Friday, June 13, 2008

The Dispossessed

An interesting novel that explores the costs and benefits of opposing economic and political structures, but in a manner that allowed for understanding and emotional connection.

Quotation set up: A character who lived on a socialist planet with little unnecessary goods went to a elegant retail street (Saemtenevia Prospect) on a more materialistic planet.
“The whole experience had been so bewildering to him that he put it out of mind as soon as possible, but he had dreams about it for months afterwards, nightmares. Saemtenevia Prospect was two miles long, and it was a solid mass of people, traffic, and things: things to buy, things for sale. Coats, dresses, gowns, robes, trousers, breeches, shirts, blouses, hats, shoes, stockings, scarves, shawls, vests, capes, umbrellas, clothes to wear while sleeping, while swimming, while playing games, while at an afternoon party, while at an evening party, while at a party in the country, while traveling, while at the theatre, while riding horses, gardening, receiving guests, boating, dining, hunting – all different, all in hundreds of different cuts, styles, colours, textures, materials. Perfumes, clocks, lamps, statues, cosmetics, candles, pictures, cameras, games, vases, sofas, kettles, puzzles, pillows, dolls, colanders, hassocks, jewels, carpets, toothpicks, calendars, a baby’s teething rattle of platinum with a handle of rock crystal, an electrical machine to sharpen pencils, a wrist-watch with diamond numerals; figurines and souvenirs and kickshaws and mementos and gewgaws and bric-a-brac, everything either useless to begin with or ornamented so as to disguise its use; acres of luxuries, acres of excrement.”
(Pg. 106)

Another good line from the book (that is describing the materialistic people/planet which is called Urras), which I’ve edited/paraphrased/quoted:
After hearing someone say dirty work, he almost used the expression of his people and said ‘shit processing,’ but he remembered their taboo on scatological words. “He reflected quite early in his stay on Urras, that the Urrasti lived among mountains of excrement, but never mentioned shit.”
(Pg. 120)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

each of us at one time or another.

1:10 AM  

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