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Heinlein Reader's Discussion Group

Thursday 05-09-02 09:00 P.M. EDT

Glory Road

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Here Begin The A.F.H. postings


[Editor's Note] There was no formal lead-off for this discussion. Elizabeth (TreeTopAngel) started]

I am still a novice in finding discussion points in stories and as I am reading I am taking notes, but none of them seem to be quite what is usually discussed. Help me out, please!

Still trying to figure out why "Scar" Gordon is considered an incompetent...

Thanks,

Elizabeth

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Man who look to stale cookie for advice
probably make good busboy.
Ask waitress for application.
~~Fortune Cookie

On Wed, 24 Apr 2002 18:01:28 GMT, "TreetopAngel" <zyoumans@bigsky.net> held forth, saying:
>I am still a novice in finding discussion points in stories and as I am
>reading I am taking notes, but none of them seem to be quite what is usually
>discussed.  Help me out, please!
>
>Still trying to figure out why "Scar" Gordon is considered an incompetent...
<standard disclaimer:ALL my RAH books are packed away, and will be for some months. unavoidably>

? by whom, and in what way? The Army kept promoting him. His getting busted back down had far more to do with his reaction to silly-ass orders than to his overall competence, iirc. Obviously Her Wisdom doesn't so consider him.

Though as he's a bit of a square peg in a round planet, there would be those who consider him incompetent for not being like themselves. (hmm. Is that Randy's problem?)

--
-denny-
nocturnal curmudgeon, editor

Never try to outstubborn a cat.  -  Lazarus Long

TreetopAngel wrote:
>Still trying to figure out why "Scar" Gordon is considered an incompetent...

Most "incompetents" in RAH are only so by comparison to his usual characters. Heinlein was certainly messing around with less than usually competent characters in 1962-66 or so, and you could consider Oscar one of them. However, he's not as much incompetent as clueless and shoved around by circumstances and events well known to and well understood by the other main characters. Since we see the story from his POV, he can come off as incompetent - but then, how well would any of us respond to being tossed into the same situations? :)

-- 

|           James Gifford - Nitrosyncretic Press            |
| http://www.nitrosyncretic.com for the Heinlein FAQ & more |
|  Tired of auto-spam... change "not" to "net" for replies  |

TreetopAngel wrote:
>I am still a novice in finding discussion points in stories and as I am
>reading I am taking notes, but none of them seem to be quite what is usually
>discussed.  Help me out, please!
>
>Still trying to figure out why "Scar" Gordon is considered an incompetent...

*******************

I perked up my ears at the word "incompetent."

Evelyn Cyril Gordon is NOT on the first string of any team -- with the possible exception of the fencing squad.

His grades are NOT the best. Perhaps this is an application of his dictum that he "never runs faster than he needs to run" hence his nickname of "Easy."

In the Army, he consistently loses his promotion "stripes" and then earns them back because "the patrols he leads come back safely."

He is chosen by Her Wisdom CCIV, aka "Star," to be her personal Hero in the Quest of the Egg of the Phoenix. In which quest he and his "patrol" come back safely.

He "wins" the Irish Sweepstakes without the overt intervention of any "higher power" beyond his own "skill" at poker.

He is a "gentleman" because he has "true courtesy." Proof: When he has returned to Southern California, he receives a letter from an (unnamed) Congressman in which he is informed that certain errors have been corrected. In the eyes of the US government he is/was a "war orphan" and should have been entitled to a higher financial benefit from said government. Further, there has been an extension granted to allow him to benefit from this change. Oscar writes a thank-you letter to that Congressman, "the best I knew how."

Ma'am, easier to confound Igli with a paradox than to find "proofs" that the Hero Oscar is incompetent.

<snip>

>Man who look to stale cookie for advice
>probably make good busboy.
>Ask waitress for application.
>~~Fortune Cookie
LOL and ROTFLMAO !!!!! (I think I've got that right.) Dr. Rufo (who would gladly accompany the Hero Gordon up the Glory Road, rocks and all)
"James Gifford" tells me:
>TreetopAngel wrote:
>
>>Still trying to figure out why "Scar" Gordon is considered an
incompetent...
>
>
>Most "incompetents" in RAH are only so by comparison to his usual
>characters. Heinlein was certainly messing around with less than usually
>competent characters in 1962-66 or so, and you could consider Oscar one
>of them. However, he's not as much incompetent as clueless and shoved
>around by circumstances and events well known to and well understood by
>the other main characters. Since we see the story from his POV, he can
>come off as incompetent - but then, how well would any of us respond to
>being tossed into the same situations? :)
>

I did notice Oscar telling Star to tell him all and when she began, asked only for the 'outline.' Then he asked that he be told about one crisis at a time as they come up. It gives him time to think out strategies for each and not having to worry about the rest at the same time. Personally I think he is doing his best with what he has. I agree that any one of us would be in the same boat if we had been tossed into the circumstances.

Well, off to do laundry and battle some of the Cold Water Gang.

Elizabeth


In article <3CC718D9.3090700@surewest.not>, James Gifford writes...
...
>Most "incompetents" in RAH are only so by comparison to his usual 
>characters. Heinlein was certainly messing around with less than usually 
>competent characters in 1962-66 or so, and you could consider Oscar one 
>of them.

I thought that you were the one who named this theory? Are you now backing away by putting "incompetents" in quotes? Elihu Nivens gets careless and is captured by the slugs; when we meet Daniel B. Davis he is drinking his troubles away; Juan Rico screws up and gets administrative punishment, etc. What does any of this have to so with 1962-66?

None of Mr. Heinlein's main characters are "incompetents" in any well worked out sense of the word "incompetent". In the Multiverse, shit happens, even to heros.

>However, he's not as much incompetent as clueless and shoved 
>around by circumstances and events well known to and well understood by 
>the other main characters.

No doubt, but this is not "incompetence", as you say yourself. Next thing you know, you'll be telling us that Mannie and Hugh Farnham were incompetent. ;-)

-- 
Gordon Sollars
gsollars@pobox.com

Gordon G. Sollars wrote:
>I thought that you were the one who named this theory?  Are you now 
>backing away by putting "incompetents" in quotes?

No, I believe I've always made it clear that my claims of incompetence for many early 1960s characters were relative - none would be judged "incompetent" by us mere mortals, but up against the usual Heinleinian heros who stumble into strange situations and save the girl, the day and the universe with the odds and ends in their pockets, they come up as bumbling boobies.

-- 

|           James Gifford - Nitrosyncretic Press            |
| http://www.nitrosyncretic.com for the Heinlein FAQ & more |
|  Tired of auto-spam... change "not" to "net" for replies  |

"Ace Quiggle" <AceQuiggle@mylinuxisp.com>wrote in message news:jcn6cu0isf7288u1j4c0f7f0tv59mjtl3u@4ax.com...
>On 22 Apr 2002 00:40:51 GMT, rahfan147@aol.com43161189 (dont be
>fuelish) wrote:
>
>>David Silver wrote:
>>
>>>if you'd like to participate in our next AIM chat, you
>>>might start on Glory Road, a fantasy that isn't exactly
>>>a fantasy, which is another decent read.
>>
>>An excellent recommendation! The other choice that
>>came naturally to mind for me was The Cat Who Walked
>>Through Walls.
>
>Don't do it, Aragorn! The Cat Who Walked Through Walls is a horrid
>affair!  It will ruin you for Heinlein, ruin you for Science Fiction,
>and quite possibly give you some sort of disease....

He's right, you know. I don't know what happened to me over the last couple of years but recently I picked up this book, about the only Heinlein I've only read once and that years ago, and I couldn't make it past the thirteenth page (Berkley ed., 1986). It's the sickening pseudo-sexual banter between Colin and Gwen that's so off-putting.

I'm sure it's just me and the book's no worse than it ever was but it did make me gag. Forced, stilted dialogue coupled with ham-handed innuendo and thoroughly laced with Bob's patented take-back-the-governing of your libido-and-society-while-you're-at-it polyscibabble.

I remember '85 well. Nobody talked, acted or thought like that and hadn't since, well, since ever. It's his recollection of what the black-and-white classics of the '40's could have been without a censor but comes off phlegm noir instead. I can understand how the hardcore male fan would read and swallow it but somebody explain, please, how this guy ever attracted any female readers.

Take the guy's advice and work your way backwards from TMIAHM. Glory Road's not a bad choice. It's cute and even though it fails in the end, he couldn't find a satisfactory way to bring it to a close, it entertains and tends to preach less.

LNC


TreetopAngel wrote:
>
>I am still a novice in finding discussion points in stories and as I am
>reading I am taking notes, but none of them seem to be quite what is usually
>discussed.  Help me out, please!
>
>Still trying to figure out why "Scar" Gordon is considered an incompetent...
>
>Thanks,
>Elizabeth
>

While "Evelyn Cyril Gordon" (a boy named "Sue"?) continually deprecates himself, Mr. Heinlein does not, and nobody else in the book (or here, IIRC) does, either.

Dwelling on one's shortcomings is one way of paying enough attention to them to overcome them, provided it doesn't make one oblivious to whatever solution happens along, or what to do with it when it does. But "'Easy' Gordon" was't oblivious to much of anything, either. It's why the mission was placed in his way, and why he went on it despite not being handsome of face and figure /or/ a red-headed hermaphrodite.

[Dennis M. Hammes]

-- 
------(m+
  ~/:o)_|
You can call your priest anything you want,
 except /my/ priest.
http://t-independent.com/scrawlmark-press/

"Dennis M. Hammes" notes;
>TreetopAngel wrote:
>>
>>I am still a novice in finding discussion points in stories and as I am
>>reading I am taking notes, but none of them seem to be quite what is
usually
>>discussed.  Help me out, please!
>>
>>Still trying to figure out why "Scar" Gordon is considered an
incompetent...
>>
>>Thanks,
>>Elizabeth
>>
>While "Evelyn Cyril Gordon" (a boy named "Sue"?) continually
>deprecates himself, Mr. Heinlein does not, and nobody else in the
>book (or here, IIRC) does, either.

Speaking of "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress," Mr. Gifford states:

"This novel is unusual for Heinlein in that the protagonist, Mannie is not particularly
competent at the tasks with which he is saddled...he is similar to the
protagonist of Heinlein's immediately preceding novel _Farnham's Freehold_.
Hugh Farnham, too, is thrown by chance into into (sic) circumstances beyond
his control and is singularly ineffective and incompetent within them. Along
with Oscar of _Glory Road_ (who is competent, but overwhelmed by
circumstances throughout the story) and all of the characters in _Podkayne
Of Mars_, except Clark, Heinlein's characters of the immediate
post-_Starnger_ period (1962-1965) seem to be exploring the nature of
incompetence."  (pg 130)

Gifford, James, Robert A. Heinlein, A Reader's Companion (2000)
Nitrosyncretic Press, Citrus Heights, CA.

Mr. Gifford does explain that they are only incompetent in their current circumstances, I question why this makes any of these characters incompetent. Ignorant maybe, but not incompetent. Why are these characters singled out as incompetent? Most anybody thrown into "circumstances beyond his control" would have a hard time of it. They do marvelously well with the knowledge they have and the society they live in. It's only when they are 'fish out of water' that they show any signs of not knowing what to do. Then they do the job anyway! Seems to me Heinlein is really exploring how people react when they are confronted with situations beyond their ken (ignorance.)

Elizabeth

(muy ignorant)

Example: While in nursing school I was ignorant (state of not knowing) of what took place during open heart surgery. Once I watched a double bypass, I realized my incompetence (insufficient ability) and knew I would never have the competence of the cardiac surgeon.


On Wed, 24 Apr 2002 13:59:46 -0700, "Dr. Rufo" <baybus@mindspring.com> held forth, saying:

I have some minor quibbles.

>TreetopAngel wrote:
>
>>I am still a novice in finding discussion points in stories and as I am
>>reading I am taking notes, but none of them seem to be quite what is usually
>>discussed.  Help me out, please!
>>
>>Still trying to figure out why "Scar" Gordon is considered an incompetent...
>*******************
>
>I perked up my ears at the word "incompetent."
>
>Evelyn Cyril Gordon is NOT on the first string of any team -- 
>with the possible exception of the fencing squad.

