Dahlquist Q&A #7 - with an additional response from GD

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Dahlquist Q&A #7 - with an additional response from GD

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:52 am

ONBC: I’m curious about Miss Temple’s back story. Why was she so quick to resort to violence? I’d say that several of us (who are not sheltered young women) found the eye-poke startling. Will we learn more about Miss Temple’s earlier life in any future books?

GD: This spreads over from the last question, so I'm moving on. I can only say so much about her back story - a little more of it comes out in subsequent books, but the main thing is simply where she's from: the daughter of a very rich, violent and disinterested father who grew up on a sugar plantation amongst a culture of capitalism and slavery. She's from a frontier, in her way, and I think the violence one internalizes in that setting, physical and emotional, leads pretty naturally to the sorts of steps she does take. Also, I think for her it's a measure of what skill she does have and what ones she doesn't – and delicacy or persuasiveness or womanly grace, even striking beauty, aren't really the cards she was dealt. Pretty consistently she falls back on her money and, if that doesn't work, differing degrees of aggression, from bullying a clerk to poking someone's eyes when there was nothing else to say. Also, though I rarely think about things in this kind of thematic way, some of this is for me about America vs. Europe, about colonies vs. the old world - and in that sense, Miss Temple is my own representative of new world impatience.

And yes, there are certainly more details that crop up as she goes, but never a vast remembering that puts everything into direct perspective.
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Re: Gordon Dahlquist Q&A #7

Unread postby trygirl » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:44 am

This answer is helpful concerning Miss Temple. This just adds to why she isn't "normal." She was raised among violence and slavery and a cold, unfeeling father. All she's ever known is the power of money and the whip. And it helps me see Miss Temple as more of a Proto-Contessa, a more primitive form. She lacks the social graces and finesse that the Contessa has learned are valuable in a society but Miss Temple still behaves like she's on the island. Also with the last part of the answer:
Also, though I rarely think about things in this kind of thematic way, some of this is for me about America vs. Europe, about colonies vs. the old world - and in that sense, Miss Temple is my own representative of new world impatience.


Miss Temple then goes from "savage" to representative of the new world so does that mean that the new world is no longer a place of civility but a refuge of intolerant brutes?
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Re: Gordon Dahlquist Q&A #7

Unread postby gemini » Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:50 pm

The New World impatience...yes, what a true phrase and it does describe Celeste. I don't know about Europe today so much but certainly the colonies Vs the old world is a good characterization of Miss Temple coming from the islands compared to Europe. trygirl says intolerant brutes but it does sort of make us (Americans) seem selfish compared to being patient. Somehow I can't really argue that point.

In defense of Miss temple's violence, her first two murders, I felt were called for, and fear would suffice as a good enough reason but when she seduced Mr Blenheim into looking at the blue glass and stabbed him to death, that was a bit premeditated.

Back to one of my original theories of the story, I always thought Miss Temple was growing into a better match for Chang as she learns the limits or lack of limits she has in trying situations.
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Re: Gordon Dahlquist Q&A #7

Unread postby trygirl » Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:05 pm

gemini wrote:The New World impatience...yes, what a true phrase and it does describe Celeste. I don't know about Europe today so much but certainly the colonies Vs the old world is a good characterization of Miss Temple coming from the islands compared to Europe. trygirl says intolerant brutes but it does sort of make us (Americans) seem selfish compared to being patient. Somehow I can't really argue that point.

In defense of Miss temple's violence, her first two murders, I felt were called for, and fear would suffice as a good enough reason but when she seduced Mr Blenheim into looking at the blue glass and stabbed him to death, that was a bit premeditated.

Back to one of my original theories of the story, I always thought Miss Temple was growing into a better match for Chang as she learns the limits or lack of limits she has in trying situations.


I could definitely make the case for American self-absorption and brutality.
But I agree that Miss Temple was justified in killing her potential rapists but Mr. Blenheim was an act of vengeance. It's like nature vs. nurture. Is it revenge against the Contessa that propels Miss Temple or is she merely her father's daughter?
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Re: Gordon Dahlquist Q&A #7

Unread postby Liz » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:59 am

trygirl wrote:This answer is helpful concerning Miss Temple. This just adds to why she isn't "normal." She was raised among violence and slavery and a cold, unfeeling father. All she's ever known is the power of money and the whip. And it helps me see Miss Temple as more of a Proto-Contessa, a more primitive form. She lacks the social graces and finesse that the Contessa has learned are valuable in a society but Miss Temple still behaves like she's on the island. Also with the last part of the answer:
Also, though I rarely think about things in this kind of thematic way, some of this is for me about America vs. Europe, about colonies vs. the old world - and in that sense, Miss Temple is my own representative of new world impatience.


