

The Infocom Hitch-Hikers game (this one) right?

To get into Marvins room you had to generate a paradox, right? I don't see the connection.



2 a : a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true

That would be the game!


'Seanachaidh to the Elvish Horde'
~~
"It gives me a headache just trying to think down to your level."

- Marvin, the Paranoid Android
 
Posts: 56 | Registered: November 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Okay - I'll even plug the BBC Anniversary version with pictures (something the original never had!)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/hitchhikers/game.shtml


'Seanachaidh to the Elvish Horde'
~~
"It gives me a headache just trying to think down to your level."

- Marvin, the Paranoid Android
 
Posts: 56 | Registered: November 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Cele:
quote:
Originally posted by Jay:
quote:
Originally posted by Cele:

3) Why does she keep disappearing? If you are at all familiar with a very ancient computer game written originally in narrative and on 5-1/4" floppy disks, you might notice a slight resemblance between the actions of CallyAnn Higgler on the island and Marvin the Paranoid Android upon the Heart of Gold.

The Infocom Hitch-Hikers game (this one) right?

To get into Marvins room you had to generate a paradox, right? I don't see the connection.



2 a : a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true

That would be the game!

I still don't get it. Marvin was a rather depressed robot who didn't want to see anyone. So he programs his door so the entry condition is impossible (or seemingly impossible) to fulfil.

I guess I can conceive of CallyAnn Higgler doing something similar. In her case it would seem to involve convincing a whole island to pretend she isn't there. Why the whole island? She grew up there and has fully grown children there. This in a place where Charlie is recognised everywhere as 'the guy with the lime' i.e., the whole island knows he is there (or so it seems to him.) Now, if she could get them to hide her it still doesn't answer why she would hide. Maybe how, not why. Marvin was depressed and wanted to be alone. What's her motive?
 
Posts: 17 | Registered: February 02, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Cele
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quote:
Originally posted by Jay:
quote:
Originally posted by Cele:
quote:
Originally posted by Jay:
quote:
Originally posted by Cele:

3) Why does she keep disappearing? If you are at all familiar with a very ancient computer game written originally in narrative and on 5-1/4" floppy disks, you might notice a slight resemblance between the actions of CallyAnn Higgler on the island and Marvin the Paranoid Android upon the Heart of Gold.

The Infocom Hitch-Hikers game (this one) right?

To get into Marvins room you had to generate a paradox, right? I don't see the connection.



2 a : a statement that is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps true

That would be the game!

I still don't get it. Marvin was a rather depressed robot who didn't want to see anyone. So he programs his door so the entry condition is impossible (or seemingly impossible) to fulfil.

I guess I can conceive of CallyAnn Higgler doing something similar. In her case it would seem to involve convincing a whole island to pretend she isn't there. Why the whole island? She grew up there and has fully grown children there. This in a place where Charlie is recognised everywhere as 'the guy with the lime' i.e., the whole island knows he is there (or so it seems to him.) Now, if she could get them to hide her it still doesn't answer why she would hide. Maybe how, not why. Marvin was depressed and wanted to be alone. What's her motive?


Okay - your point is well-taken - in as much as it applies to literature. But think of it for a moment that the original here is not literature but a computer game and retry the above with a step less desire to get at psychology - in fact, the closer you go to discarding the need to understand it the closer you are to getting there: what is going on in the game/ what is going on at the island/ why is the character there and what are they trying to do?


'Seanachaidh to the Elvish Horde'
~~
"It gives me a headache just trying to think down to your level."

- Marvin, the Paranoid Android
 
Posts: 56 | Registered: November 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well, secondary characters are integral to the story and its flow, and understanding all of the players in any game will give you a better understanding of that game. Often times, I have found that in life, and in books, the point is more the journey itself than the specific destination. Fat Charlie had to struggle, it was the only way. The old women were wise, not gods. Although they certainly may have been avatars in a vague metaforical way, they simply knew the old magic, and that the actual ingredients don't matter as much as intent, a Universal truth of all magics.
quote:
Originally posted by Primate:
Then why take it to the island?

(Because that's where the action was going to be, perhaps. But why did they find out that the action was going to be there? Considering that they didn't have the proper supplies to send him off the first time, not even black candles for pete's sake, we clearly aren't talking about regularly practicing witches. They already did their bit, so why and how did they find out about the island?

And why hide from him once on the island? Mrs. Higgler could have told her family to keep an eye out for Fat Charlie. Instead, the family stonewalls Fat Charlie, which could be from local culture or on Mrs. Higgler's orders. If they were trying to be helpful, why did she make it so hard?

And why did she then just give it up? She waited until Fat Charlie had already spotted her, which suggests that finding her was a test of some sort. After all, if she was waiting for him, she could have stuck around after the singing, which is when he spotted her. But instead, she hid just a bit off, so she could swoop in just as Fat Charlie really began grilling her nephew about seeing her. If she was determined to see him, she could have hung around, and if she was determined to hide from him, she could have ran. So, what reason did she have to test him?

And why the hell am I always asking after the motivations of secondary characters?) Smile
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: April 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Primate:
What side are the old women on? They help Fat Charlie but then steal his feather but then give it back without a fight.

I don't think they're working for Anasi, as he repeatedly claims that the boys will have to sort things out on their own or they're no son of his.

Could they be working for Bird Woman?



Seems to me they're another archetype of the Triple Goddess that Gaiman's been using since Sandman.

They are like the Neiztche-an Ubermench (Uberfrau?), and beyond the usual moral quandries of good v evil. So, they're not on anyone's side, save for the individuals they happen to like.

Why are they with Spider Sr? Because, as Gaiman said in American Gods, Gods like to stick together.


Or something like that.
 
Posts: 4 | Registered: August 24, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Ookashira
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Just realized, after reading the book, that all they're doing is, as Fat Charlie said, "creating an magic situation".

I though that he realized that, if you believe in magic, anything could happen.
thats why he could get back to the beginning of time and find the Bird Woman. As the same way he could get back there (thisttime with Spider) to sing the song of time...


What's new, pussycat?
 
Posts: 4 | Location: Tellurian | Registered: November 09, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jaxwizz
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It seems to me that everything winds up on St. Andrews because that is the center of the story web that Anansi is weaving for his tragically divided sons to bring them fully into awareness of their divine nature. The scene where Charlie finally experiences the vision of the web of events that makes up his world is the pivotal initiation of the novel. And like all true fantasies, this is a novel of initiation. What else is life for?

Just my own dull thoughts, of course.

Bob,
aka Adastta, the Wizzard of Jacksonville
 
Posts: 8 | Registered: December 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm just wondering, does the similarity in the name Callyanne (Mrs. Higgler) and the word carrion have any significance? The l's in her name, if rolled, sound a bit like r's, so I really thought she was going to have something to do with the bird woman.
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: January 04, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think it was all a game by Anansi, he wanted to retire but he needed someone to 'take over' so that he could stay 'asleep' for as long as he likes (20 years or so he tells dancing woman's ghost) so this is all set up to decide which of his sons shall 'inherit' as it were?? we don't know if either Spider or Charlie have Mr Nancy's immortality or not?

I think Mrs Dunwiddy (odd coincidence but one of Terry pratchett's wizards is called dunwiddy and he is insane)cast the 'spell' as spite, not realising what'd actually happen and she tried to cover it up or somesuch?
 
Posts: 12 | Registered: March 26, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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