TCD Question #24 ~ Theme

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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TCD Question #24 ~ Theme

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:54 am

What did you see as the theme of the book?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

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Re: TCD Question #24 ~ Theme

Unread postby Parlez » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:02 pm

Good question!
The short answer: Don't believe everything you think!
In other words, if you rely on your head and ignore your heart, you're in for a world of confusion and mental turmoil. Not everything can be figured out by cognition alone...there are realms in which only intuition will do. Solutions don't automatically come from gathering bits of information and trying to make intellectual connections out of random referential (intertextual) data. When it comes to playing the real game, you need to connect with your heart.
"Belay that! ...Do something else!" ~ Hector Barbossa
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Re: TCD Question #24 ~ Theme

Unread postby Buster » Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:06 pm

The short answer: Don't believe everything you think!


Parlez, that is one of my all-time favorite bumper stickers. Perhaps an equally short answer could be "Buy the ticket, take the ride"; however, I suspect we have quite a discussion in store.

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Re: TCD Question #24 ~ Theme

Unread postby gemini » Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:05 pm

What did you see as the theme of the book?
Well without giving it much thought ...the old battle for your soul of good and evil just popped into my head but this book was really much more complicated than that.

Don't believe everything you think!
Great bumber sticker Parlez and its is very true here.
I am still and rather partial to another one of your favorites....
Life is too important to be taken seriously
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

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Re: TCD Question #24 ~ Theme

Unread postby Buster » Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:11 pm

Next thoughts, after the first day of (elementary) school:

If I had to chose among the old triumvirate of themes (man vs. man, man vs. environment, man vs. himself), I'd come down solidly on the "man vs. himself".

Consider Corso's original failure to connect with Nikon, his intellectual obsession with solving the puzzle, and his eventual capitulation to something he may (or may not...) consider his destiny.

Isn't most of it really an internal struggle?

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Re: TCD Question #24 ~ Theme

Unread postby Liz » Thu Aug 28, 2008 2:23 am

Parlez wrote:Good question!
The short answer: Don't believe everything you think!
In other words, if you rely on your head and ignore your heart, you're in for a world of confusion and mental turmoil. Not everything can be figured out by cognition alone...there are realms in which only intuition will do. Solutions don't automatically come from gathering bits of information and trying to make intellectual connections out of random referential (intertextual) data. When it comes to playing the real game, you need to connect with your heart.

Could be, Parlez. It's my heart that's my downfall, though. Maybe what one needs is to keep the balance. :sands:

I think P-R’s goal was to play a game with us, the reader--toying with us all the way to the end, and then to show us that we really are responsible. I also think that it was an exercise in intertextuality for him—a challenge for him to demonstrate it though his own story-telling.
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.

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Re: TCD Question #24 ~ Theme

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:47 am

How about free will vs. predestination? Was Corso's fate set for him as Irene said or did his choices during his life and quest for the book(s) alter what he had in store for him? I don't know...just thought I'd ask the question. :grin:

Buster, I'm on my 4th day of a new school year...I can relate!
:yawn:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Re: TCD Question #24 ~ Theme

Unread postby Parlez » Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:10 am

Buster wrote:
Isn't most of it really an internal struggle?


Aye. In the book, I got the impression (fleetingly) that The Girl was a hallucination on Corso's part. Had said impression lasted it would've meant that he was definitely having a struggle within himself vis a vis a fairly wild range of issues: women, his emotional limitations, mystical realms, reality, his destiny, etc., etc..
However, of all the ways P-R enjoyed messing with the reader in this book, I don't think offering the possibility that The Girl as a fantasy figure from Corso's psychotic imagination was one of them... But I could be wrong! :lol:
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Re: TCD Question #24 ~ Theme

Unread postby Endora » Thu Aug 28, 2008 9:42 am

DITHOT wrote:

How about free will vs. predestination? Was Corso's fate set for him as Irene said or did his choices during his life and quest for the book(s) alter what he had in store for him? I don't know...just thought I'd ask the question.

Buster, I'm on my 4th day of a new school year...I can relate!


I've struggled with this one (Incidentally does that mean this is an unsuccessful book, or a very successful one?) but I like that. The only other I can suggest is the theme that we all look for things that aren't there, and are perfectly capable of fooling ourselves by making them up to suit our own needs. Maybe that's getting the devil we deserve, so full circle really.

Buster and DITHOT, we go back on Monday...the day hangs before me like Damoclese's sword.
Work hard, learn well, and make peace with the fact that you'll never be as cool as Johnny Depp. GQ.

Solace in the flood

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Re: TCD Question #24 ~ Theme

Unread postby Liz » Thu Aug 28, 2008 2:27 pm

Endora wrote:DITHOT wrote:

How about free will vs. predestination? Was Corso's fate set for him as Irene said or did his choices during his life and quest for the book(s) alter what he had in store for him? I don't know...just thought I'd ask the question.