Miss Temple then goes from "savage" to representative of the new world so does that mean that the new world is no longer a place of civility but a refuge of intolerant brutes?


Trygirl, this is Gordon’s response to your question here:

“From the point of view of the old world, I wouldn't think the new world was ever seen as a particular home of civility. My sense of it is as being a more raw place - in terms of manners but also of politics (ours has been a very raucous democracy), the wide open landscape, and social mobility, with the oppression of indigenous peoples and the persistence of slavery contributing I think to a consistent acceptance of violence as part of the continental fabric. Even today I think Americans - even South Americans (maybe not Canadians) - are seen, however subtly, across the Atlantic as pushy and impatient, culturally crass and frequently ignorant.

But as an American, this probably just makes me that much more fond of someone like Miss Temple.”
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Re: Gordon Dahlquist Q&A #7

Unread postby gemini » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:35 pm

Liz wrote:
trygirl wrote:This answer is helpful concerning Miss Temple. This just adds to why she isn't "normal." She was raised among violence and slavery and a cold, unfeeling father. All she's ever known is the power of money and the whip. And it helps me see Miss Temple as more of a Proto-Contessa, a more primitive form. She lacks the social graces and finesse that the Contessa has learned are valuable in a society but Miss Temple still behaves like she's on the island. Also with the last part of the answer:
Also, though I rarely think about things in this kind of thematic way, some of this is for me about America vs. Europe, about colonies vs. the old world - and in that sense, Miss Temple is my own representative of new world impatience.


Miss Temple then goes from "savage" to representative of the new world so does that mean that the new world is no longer a place of civility but a refuge of intolerant brutes?


Trygirl, this is Gordon’s response to your question here:

“From the point of view of the old world, I wouldn't think the new world was ever seen as a particular home of civility. My sense of it is as being a more raw place - in terms of manners but also of politics (ours has been a very raucous democracy), the wide open landscape, and social mobility, with the oppression of indigenous peoples and the persistence of slavery contributing I think to a consistent acceptance of violence as part of the continental fabric. Even today I think Americans - even South Americans (maybe not Canadians) - are seen, however subtly, across the Atlantic as pushy and impatient, culturally crass and frequently ignorant.

But as an American, this probably just makes me that much more fond of someone like Miss Temple.”

The first time I saw a photo of Mr Dalquist, he reminded me of Johnny. The more I read his comments, I see more similarities. I do agree with what he says.
Last edited by gemini on Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gordon Dahlquist Q&A #7

Unread postby trygirl » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:49 pm

Liz wrote:
trygirl wrote:This answer is helpful concerning Miss Temple. This just adds to why she isn't "normal." She was raised among violence and slavery and a cold, unfeeling father. All she's ever known is the power of money and the whip. And it helps me see Miss Temple as more of a Proto-Contessa, a more primitive form. She lacks the social graces and finesse that the Contessa has learned are valuable in a society but Miss Temple still behaves like she's on the island. Also with the last part of the answer:
Also, though I rarely think about things in this kind of thematic way, some of this is for me about America vs. Europe, about colonies vs. the old world - and in that sense, Miss Temple is my own representative of new world impatience.


Miss Temple then goes from "savage" to representative of the new world so does that mean that the new world is no longer a place of civility but a refuge of intolerant brutes?


Trygirl, this is Gordon’s response to your question here:

“From the point of view of the old world, I wouldn't think the new world was ever seen as a particular home of civility. My sense of it is as being a more raw place - in terms of manners but also of politics (ours has been a very raucous democracy), the wide open landscape, and social mobility, with the oppression of indigenous peoples and the persistence of slavery contributing I think to a consistent acceptance of violence as part of the continental fabric. Even today I think Americans - even South Americans (maybe not Canadians) - are seen, however subtly, across the Atlantic as pushy and impatient, culturally crass and frequently ignorant.

But as an American, this probably just makes me that much more fond of someone like Miss Temple.”


I really want thank Mr. Dahlquist for answering my question because I didn't expect a response. I now understand how she's a representative of the new world and I've really enjoyed all of the answers so far.
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Re: Gordon Dahlquist Q&A #7

Unread postby Liz » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:06 pm

trygirl wrote:
Liz wrote:
trygirl wrote:This answer is helpful concerning Miss Temple. This just adds to why she isn't "normal." She was raised among violence and slavery and a cold, unfeeling father. All she's ever known is the power of money and the whip. And it helps me see Miss Temple as more of a Proto-Contessa, a more primitive form. She lacks the social graces and finesse that the Contessa has learned are valuable in a society but Miss Temple still behaves like she's on the island. Also with the last part of the answer:

Miss Temple then goes from "savage" to representative of the new world so does that mean that the new world is no longer a place of civility but a refuge of intolerant brutes?


