Diana Wynne Jones
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- Things we are accustomed to regard as myth or fairy story are very much present in people’s lives. Nice people behave like wicked stepmothers. Every day.
- 'About the Author', The Many Worlds of Diana Wynne Jones (HarperCollins, 2005). Retrieved June 14 2005.
Cart and Cwidder (1975)
- If you stood up and told the truth in the wrong way, it was not true any longer, though it might be as powerful as ever.
- p. 212.
Drowned Ammet (1977)
- People may wonder how Mitt came to join in the Holand Sea Festival, carrying a bomb, and what he thought he was doing. Mitt wondered himself by the end.
- p. 223.
- First lines.
- Mitt did not quite forget his perfect land. He remembered it, though a little fuzzily, next time the wind dropped, but he did not set off to look for it again. It was plain to him that soldiers only brought you back again if you went. It made him sad. When an inkling of it came to him in silence, or in scents, or, later, if the wind hummed a certain note, or a storm came shouting in from the sea and he caught the same note in the midst of its noise, he thought of his lost perfect place and felt for a moment as if his heart would break.
- p. 233.
Power of Three (1976)
- "The only good Dorig is a dead Dorig."
- p. 9.
- One does not want glory accepted as a matter of course. One wants to shock and astonish people with it.
- p. 9.
- Adara was impressed. "How do you know that?"
"I learnt it," said Hathil. "It pays to learn things."
- p. 25.
- She was one of those who could talk and talk and talk. Gair listened to her harsh voice - "Just like a duck," Ayna described it - and hoped she would lose the argument. But Adara once said Kasta had never lost an argument in her life. She just talked everyone insensible.
- p. 108.
- "Look here," Gerald said, "what do you think of Giants?"
There was the kind of pause that happens when people do not like to say what they really think.
- p. 166.
- Over scones round the kitchen table, it emerged that Aunt Mary thought Ayna, Gair and Ceri came from Malaysia. Brenda looked at their faces and breathed in half a scone.
While Gerald was pounding Brenda on the back, Ceri leaned back from the vibrating table and looked at Aunt Mary limpidly in the eye. "I'm afraid we don't remember Masaylia at all."
"Malaysia!" hissed Ayna.
"Or that either," said Ceri.
- p. 174.
- "This is a very old argument. The greatest happiness of the greatest number. If you think about it, you'll find it always works out that a few suffer for the good of the rest."
"In stories," Gair agreed hopelessly. "brave men die defending the rest. But this isn't like that!"
"Call it the modern version," Mr Claybury suggested kindly.
- p. 201.
The Homeward Bounders (1981)
- There was a little white statue there. Now I'm not artistic. I saw it was of a fellow with no clothes on - I always wonder why it's Art to take your clothes off: they never put in the goose pimples - and this fellow was wrapped in chains. He didn't look as if he was enjoying himself, and small wonder.
- p. 13.
- You wouldn't believe how lonely you get.
- p. 36.
- "Unprintable things!" I said - only I didn't say that. I really said them.
- p. 56.
- I was a thoroughly hardened Homeward Bounder. There seemed nothing I didn't know.
Then I ran into Helen. My friendly neighbourhood enemy. There really was nothing like Helen on any world I'd ever been to. I sometimes didn't think she was human at all.
- p. 70.
- That was the trouble with Joris. He was nice. You ended up liking him, whatever you did. Even when you wanted to shake him till his head fell off.
- p. 131.
Fire and Hemlock (1985)
- "If nothing happened, then there's nothing to remember," she told herself, trying to sound philosophical. "Of course there's nowhere to start."
- p. 14.
- Pretending was like that. Things seemed to make themselves up, once you got going.
- p. 29.
- "Heroes see things like that," he said.
"It's obviously an enchantment of some kind," Polly agreed, humouring him.
"It must be," he said. It sounded as if he was humouring her.
- p. 34.
- Dear Polly,
Tom wishes you, for some reason I can't understand, to consider the human back. He says there are many other matters you should consider too, but that was a particularly glaring example. He invites you, he says, to walk along a beach this summer and watch the male citizens there sunning themselves. There you will see backs - backs stringy, backs bulging, and backs with ingrained dirt. You will find, he says, yellow skin, blackheads, pimples, enlarged pores and tufts of hair.
This is making me ill, but Tom says go on. Peeling sunburn, warts, boils, moles and midge bites and floppy rolls of skin. Even a back without these blemishes, he claims, seldom or never ripples, unless with gooseflesh. In fact, he defies you to find an inch of silk or a single powerful muscle in any hundred yards of average sunbathers. I hope you know what all this is about, because I don't. I think you should stay away from the seaside if you can.
Yours ever, Sam.
- p. 265.
- "Happiness isn't a thing. You can't go out and get it like a cup of tea. It's the way you feel about things."
- p. 311.
- To love someone enough to let them go, you had to let them go forever or you did not love them that much.
- p. 392.
A Tale of Time City (1987)
- Vivian stared. Never had she seen a boy with such long hair! In fact, she had a vague notion that boys were born with their hair short back and sides and only girls had hair that grew long.
- pp. 16-17.
- "Can I eat these?" he said.
"No," said Vivian. "I'm hungry."
"I'll give you half," Sam said, plainly thinking he was being generous.
- p. 21.
- "But she's too big!" the anguished man said, still glaring at Vivian. "This girl is not the right size!"
"She was six when she went away, Father," Jonathan said. He did not seem in the least alarmed. "That was nearly six years ago. Think how much I've changed since then."
"So you have," said this alarming man, turning his glare on Jonathan as if he did not think the change was for the better. "I see," he said. "She grew."
- p. 45.
- "If you call me V.S. once again," she said, "I shall scream - I warn you!"
Sam patted her arm. "You need a butter-pie," he said kindly.
- p. 73.
- It was very boring. Perhaps it was his job to be boring, Vivian thought, in which case he was very good at his job.
- pp. 78-79.
- "Curse those two time-ghosts!" he almost shrieked. "They made me quite sure you were the Time Lady! But you're not, are you? I could tell you were a real Twenty Century person with every word you said. Mickey Mouse!" he yelled.
- p. 87.
- Ann looked down at him, spread on the bank preparing to go to sleep, and lost her temper. "Then you should go and tell him! You should look after him! He's all alone in this wood, and he's quite small, and he doesn't even know he's not supposed to go out of it. He probably doesn't even know how to work the field to get food. You - you calmly make him up, out of blood and - and nothing, and you expect him to do your dirty work for you, and you don't even tell him the rules! You can't do that to a person!"
- pp. 54-55.
- "It looks as if you need only enter the field for long enough to recognise the bannus and take hold of it. Then you order it to stop."
"Fight my way through a mob of dancing girls and snatch the dulcimer off the leading damsel," Reigner Two said morbidly. "I can just see myself. I think the fools who invented this thing might have thought of a simpler way to stop it. What's wrong with a red switch?"
- p. 138.
- "One person ought to treat another person properly, even if the person's himself."
"What a strange idea!" Mordion said.
- pp. 181-182.
- "Oh, thank goodness!" he babbled. "I didn't mean it - at least I did, but I don't mean it now, not any more!" He flung one arm around Yam and twisted the other into Mordion's rolled cloak. "They came. They rustled. Don't let them!"
- p. 255.
- Please, your story, or I shall offend the dignitaries of my kingdom by yawning at holy things.
- p. 261.
Howl's Moving Castle
See Howl's Moving Castle.
Castle in the Air (1990)
- "It is of course a magic carpet."
Abdullah had heard that one before. He bowed over his tucked-up hands. "Many and various are the virtues said to reside in carpets," he agreed. "Which one does the poet of the sands claim for this? Does it welcome a man home to his tent? Does it bring peace to the hearth? Or maybe," he said, poking the frayed edge suggestively with one toe, "it is said to never wear out?"
- pp. 16-17.
- "Maybe," he said, "you should be more careful about whom you let your dog bite."
"Not I!" said Jamal. "I am a believer of free will. If my dog chooses to hate the whole human race except myself, it must be free to do so."
- p. 31.
- "I never said my wishes were supposed to do anyone any good," said the genie. "In fact, I swore that they would always do as much harm as possible."
- pp. 102-103.
- "Tell me of this Wizard Howl of yours."
Sophie's teeth chattered, but she said proudly, "He's the best wizard in Ingary or anywhere else. If he'd only had time, he would have defeated that djinn. And he's sly and selfish and vain as a peacock and cowardly and you can't pin him down to anything."
"Indeed?" asked Abdullah. "Strange that you should speak so proudly such a list of vices, most loving of ladies."
"What do you mean — vices?" Sophie asked angrily. "I was just describing Howl."
- p. 214.
House of Many Ways (2008)
- "So you'll be wanting all these hydrangeas chopped down, then?"
"Whatever for?" Charmain said.
"I like to chop things down," the kobold explained. "Chief pleasure of gardening."
- p. 57.
- "Oh, what a sweet little doggie!" Mrs Baker cried out. "Is ooh hungwy, then?" She gave Waif the rest of the cake she was eating. Waif took it politely, ate it in one gulp and continued to beg. Mrs Baker gave her a whole cake from the plate. This caused Waif to beg more soulfully than ever.
"I'm disgusted," Charmain told Waif.
- p. 99.
- "I don't believe this!" Peter said. "Why is it respectable not to know how to do things? Is it respectable to light a fire with a bar of soap?"
"That," Charmain said haughtily, "was an accident."
- p. 109.
- "I had a mitherable childhood. Nobody loved me. I think I have a right to try again, looking pwettier, don't you?"
- p. 306.
The Merlin Conspiracy (2003)
- I have been with the Court all my life, travelling with the King's Progress.
I didn't know how to go on. I sat and stared at this sentence, until Grundo said, "If you can't do it, I will."
If you didn't know Grundo, you'd think this was a generous offer, but it was a threat really. Grundo is dyslexic. Unless he thinks hard, he writes inside out and backwards. He was threatening me with half a page of crooked writing with words like "inside" turning up as "sindie" and "story" as "otsyr".
- p. 7.
- First lines of the novel.
- "Oh, Lord! He's a weeper!" Grandad said disgustedly. "I wish I'd known. I'd have stayed away."
"A lot of Merlins have cried when they prophesied," Dad pointed out.
"I know. But I don't have to like it, do I?" Grandad retorted.
- p. 27.
- "Amazing. You're here, but you can't do a simple thing like raising light, or do I mean lazing right? Whichever. You can't. Why not?"
"No one ever showed me how," I said.
He swayed about, looking solemn. "I quote," he said. "I'm very well read in the literature of several worlds, you know, and I quote. What do they teach them in these schools?"
- p. 113.
- "What you do is find your centre - can you do that?"
"My navel, you mean?" I said.
"No, no!" he howled. "You're not a woman! Or are you?"
- pp. 113-114.
- "Don't you even feel how marvellous it is to have talked to one of the Little People?" I said.
"No, not as the main thing," Grundo grunted. "If you think like that, then you're treating him like something in a museum, not as a person."
- p. 150.
- (I consider literary comfort food:) Books I read as a kid: Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones; From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E. L. Konigsburg; the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary.
- Rosenberg, Teya; Hixon, Martha P.; Scapple, Sharon M.; White, Donna R. Diana Wynne Jones - An Exciting and Exacting Wisdom (New York: Peter Lang, 2002). ISBN 082045687X