TPAOL Question #14 - Consistent or Inconsistent?

by James Meek

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TPAOL Question #14 - Consistent or Inconsistent?

Unread postby Liz » Sun Feb 18, 2007 12:02 pm

Pg. 383:

"Was a mood so profound still a coat you wore for a day and changed? What was her real nature, when she could not, like Samarin, see all her selves at once and choose?"

Is it better to be inconsistent, like Anna, or be singularly focused and consistent, like Samarin and Balashov?
Last edited by Liz on Sun Feb 18, 2007 7:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postby Depputante » Sun Feb 18, 2007 12:24 pm

:freaked:
Focused is great if you have a goal, you get there faster. Personally, I'd like to have fun along the way, and have no particular goal in mind. I would have tried to drag the husbands bum out of there quick. Got in an arguement, figured out where eachother stand , then say our good byes, and then on with the rest of my life.

Anna has her goal, but remains 'unfocused' as far as I understand. I would have been alot more forthright with my husband than just hanging out in the same town! She wastes alot of time, playing around.

I admire a person's ability to be compassionate and 'driven' by a goal.
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Unread postby Liz » Sun Feb 18, 2007 12:32 pm

Depputante wrote: Anna has her goal, but remains 'unfocused' as far as I understand. I would have been alot more forthright with my husband than just hanging out in the same town! She wastes alot of time, playing around.

I admire a person's ability to be compassionate and 'driven' by a goal.


I totally agree with both of your comments here. I wouldn’t have just hung around. I would have done something about it or not gone at all. Sometimes it is hard to be totally consistent, though. I don't think it is in my nature.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:50 pm

I don't think Anna knew what she wanted for quite a while. She seemed focused on revenge but that wasn't really getting her anywhere. Samarin and Balashov were focused but their goals were set so high I'm not sure they were achievable. In the end, Anna goes back to her photography but she still seems to just fall into it, not pursue it. I think I would prefer being open to possibilities in life like Anna.

Depputante wrote:

I admire a person's ability to be compassionate and 'driven' by a goal.


When I read this it made me think of someone like Mother Theresa where focused on a goal is certainly an admirable thing!
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Unread postby Linda Lee » Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:16 pm

Is it better to be inconsistent, like Anna, or be singularly focused and consistent, like Samarin and Balashov?

In this story, I'd rather be inconsistent like Anna, at least she still has her humanity. I think she is in part a product of her times. Perhaps, if she had a career as a photographer, her life would have been different.

She asks if a mood so profound was still a coat you wore for a day and changed, yet on page 356 as she is committing to Mutz she is rationalizing her choice to herself. "Not as a punishment for her stupidity, no, no, look at he kindness and thought and coolness in Mutz's dark eyes, none of the bloody madness that her other lovers were poisoned with. Now she would love with wisdom." Is this how we fall in love? Convincing ourselves that it's not punishment - I wouldn't say her mood was profound but that she was trying to convince herself this was the right thing to do because it seemed safe.

I have to say I'm also not so sure I would call either Balashov or Samarin focused and consistent.
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Unread postby dharma_bum » Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:38 pm

When you live in the moment and embrace change, life is always about possibilities. When you have a single-minded goal, you will always live in a constant state of disappointment in others and yourself, for the very same reason… things change, people change. In think control in life is a myth, it can always change in an instant.

Anna learned from having a single-minded obsession—revenge— that the journey is more important than the destination. Samarin SHOULD have learned from his journey to the White Garden. (very Apocalypse Now), but it unhinged him and made him more resolute, he simply set himself a bigger goal. If he couldn't save Katya, he could he least save the world.

So long as you learn to face your demons along the way, if you are consistently inconsistent in the time of your life… you will live.
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Unread postby Depputante » Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:52 pm

Ahhh...dharma_bum...gotta love it. You always have a unique perspective that's so worthwhile contemplating! :disco:

dharma_bum wrote:When you live in the moment and embrace change, life is always about possibilities. When you have a single-minded goal, you will always live in a constant state of disappointment in others and yourself, for the very same reason… things change, people change. In think control in life is a myth, it can always change in an instant.

Anna learned from having a single-minded obsession—revenge— that the journey is more important than the destination.


I see what you're saying here, though it took a second read.
I'm thinking all the charachters have that 'single minded obsession' though. And don't necessarily agree with your idea that Samarin did not learn. I see him as very single minded, and went off track a bit with the cannibalism, learned, then returned to his track.

Samarin SHOULD have learned from his journey to the White Garden. (very Apocalypse Now), but it unhinged him and made him more resolute, he simply set himself a bigger goal. If he couldn't save Katya, he could he least save the world.