Buster, I'm on my 4th day of a new school year...I can relate!


I've struggled with this one (Incidentally does that mean this is an unsuccessful book, or a very successful one?) but I like that. The only other I can suggest is the theme that we all look for things that aren't there, and are perfectly capable of fooling ourselves by making them up to suit our own needs. Maybe that's getting the devil we deserve, so full circle really.

Buster and DITHOT, we go back on Monday...the day hangs before me like Damoclese's sword.

I think it might mean that it is a successful book--at least intellectually speaking. As far as a read for enjoyment, I'm not sure it works. And I think it is so true that we look for things that aren't there--I know I do....constantly. Corso certainly did.

School began yesterday for one of my kids. The other begins Tuesday. I'm glad to get back into a routine. :cool:
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.

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Re: TCD Question #24 ~ Theme

Unread postby suec » Sat Aug 30, 2008 7:17 am

Endora wrote:DITHOT wrote:

How about free will vs. predestination? Was Corso's fate set for him as Irene said or did his choices during his life and quest for the book(s) alter what he had in store for him? I don't know...just thought I'd ask the question.

Buster, I'm on my 4th day of a new school year...I can relate!


I've struggled with this one (Incidentally does that mean this is an unsuccessful book, or a very successful one?) but I like that. The only other I can suggest is the theme that we all look for things that aren't there, and are perfectly capable of fooling ourselves by making them up to suit our own needs. Maybe that's getting the devil we deserve, so full circle really.

Buster and DITHOT, we go back on Monday...the day hangs before me like Damoclese's sword.


Endora, I agree about looking for things that aren't there, fooling ourselves, and also the point about getting the devil we deserve. I didn't get around to answering that question. Deserve is such a loaded word. But I think that maybe, we create our own hell. I think Fargas does that, with his ideas about sacrificing his favourites. He's in a kind of hell of his own making. I also wonder about the repetition of loneliness running through the book, that Corso and the girl clearly express and with Fargas living in the House of Loneliness, or Isolation - can't remember which. I suppose that is tied into the idea of each of seeing things our own individual way, or in isolation. But some of those characters - they needed to get out a little!
I also agree with Parlez's point about life being too important to take seriously. It reminds me very strongly of the Scaramouche quote in the opening chapter: "He was born with the gift of laughter and with a feeling that the world was mad and this was his entire inheritence".
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."

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Re: TCD Question #24 ~ Theme

Unread postby Liz » Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:47 pm

suec wrote:
Endora wrote:DITHOT wrote:

How about free will vs. predestination? Was Corso's fate set for him as Irene said or did his choices during his life and quest for the book(s) alter what he had in store for him? I don't know...just thought I'd ask the question.

Buster, I'm on my 4th day of a new school year...I can relate!


I've struggled with this one (Incidentally does that mean this is an unsuccessful book, or a very successful one?) but I like that. The only other I can suggest is the theme that we all look for things that aren't there, and are perfectly capable of fooling ourselves by making them up to suit our own needs. Maybe that's getting the devil we deserve, so full circle really.

Buster and DITHOT, we go back on Monday...the day hangs before me like Damoclese's sword.


I also agree with Parlez's point about life being too important to take seriously. It reminds me very strongly of the Scaramouche quote in the opening chapter: "He was born with the gift of laughter and with a feeling that the world was mad and this was his entire inheritence".

That's a great tie-in, suec. And it was in the first chapter--a foreshadowing.
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.

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Re: TCD Question #24 ~ Theme

Unread postby Parlez » Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:05 pm

Liz wrote:
suec wrote:
Endora wrote:DITHOT wrote:



I've struggled with this one (Incidentally does that mean this is an unsuccessful book, or a very successful one?) but I like that. The only other I can suggest is the theme that we all look for things that aren't there, and are perfectly capable of fooling ourselves by making them up to suit our own needs. Maybe that's getting the devil we deserve, so full circle really.

Buster and DITHOT, we go back on Monday...the day hangs before me like Damoclese's sword.


I also agree with Parlez's point about life being too important to take seriously. It reminds me very strongly of the Scaramouche quote in the opening chapter: "He was born with the gift of laughter and with a feeling that the world was mad and this was his entire inheritence".

That's a great tie-in, suec. And it was in the first chapter--a foreshadowing.

Wow! Great sweeping summation of a major theme of the story there, and I missed it completely! Leave in to suec to bring us full circle - good job! :cool:
So, are we all on the same page now in concluding that Corso inherited the 'madness' of the world - which could be interpreted as evil - which could be interpreted as the devil - and that he was 'marked' or 'doomed' from the beginning??
"Belay that! ...Do something else!" ~ Hector Barbossa

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