|deborah (deborah) wrote,|
@ 2009-05-14 09:35 pm UTC
|Entry tags:||fantasy, genres: children's literature, race|
Maybe my immersion in the particular Internet cultures of which I am a part have changed me and my reading more than I thought, because I was surprised when Web searching did not turn up a whole lot of readers saying OH SIR TERRY NO.
The novel's author's note explains that the culture of the Nation is entirely unlike anything that happens in our world, because it is in a parallel universe. But if that's so, why is parallel universe Europe so readily identifiable? Why is it that Europeans look the same no matter what universe you are in, but naked, brown-skinned, equatorial islanders are people whose cultures you can invent out of whole cloth?
It troubles me to be critiquing this book along those lines, because it was so overtly anti-colonialist and anti-racist in its message (in its own complex KSKH way, at least). And I am not saying it shouldn't be read. I enjoyed it, although not as much as I have enjoyed some other Pratchett, and I think it's a fine book to put in children's hands. But I find the invention of a (sort of) Pacific Islander culture and religion really troubling in a world which -- very unusually for Pratchett -- actually resembles our world.