5 thoughts on ““The Molenstraat Music Festival,” Sean Monaghan”

  1. I’m only a little bit in, at the end of the first scene. Nnnnooot liking so far. It seems like it’s setting up an "Odd Couple" mentor/student situation, but it’s so persuasive on this being a BAD IDEA that the protagonist DOESN’T WANT, and not so much on the idea that maybe he can actually help in some way.

  2. And done. Meh.

    The Very Important Musical Genius is one I’ve seen in sooo many stories. Eleanor is not a particularly good one; we’re basically constantly told how excellent she is how tragic it is that she might NOT get to be a Very Important Musical Genius and basically nothing else. She’s a very one-note character, played entirely as "ohhh, a cute duckling with a broken wing!!!", and I just have no investment in her.

    The undercurrent of "don’t take the excellent life-changing new technology" is also a staple, one which generally sets me on edge a little. It can work, but I don’t read SF to hear how technology is to be shunned and distrusted as long as one possibly can.

    As I said, the opening really fell flat for me; strong characters and situations can save cliches, but this one didn’t work for me right out of the gate.

  3. There’s something in this story I’m not sure is meant intentionally, or is just my own reading. Would you say the ending is a happy one? Eleanor isn’t happy, but are we meant to be happy for her?

    The whole story, she’s terrified of losing her one driving, defining talent. And at the end, she does… but she gains a *different* drive, an unexpected one. It feels to me like this could be read, not just as a bittersweet conclusion, but as immense growth for Eleanor – she *didn’t* lose drive and talent, she just kept them in a different way than she expected, and now maybe she’ll see herself as more than just the one thing.

    …is that in there? Or was that just me?

  4. She took action, addressed her problem, fixed it, but paid a price. She’s accepted that, found fulfillment in a new role, and dedicated her first work to the mentor who pushed her to take action.

    In other words, she didn’t blame him for humiliating her, nor for pressing her into a treatment that cost her something she’d valued highly. She appreciated that he’d pushed her to do what she needed to do.

    So, yeah, I think it was a happy ending.

    1. She’s so sad, though. All her earlier emotions seem replaced by sadness.

      I also don’t see Clancy as having pushed much of anything. The drive all came from Eleanor and Tamsin. Clancy was there for her, certainly, but you’ve described Eleanor’s reactions *towards Clancy* as being significant, and I don’t really see why *that* should be what we’re looking for.

      …I dunno. What if the story had ended with Eleanor taking up gardening? Or racecar driving? I think part of what bothers me is that she’s now chained to a performing art she no longer has any passion for. That feels like "You learned a valuable lesson… TOO LATE."

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