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January 23, 2005

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anitra

Loved this. I have been meaning to write about The Dark Tower series ever since I finished the last book in late December. (I promise I will give nothing away.) I am itching to hear your perspectives once you finish the last leg of the journey.

For me also, the most (or one of the most) resonant part of Song of Susannah is King's insertion of himself into this epic saga as a character. I thought I would be annoyed by it, but I found the sort of subplot about the role of a writer ("Ka comes to me...") to be one of the most salient things about the entire series. It has stayed with me, and grown stronger, as I have read King's On Writing, and continued writing things of my own.

Yes, fiction writing, I do believe, is an art. :)

As for Susannah, I think he's always struggled with her, too. And in fact, there are a lot of readers who feel that she has always been the least developed, the most difficult to read, the one whose voice doesn't quite ring true. I myself have always been a Roland and Jake fan, although Eddie does shine in SOS, and in other places.

I could go on and on. I guess I'll just write my own post. ;) Thanks for writing this, though.

courtney

holy crap ... I knew about SmarterChild before you? wow! ;)

I need to finish the book I'm reading now so I can move on to other things. this post makes me wanna read some Stephen something fierce.

Jason

SmarterChild is the awesome. I played hangman with it and kept track of the end of the Pats/Steelers game last night with it while I waited for my movie date at the arclight.

Anitra, I'll anxiously anticipate our Dark Tower conversations to come.

parcequilfaut

EEEeeh! Sorry. To find someone still in the throes of the series made me squee.

I had been waiting for the end of TDT since just after New Years' in 1998. I continually make and break solemn oaths to NOT START closed series, and these were the books that started that cycle. That said, Harry Friggin Potter needs to hurry the fuck up and be done before I go insane.

So when I got the fifth, sixth and seventh books all at once -- I was holding out to get them all in the same editions, but the Artist very nicely found and bought a perfect Book 7 as a surprise, and then I was powerless and had to get the two intermediate books before I tried to read them out of order. I spent 36 straight hours buried in Roland's world. I was up at 6 a.m. towards the end, eyes hurting from being tired and weepy, and I believe at one point I wailed. I won't spoil anything, but after just about seven years of waiting I cared about Roland and Co. more than some "real" people I've dealt with.

I've always taken O/Detta/Susannah/Mia's screwy diction as a sign of her incomplete personality integration; someone who spent so long as a diurnal personality, at least to my mind, wouldn't talk exactly like a "normal", non-fragmented person. She wouldn't know how. Susannah was an amalgam of two personalities who were inherently false, Detta moreso, and so she doesn't quite add up, even healed. There was a slender defence of my theory in TDoT3, when Eddie was trying to explain to Roland who Butterfly McQueen was and that Detta's mode of speech was fake without her even knowing it -- something Eddie understood and Roland couldn't -- because Detta was a sort of reverse archetype, an embrace of the worst stereotypes that somehow went beyond even what the holders of those false ideas would find realistic. Susannah was more coherent (but still not entirely "real") when integrated, through books 3 and 4, and then progressively less coherent as she re-fragmented in book 5, about which fact I think King made a note via Roland -- that something, once broken and mended, is apt to break worse the next time it's dropped. See how you feel at the end of the series, is all I'm saying.

That said, hope you're loving the hell out of it, and am interested to hear your thoughts on many things once you're through with book 7.

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