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Five Things that Faramir Never Said to Andrahar
 [1] Reviewer:Gwidhiel Date:April 3, 2011 6:07 PM
I'm so often impressed by the effortless nuance that characterizes your writing. It's more than just the style and form, it's also what you choose to include and what is left for the reader to construct/deduce for herself. I liked all of these very much, and found the last two to be particularly evocative.

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 [2] Reviewer:Dwim Date:April 5, 2011 1:22 AM
Ooh, fun! The first drabble is sweet on all levels - Faramir, already too well-schooled in keeping his own counsel to speak to those who are teaching him what it means to be a grown man. How different would the Faramir-Andrahar confrontation in "The Lost" look if Faramir had said to Andrahar what he'd found and learned from this particular book? Would it have made a difference, either in the way the confrontation unfolded, or in Andrahar's response to Faramir's reaction?

The Faramir-Andrahar relationship is this disturbing but unobtrusive for the most part thread that goes through the BLS universe, only coming to light in moments of crisis it seems. The two survivors, of Denethor and Boromir, who in some ways feel as though they ought to be allies, but aren't. "What Forgiveness?" and "Family" really resonate, with "What Forgiveness?" setting up "Family's killer last line. This is a relationship that seems to be continually displaced for Faramir, so that what he should say to Andrahar gets said to a succession of intermediaries - Eowyn, Brand, Serindė, or simply blocked by third parties (the public, the ghost of Denethor, even just plain physical distance). The anger-Éowyn displacement is particularly chilling, in its way (although I know it's an after the fact resonance, not one built in at ground level) - does Faramir's anger in Chess have an element of displaced anger toward Andrahar, that gets said, unfortunately, to Eowyn, just as his claiming of Serindė is the claim he should've made to Andrahar at some point but never actually managed?

The "Gifts" - "Hall Faces" connection was also interesting. It took me a bit of time to figure out what Faramir was trying to say to Andrahar in the form of Brand. I get pulled so strongly to Boromir as the common figure that holds them together, that I almost overlook the fact that what the box shows is "Two childhoods woven together so tightly by necessity that one could hardly see the join." So he's offering Brand/Andrahar himself in giving his brother's life and memories - which sets up the otherwise not-quite-fathomable sense of commonality in "Hall Faces," which seems to me to go beyond that of simply the two who know what really happen. It feels as though, on Faramir's side, there's a sense of sympathetic identification with Andrahar that otherwise doesn't seem to have much ground, unless one goes through "Gifts."

And in the end, that moment of sympathy just doesn't generate what it needs to; the best Faramir can do is break the cycle of separations, and tell his daughter's lover (I assume) what he couldn't tell his brother's, and now never will be able to.

It's good to see movement on Faramir's part in this whole tangled family mess, but the end just highlights that the time of one person's adjustment doesn't necessarily synchronize with the time of another's life, which can mar the whole trajectory. Well done, Una!

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 [3] Reviewer:Isabeau Date:June 26, 2011 1:17 PM
The last piece summed up all the others beautifully. Sometimes it takes a very long time to learn a lesson and to Faramir's credit, it's a lesson most would not have bothered learning.

Boromir would be pleased and proud.

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