Umm, IIRC he was the #1 running back before the school de-emphasized football.

>His grades are NOT the best. Perhaps this is an application of 
>his dictum that he "never runs faster than he needs to run" hence 
>his nickname of "Easy."
>
>In the Army, he consistently loses his promotion "stripes" and 
>then earns them back because "the patrols he leads come back safely."

Doesn't he lose his stripes for stuff akin to insubordination?

>He "wins" the Irish Sweepstakes without the overt intervention of 
>any "higher power" beyond his own "skill" at poker.

Are we certain Star had nothing to do with that?

>Ma'am, easier to confound Igli with a paradox than to find 
>"proofs" that the Hero Oscar is incompetent.

Yup. 100% agreement from this corner.

--
-denny-
nocturnal curmudgeon, editor

Never try to outstubborn a cat.  -  Lazarus Long

"TreetopAngel" <zyoumans@bigsky.net>wrote in message news:qAOx8.243$oj.362160@bcandid.telisphere.com...
<Snip quote from _Reader's Companion_>

>Mr. Gifford does explain that they are only incompetent in their current
>circumstances,  I question why this makes any of these characters
>incompetent.  Ignorant maybe, but not incompetent.  Why are these characters
>singled out as incompetent?  Most anybody thrown into "circumstances beyond
>his control" would have a hard time of it.  They do marvelously well with
>the knowledge they have and the society they live in.  It's only when they
>are 'fish out of water' that they show any signs of not knowing what to do.
>Then they do the job anyway!  Seems to me Heinlein is really exploring how
>people react when they are confronted with situations beyond their ken
>(ignorance.)

Elizabeth--

Thanks for the quote. I haven't gotten Jim's book yet, so my response will have to be based on your quoted passage and general memory of past discussions.

I think the point here has to do with RAH's general theme of the [super]competent hero. By comparison, there are certain protagonists who are much more "ordinary" in their gifts and abilities, not geniuses, not immortals, etc. (Compare Kip to Peewee, for example.) I would choose Manny as an outstanding example. One could only describe them as incompetent by comparison. It is the glory of these "incompetents" that they do what must be done.

--Dee


ke4lfg:

I'm still trying to grapple with the notion of Heinlein's {super}competent hero. Except for a few occasions when he's dealing specifically with supermen, it seems to me that the ordinary run of the Heinlein hero is merely ordinarily competent, falling within the definition Heinlein gave us in TEFL of what it means to be a human being.

I dont know where and when the idea that the "ordinary" human being is a bungler and idiot took over and the ordinarily competent got relegated to the realm of the romantic superhero.

Bill


TreetopAngel wrote:
>Hugh Farnham, too, is thrown by chance into into (sic) circumstances...

Oops. One mark against *my* competence... :)

>Mr. Gifford does explain that they are only incompetent in their current
>circumstances,  I question why this makes any of these characters
>incompetent.  Ignorant maybe, but not incompetent.  Why are these characters
>singled out as incompetent?

Again, I think I've made it clear that I'm referring to a special case of "competence" in this analysis. From 1939 to 1985, the vast majority of Heinlein's major characters are so adaptable, capable and generally super-competent - even when thrown violently into very unusual circumstances - that the characters of this era stand out as something quite different.

All of them would be regarded as more competent than average and even admirably adaptable out here in the real world. However, within Heinlein's universe, their comparative inabilities and their being dragged along bodily by events is unusual - so much so that it is clear to me that Heinlein was deliberately experimenting with "incompetent" characters in this era - choose your own phrase and definition.

He quickly shook it off and went back to his trademark style, even compensating by going to the super-hyper-competents populating everything from TEfL onwards... :)

-- 

|           James Gifford - Nitrosyncretic Press            |
| http://www.nitrosyncretic.com for the Heinlein FAQ & more |
|  Tired of auto-spam... change "not" to "net" for replies  |

In article <qAOx8.243$oj.362160@bcandid.telisphere.com>, TreetopAngel writes...
...
>Mr. Gifford does explain that they are only incompetent in their current
>circumstances,  I question why this makes any of these characters
>incompetent.

Two things. First, James picked an unfortunate label for his idea, if for no other reason than because it has connotations for others that he apparently did not intend. Second, labels aside, the idea itself is not nearly as compelling to me as it is to James. He picks out several characters in the 1962-66 range and claims that they are "relatively incompetent", but he does not draw a sharp boundary, as my pre-1962 examples show. Is Mannie significantly less able to deal with his circumstances (what James seems to mean by "incompetence") than Dan Davis? Perhaps, but I would like to see more argument.

-- 
Gordon Sollars
gsollars@pobox.com

Gordon G. Sollars wrote:
>Second, labels aside, the idea itself is not 
>nearly as compelling to me as it is to James.  He picks out several 
>characters in the 1962-66 range and claims that they are "relatively 
>incompetent", but he does not draw a sharp boundary, as my pre-1962 
>examples show.  Is Mannie significantly less able to deal with his 
>circumstances (what James seems to mean by "incompetence") than Dan 
>Davis?  Perhaps, but I would like to see more argument.

Yes. DB Davis is subjected to at least three life-shattering transitions (loss of Belle and his company, sleep-travel to 2000, time-travel back to 1970) and, in Doc Smith/George O. Smith/prewar RAH broad-shouldered engineer style, shrugs them off and soldiers on in grand style. He ends up with the girl, the gold belt and everything - even the cat.

Mannie Davis is pushed around by events he never does quite understand and never does quite get a grip on (in part because his closest friends and confidants are shining him on and using him shamelessly), contributes almost nothing to the revolution except the delivery of Mike's friendship, and does an extremely poor job as revolutionary planner, ambassador, War Minister and congressman. At the end, he is simply a leftover unhappy with the long-term results and planning to leave for hopefully greener pastures.

Next question?

-- 

|           James Gifford - Nitrosyncretic Press            |
| http://www.nitrosyncretic.com for the Heinlein FAQ & more |
|  Tired of auto-spam... change "not" to "net" for replies  |

James Gifford wrote:
[snip]

>
>He quickly shook it off and went back to his trademark style, even 
>compensating by going to the super-hyper-competents populating 
>everything from TEfL onwards... :)
>

Um, Marjorie Baldwin? Physically, certainly, mentally, with that trick of intuiting a correct answer, maybe; but . . . defend her as super-hyper-competent emotionally, please, James. I'd put her right down among the lower-mimetic both emotionally and maturely. IOW, just plain folks.

-- 
   David M. Silver
   http://www.heinleinsociety.org
   http://www.readinggroupsonline.com/groups/heinlein.htm
   "The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
   Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29
   Lt (jg)., USN R'td (1907-1988)

James Gifford <jgifford@surewest.not>wrote in message news:<3CC77ED8.5070909@surewest.not>...
>Gordon G. Sollars wrote:
>
>>I thought that you were the one who named this theory?  Are you now 
>>backing away by putting "incompetents" in quotes?
>
>
>No, I believe I've always made it clear that my claims of incompetence 
>for many early 1960s characters were relative - none would be judged 
>"incompetent" by us mere mortals, but up against the usual Heinleinian 
>heros who stumble into strange situations and save the girl, the day and 
>the universe with the odds and ends in their pockets, they come up as 
>bumbling boobies.

You're kidding around, right? Oscar is far from incompetent.

"usual Heinleinian heros who stumble into strange situations and save the girl, the day and the universe." Perfectly accurate description of Easy Gordon.

IMO Oscar, as the narrator, is self deprecating to a fault as he outlines success after success, attributing each success always to luck, or being in the right place at the right time, but never to his competence.

BTW, one sign of competence Oscar, as narrator, accidently lets slip through the deprecation is his ability to recite Congo under pressure after what must have been years since he read it. (I can't do that, in spite of several readings - can you?) Another is his superior intelligence. It's not played up as Kip's (or Peewee's) was - instead it's in the background. Obvious indications are Oscar's adaptability; his lack of intellectual concern about attending Heidelburg - he always assumes academic success in his school musings - getting in was the problem; and his re-design of an engineering component after having "glimpsed" one of similar function at Star's house. Not trivial at all.

Easy Gordon is the typical Heinlein super-competent with an atypical self deprecative manner; he is not to be confused with an incompetent with a agonizingly honest self appraisal. [lal_truckee]


David Silver wrote:
>James Gifford wrote:
>
>[snip]
>
>
>>
>>He quickly shook it off and went back to his trademark style, even 
>>compensating by going to the super-hyper-competents populating 
>>everything from TEfL onwards... :)
>>
>
>Um, Marjorie Baldwin? Physically, certainly, mentally, with that trick 
>of intuiting a correct answer, maybe; but . . . defend her as 
>super-hyper-competent emotionally, please, James. I'd put her right down 
>among the lower-mimetic both emotionally and maturely. IOW, just plain 
>folks.
>

And when you finish with her, try Alex Hergensheimer, toy of the betting gods.

-- 
   David M. Silver
   http://www.heinleinsociety.org
   http://www.readinggroupsonline.com/groups/heinlein.htm
   "The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
   Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29
   Lt (jg)., USN R'td (1907-1988)

David Silver wrote:
>>>He quickly shook it off and went back to his trademark style, even 
>>>compensating by going to the super-hyper-competents populating 
>>>everything from TEfL onwards... :)

>>Um, Marjorie Baldwin? Physically, certainly, mentally, with that trick 
>>of intuiting a correct answer, maybe; but . . . defend her as 
>>super-hyper-competent emotionally, please, James. I'd put her right 
>>down among the lower-mimetic both emotionally and maturely. IOW, just 
>>plain folks.

All of Heinlein's characters have holes, usually in their emotional or social makeup. I never said they were godlike in their perfection. Friday has the self-esteem of a field mouse, despite many, many reasons to be as arrogantly self-confident as Woody Smith.

And Woody - well, let's stand him up as the single greatest example of Heinleinian super-competence, and then note that he is the next thing to sociopathic towards everyone outside his exclusive in-group.

>And when you finish with her, try Alex Hergensheimer, toy of the betting 
>gods.

I knew someone would point him out - happy to have it be you. :)

Alec is a poor, 'umble, ignorant, only partially-lettered bumbler who... goes through a multitude of literally life-shattering experiences, throws off a lifetime of cultural and social conditioning in the space of a few weeks, and evolves in relatively short order to the point where he's sassing deities to their faces. And he wins! He wins the girl, the gold watch (that stops time) and everything (define indefinite afterlife of one's own designing as not "everything").

I think you're all hung up on my definition of the dichotomy as competence vs. incompetence, which is a partial and fuzzy definition. Next time I'll reach deeply into Frye or Hayakawa and pull out a suitably mysterious and vague term that I can define to my own liking. :)

-- 

|           James Gifford - Nitrosyncretic Press            |
| http://www.nitrosyncretic.com for the Heinlein FAQ & more |
|  Tired of auto-spam... change "not" to "net" for replies  |

In article <3CC82C34.3060208@surewest.not>, James Gifford <jgifford@surewest.not>wrote:
>
>Yes. DB Davis is subjected to at least three life-shattering transitions 
>(loss of Belle and his company, sleep-travel to 2000, time-travel back 
>to 1970) and, in Doc Smith/George O. Smith/prewar RAH broad-shouldered 
>engineer style, shrugs them off and soldiers on in grand style. He ends 
>up with the girl, the gold belt and everything - even the cat.

Of course Davis had already lived through WWIII in the 1960s. I imagine the survivors who didn't get PTSD were fairly unflappable.

I used to have a neighbor who got drafted at 15 or 16 for the Eastern Front in the '40s, after which he ended up a guest of the Russians, the Poles (Not sure which order) and finally the Americans (And knowing a good deal when he saw one, he stopped escaping). Very calm fellow, never seemed to get excited about anything. Well, except any hint that someone near to him said something even faintly pro-Nazi, which would provoke prompt reactions from him.

