Laura Parkinson (stormfeather) wrote,
Laura Parkinson

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Parasha: The Last Unicorn - April 7th reading (non-spoilers)

Alright, despite being brain-dead again today, I will attempt to actually not be lazy and leave the discussion-starting to y'all again. :p Sorry about that.

Schmendrick actually looks older when he smiles... which I believe is the opposite of literary custom, no? Don't people usually smile, and miraculously look younger and more spry?

The wizard also puts into more blatant words the subtler points from earlier - the fact that people also are misjudged, and misjudge themselves.

It's also a nice touch that the one trick of Schmendrick's that the unicorn specifically likes is the one that brings life - even different life - from death, turning a dead rose into a radish seed.

We also see the unicorn starting to feel a touch of pity for humanity, which is... nice.

The last of the red-hot swamis? How very... grandiose, and bizarre. Also a slight touch of yet another mythos.

It's both touching and annoying that Schmendrick wants so badly to free her with magic, and then resorts to the keys he's already picked. Okay, I could see maybe trying the first spell, trying to transport her actually away from the carnival and the danger of the harpy/recapture, but after that, damnit wizard, time's a wastin'! Just swallow your pride and use the keys already!

As a quick note... the "why is a raven like a writing desk" drove me nuts after watching the movie, until I finally found out that it's supposed to be a riddle without an answer, which the book states but I'm fairly sure the movie doesn't. Although apparently people have gone around creating answers to the riddle, the one which I remember being "Poe wrote on both."

And now after that, the book sorta brings up another conundrum... what was the riddle that Rukh thinks the answer to it is a coffeepot? But that's not quite as annoying, since an answer without a riddle is better than a riddle without an answer.

And of course we have the oddness of the unicorn freeing the harpy, when both know that the harpy's just going to then attempt to kill the unicorn. And connectedly, Mommy Fortuna capturing both when she knows they'll be her downfall. There are a few points that could be made here... the necessity of people and things to act according to their natures. Human nature, wanting to grasp at things that in their cold logic they *know* they can't handle, but don't want to believe that maybe in their hearts. And maybe even a romantic or even moral worldview versus a practical one, where you do something because it "should be," or because it's right, even if it's going to bite you in the ass. I'm not sure which one Beagle was going for, or two, or all three, or none. Or something else entirely. But it's interesting discussion fodder, anyhow!

And as a final touch, it's interesting that out of the various tragedies that night, the one that Beagle choses to end on is the sad sound of a spider weeping.

The schedule, which I forgot to link last time!
Tags: books, parasha, parasha_last_unicorn
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