[LMB] Koudelkas

Paula Lieberman paal at gis.net
Tue Jan 11 21:21:05 GMT 2011

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Elizabeth Holden" <azurite at rogers.com>
To: "Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold." 
<lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 1:44 PM
Subject: [LMB] Koudelkas

> --- On Wed, 9/15/10, John Lennard <john.c.lennard at gmail.com> wrote:
>> So ... thoughts about the Koudelkas at large and here in
>> particular?
> I talked a while ago about my appreciation for Kou and his reaction to 
> Kareen's relationship with Mark.
> First reading, I pretty much dismissed the Koudelka girls as 
> interchangeable and uninteresting.  Maybe I was just too much into the 
> Miles/Ekaterin theme, and impatient for one of them to be on screen all 
> the time.  Maybe I was biased because of Kareen's relationship with Mark, 
> and her eager commercialism.  Whatever.

I never did, but then I remember them from when they blew off Ivan and 
Miles, Kareen picked Mark as worthwhile mate material but NOT Ivan or Miles, 
etc.  My memory of who picked whom by name is shaky, but the deliciousness 
of X have to deal with the prospect of calling Mark brother-in-law, was 

> This time through, I find them funny, and charming, too.  They are 
> reminiscent of any number of families of girls in 19th century fiction, 
> especially "Pride and Prejudice", but I see traces of "Little Women", too. 
> I'm not sure why, but I think Martya is my favourite, maybe because it's 
> traditional for the youngest one to be smart and a little wild.

>> Sympathies for Kareen's discombobulation? or judders at the
>> thought of a daughter back from Beta Colony with a 'fat weird little
>> clone' as her secret lover?
> I'm sympathetic with all of the, I think.  I understand the parental 
> horror. I understand Mark's neediness. I understand her love and her 
> dilemma.  All nicely depicted. With - especially - the touch that Mark 
> both values family so much, and doesn't understand its dynamics, because 
> he never had one.

Since I am no partisan of Barrayaran patriarchy, my sympathies are 
completely not with Kou.  Kareen is less disempowered by Barrarayar than an 
Elli Quin or female counterpart of of Nikki would be (female jump pilot, 
native to Barrayar and staying around??!!!) as someone aimed towards being a 
business executive/owner, but Barrayar is still a place biased against 
emancipated standing on their own (as opposed to dependents of fathers or 
brothers or even sons..) Barrayar.  (While Lady Kareen Vorpatril appeared to 
be independent, it was on the basis of being the widow of Padma Vorpatril 
and the mother of Lord Ivan Vorpatril, allowing her to maintain her own 
establishment.... in ACC Kareen threatened to head off planet and stay there 
with Mark, rather than submit to parental authority rejecting her continuing 
liaison with Mark.)

> On reflection, I'm not sure if Kou's horror is all because Mark is a 
> penniless mentally/emotionally damaged ex-assassin clone with an eating 
> disorder, and how much it is because Mark is a Vorkosigan.  Kou knows 
> those Vorkosigans too well!

Kou was sworn to the Vorkosigans I think, meaning it was -Mark- the 
objections which were sustainable had to be to
> namaste,
> elizabeth

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