James Nicoll
-- 
"I think you mean 'Could libertarian slave-owning Confederates, led by
SHWIers, have pulled off a transatlantic invasion of Britain, in revenge
for the War of 1812, if they had nukes acquired from the Sea of Time?'"
Alison Brooks (1959-2002)

In article <ucfteclk69hi27@corp.supernews.com>, Dee writes...
...
>I think the point here has to do with RAH's general theme of the
>[super]competent hero.  By comparison, there are certain protagonists who
>are much more "ordinary" in their gifts and abilities, not geniuses, not
>immortals, etc.

And what is the proportion of such "super competence" prior to 1962 (or after 1966)? Are Dan Davis or Elihu "Sam" Nivens "super competent"? What about Colin Campbell or Alex Hergensheimer? And who are the "super competents" among the juveniles? Of course there are some "super competents"; to be interesting, James's theory has to say that there is something special about the 1962-66 period. So far as I can see, it doesn't work.

>(Compare Kip to Peewee, for example.)

Yes, Kip, the guy who goes from a mediocre high school education to rebuilding a space suit (along with the electronics, although, admittedly, his efforts at home-workshop microwave radio were less than industry standard) and, e.g., learning Latin and Spanish, all in two years. Remember what Peewee's father says to Kip about his abilities.

Of course, Kip is outside the 1962-66 period, and so might be a "super competent" for James. Since you disagree, that is just more evidence that we don't have a very tight idea to work with here.

>I would choose Manny
>as an outstanding example.

Yes, Mannie, only a "general specialist" who can fix any machinery, who can relieve a cook or field repair a space suit, farmer and an ice miner who loses an arm and then goes on to become the best "computer man" in Luna, but not "really" a full-fledged electronics engineer nor physicist - by his own admission, of course. He steals power and water from the Authority - only air is a more critical resource - without a trace. He is selected for marriage into one of the most respected families, and has the respect of one of the most highly educated men, in Luna. Help him wipe the drool off his bib.

>One could only describe them as incompetent by
>comparison.
With whom? Lazarus? He is clearly a special case.
>It is the glory of these "incompetents" that they do what must
>be done.
That, I think, is the glory of almost all the major characters in Mr. Heinlein's work.
-- 
Gordon Sollars
gsollars@pobox.com

Gordon G. Sollars wrote:
>Yes, Kip, the guy who goes from a mediocre high school education to 
>rebuilding a space suit (along with the electronics, although, 
>admittedly, his efforts at home-workshop microwave radio were less than 
>industry standard) and, e.g., learning Latin and Spanish, all in two 
>years.  Remember what Peewee's father says to Kip about his abilities.

>
>Of course, Kip is outside the 1962-66 period, and so might be a "super
>competent" for James.  Since you disagree, that is just more evidence
>that we don't have a very tight idea to work with here.

Yes, Kip, the son of two of the brightest people on the planet. Kip, who shrugs off his useless education in his sophomore year and self-educates himself in some of the toughest subjects around. Kip, who stumbles a little on finding himself on a flying saucer headed for the Moon, but recovers nicely and saves the girl and the angel with the oddments at hand, then later saves the entire world with his education and superior human nobility.

While my term may be confusing, I think the idea is much tighter than you're willing to grant.

>Yes, Mannie, only a "general specialist" who can fix any machinery, who 
>can relieve a cook or field repair a space suit, farmer and an ice miner 
>who loses an arm and then goes on to become the best "computer man" in 
>Luna, but not "really" a full-fledged electronics engineer nor physicist 
>- by his own admission, of course.  He steals power and water from the 
>Authority - only air is a more critical resource - without a trace.  He 
>is selected for marriage into one of the most respected families, and has 
>the respect of one of the most highly educated men, in Luna.  Help him 
>wipe the drool off his bib.

All of which you cite is in the past and in the background, and is beyond dispute. In his element, Mannie is above real-world "normal" competence. *BUT* in the events of the book, he is a ham-handed fumbler who knows little, contributes little, and in fact is something of a screwup at critical points.

>>It is the glory of these "incompetents" that they do what must
>>be done.

Dee, you've hit on a crucial element here. The majority of Heinlein's works dwell on how the best of human qualities can solve "insoluble" problems. I don't have any problems with with Heinlein's treatment of competence or super-competence or super-hyper-giga-competence... I'm detecting some resentment in this recent string of posts as if I am objecting to this literary quality.

On the contrary - like many, I recognize that Heinlein's characters aren't necessarily meant to be taken as literal examples, but as worthy models whose dogged attempts at coping with extraordinary (and ordinary) situations is worth studying and emulating. Heinlein found it interesting to write about competence and characters who found competence - sometimes loads of it - under unexpected circumstances. (He also liked to point out that "luck" is a matter of careful preparation - and since you don't know what's around the next corner, it's best to be very, very prepared.)

Yes, I think there is something odd going on with his characters in the books from _Glory Road_ to _MiaHM_. Most of the viewpoint and other major characters in those books are very different from his characters in the majority of his other works. Bill has suggested that I have the right idea but may be wrong in my conclusion; I'm open to input and evaluation on the topic. But simply denying that it exists and misrepresenting the characters and situations, as in Gordon's two examples above, doesn't advance us any.

-- 

|           James Gifford - Nitrosyncretic Press            |
| http://www.nitrosyncretic.com for the Heinlein FAQ & more |
|  Tired of auto-spam... change "not" to "net" for replies  |

"BPRAL22169" <bpral22169@aol.com>wrote in message news:20020425115711.02408.00004097@mb-fc.aol.com...
>I dont know where and when the idea that the "ordinary" human being is a
>bungler and idiot took over and the ordinarily competent got relegated to the
>realm of the romantic superhero.

Doesn't the hero, in myth, acquire his superiority in the course of the quest, in that each challenge brings out another aspect of inner resourcefulness? They don't start out as 'proven' heroes. It occurs to me that whereas RAH's protagonists might be much more developed individuals by the end of the narrative, they wouldn't necessarily see themselves as heroic whilst they're coping with what they encounter.

Jani

(re-reading TPM. Might come up with something on-topic at some point)


TreetopAngel wrote:
>
>"Dennis M. Hammes" notes;
>
>>TreetopAngel wrote:
>>>
>>>I am still a novice in finding discussion points in stories and as I am
>>>reading I am taking notes, but none of them seem to be quite what is
>usually
>>>discussed.  Help me out, please!
>>>
>>>Still trying to figure out why "Scar" Gordon is considered an
>incompetent...
>>>
>>>Thanks,
>>>Elizabeth
>>>
>>While "Evelyn Cyril Gordon" (a boy named "Sue"?) continually
>>deprecates himself, Mr. Heinlein does not, and nobody else in the
>>book (or here, IIRC) does, either.
>
>Speaking of "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress," Mr. Gifford states: "This novel
>is unusual for Heinlein in that the protagonist, Mannie is not particularly
>competent at the tasks with which he is saddled...he is similar to the
>protagonist of Heinlein's immediately preceding novel _Farnham's Freehold_.
>Hugh Farnham, too, is thrown by chance into into (sic) circumstances beyond
>his control and is singularly ineffective and incompetent within them. Along
>with Oscar of _Glory Road_ (who is competent, but overwhelmed by
>circumstances throughout the story) and all of the characters in _Podkayne
>Of Mars_, except Clark, Heinlein's characters of the immediate
>post-_Starnger_ period (1962-1965) seem to be exploring the nature of
>incompetence."  (pg 130)
>
>Gifford, James, Robert A. Heinlein, A Reader's Companion (2000)
>Nitrosyncretic Press, Citrus Heights, CA.
>
>Mr. Gifford does explain that they are only incompetent in their current
>circumstances,  I question why this makes any of these characters
>incompetent.  Ignorant maybe, but not incompetent.  Why are these characters
>singled out as incompetent?  Most anybody thrown into "circumstances beyond
>his control" would have a hard time of it.  They do marvelously well with
>the knowledge they have and the society they live in.  It's only when they
>are 'fish out of water' that they show any signs of not knowing what to do.
>Then they do the job anyway!  Seems to me Heinlein is really exploring how
>people react when they are confronted with situations beyond their ken
>(ignorance.)
>
>Elizabeth
>(muy ignorant)
>
>Example: While in nursing school I was ignorant (state of not knowing) of
>what took place during open heart surgery.  Once I watched a double bypass,
>I realized my incompetence (insufficient ability) and knew I would never
>have the competence of the cardiac surgeon.

Hm. I have not read Mr. Gifford's book, and I suppose I do not put most UseNet posts "in my perms."

I will certainly agree with him, that Mr. Heinlein's characters in the stated period were in over their heads, but I'd have to say the same of just about all of them, and indeed of most characters in literature. Since /we/ are generally in over our heads wherever we're standing at the moment, the condition is precisely what makes them worth reading (whether for the instruction or the company); e.g., "Quasimodo" and "Robinson Crusoe" have far more to offer than "Superman" or "Flash Gordon" (the "original," not Mr. Heinlein's nick-namesake).

I do not, and I don't see that Mr. Heinlein did, mistake ignorance for incompetence. The first is an accident of personal history; the latter is a chosen error in method. If I can have any argument with Mr. Gifford, it is a matter of that definition only.

Mr. Heinlein's characters are certainly /temporarily/ (not "singularly") "ineffective"; it is precisely that ineffect that yields most of the Seven Standard Plots ("Man Against _____"), not to mention the infamous Lit'ry Epiphany itself.

Were they "incompetent," they /could not resolve/ their ineffect.

And that would not be Lithrachur; that would be the Congressional Record.

[Dennis M. Hammes]

-- 
------(m+
  ~/:o)_|
You can call your priest anything you want,
 except /my/ priest.
http://t-independent.com/scrawlmark-press/

In article <3CC82C34.3060208@surewest.not>, James Gifford writes...
...
>Yes. DB Davis is subjected to at least three life-shattering transitions 
>(loss of Belle and his company, sleep-travel to 2000, time-travel back 
>to 1970) and, in Doc Smith/George O. Smith/prewar RAH broad-shouldered 
>engineer style, shrugs them off and soldiers on in grand style. He ends 
>up with the girl, the gold belt and everything - even the cat.

When we meet him, he is drowning his sorrows in a bottle. When he gets his courage, he botches the attempt to fix things in the here and now, and gets hijacked into a future he could never have returned from on his own.

Note that Hugh Farnham also gets the girl and in the end his civilizing efforts help change the whole future of mankind.

>Mannie Davis is pushed around by events he never does quite understand 
>and never does quite get a grip on (in part because his closest friends 
>and confidants are shining him on and using him shamelessly),

You are referring to his being "used" on the trip to Earth? That hardly justifies "never does quite understand and never does quite get a grip on". Is it possible that your antipathy towards the book's libertarian viewpoint has colored your judgment here?

>contributes almost nothing to the revolution except the delivery of 
>Mike's friendship,

The most important element. "Chance favors the prepared mind."

>and does an extremely poor job as revolutionary 
>planner, ambassador, War Minister and congressman.

He /says/ that he does (just as lal_truckee noted that Oscar does), but he off the cuff sketches an improvement to revolutionary-cell structure. It is hardly his fault that Mike is a super computer and Mannie is not.

>At the end, he is 
>simply a leftover unhappy with the long-term results and planning to 
>leave for hopefully greener pastures.

He is unhappy over the "death" of Mike, which has already happened. DB Davis is not sanguine about Pete's future, either, and hides his unhappiness with the thought of an after life. But these issues, for both of them, do not affect their basic stance on life. Mannie's, "My word, I'm not even a hundred yet" is not the slogan of a "leftover unhappy".

I think that Mannie's situation at the end of Moon is a side effect of the fact that he is made to illustrate Mr. Heinlein's view that the ideal of liberty is only found on a frontier. Dan Davis does not have to play that role.

>Next question?

Sure. Why do you make Clark an exception? He gets suckered and then screws up big time, failing to save Podkayne's life. What I think is going on is that you are reacting to his many abilities, which clearly show he is not "incompetent". But Mannie (and Hugh, too) has many abilities. This does not translate into "coping well with his circumstances", which is what you seem to have meant to suggest by the "incompetent" label.

I think that all of the Heinlein heros are strongly competent people, though some, of course, have more abilities than others. Further, I think that there are Heinlein heros coping more or less well with their circumstances throughout the corpus - there is nothing special about 1962-66. Finally, I think that conjoining "incompetent" and "failing to cope well with circumstances" is a mistake. Competency, as I understand it, refers to traits, abilities, etc., that - while extremely valuable for "coping" - by no means ensure success.

-- 
Gordon Sollars
gsollars@pobox.com

"TreetopAngel" <zyoumans@bigsky.net>wrote in message news:YpCx8.227$oj.329773@bcandid.telisphere.com...
>I am still a novice in finding discussion points in stories and as I am
>reading I am taking notes, but none of them seem to be quite what is usually
>discussed.  Help me out, please!

TTA--

For a novice, you sure got something going in a hurry! :-)

--Dee


>I think you're all hung up on my definition of the dichotomy as 
>competence vs. incompetence, which is a partial and fuzzy definition.

I agree to both points. Let me introduce another paradigm to investigate -- I think you've got hold of *something* Heinlein is doing in the books immediately following Starnger, but the relative "competence" of the characters is just a secondary effect of whatever else it is he might be doing.

I think the first step in identifying what it is that Heinlein is doing primarily is to take his own statement about what was different about the books immediately following Starship Troopers -- which would include Starnger, of course -- and that is that he is deliberately and consciously writing his own stuff, his own way. Or perhaps what he thought was his own stuff at the time and his idea of his own stuff changed over the next thirty years or so. There is also the very interesting and possibly significant set of facts that (1) Starship Troopers was written to be a Scribner's juvenile; he added the last 1/4 of the book when it went to Putnam's and (2) he said that ST and Starnger are complementary and deal with some of the same important themes -- and I believe I have run across a later reference that includes Glory Road with ST and Starnger; (3) until JOB, Glory Road was Heinlein's most clearly Cabellian book, as it uses the form of the Cabellian comedy, which characteristically turns on finding out that what one wanted and worked toward was not what one wants, after all -- or, alternatively, not achieving what one wanted and finding it doesn't matter at all. That's why he was so incensed that an editor wanted to cut the last 100 pages of the book -- the part that makes it a Cabellian comedy instead of a sword-and-sworcery romance. And (4) I've been able to detect more Cabellian material in the books before TMIAHM and after ST. This subject is dealt with at greater (though not much greater) length in the Cabell Prize essay. I just checked my link, and it seems to have been taken down recently. If we wind up going out on this topic, I'll try to excerpt what I said at greater length.

I don't have a solid idea where this would go, so I'm laying out the notions to play around with.

Bill


In article <3CC83914.6050809@surewest.not>, James Gifford writes...
...
>Yes, Kip, the son of two of the brightest people on the planet. Kip, who 
>shrugs off his useless education in his sophomore year and self-educates 
>himself in some of the toughest subjects around.

Right, James. I was singing Kip's praises myself.

... 
>While my term may be confusing, I think the idea is much tighter than 
>you're willing to grant.

So far it isn't, and, as I noted, I take Dee's use of Kip (where you and I happen to agree) as evidence.

...
>In his element, Mannie is above real-world "normal" 
>competence. *BUT* in the events of the book, he is a ham-handed fumbler 
>who knows little, contributes little, and in fact is something of a 
>screwup at critical points.

I have tied to address this in another post nearby.

...
>I'm 
>detecting some resentment in this recent string of posts as if I am 
>objecting to this literary quality.

Not from me, James. I am merely unconvinced. You'll know when I get to resentment; I'll start appending ", shithead." to my replies. ;-)

...
>Yes, I think there is something odd going on with his characters in the 
>books from _Glory Road_ to _MiaHM_. Most of the viewpoint and other 
>major characters in those books are very different from his characters 
>in the majority of his other works. Bill has suggested that I have the 
>right idea but may be wrong in my conclusion; I'm open to input and 
>evaluation on the topic. But simply denying that it exists and 
>misrepresenting the characters and situations, as in Gordon's two 
>examples above, doesn't advance us any.

Which two examples were those? I agree with you about Kip. As I noted above, I have another recent post in which I try to show that nothing especially odd is going on during 1962-66. But in the message you already replied to, you jumped past this:

"And what is the proportion of such "super competence" prior to 1962 (or after 1966)? Are Dan Davis or Elihu "Sam" Nivens "super competent"? What about Colin Campbell or Alex Hergensheimer? And who are the "super competents" among the juveniles? Of course there are some "super competents"; to be interesting, James's theory has to say that there is something special about the 1962-66 period. So far as I can see, it doesn't work."

Let me add now, having seen your reply to David, that it has always been clear to me that Alex has the "right stuff" in spades. This is crucial to the story. But what, exactly, are his competencies? Can he separate photo dyes from film? Do triple integrals in his head? Repair a space suit? As I say in my other post, I don't think that you have latched on to a good term here.

But, as I also said, let's get away from "competence/incompetence" and focus on "coping well with his circumstances". I still don't see that these is especially less of this during the 1962-66 period.

-- 
Gordon Sollars
gsollars@pobox.com

BPRAL22169 wrote:
>
>ke4lfg:
>
>I'm still trying to grapple with the notion of Heinlein's {super}competent
>hero.  Except for a few occasions when he's dealing specifically with supermen,
>it seems to me that the ordinary run of the Heinlein hero is merely ordinarily
>competent, falling within the definition Heinlein gave us in TEFL of what it
>means to be a human being.
>
>I dont know where and when the idea that the "ordinary" human being is a
>bungler and idiot took over and the ordinarily competent got relegated to the
>realm of the romantic superhero.
>Bill

Ayn Rand says in /Atlas Shrugged/ that it happened before 1957; in /The Fountainhead/ that it happened before 1943.

[Dennis M. Hammes]

-- 
------(m+
  ~/:o)_|
You can call your priest anything you want,
 except /my/ priest.
http://t-independent.com/scrawlmark-press/

>Doesn't the hero, in myth, acquire his superiority in the course of the
>quest,

But the point of the hero is surely that he is exemplary -- an example of us. If he were not us in some important respect, he would not be important to us.

We also know that ordinary people placed in extraordinary circumstances can behave in extraordary ways, though their ordinary circumstances might never bring anything extraordinary out of them.

Bill


Jani wrote:
>
>"BPRAL22169" <bpral22169@aol.com>wrote in message
>news:20020425115711.02408.00004097@mb-fc.aol.com...
>
>>I dont know where and when the idea that the "ordinary" human being is a
>>bungler and idiot took over and the ordinarily competent got relegated to
>the
>>realm of the romantic superhero.
>
>Doesn't the hero, in myth, acquire his superiority in the course of the
>quest, in that each challenge brings out another aspect of inner
>resourcefulness? They don't start out as 'proven' heroes. It occurs to me
>that whereas RAH's protagonists might be much more developed individuals by
>the end of the narrative, they wouldn't necessarily see themselves as heroic
>whilst they're coping with what they encounter.
>
>Jani
>(re-reading TPM. Might come up with something on-topic at some point)

No. He's born under a red sun or a yellow sun. Or he's bitten by a spider.

-- 
------(m+
  ~/:o)_|
You can call your priest anything you want,
 except /my/ priest.
http://t-independent.com/scrawlmark-press/

Dee wrote:
>there are certain protagonists who are much more 
>"ordinary" in their gifts and abilities, not geniuses, not
>immortals, etc.  (Compare Kip to Peewee, for example.)  
>I would choose Manny as an outstanding example. 

Having a socket set for the left arm is ordinary?

Tian Harter
http://tian.greens.org
--
Yesterday, working the crowd at the San Jose State Earth
Day event, a woman told me "Michigan thinks public
transportation means cars for everybody." Friends told
me my picuter was on A-13 of Tuesday's SF Chroicle.

James Gifford wrote:
>
...
>Yes, Kip, the son of two of the brightest people on the planet. Kip, who
>shrugs off his useless education in his sophomore year and self-educates
>himself in some of the toughest subjects around. Kip, who stumbles a
>little on finding himself on a flying saucer headed for the Moon, but
>recovers nicely and saves the girl and the angel with the oddments at
>hand, then later saves the entire world with his education and superior
>human nobility.

... [sticking paddle in on one side only, thus circling] I don't remember any "Kip," so I prolly didn't read it. But I hope you're not weighting your analysis with this character all that much.

Mr. Heinlein is aware of something that /this/ argument seems not to be; call it a "trickle-down theory."

Is a teenager /today/ a supergenius/hero because he can, at his age, program a VCR or PC when his grandfather couldn't at the same age -- or even at present?

When a young character is stuck into a milieu full of tech superpowers, they /will/ rub off on him. Hall (/The Silent Language/) calls this "Informal Learning" and demonstrates that it produces a far higher average competence in the sample than does either "Formal" or "Technical Learning." What's the difference between Kip's doping out a flying saucer and my own young buddies' turning a junkyard heap into a cherry '57 Chevy street rod using only a hairpin and spit?

I shrugged off my useless eddicashun in fourth grade, and built both chemistry and electronics labs in my "bedroom" using a paper-route, bottle deposits, and the City Dump. I taught (not "assisted") general science in 7th and 8th grades, chemistry and physics in high school, and electronics and fencing in college. And my biggest peeve at the Protestant Kulchur then and now is that these superpowers are /grunt-ordinary/.

-- 
------(m+
  ~/:o)_|
You can call your priest anything you want,
 except /my/ priest.
http://t-independent.com/scrawlmark-press/

"BPRAL22169" <bpral22169@aol.com>wrote in message news:20020425142938.00950.00007997@mb-cu.aol.com...
>>Doesn't the hero, in myth, acquire his superiority in the course of the
>>quest,
>
>But the point of the hero is surely that he is exemplary -- an example of us.
>If he were not us in some important respect, he would not be important to us.

Midway between ordinary humanity and the gods, with a foot in both camps? But .. the mythic heroes come back as rulers, because of their experiences and acquired wisdom: they join the elite, in effect.

>We also know that ordinary people placed in extraordinary circumstances can
>behave in extraordary ways, though their ordinary circumstances might never
>bring anything extraordinary out of them.

True. But the heroism of the caryatid under her stone *still isn't going to make her into Gilgamesh or Ulysses. Heroes tend to start off privileged, one way or another - they just haven't done their fieldwork yet. People like Scar and Sam are already way above the common herd, they just haven't been tested.

Jani


In article <20020425143845.29179.00004299@mb-mu.aol.com>, dont be fuelish writes...
...
>Yesterday, working the crowd at the San Jose State Earth
>Day event, a woman told me "Michigan thinks public
>transportation means cars for everybody." 

As one might expect at such an event, pure socialism. Each person should buy his own car. ;-)

-- 
Gordon Sollars
gsollars@pobox.com

James Gifford wrote:
>
>TreetopAngel wrote:
>
>>Hugh Farnham, too, is thrown by chance into into (sic) circumstances...
>
>Oops. One mark against *my* competence... :)
>
>>Mr. Gifford does explain that they are only incompetent in their current
>>circumstances,  I question why this makes any of these characters
>>incompetent.  Ignorant maybe, but not incompetent.  Why are these characters
>>singled out as incompetent?
>
>Again, I think I've made it clear that I'm referring to a special case
>of "competence" in this analysis. From 1939 to 1985, the vast majority
>of Heinlein's major characters are so adaptable, capable and generally
>super-competent - even when thrown violently into very unusual
>circumstances - that the characters of this era stand out as something
>quite different.

Whereas the Gray Lensman, Tarzan, and the Phantom do not. Holey bagels, Ba...

Lit'rarily, it might be nothing more than a reaction by a reactionary against the incredible super-incompetence of the likes of Leopold Bloom or the Green Hornet, recently reproduced in the antics of /Piece of Cake/'s "Hornet Squadron," who evidently won the Battle of Britain primarily by screwing the pooch, can one believe the book.

>
>All of them would be regarded as more competent than average and even
>admirably adaptable out here in the real world. However, within
>Heinlein's universe, their comparative inabilities and their being
>dragged along bodily by events is unusual - so much so that it is clear
>to me that Heinlein was deliberately experimenting with "incompetent"
>characters in this era - choose your own phrase and definition.

