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ArthurPhillips
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎07-03-2007
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A Welcome Message From the Author

[ Edited ]
Children believe—with both pride and resentment—that fear is their monopoly. Darkness, evil, murderers, ghosts: kids feel that adults don’t seem to notice these things, or aren’t frightened by them (perhaps, the bed-bound child suspects, because they are in league with them). As their fed-up parents close the door with a firm "That’s enough now," and darkness returns, children live alone with fear.

Then, one day, the adult, having grown up and closed the door on his old nursery terrors, has children of his own, and only then does he discover (or re-discover) the excruciating, physical fear produced by anxiety and imagination. As a parent he feels once again that same pride and resentment: now he has the monopoly on fear, for he is certain that no child could know the toe-curling, nauseating terror of speculating on the myriad ways one’s own child can be hurt, corrupted, maimed, killed. Becoming a parent means learning to wrestle again with multi-limbed fear.

In some situations, parent and child can set each other off, inadvertently proving to the other that their worst worries may be justified. Somehow that idea caught my attention: a psychological perpetual motion machine—fear itself breeding a ghost, rather than vice versa.

I hope you enjoy the book, and I am very much looking forward to being part of your discussion here at BN.com.

Thanks for having me,
Arthur

Message Edited by ArthurPhillips on 07-03-2007 11:57 AM


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Raabe
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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A Welcome Message From the Author

I don't suppose there was an incident with your own child(ren) that might have sparked this idea...

Welcome back to Barnes & Noble, Arthur. I enjoyed the discussion you participated in for "The Egyptologist" as well as meeting you at The Bookcase in Wayzata some time ago (one of many fans I don't expect you to remember!).

I was surprised by "Angelica" in that you managed to capture the female voices so well. The novel is wonderful.
Author
ArthurPhillips
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎07-03-2007
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Re: A Welcome Message From the Author

Thanks, Raabe! And, no, definitely nothing to do with my own experiences or my own children, although certainly observing children in close quarters helps.


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Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Breeding a Ghost- SPOILER Up to Page 86


ArthurPhillips wrote:
Somehow that idea caught my attention: a psychological perpetual motion machine—fear itself breeding a ghost, rather than vice versa.



SPOILER

I just read the part about the ghost appearing last night, on page 79:

"He comes often. Sometimes he is pink and sometimes blue. Did you see him, really? Truly?"

I thought it was a real ghost, perhaps part of a haunted house, until I read this on page 83:

"...the evil was plainly invoked by Constance's weakness, materialized as an expression of that weakness, and tormented the child precisely in proportion to the mother's fault,"

Then I began to think it was a ghost summoned by Constance's emotional reactions to her husband. I am thinking that blue is negative emotions and pink is positive emotions.

The idea that the emotion of fear is creating the ghost in both mother's and daughter's minds, not vice versa, is so fascinating. I can't wait to read further to see how this idea plays out!
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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