On Stranger Tides Question #26 ~ Wrapping Up

by Tim Powers

Moderator: Liz

User avatar
Buster
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:07 am

Status: Offline

Re: On Stranger Tides Question #26 ~ Wrapping Up

Unread postby Buster » Tue May 03, 2011 8:47 am

So, it's been a bit of time since I finished reading On Stranger Tides, and I realised that there are some aspects of that book that have lingered unexpectedly in my mind.

Reading it got me started on a tangent that I can't quite seem to shake (a wonderful thing for any author to achieve). I've been pondering the nature of reality vs. perception - now, now, boys and girls, don't sneer. Even Sartre lingered over this one (Just re-read his intro to Genet's Our Lady of the Flowers)

At any rate, my question is this: What, if anything, about the book has stuck with you?

User avatar
fireflydances
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 2955
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: under a pile of books
Contact:

Status: Offline

Re: On Stranger Tides Question #26 ~ Wrapping Up

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue May 03, 2011 11:58 am

Oh Buster, Buster I couldn't agree more. But, I am at work and I can't write at the moment. Just wanted you to know you got someone here who is STILL pondering this book and the hall of mirrors we visited therein. Back this evening I hope.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

User avatar
nebraska
Posts: 25311
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 8:15 pm
Location: near Omaha

Status: Offline

Re: On Stranger Tides Question #26 ~ Wrapping Up

Unread postby nebraska » Tue May 03, 2011 1:05 pm

I think for me it is just some of the imagery. The prologue, the fierceness of Blackbeard, some of the magic rituals. Afraid I didn't go quite as deep as some of you, not sure my brain could handle it!

User avatar
fireflydances
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 2955
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: under a pile of books
Contact:

Status: Offline

Re: On Stranger Tides Question #26 ~ Wrapping Up

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue May 03, 2011 7:51 pm

OK. Back finally. Yes, I think about the book a lot. It's mainly what I'll call 'the abstractions' that stayed with me, the linking of magic and motion, of entering death to find everlasting life, what defines us to ourselves (ie how our memories define us), that whole scene on the way to and around the Fountain -- really downright inside the Hall of Mirrors, down the rabbit hole, Doors of Perception stuff. So I get to thinking and looking at the book as this smalll pond on the surface that ends up being miles deep. A book like this is available on several levels -- which I don't think is necessarily true of all books. Yes, entertaining but with a little corkscrew twist at the heart which sets the reader wandering 'round and idly wondering. Was he trying to? Did he mean to? There's a puzzle quality to the book that is meant either to merrily derail the kindly reader or lead them on to other thoughts.

Now Buster on to your thoughts on the nature of reality versus perception. I went back and read Satre's intro (as much as I could scrambling through "amazonian" loop holes) and came away with a sliver about the value of turning everything upside down, so that was is damned is blessed etc. What ponder you?
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

User avatar
Buster
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:07 am

Status: Offline

Re: On Stranger Tides Question #26 ~ Wrapping Up

Unread postby Buster » Tue May 03, 2011 8:19 pm

Thanks firefly and nebraska for keeping this topic alive.

This quote from Sartre's introduction touches on what has been intriguing me:
The aim ...is very like that of the alchemists. He wants to give lead the form of gold. For Genet this means to place, in imagination, a piece of lead in a system of relations that ordinarily refer to gold, and then imperceptibly to speak of lead as if it were gold.
Time - opaque, irrational, nullifying time, the time of chance and of ignorance, the time through which we grope our way - disappears in this perspective. An event is nothing other than a transubstantiation, in short a naming.

He also contrasts Rimbaud's expansive universe with Genet's enclosed and limited (retractile) will-to-unify - centrifugal force vs, centripetal force.
I know this is getting a little far afield, but I like all the connections, and I am still mulling over the meaning of the stillness at the Fountain, particularly since I am left with a recollection of the dream-like moving away of the objective.

User avatar
fireflydances
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 2955
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: under a pile of books
Contact:

Status: Offline

Re: On Stranger Tides Question #26 ~ Wrapping Up

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue May 03, 2011 8:56 pm

Wow there girl. My only problem at the moment is I am wiped off the face of the planet bone tired. So allow me time to collect my pieces of bright thought before contributing anything that approaches worth saying.

But boy do I like that quote!
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12929
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Re: On Stranger Tides Question #26 ~ Wrapping Up

Unread postby Liz » Thu May 05, 2011 10:31 am

This is going to take a while of pondering for me too. :-) I am about to begin work, so no time for pondering now.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

User avatar
fireflydances
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 2955
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: under a pile of books
Contact:

Status: Offline

Re: On Stranger Tides Question #26 ~ Wrapping Up

Unread postby fireflydances » Thu May 12, 2011 8:09 pm

Up a couple of posts here, we were talking about OST and the Fountain, and Buster mentioned how
reading it got me started on a tangent that I can't quite seem to shake (a wonderful thing for any author to achieve). I've been pondering the nature of reality vs. perception - now, now, boys and girls, don't sneer. Even Sartre lingered over this one (Just re-read his intro to Genet's Our Lady of the Flowers)
This is just a crazy aside but I wanted to say that I was so intrigued by Buster's reference, that I went and read as much of Satre's introduction as I could find online, and that in turn led me to begin researching "Our Lady of the Flowers" and the author. And I found some online reader reviews with quotes from the book, and I knew I had to have this one, for many reasons. So, I wanted to say this, because it's nice to know that sometimes a little comment, not much at all, can cause another person to think, and then to go and see for themselves. The book came on Monday but I haven't started it yet. Thank you ONBC. The road is crooked but the view is magnificent.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies


Return to “On Stranger Tides”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest