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O so brief, so blinderingly brief...these are pretty much only my own notes to myself, waiting to speak, didn't note the whole session.

Conjurer's trick: whether you see the tricks, you are still following the hand, forgetting your seat. Whole novel is this way, creating an altered state when linearly read (or not!)

Nice point by a gamer (nicely riffing off previous session on Growing Up Weightless): they read the book like gaming material: description of world, with short adventure set in world to help you grok it, then tables at end, lol!

Bram Stoker's Dracula: inaccessible to me, until in a moment of clarity I saw it blogged as what it is, a series of letters (doh!) and then I got hooked. Note: only recently has novel been ensconced in form it takes now, was much more a collection of notes, letters, etc in some previous states. Refs to some early work in non-linear novels, did not get details bah.

I think ACH would work better for me if considered as a Group Blog. Most multicharacter, shifting storyline, multiview stories maintain a uniform tone. The tone changes in ACH suggest (deliberately, I am certain!) different authors, which is more of a break for me than style. Original edition came With A Box and a Tape (ooh!) which I didn't realize. Can still get the tape/music/material off a related website.

Good point on prescriptive utopia & asthma sufferers (aud memb: I'd be dead!) but raises questions for yrs trly:
* Why is that not a utopia? AudMem: genetic disease, they argue, etc
* Stealth utopia, imho, tho in eye of beholder
** If society is in balance, is that utopian or dystopian? Isn't that a viewpoint? Depends on where your place is in the heap and if you like it, eh?
* Guy panelist says he'd like to visit but not to live there
** Intrigued: what would he gain by visit? What does he perceive he'd lose by residency?

Second level of indirection present in the book for me. I could not read it at first, had to make a real effort-- dropped it the first couple times I tried, stuck it out for Potlatch until I suddenly got hooked in, not sure where exactly, within first 25% by volume.

"There will always be a sickness in man." Good point. Culture as a mitigating force vs a redirecting force, goes back to u/dis/topia again. I see a transfer or encapsulation of xenophobia here that is in some ways healthy: brought plants, animals, environment inside as 'brethren'. Contrast with Condor Culture, City of Mind: are they opt-outs for Kesh, or is Kesh the opt-out for them? Mutual "islands of the blind"?

I need to get a strong binder clip to use as a notebook capo for best legibility of notes!
There is 1 comment on this entry. (Reply.)
posted by [identity profile] at 03:46pm on 02/03/2009
what would he gain by visit? What does he perceive he'd lose by residency?

That was me. What I gain by visiting (which I have done, for reading a book as full and intense as this one constitutes visiting this culture in the only way available to us) is a chance to view the world, and how to live in it, in a different way that my own. It enlarges us, and enriches our understanding and appreciation even of other cultures and other ways of being in our own world, to experience these different views, and it can teach us necessary truths [in this case especially ecological truths] about how we too should live.

What I'd lose by living there comes from the fact that I am a child of this world. I am used to our amenities and comforts, to our intellectual pursuits, to our cultural and artistic creations. I have a mindset built by our culture, not by the very different Kesh culture. After much more than a book's-length visit there, I would feel lonesome and deprived, in a way that I perhaps might not feel had I been born into it.


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