Glass Books Question #13 ~ Viewing the Glass Card

by Gordon Dahlquist

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Glass Books Question #13 ~ Viewing the Glass Card

Unread postby Liz » Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:56 pm

On pages 148-149, when the first glass card is viewed by Dr. Svenson, did you feel, at the time, that you got a full understanding of the experience of viewing the glass card?
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Re: Glass Books Question #13 ~ Viewing the Glass Card

Unread postby trygirl » Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:21 pm

Yes, I think the experience was explained well enough to give the reader a small idea of how the cards work. Although, at first I wondered why the vision was from the point of view of the woman until I realized the experience was from Mrs. Marchmoor's memory not Karl -Horst Von Maasmarck. But for me the whole thing seems like an out-of-body experience except it's not your body. And sometimes an out-of-body experience occurs during a near death experience like drowning. I know it's a stretch but we did say the cards were like water and the person goes through a type of drowning or rather immersion.
And Dr. Svenson says "he fixed his eyes again on the glass card, sinking into it as if he was entering a deep pool." (pg.149) And the card holder is no longer in control of their body because it's no longer their body. They're at the mercy of someone else's sensations and pleasures. The voyeur is completely vulnerable but they're too aroused to know it.
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Re: Glass Books Question #13 ~ Viewing the Glass Card

Unread postby ladylinn » Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:38 pm

I didn't completely understand the full power of the glass card. It drew Svenson into the realm of the act taking place. He seemed powerless to withdraw from it's gaze. Explaining it as an out of body experience is a good way to put it trygirl. But the purpose of the glass card was not clear to me at that point of the story. I didn't understand how this glass card could control the viewer. Why did Svenson observe his Prince take part in this? Was this a clue of what was to come of the Prince? Or was this a warning for Svenson? I am interested to hear the rest of the readers views.

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Re: Glass Books Question #13 ~ Viewing the Glass Card

Unread postby Theresa » Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:57 pm

No, I didn't get how powerful the glass was during that description. It wasn't until Miss Temple looked into the glass book that I really understood it. Dahlquist did a good job at describing Miss Temple's total immersion into the book in that seemingly endless two-page sentence.

But from this first description of the card, I could see it as an erotic distraction, but not something that could control a person. I guess this was Dahlquist's teaser and just a hint at the power of the blue glass.

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Re: Glass Books Question #13 ~ Viewing the Glass Card

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:47 pm

I wasn't sure I understood it at first. Was it like being hypnotized, or an out of body experience as trygirl said? What was the point of it? Those unanswered questions did make me want to keep reading to find out the answers!
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Re: Glass Books Question #13 ~ Viewing the Glass Card

Unread postby gemini » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:27 pm

I agree with those of you who felt Dahlquist described the power of the card very well. We didn't get the whole reason for what they planned to use it for later, but we certainly understood how powerful it was. Even Dr. Stevson remarked about being aroused and actually feeling the sensations of another person, and it took more effort than he expected to remove his gaze. To understand he was actually not seeing but feeling the emotions of another through their viewpoint was very clear and pretty powerful, even without the realization of how it could be used.
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Re: Glass Books Question #13 ~ Viewing the Glass Card

Unread postby nebraska » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:06 pm

This is one of the instances where it is hard to remember that this whole story was supposed to take place in just a couple of days. The glass card seemed like a pilot project for the glass books, and it seemed like a teaser for what was to come. It seemed almost like it was an experimental stage, and then with Angelique's disaster the glass book idea was still being developed. So I don't think I realized the full power of the card right away. Dahlquist did a good job describing what happened with the card as far as it went, but it was not the same as the power of the books. I agree, when Miss Temple nearly was drawn inside the book, we were shown a much more graphic view of the power of the glass.

I think also, at the end, the people who had gone through the Process were much more vulnerable to the glass. There was no way for us to know that early on.

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Re: Glass Books Question #13 ~ Viewing the Glass Card

Unread postby Liz » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:18 pm

I definitely wondered at its purpose. And it’s hard to go back now and relive the first reading of it because I now know what the glass cards/books were all about. But I do remember, at the time, feeling very confused. I don’t think I understood what was going on--what Svenson was experiencing--until he gets to the silk dress. I think what confused me at first was that I couldn’t get a handle on the vantage point. He said the image moved as if he was “standing and turning his gaze about the salon”. I was also confused as to what was really happening as this glass card grabbed hold of his attention and mind. It was rather vague up until the point where we get to the silk dress. At the time, I thought it was poor writing. But in hindsight, I think it was quite good because the mysterious aspect of it kept us reading, curious to see where this would lead. I think Svenson was confused at first too. So by making the reader confused allowed the reader to experience what Svenson was experiencing (at least as much as was possible).
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Re: Glass Books Question #13 ~ Viewing the Glass Card

Unread postby stroch » Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:14 am

That first encounter with the card was pretty clearly described as containing the sensations of another person from their point of view. From the title of the book, I wondered if the card might be a page of a larger book, stolen somehow by the Prince.

One thing that surprised me was that Svensen did not make more of the sheer wonder of experiencing a woman's feelings. Had I picked up a glass card and been absorbed into a man's perspective, I would have spent a lot of time thinking about the psychological insights gained.
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Re: Glass Books Question #13 ~ Viewing the Glass Card

Unread postby Liz » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:56 pm

stroch wrote:One thing that surprised me was that Svensen did not make more of the sheer wonder of experiencing a woman's feelings. Had I picked up a glass card and been absorbed into a man's perspective, I would have spent a lot of time thinking about the psychological insights gained.

I would have too. It probably would have been too much (from a literary standpoint) to belabor this experience. However, I believe that was one of the purposes of the Glass Books—to gain insights into areas to which one is not normally privy. Could be that Dahlquist wasn’t ready to delve into that at that juncture in the book.
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Re: Glass Books Question #13 ~ Viewing the Glass Card

Unread postby Beatrix » Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:17 pm

I feel that I got the full understanding of viewing the glass card. At this time in the story, I had no idea why the cabal was making or using them.


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