So long as you learn to face your demons along the way, if you are consistently inconsistent in the time of your life… you will live.
“The scariest enemy is from within. Allowing yourself to be limited and conform to what you're expected to conform to.”~JD

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Unread postby suec » Sun Feb 18, 2007 3:17 pm

I think I'd choose inconsistent. It is what life is like and what we are like: multi-faceted, with different moods and changes of mind. There are people who are singularly focused, but you miss out on a lot that way. I think you have to be true to yourself, whatever that yourself is. I can see that the world has probably benefited from people who are dedicated to a particular cause, and that's great. But I don't think I would want to be one of those people - or live with one either, come to that. Another thought that comes to mind is, it's all very well being dedicated to one particular thing to the exclusion of everything else - but one day, the chances may be that you wake up and realise that it just wasn't worth it after all; and that the price was too high.
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Unread postby Liz » Sun Feb 18, 2007 4:05 pm

I love all of your answers so far, Noodlemantras. :cool:

I don’t think I can answer my question one way or the other. I think I am inconsistently consistent. I am the type of person who gets very passionate about something for a long period of time. I am singularly focused for years. Then my focus changes to something that I’m equally passionate about. And the other goes by the wayside. Although I can multitask, I seem only to be able to focus on one passion at a time. I am, however, open to life’s twists and turns.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:24 pm

dharma_bum wrote:
When you live in the moment and embrace change, life is always about possibilities. When you have a single-minded goal, you will always live in a constant state of disappointment in others and yourself, for the very same reason… things change, people change. In think control in life is a myth, it can always change in an instant.


suec wrote:
It is what life is like and what we are like: multi-faceted, with different moods and changes of mind. There are people who are singularly focused, but you miss out on a lot that way. I think you have to be true to yourself, whatever that yourself is.


Well said, ladies! :cool:
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: TPAOL Question #18 - Consistent or Inconsistent?

Unread postby Lady Jill » Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:43 pm

Liz wrote:Pg. 383:

"Was a mood so profound still a coat you wore for a day and changed? What was her real nature, when she could not, like Samarin, see all her selves at once and choose?"

Is it better to be inconsistent, like Anna, or be singularly focused and consistent, like Samarin and Balashov?


Liz, isn't this question # 19 ?
The question, gosh, who am I to say! I can only answer from my own perspective. I vote for the better - inconsistent - as it seems change happens more with that way of living/thinking. And then some people, like myself, have that Gemini ( astrological sign, not Zoner person !) part of myself that keeps things real interesting throughout life.

My first reations, I'll come back later and read what you all have to say.
Lady Jill
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Unread postby Liz » Sun Feb 18, 2007 7:25 pm

Lady Jill wrote: Liz, isn't this question # 19 ?


Actually, no. We seem to have gotten all off because there was never a question 14. :lol: So I will make an executive decision to make this Question 14. And tomorrow we will be on track with Question 19.
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Unread postby nebraska » Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:44 pm

I cannot believe anyone can be 100 per cent consistent every day always!!!!!! You may stay true to a value or a goal, but still each day a different "you" will get up and face the day.......

Like Liz, I tend to be 100% all-or-nothing for a passion and then eventually, I move on. For many years my goats were the focus of my life. Then, I discovered rubber stamping. And I found a band that created a passion in my soul, and then a different band because the focus of my passion had focused totally to the drummer in the first band. In the mix there was always my passion for Johnny Depp and his work, my family, my love of the internet and all things computer. The X-Files and trading cards related to the X Files and then expanding to trading cards that are Johnny-related. My cats and my bird.....and always my husband and my children.........and then grandchildren and soon to be a great-grandson! :bounce:

I hope that I never become so one-dimensional that there are no choices, that my passion can't be captured by the newest and best. I want the freedom to get up in the morning and look in the mirror and say "Which YOU will you be today?" How sad to have no choices! I don't want to be stuck, I love the freedom to define myself every day.

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Unread postby gemini » Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:51 pm

"Was a mood so profound still a coat you wore for a day and changed? What was her real nature, when she could not, like Samarin, see all her selves at once and choose?"

Is it better to be inconsistent, like Anna, or be singularly focused and consistent, like Samarin and Balashov?


A little brain rattling here from an inconsistent Gemini. ( the sign and the zoner). I am inconsistent, procrastinating, driven, left and right, up and down all the time but I still am consistent in lifelong goals. Let me try that again, daily or by the minute I am all over the place but still my lifelong beliefs stay pretty much the same. This is not to say I am against change or new things as long as they fit into my larger goals.

If I apply this to Anna, she is consistent in looking for love, inconsistent in where she looks. She is consistent in her quest for love and/or revenge for Balashov until the decision is taken out of her hands. She is consistent in her love of photography even if life interferes for awhile. She is consistent in her belief of worldly things over spiritual or religious beliefs. She is strong and determined in her goals even in the end when she chooses a new life based entirely on her love of photography. While she seems inconsistant she has pretty determined outlooks on life. It is not inconsistent to always land on your feet no matter how drastic the journey.
I guess looking at the question again , I don't think she is inconsistent at all, she was singularly focused, on what she wanted in life, whether it was Balashov or photography.
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