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The final chapters!

Once again I'm going to weasel out a bit, and just post this placeholder, or prompt for discussion for now. Not so much because I forgot it this time, but because my whole system is loopy and feeling crappy and lethargic due to weird sleeping, and I've been kinda putting off posting until I feel more awake and better, and it's now running late already and...

Well, here. Have a placeholder!

(Seriously, I hope to comment soonish, and hate to flake out and do this for the last discussion of the book minus the round-up, but I want to get *something* up. So.. mea maxima culpa.)


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May. 1st, 2010 06:36 am (UTC)
Someone talk! I don't want to be alone in here!

So the heroic double-couplet wander through The Ways, into the Red Bull's lair. I... won't say much about the declarations of love, because they're sweet and I'm just enjoying them. Well, on her part anyhow... Lir's mocking of Schmendrick is less so!

I think this is also the first we've had Schmendrick's thoughts? Or am I mistaken? It's nice though... he's a nice guy, underneath. At least, I think so. Well, except for the whole manipulating Lir thing. And I still wonder how much of the final manipulation is intentional - did he mean for Lir to basically charge in stupidly, or did what he said just sort of slip out, or what?

I also find it hard to know what to say about this chapter because, well, the text is just gorgeous. So, yeah. I like Schemendrick's immortality falling from him like a shroud, especially.

I guess it might be considered a cop-out that Lir is saved in the end... but I'm glad of it anyhow. Then again, I've been familiar with the story since childhood, so that's just how it *should* be.

I wish I knew what it was that the unicorn said to Molly, on that last morning!

Also, apropos of nothing, I always tangle up Prince/King Lir with Shakespeare's King Lear. I doubt it's intentional at all, but I do. I suppose because I heard "Prince Lir" from the movie before I was ever acquainted with Shakespeare (except maybe titles like Romeo and Juliet).

Anyhow... have at it! Sorry about the flaking out for the actual entry!

(Deleted comment)
May. 1st, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
Ooo, also, hope you weren't going to pick up V today at a comic shop, because Free Comic Book Day!

(Or it's incentive to do so, if that's the way ya go.)
May. 3rd, 2010 12:15 am (UTC)
I don't think it's a cop-out that the unicorn saves Lir; this is a self-aware fairy-tale after all, and you don't end the fairy tale with the prince dying like a dog.

It's kind of ironic that you say this, although it's also kind of spoilery for me to say why. Huh. I need to figure out what to say about this...
May. 3rd, 2010 12:28 am (UTC)
Sorry! I don't have the excuse of having a life. I was just slow. I do have much sympathy for weird sleeping right now, though!

So, yes -- text gorgeous, I agree. I borrowed this from the library, but I really need to buy a copy.

At the same time, since it was there on the shelf just begging for borrowing, I also checked out the short story collection, "The Line Between". I've scanned in the pages of the prologue here: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3. One of the short stories is "Two Hearts", which a fan was nice enough to type up, so I don't have to scan it in for you guys. It's a 40 page sequel story. Since the fan didn't type up the intro to the story, though, I'll do that here:
Friends, family, and fans have all asked me, over the years, to write a sequel to The Last Unicorn. To each in turn I have responded with some variant of the following: "It can't be done. The Last Unicorn is a one-shot, meant from the beginning as a kind of spoof/tribute to the classic European fairytale, an homage to such beloved influences of mine as James Stephens, Lord Dunsany, T. H. White and James Thurber. Writing it was a nightmarish, seemingly endless labor, and when it was done I vowed never to attempt such a balancing act again. So thank you for asking, but no."

It wasn't a hard vow to keep: there were other books I wanted to write, and I have always had a real horror of repeating myself. Besides like everyone else (and quite against my own personal wishes), I grew older. The Last Unicorn is a young man's work, and I am not quite him anymore in so many different ways.

Yet here I am, writing an introduction for a sequel to The Last Unicorn.

I blame Connor Cochran entirely for the existence of "Two Hearts." He proposed it as a bonus gift for the first 3,000 buyers of the audiobook of The Last Unicorn, and wheedled me into going along by assuring gem that I needn't bring back a single one of the original cast -- only the world of the novel, nothing more. so, of course, I presented him with four of the major characters, and references to a couple of others, and had an astonishingly fine time doing it. The trouble now, of course, is that I can't abandon Sooz, my young narrator. I'm going to have to bring her back and see where she wants to go ... which will e, as I already know, into the real full-novel sequel to The Last Unicorn. Which I never wanted to write. Bozhe moy, as my Russian uncles used to say. Heaven help me...

That's all kinda meta. More thoughts later.

Edited at 2010-05-03 12:29 am (UTC)
May. 3rd, 2010 12:34 am (UTC)
my kingdom for a comma
I may have to scan in the story for you all -- there are some subtle typos I caught in the link up there. There's a big difference between the linked text:
"I think she was crying, only not the way grown people do."
and the real text:
"I think she was crying, only not, the way grown people do.

Let me know.
May. 4th, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC)
Re: my kingdom for a comma
Heh, up to you, I think I got the gist of the story from what's there though. ;) And thanks for the link, I totally didn't know about that at all until then.

(And re: your other spoilery post... I would say that that's different, because this is a different sort of fairy tale entirely!)
May. 5th, 2010 01:31 am (UTC)
Re: my kingdom for a comma
You're welcome! I never knew either -- it was just serendipity that I happened to check it out!
May. 3rd, 2010 01:01 am (UTC)
Other comments...

From previous post:

re: turning water into wine, "'Well, it's been done,' she said loudly." I'm not sure I quite caught the reference before. ;)

I had the same reaction! When I was 10, that wasn't something I got. "There was quite a vogue for it, I remember, but it's really a bit dated these days." I also like how (I think) he completely just pulled one over on the skull -- not magic at all, pure misdirection.

Later: "I send all my princesses to him." Heh. But there are too many other good bits to quote, so I shan't.

Like desdenova, Beagle also reminds me of Patricia McKillip, with the very lyrical writing. Most of her stories have that dreamy poetic quality, especially the later ones where it's almost not so much what happens as it is the writing that keeps me coming back. Earlier work is a bit more restrained, or grounded, or some such, but even _Fool's Run_ is full of imagery and leaves you having to piece together what happened a bit.
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