[LMB] Re: The dinner scene in ACC

Paula Lieberman paal at gis.net
Sat Jul 29 14:44:33 BST 2006

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Elizabeth Holden" <azurite at rogers.com>

> --- quietann <quietann at gmail.com> wrote:
>> My "hardest to read scene" is at the very end of
>> _The Warriors Apprentice_, when Miles, Aral, Gregor,
>> and Counts Vorhalas and Vorvolk have their
>> conversation.  I mean, Aral begging Count Vorhalas
>> for mercy.... ow ow owwwwwwwww!
> That is one of my very favourite scenes in the whole
> series, one of the ones I am most likely to reread. I
> love it for a hundred reasons - for what it says about
> Aral and his notion of honour, for what it says about
> Miles as a priority in his life, for what it says
> about his ability to read and understand people, for
> what it says about taking chances .... Okay, okay, you
> don't want or need all hundred reasons. I'll stop.
> It's just... a great scene. The fact that it's a
> *difficult* one just makes it stronger. Better.
> I really love Aral and here's he's at his best.

That's the one where there's a line like. "Oh hell, he has his mother's 
eyes" isn't it?

Since the book is not a tragedy, going into that scene I presumed that Miles 
was going to survive and Vorhalas not get the vengeance he wanted... there 
was no -embarrassment- and lead character unfunny-to-me trainwreck-is-coming 
social solecism stupidity involved--which are some of the things that put 
together can totally squick me out of reading something.. oncongruity humor 
I can dal with, broadcast stupidity and the person thinking that they are 
doing oh-so-well when it's not a foil character... Miles is not Falstaff 
(though for that matter Falstaff can get tedious on me in a hurry...) 
Yeah, I know, I tend to -hate- slapstick, my taste for broad humor tends to 
be negative.

Nobody's dying painfully in the scene where Aral is begging for mercy, 
nobody is working under mistaken pretense that they are doing something 
wonderful and gracious when everything is heading for disaster... it's 
psychological issue stuff.  Social disaster humor 
laugh-at-the-situation-as-opposed-to-laught-with-the-lead-participants, of 
the dinner party sort, and I don't appreciate one another, I think is the 
bottom line.   I like the humor in e.g. Mirabile, by Janet Kagan... 

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