October 3rd, 2002
What does Brian Jacques think of his older work? How drastically would he change it if he could? Have the decisions he made when writing the first tale limited him?
When I look back at things I have written only just a few years ago, I often cringe, especially when it comes to editorials. Whenever I read it I want to somehow delete such phrases as "no thank you very much" and others far more embarrasing that I am not even going to repeat. Even though I may still generally agree with what I have said, I still really dislike the way I have put myself across; is it possible that Brian Jacques may, from time to time, experience vaguely similar feelings?
There is no doubt in my mind that 'Redwall' is a great book, but there are qualities that I would change slightly, which have been so in later books. Does Jacques ever have any similar feelings? It is actually not as obvious as it may seem; I am still growing and developing; it is logical that the way I put myself across will change. But, Brian Jacques is an adult, a mature adult. He has given no indication that he is at all displeased with any of his books; why should he be?
However, he has said before that some details in 'Redwall' are not in line with the rest of the series. This is quite understandable; it was his first time. I would guess that if he had to rewrite 'Redwall', he may leave out such things as the horse at the beginning and other such parts. We cannot, however, comment on a larger scale, though.
Have his decisions come back to haunt him? In the 'Ask Brian' contest, many asked him about certain discreppancies in the series; are these signs that he has tried to break away from what he has written before? But, there are stronger signs still. A prime example of this is Lady Cregga Rose Eyes. One of the key speeches that has stuck in my mind, not word for word, from 'Mossflower' is that of Bella when she is telling Martin of Salamandastron. She says that the mountain is ruled by a male badger, which Cregga certainly is not. I am not at all suggesting a contradiction; I merely believe that it is more a correction to us. We took Bella's word for this, yet many characters, even the most wise, can be inaccurate. It is not so much that females cannot rule there, it is just that males, by tradition, often do. It was not necessarily Jacques' original intention, yet we took it to be a fundemental truth.
I do not think that Brian Jacques has limited himself tremendously. The world of 'Redwall' has actually not been set in very stern terms, so we often try to define it, but it is easy to be unclear in ones judgements; past predictions, including those by me, verify how easy it is to misinterperet information.