Wow, don't see too many quotes for "We" in non-academic settings. I've got a love-hate relationship with that novel. . ..
workers of the world, untie!
--The_Lex Thu Aug 23 09:18:30 2007
My friend Jonathan at work has been on a bit of dystopia kick lately, looking for stuff in the mold of Brave New World: We, Player Piano, 1984... I borrowed his copy.
I'm only 2/3 of the way through. But still, it's hard to know how to take a work like this. The characters portrayed seem so far removed from my own experience and outlook... I understand you have to take this, in part, as a fantasia and warning, but the "hard scifi" buff in me wants to scoff at the notion that the simplistic and reductionist math and science portrayed would have been able to survive long enough to build a society like that.
Actually, I'm getting to the part in the novel where you can start to wonder how accurate the main character's view of the One State is or (like that one amusing view of Star Wars) are we just seeing the propaganda and spin...
--Kirk Thu Aug 23 09:31:25 2007
Heh heh, you're bringing up all the criticism that I've had for most of the dystopia and utopian stuff out there, including Brave New World but not so much 1984. The only way I could resolve the issues regarding We, Brave New World, Dosteovsky's (sp?) Grand Inquisitor story and other dystopias around that vein was to realize that a lot of stuff influencing those works and the thinking regarding them was Eastern European counter-Enlightenment thought that didn't much care for dehumanizing industrialism and focused a lot on the creative spirit of the individual and nation.
But yeah, hard science can tear those stories to shred, especially contemporary hard science. Unnervingly, though, is the prediction, at least in Brave New World, of the mentality of many regular people these days in the States.
--The_Lex Thu Aug 23 10:10:01 2007
Which ones, the "ending is better than mending"? Or about sex?
One of the funniest comments in my high school senior english class was, after I had made some dumb or smart remark, one guy there said "Kirk, you're like an Alpha Plus Semi-moron".
--Kirk Thu Aug 23 11:21:57 2007
Pretty much the emphasis on sex, hedonism and complacency. I'm willing to argue that may not necessarily be a hard to make prophecy about nearly any culture and society.
--The_Lex Thu Aug 23 11:23:49 2007
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