Trygirl, this is Gordon’s response to your question here:

“From the point of view of the old world, I wouldn't think the new world was ever seen as a particular home of civility. My sense of it is as being a more raw place - in terms of manners but also of politics (ours has been a very raucous democracy), the wide open landscape, and social mobility, with the oppression of indigenous peoples and the persistence of slavery contributing I think to a consistent acceptance of violence as part of the continental fabric. Even today I think Americans - even South Americans (maybe not Canadians) - are seen, however subtly, across the Atlantic as pushy and impatient, culturally crass and frequently ignorant.

But as an American, this probably just makes me that much more fond of someone like Miss Temple.”


I really want thank Mr. Dahlquist for answering my question because I didn't expect a response. I now understand how she's a representative of the new world and I've really enjoyed all of the answers so far.

I am really happy that he is so open to a dialog with us. This is something that we have not experienced here before. :hatsoff: to Mr. Dahlquist.
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Re: Gordon Dahlquist Q&A #7

Unread postby gemini » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:28 pm

Liz wrote:I am really happy that he is so open to a dialog with us. This is something that we have not experienced here before. :hatsoff: to Mr. Dahlquist.

Curious here. I know that ONBC can not be seen except by members so do you and Dithot keep Gorden updated so he can respond or is he a member of the zone? If this is a privacy issue please ignore the question.
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Re: Gordon Dahlquist Q&A #7

Unread postby Theresa » Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:21 pm

gemini wrote:
Liz wrote:I am really happy that he is so open to a dialog with us. This is something that we have not experienced here before. :hatsoff: to Mr. Dahlquist.

Curious here. I know that ONBC can not be seen except by members so do you and Dithot keep Gorden updated so he can respond or is he a member of the zone? If this is a privacy issue please ignore the question.

ONBC isn't a members-only forum, gemini. It can be read by all guests. (But only members can post.)

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Re: Gordon Dahlquist Q&A #7

Unread postby Liz » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:29 pm

Theresa wrote:
gemini wrote:
Liz wrote:I am really happy that he is so open to a dialog with us. This is something that we have not experienced here before. :hatsoff: to Mr. Dahlquist.

Curious here. I know that ONBC can not be seen except by members so do you and Dithot keep Gorden updated so he can respond or is he a member of the zone? If this is a privacy issue please ignore the question.

ONBC isn't a members-only forum, gemini. It can be read by all guests. (But only members can post.)

I am very glad that ONBC can be viewed by the entire universe.....if you know what I mean. ;-) And although Gordon is lurking, as it were, on our little Q&A discussion here, I was the one who asked him if he wanted to respond to trygirl's question. So if I see what looks like a question (if I think it appropriate), I will pass it on to him because he has said that he is very open to clarifications and follow-up questions.
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Re: Gordon Dahlquist Q&A #7

Unread postby gemini » Sat Feb 14, 2009 2:43 pm

Theresa wrote:
gemini wrote:
Liz wrote:I am really happy that he is so open to a dialog with us. This is something that we have not experienced here before. :hatsoff: to Mr. Dahlquist.

Curious here. I know that ONBC can not be seen except by members so do you and Dithot keep Gorden updated so he can respond or is he a member of the zone? If this is a privacy issue please ignore the question.

ONBC isn't a members-only forum, gemini. It can be read by all guests. (But only members can post.)


Thanks for the explanation Theresa. All I remembered was as a newbie I thought I had lost ONBC and one of you ladies had to explain to me that I was logged out. That is how I got the idea only members could see it. Was it always this way or was I more confused than I thought? It may be my memory and I was only unable to post.
I am also glad ONBC is open to the public. I like having everyone know that Johnny reads!
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Re: Gordon Dahlquist Q&A #7

Unread postby Liz » Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:05 pm

gemini wrote:
Theresa wrote:
gemini wrote:Curious here. I know that ONBC can not be seen except by members so do you and Dithot keep Gorden updated so he can respond or is he a member of the zone? If this is a privacy issue please ignore the question.

ONBC isn't a members-only forum, gemini. It can be read by all guests. (But only members can post.)


Thanks for the explanation Theresa. All I remembered was as a newbie I thought I had lost ONBC and one of you ladies had to explain to me that I was logged out. That is how I got the idea only members could see it. Was it always this way or was I more confused than I thought? It may be my memory and I was only unable to post.
I am also glad ONBC is open to the public. I like having everyone know that Johnny reads!

I'm feeling deja vu. I think we were talking about the ONBC Archives. They used to be member-only, but are now open to the public.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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