TPAOL Question #17 ~ The importance of Anna

by James Meek

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:07 pm

Liz and Linda Lee, I agree with what you said, that was my exact thought. Every character is somehow in her orbit.

Endora, I hadn't thought about her name being a palindrome but it certainly fits! :cool:
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:19 pm

lumineuse wrote:Somehow I found Mutz more pivotal - perhaps that's only because he was the most sympathetic figure to me.


I agree with you, Lumi. I think they both were. Maybe Meek thinks of her first only because she is the only main character who is a woman.
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Unread postby gemini » Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:40 pm

I think the heavy subject matter in this book it getting to you ladies. Between riding horses and er cowboys the other day and this facing both ways with Anna, your getting a bit frisky.

"Axis of the story" "faces both ways"

I see her as the axis because she is the only love interest in the book for several men, but "faces both ways" I cant figure out.

Endora thinking of palindromic name is pretty good because, other than that, I am having trouble thinking of why he said that of her.
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Unread postby Parlez » Fri Feb 16, 2007 5:42 pm

Okay...maybe I wasn't being fair in not placing Anna appropriately in her time period. The story's setting is sort of frozen in time as it were, in a strange limbo land of remoteness and otherworldliness, where, really, anything can happen. So I figured Anna would maybe be even more 'pivotal' than she was.

Anyway, one thing I think she represents is 'real' life in a very unreal situation...she's got a child (the only offspring in town), she's sexual (amongst the castrates), she's sane (compared to Matula) and she's motivated by something other than war. She has a view of reality that the other characters don't share, though I'm not entirely sure what it is, or if it's better. Maybe her being two-faced means she can see what's going on and how nuts it all is but she can't do anything about it...?
"Belay that! ...Do something else!" ~ Hector Barbossa
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:20 pm

Maybe she can relate to Mutz, the one grounded more in reality, and she can relate to Balashov and Samarin, who are not?
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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Unread postby Linda Lee » Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:33 pm

I think thats a good point, Dithot.
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Unread postby Iceflower » Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:41 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Maybe she can relate to Mutz, the one grounded more in reality, and she can relate to Balashov and Samarin, who are not?



My first post here at the ONBC, but just wanted to say.; You have all come with very good points. And it has been interesting to read all the point of view.
I think you, DITHOT came with a very good point.

Endora, had never thought of the name that way, very good :cool:

Hope this is right.
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Unread postby Depputante » Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:46 pm

I have trouble with the double axis thing. I see Anna as more of the spoke of a wheel, with every one bouncing off her.
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Unread postby Parlez » Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:07 pm

Hmmm... A couple of the other characters bounce off of Anna, that's for sure. (!) But how does Matula, say, do said bouncing? Or the Shaman? Being the center of the wheel of action would imply someone who interacts with all the characters and provides the motivation for everyone...I don't see Anna's character doing that. She seems to me to be more consumed with her own appetites, working her own personal agenda. And maybe that's the key: she's the only one who isn't concerned about the others - what they're doing and why and to what end. Maybe she's like the eye of the hurricane in Yazyk?
"Belay that! ...Do something else!" ~ Hector Barbossa

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:37 pm

Welcome to ONBC, Iceflower! :welcome: You did it exactly right! I hope you will continue to join in our discussion! :bounce:

Parlez, since those are Mr. Meek's words about Anna, I'm not going to dispute him!
:eyebrow:
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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Unread postby Liz » Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:52 pm

Iceflower, glad you joined the discussion. :bounce: I hope we see more of you. :hope:

Parlez, she does interact with Matula, though, in that she volunteers to keep Samarin in her custody. And thus she serves a purpose for him, albeit rather temporary.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

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Unread postby Bix » Fri Feb 16, 2007 8:12 pm

I just looked up "axis" and it has quite a few different definitions, the first being "a straight line about which a body or a geometric figure rotates or may be supposed to rotate." There are more geometry definitions and then "a main line of direction, motion, growth or extension" and "an implied line in painting or sculpture through a composition to which elements in the composition are referred." It seems to me that every main character, even the Tunga, had some reference to Anna, some interaction that provided direction or motion or growth.

I'm not sure what Meek meant by the facing both ways, but I thought perhaps one example is that she faces toward the past in her remembrances and even in her going to Yazyk to find Balashov and she faces the future in her consideration of going with Mutz and then her choice to become the newspaper photographer. That's pretty simplistic, so I am sure a better answer would have to do with her desire to be her own woman and her duty to her son.

I really liked Anna from the first. I thought she was confident, brave, and very much her own person. I think Matula was scared to death of her. I think she loved her son totally, but did not lose her own "self" in the process.
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Unread postby Parlez » Fri Feb 16, 2007 8:59 pm

Excuse me? Are we not supposed to be expressing how we interpret Mr. Meek's statement, DitHoT? If we aren't allowed to dispute what he says, what's the point of posting the question? :eyebrow:
"Belay that! ...Do something else!" ~ Hector Barbossa

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Liz
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:11 pm

Parlez, there is a difference between dispute and interpret. Dispute means you are questioning his opinion or disagreeing with him. Interpret means you are trying to understand the meaning behind his words or what he is trying to convey.
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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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:53 pm

Parlez wrote:Excuse me? Are we not supposed to be expressing how we interpret Mr. Meek's statement, DitHoT? If we aren't allowed to dispute what he says, what's the point of posting the question? :eyebrow:


You're excused, Parlez. I was under the impression your problem was with the content of the question. I was merely pointing out that the content of the quote was the author's not mine.
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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