Friday, September 18, 2009

Quote of the Week

From p. 306 of Lev Grossman's The Magicians, a novel with excellent writing that finally succumbs to the Oakland Problem:
A moment passed. Humbledrum's ears twitched. It had impossibly cute, round, furry teddy-bear ears.

"Fillory," it said slowly, cautiously. "That is a word I have heard." The giant bear sounded like a kid at the blackboard hedging his bets against what might or might not be a trick question.

"And this is it? We're in Fillory?"

"I think it...may once have been."

"So what do you call it now?" Quentin coaxed.

"No. No. Wait." Humbledrum held up a paw for silence, and Quentin felt a tiny pang of pity. The enormous hairy idiot really was trying to think. "Yes, it is. This is Fillory. Or Loria? Is this Loria?"

"It has to be Fillory," Penny said, leaning over from the other booth. "Loria is the evil country. Across the eastern mountains. It's not like there's no difference. How can you not know where you live?"

The bear was still shaking its heavy muzzle.

"I think Fillory is somewhere else," it said.

"But this definitely isn't Loria," Penny said.

"Look, who's the talking bear here?" Quentin snapped. Is it you? Are you the talking fucking bear? All right. So shut the fuck up."
Listening to: Rollercoaster Project - Hoods Up
via FoxyTunes


Mike G. said...

"The Oakland Problem" ??

What might that be, apart from the Raiders? :)

Andrew Wheeler said...

Mike G.: Think Gertrude Stein.

Tim Pratt said...

This is tangential, but: As an Oakland resident who rather likes the city, I'll point out that Stein's remark, taken in context, seemed to mean that the Oakland of her childhood in the 1880s had entirely disappeared by the 1930s -- it was more "you can't go home again" than "Oakland sucks."

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