Hm. I wonder if the difference is between young(er) characters and really-old "Howard" characters. There's something of a production watershed there, too.

When we really "meet" Lazarus, he's 2000 years old; his fellows are 3-600 years old. Whereas V.M.Smith is "only an egg," E.C.Gordon is rather fresh out of high school, and most of the rest are, well, kids.

>
>He quickly shook it off and went back to his trademark style, even
>compensating by going to the super-hyper-competents populating
>everything from TEfL onwards... :)
>

Hm. You mean when two super-hypercomputers came back as girls ("Slipstick" and "Minerva").

Two cries and a chin-quiver for /that/ generality...

And one chin-quiver for /me/, since I'm prolly gonna get my arse shot off in the Dark Ages for helping a, well, less-than-super-hyper-competent through the barbed wire of his own linguistic singularity.

[Dennis M. Hammes]

-- 
------(m+
  ~/:o)_|
You can call your priest anything you want,
 except /my/ priest.
http://t-independent.com/scrawlmark-press/

BPRAL22169 wrote:
[snip lots of stuff I'll be back to, again.]

>
>I think the first step in identifying what it is that Heinlein is doing
>primarily is to take his own statement about what was different about the books
>immediately following Starship Troopers -- which would include Starnger, of
>course -- and that is that he is deliberately and consciously writing his own
>stuff, his own way.  . . . [snip more interesting stuff] . . . There
>is also the very interesting and possibly significant set of facts that (1)
>Starship Troopers was written to be a Scribner's juvenile; he added the last
>1/4 of the book when it went to Putnam's and . . . [snip yet more] . . . 

Say what? That's new! I always throught Putnam took the Scribner-refused juvenile virtually unchanged. Added from where? Into where? Page 237 in the 308-page hardbound begins the last quarter, at Chapter XIII, with Third Lieutenant Rico boarding the Tours under Captain Blackstone for his test cruise. That last third, or what, Bill?

>I don't have a solid idea where this would go, so I'm laying out the notions to
>play around with.
>

Let's play; but I wanna include Troopers in the game!

I think I see part of where this might go.

-- 
   David M. Silver
   http://www.heinleinsociety.org
   http://www.readinggroupsonline.com/groups/heinlein.htm
   "The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
   Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29
   Lt (jg)., USN R'td (1907-1988)

"Gordon G. Sollars" <gsollars@pobox.com>wrote in message news:MPG.1731fee35fb250319897cd@news.nji.com...
>And what is the proportion of such "super competence" prior to 1962 (or
>after 1966)?  Are Dan Davis or Elihu "Sam" Nivens "super competent"?
>What about Colin Campbell or Alex Hergensheimer?  And who are the "super
>competents" among the juveniles?  Of course there are some "super
>competents"; to be interesting, James's theory has to say that there is
>something special about the 1962-66 period.  So far as I can see, it
>doesn't work.

Gordon, I don't know anything about the time frames. I'm afraid I haven't paid that much attention to publication dates. What I meant to say was that RAH has (at least) two sorts of protagonists--The people like LL, Friday, Deety, Libby, Star, Peewee, and lots more, I'm sure, whose innate abilities are truly extraordinary, the ones I referred to as the supercompetent, for lack of a better word in this discussion, and the "ordinary" Heinlein heroes, who are "only" very intelligent, physically capable, and witty, but their character is such that they have applied themselves studiously to making the most of themselves.

>>(Compare Kip to Peewee, for example.)
>
>Yes, Kip, the guy who goes from a mediocre high school education to
>rebuilding a space suit (along with the electronics, although,
>admittedly, his efforts at home-workshop microwave radio were less than
>industry standard) and, e.g., learning Latin and Spanish, all in two
>years.  Remember what Peewee's father says to Kip about his abilities.

No, I don't remember, specifically, I'll have to go back and look. But really, I was talking about the comparison. Kip is an extremely intellligent young man, but to his intelligence is also amplified by lots of hard work and study. I have known young men that Kip reminded me of, I have not know little girls that reminded me of Peewee.

>>I would choose Manny
>>as an outstanding example.
>
>Yes, Mannie, only a "general specialist" who can fix any machinery, who
>can relieve a cook or field repair a space suit, farmer and an ice miner
>who loses an arm and then goes on to become the best "computer man" in
>Luna, but not "really" a full-fledged electronics engineer nor physicist
>- by his own admission, of course.  He steals power and water from the
>Authority - only air is a more critical resource - without a trace.  He
>is selected for marriage into one of the most respected families, and has
>the respect of one of the most highly educated men, in Luna.  Help him
>wipe the drool off his bib.

Again, "wipe the drool off his bib" was not implied. But he is much more of an "ordinary man" to me than some of the "supercompetent" types are. I have known numerous people who had not a lot of formal education, nor a lot of paper credentials, but were very intelligent, and through their own hard work made themselves excellent at their field(s). Manny strikes me as part of the "cream" of the "ordinary folks."

>>One could only describe them as incompetent by
>>comparison.
>With whom?  Lazarus?  He is clearly a special case.

Well, like I said, compare Kip to Peewee, as one example. What I was trying to say was that some of Heinlein's protagonists are very intelligent, very educated, very physically fit, and of exceptionally good character, but they can still remind me of real people I have known. Some other protagonists are just completely off the scale, larger than life.

>>It is the glory of these "incompetents" that they do what must
>>be done.
>That, I think, is the glory of almost all the major characters in Mr.
>Heinlein's work.

Oh, agreed, to be sure. But even greater for those who are more "ordinary."

--Dee


>I always throught Putnam took the Scribner-refused 
>juvenile virtually unchanged.

As I understand it, they bought the book on the basis of the Scribner's ms, but there are two mss in the file at UCSC; the marked up one -- i.e., the one sent by copyeditor to printer -- is something like 98 pp (without looking up my notes) longer than the other one. Everything after Rico goes to OCS, except the last 9 or 10 pages, which was the ending in both versions, was added between the first ms. and the second -- about the last quarter of the book. I assume that the rest of the book was written specifically to be a Scribner's juvenile, but that the added material was the rest of what he thought needed to be said or clarifying material -- since he didn't go back and rewrite.

I guess there is a lot of factual material in the public part of the archives that isn't widely known. But it's publicly available.

Bill


>Midway between ordinary humanity and the gods, with a foot in both camps?

Frye said of heroes that they were like us in kind but different in degree, whereas the gods were superior to us both in kind and in degree.

I still think Heinlein relied a lot on new circumstances bringing out abilities that were there all along but would not be expressed in "ordinary" circumstances -- Libby of "Misfit" is the classic example. it's a Darwinian/Evolutionary thing. And when he said a human being able to do a whole host of things, it's implicit that his vision of the quotidian human being includes the ability to learn all the technical material involved in all of those things. The particular context in which that quote came up was of pioneering, and it's manifest that the ordinary people who did actually create farms and civilization out of the prairie did have to demonstrate that kind of versatility.

What we are dealing with is a literary convention; we have come to accept the ironic convention of the degraded protagonist (similar to us in kind but inferior in degree) as the default condition.

Bill


James Gifford wrote:
>Gordon G. Sollars wrote:
>
>>I thought that you were the one who named this theory?  Are you now
>>backing away by putting "incompetents" in quotes?
>
>No, I believe I've always made it clear that my claims of incompetence
>for many early 1960s characters were relative - none would be judged
>"incompetent" by us mere mortals, but up against the usual Heinleinian
>heros who stumble into strange situations and save the girl, the day and
>the universe with the odds and ends in their pockets, they come up as
>bumbling boobies.
>
>--
>
>|           James Gifford - Nitrosyncretic Press            |
>| http://www.nitrosyncretic.com for the Heinlein FAQ & more |
>|  Tired of auto-spam... change "not" to "net" for replies  |

I'm afraid your referring to EE "Doc" Smith, there- perhaps Space Hounds of IPC?

Which "competent" Heinlein heroes saved the day with items in their pockets?

As I recall, they used brain power! Including EC Gordon! (Although he does have LUCK!)

Roger


In article <ucgnb4dorcmc6f@corp.supernews.com>, Dee writes...
...
>Gordon, I don't know anything about the time frames.

OK, but that is a key part of James's claim. Your main point is different from his, so I should have explicit that I was taking your reply not on its own, but as a stick to beat James with. ;-)

Before going on, I want to stress again that I think that James was getting at "coping well with circumstances" and that I think that this is something different (though, not of course, completely unrelated) to "competencies". In what follows, I will address competencies, which seems to be your issue, different from what James really meant (as at least I use the term).

>What I meant to say
>was that RAH has (at least) two sorts of protagonists--The people like LL,
>Friday, Deety, Libby, Star, Peewee, and lots more, I'm sure, whose innate
>abilities are truly extraordinary, the ones I referred to as the

Well, Friday is genetically enhanced. Libby might or might not have been a great mathematician without his/her special talent. Star's judgment is enhanced by memory imprints. And are LL's abilities "truly extraordinary"? It is true that he has the time to master many disciplines. But, prior to 1962, all we know about his abilities, beyond being smart and quick with his hands, its that he had the ability to "borrow" Libby's patent for spaceship controls for his own ship. Would that really have been beyond Mannie's abilities?

I think that we find a mix of competencies - from "merely" impressive to "super competent" throughout the Heinlein corpus. If that is all you are saying, then OK by me. But I do not think that there is a quantum gap between two sets of characters, and I don't think, if there were such a gap, that it has anything to do with a particular period such as 1962-66.

>>Remember what Peewee's father says to Kip about his abilities.
>
>No, I don't remember, specifically, I'll have to go back and look.

Reisfeld to Kip: "The greatest mathematical psychologist of our generation... this man married his star pupil. I doubt if their offspring is less bright than my own child."

...
>Well, like I said, compare Kip to Peewee, as one example.

I think that you might be drawing the wrong conclusion from Kip's modesty. Remember, he is telling the story. lal-truckee makes the same point about Oscar.

>What I was trying
>to say was that some of Heinlein's protagonists are very intelligent, very
>educated, very physically fit, and of exceptionally good character, but they
>can still remind me of real people I have known.  Some other protagonists
>are just completely off the scale, larger than life.

I think that a person's stand on this may be a function of the people he or she has met. I am just smart enough to know that I have been, on a few occasions, in the presence of someone who was "off the scale".

-- 
Gordon Sollars
gsollars@pobox.com

On 25 Apr 2002 18:38:45 GMT, rahfan147@aol.com41020719 (dont be fuelish) held forth, saying:
>Dee wrote:
>
>>there are certain protagonists who are much more 
>>"ordinary" in their gifts and abilities, not geniuses, not
>>immortals, etc.  (Compare Kip to Peewee, for example.)  
>>I would choose Manny as an outstanding example. 
>
>Having a socket set for the left arm is ordinary?

For a man with one arm and a stump, in a high-tech society, it might be. But the socket set and other arms are *tools*; the knowledge and skills required to use those tools aren't particularly ordinary.

Note how Mannie acquired a chunk of his computech skills; he subjected himself to Earth's gravity et al.

--
-denny-
nocturnal curmudgeon, editor

Never try to outstubborn a cat.  -  Lazarus Long

BPRAL22169 wrote:
>>I always throught Putnam took the Scribner-refused 
>>juvenile virtually unchanged.
>>
>
>As I understand it, they bought the book on the basis of the Scribner's ms, but
>there are two mss in the file at UCSC; the marked up one -- i.e., the one sent
>by copyeditor to printer -- is something like 98 pp (without looking up my
>notes) longer than the other one.  Everything after Rico goes to OCS, except
>the last 9 or 10 pages, which was the ending in both versions, was added
>between the first ms. and the second -- about the last quarter of the book.  I
>assume that the rest of the book was written specifically to be a Scribner's
>juvenile, but that the added material was the rest of what he thought needed to
>be said or clarifying material -- since he didn't go back and rewrite.
>

That's very interesting and exactly why I asked: I read you as saying he added the entire OCS sequence, including all of OCS and the test cruise and battle, up to and including the rescue of Rico by Nardi's and Brumby's sacrifice and capture of the queen/brain bug by Zim. That is what makes the hackneyed plot unique: it's a good plot, though trite, because we've seen it done so nicely before: John Wayne's Sands of Iwo Jima, Richard Widmark's and Karl Malden's Take the High Ground, and Jack Webb's D.I. -- even deconstructed by Kubrick in Full Metal Jacket.

One is a juvenile plot, perfectly satisfactory for the aims of a juvenile; but not much new, except setting and the political system of qualifying voters and return to use of corporeal punishment. The later takes the "once more unto the breach" aspect and adds its problems and efforts to more fulfill of the soldier's life, just as Oscar Gordon realizes in Glory Road that the initial hero's journey doesn't conclude a hero's life. The one is a romance, as well a novel of maturization, and the other's a satire.

>I guess there is a lot of factual material in the public part of the archives
>that isn't widely known.  But it's publicly available.

Are you sure we can't arrange to have the archives at UCSC opened, at least briefly in late August, before ConJosé?

-- 
   David M. Silver
   http://www.heinleinsociety.org
   http://www.readinggroupsonline.com/groups/heinlein.htm
   "The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
   Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29
   Lt (jg)., USN R'td (1907-1988)

Dennis M. Hammes wrote:
<snip>

>When we really "meet" Lazarus, he's 2000 years old;

Please, sir, the "first time" we meet LL he is 213 years old. [p.10 -- Methuselah's Children]

<more snip>

>E.C.Gordon
>is rather fresh out of high school, 

It appears to me that the factual statement in the book that Easy is "just out of high school" has to be tempered by the realization that Glory Road is reminiscence. It is NOT the high school senior who is writing this story. This is the product of a man who has already been up the Glory Road and has succeeded in a number of tryiing situations. Perhaps, he recalls "generously" his reactions at the time?

Your mileage, etc.

Dr. Rufo


James Gifford wrote:
>
>David Silver wrote:
>
>>>>He quickly shook it off and went back to his trademark style, even
>>>>compensating by going to the super-hyper-competents populating
>>>>everything from TEfL onwards... :)
>
>>>Um, Marjorie Baldwin? Physically, certainly, mentally, with that trick
>>>of intuiting a correct answer, maybe; but . . . defend her as
>>>super-hyper-competent emotionally, please, James. I'd put her right
>>>down among the lower-mimetic both emotionally and maturely. IOW, just
>>>plain folks.
>
>All of Heinlein's characters have holes, usually in their emotional or
>social makeup. I never said they were godlike in their perfection.
>Friday has the self-esteem of a field mouse, despite many, many reasons
>to be as arrogantly self-confident as Woody Smith.

?? Which edition of "Woody" were you reading? Cliff's?

>
>And Woody - well, let's stand him up as the single greatest example of
>Heinleinian super-competence, and then note that he is the next thing to
>sociopathic towards everyone outside his exclusive in-group.

This bit of "analysis" /really/ wants the meaning of the very-professional term, "sociopathic," since "Woodrow Wilson Smith" (outside his own description of himself at the age of five), is about as archetypally opposite to the defined sociopath as literature has to offer.

And you can look that up.

The one outstanding deus-ex-supermachina I can recall in Mr. Heinlein's stable is the mystically-inexplicable "Andrew Jackson 'Slipstick' Libby," who can sit in for a busted Cray and solve three-body problems in real time on a little algebra, a little trig, and less caffiene than half a jolt of Mountain Dew. Everybody else worked for his muttons.

>
>>And when you finish with her, try Alex Hergensheimer, toy of the betting
>>gods.
>
>I knew someone would point him out - happy to have it be you. :)
>
>Alec is a poor, 'umble, ignorant, only partially-lettered bumbler who...
>goes through a multitude of literally life-shattering experiences,
>throws off a lifetime of cultural and social conditioning in the space
>of a few weeks, and evolves in relatively short order to the point where
>he's sassing deities to their faces.

Pf. Took me about two hours in eighth grade. Only I didn't sass; I threw an equation. Three whole letters. F=ma.

>And he wins! He wins the girl, the
>gold watch (that stops time) and everything (define indefinite afterlife
>of one's own designing as not "everything").

The designing of an indefinite afterlife (the actual Greek says "world to come," and means, situationally, "next minute, next hour, next week, next century, next lifetime") of one's own choosing is fairly common and completely mundane (equations, again), even if the, well, less-than-super-hyper-competent copy bits of the gestures and noises as "religion," John.

Or would the SuperMcGee be too much of a reach? Even statistically, he should have been alligator bait about three times more often in his two decades than Woody Smith in his two millenia.

Which detracts not a whit from /his/ company, since I have more of that from "him" than I have from most of my "friends," as the dictionary puts them, provided they're not here at the moment, either.

>
>I think you're all hung up on my definition of the dichotomy as
>competence vs. incompetence, which is a partial and fuzzy definition.
>Next time I'll reach deeply into Frye or Hayakawa and pull out a
>suitably mysterious and vague term that I can define to my own liking. :)

There's really nothing wrong with "ignorance" /or/ "incompetence" as subject terms correctly used, and I don't need to referee Whorf and Korzybski for the observation.

Though I have (K.'s only real problem is speaking with the marbles still in his mouth, but as his native tongue was one I cannot speak at all, I merely remove my hat without throwing it into /that/ ring).

Either /pure/ term could be used in your analysis, but you don't keep the latter pure. You take it in the public sense of its having an added "somehow"-mitigating permanent component when it is essentially instant, and you add a few nudges of your own to that component.

In the root case, "incompetence" is strictly circumstantial, and refers solely to the accidental relation between the actor and the milieu of the moment, and as such would necessarily apply to any character, stuck by his author into a situation he couldn't possibly have made, solely so that the author could show us how he learned to handle /it/ -- not all 666 numbers of the Beast. But that analysis is /static/, being only of the instant relation. It is that dynamic, Romantic, plunge-for-the-purpose-of-recovery, which implies a learning curve, which gives that the at-least-more-correct word would be "ignorance," which also implies a learning curve. But in your analyses, these characters acquire the permanent psychological attributes, many of which Mr. Heinlein did /not/ author, of /other real people/, including an assertion of "permanent" incompetence in the fact that, in the best tradition of the Adventure Yarn, the /author/ keeps throwing them over their heads into the rose bushes fairly the moment they crawl from the previous dimension out of the living room window as the whole house collapses.

And even /in situ/, you continue to insist on missing the point that /they/ didn't cause the house to collapse -- and that even Hugo Pinero could not duck the Author's Big Black Eraser.

Hayakawa had something to say about that, yes. It was in Chapter One of all three principal texts, and it concerned "taking the word for the object."

Well, the chancel couldn't exist, and fiction wouldn't be salable, without it, so.

But the /fact/ is that "Lazarus Long" (and all the rest) did nothing, felt nothing, and couldn't consider himself egomaniacally superior to anybody at all, being no more than a few blots of ink at the top of page 36 and having thus no more observable reality than Winnie the Pooh. In that sense, /any/ character who survives his author (that being definitively more sociopathic than a priest), is super-hyper-competent.

But the only actual competence /anybody/ can observe in /any/ of these stories is Mr. Heinlein's own. And, considering the number of characters and universes he juggled without dropping any of them, I think What We Have Heah (besides a failuah tew c'MUnicate), is a /real/ example of a "super-hyper-competent."

Though at this point, I can only hope that the residuals agree, because, you see, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus.

[Dennis M. Hammes]

-- 
------(m+
  ~/:o)_|
You can call your priest anything you want,
 except /my/ priest.
http://t-independent.com/scrawlmark-press/

Gordon G. Sollars wrote:
>
>I think that a person's stand on this may be a function of the people he 
>or she has met.  I am just smart enough to know that I have been, on a 
>few occasions, in the presence of someone who was "off the scale". 
>

It's a very rare thing. I started grammar school with a boy who, one day, quite suddenly, was no longer a classmate. We asked. "He's gone to another school, where he'll be challenged," said Mrs. Gray, our first-grade teacher. A year later, my own far more modest attainments and potential got me invited to attend the same school, as a second grader. He was there -- a sixth grader and only loosely doing what the other sixth graders did. What do you do with a seven-year-old who belongs, at least intellectually, in college? A year later we moved to the West Coast. I wonder what become of him. His name was Richard Kish.

-- 
   David M. Silver
   http://www.heinleinsociety.org
   http://www.readinggroupsonline.com/groups/heinlein.htm
   "The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
   Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29
   Lt (jg)., USN R'td (1907-1988)

BPRAL22169 wrote:
>>It is NOT the high
>>school senior who is writing this story.
>
>Wasn't it rather that he went to SE Asia just out of high school?  IIRC he was
>finished with at least one tour of duty when we found him in France.
>Bill

He graduated= 18

He got drafted after 6-8 mo

He completed his "enlistment" (2 yrs) = 20

So Discharged to South France at 21

All of "Glory" road is about 1 year, including marriage to Her Wisdom?

So he returns to Southern CA at 22

Really ancient!

Yeah, he's seen a little of the world, and a little of the multiverse that Star rules, but in essence, he's still pretty much an uneducated bumpkin!

Roger


Roger Connor wrote:
>BPRAL22169 wrote:
>
>>>It is NOT the high
>>>school senior who is writing this story.
>>
>>Wasn't it rather that he went to SE Asia just out of high school?  IIRC he was
>>finished with at least one tour of duty when we found him in France.
>>Bill
>
>He graduated= 18
>He got drafted after 6-8 mo
>He completed his "enlistment" (2 yrs) = 20
>So Discharged to South France at 21
>All of "Glory" road is about 1 year, including marriage to Her Wisdom?
>So he returns to Southern CA at 22
>Really ancient!
>
>Yeah, he's seen a little of the world, and a little of the multiverse that Star
>rules, but in essence, he's still pretty much an uneducated bumpkin!
>Roger

And I forgot the 2 years in college - that makes him all of 24!

Roger


James Gifford wrote:
>
>Gordon G. Sollars wrote:
>
>>Second, labels aside, the idea itself is not
>>nearly as compelling to me as it is to James.  He picks out several
>>characters in the 1962-66 range and claims that they are "relatively
>>incompetent", but he does not draw a sharp boundary, as my pre-1962
>>examples show.  Is Mannie significantly less able to deal with his
>>circumstances (what James seems to mean by "incompetence") than Dan
>>Davis?  Perhaps, but I would like to see more argument.
>
>Yes. DB Davis is subjected to at least three life-shattering transitions
>(loss of Belle and his company, sleep-travel to 2000, time-travel back
>to 1970) and, in Doc Smith/George O. Smith/prewar RAH broad-shouldered
>engineer style, shrugs them off and soldiers on in grand style. He ends
>up with the girl, the gold belt and everything - even the cat.
>
>Mannie Davis is pushed around by events he never does quite understand
>and never does quite get a grip on (in part because his closest friends
>and confidants are shining him on and using him shamelessly),
>contributes almost nothing to the revolution except the delivery of
>Mike's friendship, and does an extremely poor job as revolutionary
>planner, ambassador, War Minister and congressman. At the end, he is
>simply a leftover unhappy with the long-term results and planning to
>leave for hopefully greener pastures.
>
>Next question?
>|           James Gifford 

Were "Manuel O'Kelly Davis" the protagonist of /The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress/, I could be very inclined to agree with the classification, even the analysis.

But "Manny" is /not/ the protagonist of /Moon/; he's the old "First-Person Narrator" Trick, 99, and as such is about as instrumental to the plot as a key-diving cockroach, complete with similar physical and linguistic intrusions on the read narrative. Of all the characters in /Moon/, only "Manny" has the personal mobility the /author/ requires to "report" rather than speculate.

And not much more. Plot /"Manny's"/ plot: boy gets friend; boy has adventures on raft (okay, BIG raft); boy loses friend (who said, somewhere here, "file the serial numbers off a guilty Twain, get Bob"?). Yet by dwelling behind /his/ eyes and between /his/ ears, we get a feel for the place -- and for the people that so shamelessly use his happiness to /be/ used -- that we would not, /could/ not, get from the protagonist.

Primarily because the super-hyper-competent protagonist-Hero of /Moon/ is "Mycroft Holmes IV," aka "Adam Selene," Leader Of And Martyr For The Cause.

Something, perhaps, to remember on this roughly-anniversary of the Post-Office Riot, esp since it was /called/ a "riot" by the /winners/.

(Pearce, we hardly knew ye...)

-- 
------(m+
  ~/:o)_|
You can call your priest anything you want,
 except /my/ priest.
http://t-independent.com/scrawlmark-press/

>Thanks for the quote.  I haven't gotten Jim's book yet, so my response
>will have to be based on your quoted passage and general memory of past
>discussions.
>I think the point here has to do with RAH's general theme of the
>[super]competent hero.  By comparison, there are certain protagonists who
>are much more "ordinary" in their gifts and abilities, not geniuses, not
>immortals, etc.  (Compare Kip to Peewee, for example.)  I would choose Manny
>as an outstanding example.  One could only describe them as incompetent by
>comparison.  It is the glory of these "incompetents" that they do what must
>be done.
>--Dee
>
>

Super competent hero's? See E. E. Smith. By that comparison, even Lazarus is a bumbling 2 digit IQ twit. Why The Senior never took a weekend and invented a whole new branch of physics AND the technology to go with it that I remember ;)).

GMC


"James Gifford" <jgifford@surewest.not>wrote in message news:3CC82944.3090802@surewest.not...
>TreetopAngel wrote:
>
>
>
>Again, I think I've made it clear that I'm referring to a special case
>of "competence" in this analysis. From 1939 to 1985, the vast majority
>of Heinlein's major characters are so adaptable, capable and generally
>super-competent - even when thrown violently into very unusual
>circumstances - that the characters of this era stand out as something
>quite different.
>
>All of them would be regarded as more competent than average and even
>admirably adaptable out here in the real world. However, within
>Heinlein's universe, their comparative inabilities and their being
>dragged along bodily by events is unusual - so much so that it is clear
>to me that Heinlein was deliberately experimenting with "incompetent"
>characters in this era - choose your own phrase and definition.
>
>He quickly shook it off and went back to his trademark style, even
>compensating by going to the super-hyper-competents populating
>everything from TEfL onwards... :)
>
>--

I'm amazed nobody has yet put their finger on Heinleins' hero's one common denominator and strongest point. They ALWAYS (unless being set up for a 'lesson') recognize reality and respond to it appropriately. The vast majority of people in the world 'Never let the facts alter their view of the way things SHOULD be' (c 1974, me ..or have i stolen one of the masters?) Heinleins heroes are never guilty of this punishable by death offense. THAT is what makes them 'super competent'. They're not busy ignoring the events that are trying to do them in.

Oh god..my first serious comment....(cringe!)

GMC


>Are you sure we can't arrange to have the archives at UCSC opened, at 
>least briefly in late August, before ConJosé?

I'll check to find out when the archives are completely closed down; I was told that they will have extended hours this summer (i.e., more than 2 hours per day) but I don't know whether that will also be true just before school recommences.

San Jose is about 29 miles from Santa Cruz -- a very scenic drive. So a half-day trip would be very easy to arrange.

Bill


>It is NOT the high 
>school senior who is writing this story.  

Wasn't it rather that he went to SE Asia just out of high school? IIRC he was finished with at least one tour of duty when we found him in France.

Bill


In article <3CC77ED8.5070909@surewest.not>, jgifford@surewest.not says...
>No, I believe I've always made it clear that my claims of incompetence 
>for many early 1960s characters were relative - none would be judged 
>"incompetent" by us mere mortals, but up against the usual Heinleinian 
>heros who stumble into strange situations and save the girl, the day and 
>the universe with the odds and ends in their pockets, they come up as 
>bumbling boobies.
>

I consider those early 60s characters "the usual Heinleinian heros." They're usually only nails that stand out.

-- 
RDKirk
"It's always socially unacceptable to be right too soon." -- RAH

BPRAL22169 wrote:
>>It is NOT the high 
>>school senior who is writing this story.  
>>
>
>Wasn't it rather that he went to SE Asia just out of high school?  IIRC he was
>finished with at least one tour of duty when we found him in France.  
>Bill
>
>

My most sincere apologies, in an excess of zeal I neglected to check the facts. On p. 14 of the text we find "Flash" Gordon saying that "at the end of my sophomore year they de-emphasized football." The last line of the same page has "I turned twenty-one that summer . . . ."

Further, as you say, he had at least one tour of duty in SE Asia. I checked the portion describing his hospitalization and the thought segue into Heidelberg for his degree then maybe a doctorate. Just so, he WAS NOT a high school student but rather a "man, full grown, with battle experience."

Sheepishly,

Dr. Rufo

(Who sincerely wishes he were qualified to be a RAH "competent" character rather than a member of the "control group" against which they are measured.)


cmaj7dmin7 wrote:
>
>>It doesn't "fail in the end."  Heinlein successfully reproduces in the
>>reader the same ennui (in the midst of luxury) that Oscar was feeling.
>>
>
>Agreed. He bores the unholy shit of all of us at the end. Interesting you
>felt it but told yourself it was writing skill and are ready to argue it.
>You should be allowed the luxury of your delusion.
>

Reilloc and Randy at the same time..gee, and it was so peaceful 'round here...

Reilloc, just who does, 'all of us' comprise? Not me....and don't willfully misunderstand just to give yourself an excuse to be caustic; it's OK, we haven't forgotten you, no need to come on so strong just to remind us :-).

The boring bit was the 'reward' of untold wealth, leisure and safety. Oscar rejecting this (and Star to a certain extent) was Heinlein taking 'happily ever after' a few pages further. A little like the end of 'The Princess Bride' in a way.

The 'final' ending of continued danger, adventures and romance was the real reward for a hero; not the only way it could have ended but it worked for me.

One avenue we could look at is alternative endings; could Heinlein have turned it tragic? Have a disillusioned Oscar go back to Earth, and turn into a slob, blearily remembering his past triumphs through a haze of alcohol or drugs? When a hero retires, does he go downhill faster than most? Or a tragic but heroic end, Oscar dying in some rescue attempt, re enlisting and this time not surviving? Or, scariest of all, marrying a mundane and settling for that pool and garage...but Heinlein didn't go for sad endings often..or did he?

(I'm going to relabel this for the chat; shame to waste GR discussion. Elizabeth, do you want to relabel your thread too as it's off to such a good start? Chat can be next Thursday but one and Saturday which gives us 2 weeks to continue posts and read the book? I can help out some of those dates if you want to be the main host.)

Jane

-- 
http://www.heinleinsociety.org

In article <3CC8B786.90806@rogers.com>, Jane Davitt <jdavitt01@rogers.com>wrote:
>>>It doesn't "fail in the end."  Heinlein successfully reproduces in the
>>>reader the same ennui (in the midst of luxury) that Oscar was feeling.

>>Agreed. He bores the unholy shit of all of us at the end. Interesting you
>>felt it but told yourself it was writing skill and are ready to argue it.
>>You should be allowed the luxury of your delusion.

>The boring bit was the 'reward' of untold wealth, leisure and 
>safety. Oscar rejecting this (and Star to a certain extent) was 
>Heinlein taking 'happily ever after' a few pages further. A little 

Very well put, Jane. I alwasy saw GR as RAH's take on Sword and Sorcery, but he just couldn't leave it at "... and they all lived happily ever after 'till the end of their days, la di la di da." And given what Scar had gone through, as I put myself in his shoes (as I would expect to do while reading the story from his viewpoint), I don't think I could settle for that ending myself.

>One avenue we could look at is alternative endings; could Heinlein 
>have turned it tragic? Have a disillusioned Oscar go back to Earth, 
>and turn into a slob, blearily remembering his past triumphs through 
>a haze of alcohol or drugs? When a hero retires, does he go downhill 

Hmmm... is it just me, or does anyone else get kind of a "Stephen R Donaldson" feel from the scenario Jane describes above? (I never did finish that series; just too darned depressing)

Cheers!

-- 
Brian Maranta  ~  Kingston, Ontario, Canada  ~  brian@magsi.com
URL: http://home.cogeco.ca/~bmaranta ~ ICQ#16149211
Canadian Army Signals  - Royal Military College of Canada, Class of '89
"You live and learn - or you don't live long." - R.A. Heinlein
Mac Evangelist - Dispelling the Mac Myths!

"Jane Davitt" <jdavitt01@rogers.com>wrote in message news:3CC8B786.90806@rogers.com...
>cmaj7dmin7 wrote:
>
>
>>
>>>It doesn't "fail in the end."  Heinlein successfully reproduces in the
>>>reader the same ennui (in the midst of luxury) that Oscar was feeling.
>>>
>>
>>Agreed. He bores the unholy shit of all of us at the end. Interesting you
>>felt it but told yourself it was writing skill and are ready to argue it.
>>You should be allowed the luxury of your delusion.
>>
>
>
>Reilloc and Randy at the same time..gee, and it was so peaceful
>'round here...

Sorry, I don't know Randy but he or she's apparently not an unthinking hero-worshipper, huh? Probably a damn, un-Libertarian Panshin spouter, too, eh? Know her/his Heinlein, does he/she? Annoying, isn't it?

>
>Reilloc,just who does, 'all of us' comprise? Not me....and don't
>willfully misunderstand just to give yourself an excuse to be
>caustic; it's OK, we haven't forgotten you, no need to come on so
>strong just to remind us :-).

Jane, you igno...no, that would be trite and perceived as too over the top. Besides, you're a mother now and may be mellower than you used to be. I know I got that way when somebody called me that.

>The boring bit was the 'reward' of untold wealth, leisure and
>safety. Oscar rejecting this (and Star to a certain extent) was
>Heinlein taking 'happily ever after' a few pages further. A little
>like the end of 'The Princess Bride' in a way.

Starined, Jane. A passing mention that Mandy would make a great dread pirate Roberts isn't anything more than a suggestion but, as you wish.

>The 'final' ending of continued danger, adventures and romance was
>the real reward for a hero; not the only way it could have ended but
>it worked for me.

Compare, GR's ending and NOTB's. Zeb and Cyril, Star and Deety, swords and sorcerers (Jake and Rufo) and tell me where the imagination went. All these elements and ground covered twice and what's the ending? None. For a guy with all the answers where's the resolution? Ain't none. Why's that?

GR set up the sequel but Bob couldn't pull it off. Oh, sure, he wrote a book and it's got everyone talking and it's not a bad book for as self-indulgent a forced sale as it is but where's the ending? My guesses are GR was old-style Heinlein when the business of writing was on his mind and he was really leaving the door open to a sequel or series and NOTB is corrupt-Heinlein where his fans would buy anything (even absolute garbage like IWFNE). Consequently, you don't really deserve an ending, do you? You take what you can get and hang on every crumb, ready to dissect them and attribute god-like qualities to their creator. Silly, really. Who wouldn't be flattered, though?

>
>One avenue we could look at is alternative endings; could Heinlein
>have turned it tragic? Have a disillusioned Oscar go back to Earth,
>and turn into a slob, blearily remembering his past triumphs through
>a haze of alcohol or drugs? When a hero retires, does he go downhill
>faster than most? Or a tragic but heroic end, Oscar dying in some
>rescue attempt, re enlisting and this time not surviving? Or,
>scariest of all, marrying a mundane and settling for that pool and
>garage...but Heinlein didn't go for sad endings often..or did he?

See, above.

>(I'm going to relabel this for the chat; shame to waste GR
>discussion. Elizabeth, do you want to relabel your thread too as
>it's off to such a good start? Chat can be next Thursday but one and
>Saturday which gives us 2 weeks to continue posts and read the book?
>I can help out some of those dates if you want to be the main host.)
>
>Jane
>
>--
>http://www.heinleinsociety.org
>

LNC


On Fri, 26 Apr 2002 04:03:03 GMT, "cmaj7dmin7" <reilloc@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>
>"Jane Davitt" <jdavitt01@rogers.com>wrote in message
>news:3CC8B786.90806@rogers.com...
>>cmaj7dmin7 wrote:
>>
>>
>>>
>>>>It doesn't "fail in the end."  Heinlein successfully reproduces in the
>>>>reader the same ennui (in the midst of luxury) that Oscar was feeling.
>>>>
>>>
>>>Agreed. He bores the unholy shit of all of us at the end. Interesting you
>>>felt it but told yourself it was writing skill and are ready to argue it.
>>>You should be allowed the luxury of your delusion.
>>>
>>
>>
>>Reilloc and Randy at the same time..gee, and it was so peaceful
>>'round here...
>
>Sorry, I don't know Randy but he or she's apparently not an unthinking
>hero-worshipper, huh? Probably a damn, un-Libertarian Panshin spouter, too,
>eh? Know her/his Heinlein, does he/she? Annoying, isn't it?
>>
>>Reilloc,just who does, 'all of us' comprise? Not me....and don't
>>willfully misunderstand just to give yourself an excuse to be
>>caustic; it's OK, we haven't forgotten you, no need to come on so
>>strong just to remind us :-).
>
>Jane, you igno...no, that would be trite and perceived as too over the top.
>Besides, you're a mother now and may be mellower than you used to be. I know
>I got that way when somebody called me that.
>
>>The boring bit was the 'reward' of untold wealth, leisure and
>>safety. Oscar rejecting this (and Star to a certain extent) was
>>Heinlein taking 'happily ever after' a few pages further. A little
>>like the end of 'The Princess Bride' in a way.
>
>Starined, Jane. A passing mention that Mandy would make a great dread pirate
>Roberts isn't anything more than a suggestion but, as you wish.
>
>>The 'final' ending of continued danger, adventures and romance was
>>the real reward for a hero; not the only way it could have ended but
>>it worked for me.
>
>Compare, GR's ending and NOTB's. Zeb and Cyril, Star and Deety, swords and
>sorcerers (Jake and Rufo) and tell me where the imagination went. All these
>elements and ground covered twice and what's the ending? None. For a guy
>with all the answers where's the resolution? Ain't none. Why's that?
>
>GR set up the sequel but Bob couldn't pull it off. Oh, sure, he wrote a book
>and it's got everyone talking and it's not a bad book for as self-indulgent
>a forced sale as it is but where's the ending? My guesses are GR was
>old-style Heinlein when the business of writing was on his mind and he was
>really leaving the door open to a sequel or series and NOTB is
>corrupt-Heinlein where his fans would buy anything (even absolute garbage
>like IWFNE). Consequently, you don't really deserve an ending, do you? You
>take what you can get and hang on every crumb, ready to dissect them and
>attribute god-like qualities to their creator. Silly, really. Who wouldn't
>be flattered, though?
>>
>>One avenue we could look at is alternative endings; could Heinlein
>>have turned it tragic? Have a disillusioned Oscar go back to Earth,
>>and turn into a slob, blearily remembering his past triumphs through
>>a haze of alcohol or drugs? When a hero retires, does he go downhill
>>faster than most? Or a tragic but heroic end, Oscar dying in some
>>rescue attempt, re enlisting and this time not surviving? Or,
>>scariest of all, marrying a mundane and settling for that pool and
>>garage...but Heinlein didn't go for sad endings often..or did he?
>
>See, above.
>
>>(I'm going to relabel this for the chat; shame to waste GR
>>discussion. Elizabeth, do you want to relabel your thread too as
>>it's off to such a good start? Chat can be next Thursday but one and
>>Saturday which gives us 2 weeks to continue posts and read the book?
>>I can help out some of those dates if you want to be the main host.)
>>
>>Jane
>>
>>--
>>http://www.heinleinsociety.org
>>
>LNC
>
>

First we get Randy and his frozen head filled with delusions of grandiose anarchy and now we have LNC who's posts appear to be the ramblings of a failed and ill-mannered AI experiment.

"Thank you dear Lord for providing us with such splendid cannonfodder."

Steve
eegle1@exis.net
http://afhpics.mnsdesigns.com/
http://www.mnsdesigns.com/

BPRAL22169 wrote:
>
>. . . [snip] I
>think you've got hold of *something* Heinlein is doing in the books immediately
>following Starnger, but the relative "competence" of the characters is just a
>secondary effect of whatever else it is he might be doing.
>. . . [snip] until JOB, Glory Road was Heinlein's most clearly Cabellian
>book, as it uses the form of the Cabellian comedy, which characteristically
>turns on finding out that what one wanted and worked toward was not what one
>wants, after all -- or, alternatively, not achieving what one wanted and
>finding it doesn't matter at all.  That's why he was so incensed that an editor
>wanted to cut the last 100 pages of the book -- the part that makes it a
>Cabellian comedy instead of a sword-and-sworcery romance.  And (4)  I've been
>able to detect more Cabellian material in the books before TMIAHM and after ST.
>This subject is dealt with at greater (though not much greater) length in the
>Cabell Prize essay.  I just checked my link, and it seems to have been taken
>down recently.  If we wind up going out on this topic, I'll try to excerpt what
>I said at greater length.
>

Try: http://www.library.vcu.edu/jbc/speccoll/exhibit/cabell/Prize3.html

-- 
   David M. Silver
   http://www.heinleinsociety.org
   http://www.readinggroupsonline.com/groups/heinlein.htm
   "The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
   Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29
   Lt (jg)., USN R'td (1907-1988)

denny wrote:
>On Wed, 24 Apr 2002 13:59:46 -0700, "Dr. Rufo" <baybus@mindspring.com>
>held forth, saying:
...
>>He "wins" the Irish Sweepstakes without the overt intervention of
>>any "higher power" beyond his own "skill" at poker.
>
>Are we certain Star had nothing to do with that?
>
...

Dr. Rufo did say "overt". Oscar did make a reasonable amount even without the Irish Sweepstakes win.

Simon
--
Never try to outstubborn Lazarus Long  -  a cat.

"Dr. Rufo" wrote:
>
>Dennis M. Hammes wrote:
>
><snip>
>
>>When we really "meet" Lazarus, he's 2000 years old;
>
>Please, sir, the "first time" we meet LL he is 213 years old.
>[p.10 -- Methuselah's Children]

As adventure yarn yes; as discussion of self, I wait for /Time Enough.../

But 213 years old in a Kulchur whose average age is not much more than 21 (even leave out the kids and peg the "average adult" at 39) changes, well, what part of the argument?

>
><more snip>
>
>>E.C.Gordon
>>is rather fresh out of high school,
>
>It appears to me that the factual statement in the book that Easy
>is "just out of high school" has to be tempered by the
>realization that Glory Road is reminiscence.  It is NOT the high
>school senior who is writing this story.  This is the product of
>a man who has already been up the Glory Road and has succeeded in
>a number of tryiing situations. Perhaps, he recalls "generously"
>his reactions at the time?
>
>Your mileage, etc.
>Dr. Rufo

Your point taken, but his own tone toward himself (I'd say /because/ it is reminiscence) is fairly disparaging-flip throughout the book, i.e., "how'd that dumb kid survive /that/?," mixed with some tones indicating that some opponents weren't as tough as they seemed, mixed with some reports of fights severe enough that his own memory of them (or his report of it) drops clean out of the equation.

The reporter is reminiscing; the actor was fairly fresh out of school. He reports the "toughing exercises" (any of which could have killed him, the narrow escapes, too, discussed) that permitted him to get /to/ the Egg Fight.

So, two points; he isn't a "super-hyper-hero," and he doesn't tout himself as one.

-- 
------(m+
  ~/:o)_|
You can call your priest anything you want,
 except /my/ priest.
http://t-independent.com/scrawlmark-press/

Dennis M. Hammes wrote:
...
>I don't remember any "Kip," so I prolly didn't read it.
...

The protagonist of "Have Space Suit - Will Travel"


James Gifford wrote:
...
>In his element, Mannie is above real-world "normal"
>competence. *BUT* in the events of the book, he is a ham-handed fumbler
>who knows little, contributes little, and in fact is something of a
>screwup at critical points.
...

Without Mannie, the revolutionaries would never have got Mike on their side, and the revolution would almost certainly have failed. Mannie also explains the "throwing rocks" strategy to Prof and Wyoh (the professional revolutionaries), devises a number of the disruptive tactics used in the pre-revolutionary period, designs a more efficient revolutionary cell structure and even out-thinks Mike in the matter of using telescopes to spot incoming warships.

The only lack of competency I can think of is a lack of diplomacy, wrt going earthside and the question of Howard Wright. In the former case, Prof and Mike anticipate potential problems, and keep Mannie in the dark for his own good. In the latter - another RAH character once said something like "some people's toes were born to be stepped on"; Gospodin Wright is one of those.

Where did you think Mannie was a screwup?

Simon


GMC wrote:
...
>Super competent hero's? See E. E. Smith.  By that comparison, even Lazarus
>is a bumbling 2 digit IQ twit. Why The Senior never took a weekend and
>invented a whole new branch of physics AND the technology to go with it that
>I remember ;)).

I remember "Spacehounds of IPC"; the hero "Steve" (Percy) Stevens is marooned with his girfriend and the remnants of a lifeboat on Ganymede (IIRC). He builds a hydroelectric power plant, and then a working spaceship with two different weapons (UV and IR lasers) while fighting a small war singlehanded against some unfriendly natives, using a longbow.

In his essay on Doc Smith (called "Larger than Life", included in EU) RAH states that Doc wouldn't have had his heroes doing anything he couldn't have done himself.

(Hmmm - Percy Stevens - it just occurred to me that Pete/Mac in "Friday" is really called Percy.)


Dennis M. Hammes wrote:
>James Gifford wrote:
>>
>>David Silver wrote:
>>

...
>The one outstanding deus-ex-supermachina I can recall in Mr.
>Heinlein's stable is the mystically-inexplicable "Andrew Jackson
>'Slipstick' Libby," who can sit in for a busted Cray and solve
>three-body problems in real time on a little algebra, a little trig,
>and less caffiene than half a jolt of Mountain Dew.  Everybody else
>worked for his muttons.
...

Deety in NotB is as smart as slipstick Libby, and her father is smarter. VM Smith (SiaSL) has abilities that would normally be regarded as superhuman, though these are apparently available to anyone who can speak Martian.

Friday Baldwin is a supergenius and physically superior to any modern-day athlete, but then she was designed that way. Dan Davis invents an entire industry in TDiS, including CAD/CAM systems in 2000 which noone else had thought of in the 30 years since he designed Hired Girl.

Clark Fries (age 11) can not only smuggle a nuclear device through customs in PoM, but dismantle and reactivate it. Waldo Jones starts off as a myasthenic cripple (though a genius), and ends up as a "ballet-tap" dancer and surgeon.

>>
>>>And when you finish with her, try Alex Hergensheimer, toy of the
betting
>>>gods.
>>
>>I knew someone would point him out - happy to have it be you. :)
>>
>>Alec is a poor, 'umble, ignorant, only partially-lettered bumbler who...
>>goes through a multitude of literally life-shattering experiences,
>>throws off a lifetime of cultural and social conditioning in the space
>>of a few weeks, and evolves in relatively short order to the point where
>>he's sassing deities to their faces.
>
>Pf.  Took me about two hours in eighth grade.  Only I didn't sass; I
>threw an equation.  Three whole letters.  F=ma.
>

Which deities?

...
>But the only actual competence /anybody/ can observe in /any/ of
>these stories is Mr. Heinlein's own.  And, considering the number of
>characters and universes he juggled without dropping any of them, I
>think What We Have Heah (besides a failuah tew c'MUnicate), is a
>/real/ example of a "super-hyper-competent."
...

Well, some critics you just can't reach. For the rest of us, what we read was how Mr. Heinlein wanted it. Well, we got it. I think I liked it as much as you.

Simon


cmaj7dmin7 wrote:
>
>"Jane Davitt" <jdavitt01@rogers.com>wrote in message
>news:3CC8B786.90806@rogers.com...
>>cmaj7dmin7 wrote:
>>
>>
>>>
>>>>It doesn't "fail in the end."  Heinlein successfully reproduces in the
>>>>reader the same ennui (in the midst of luxury) that Oscar was feeling.
>>>>
>>>
>>>Agreed. He bores the unholy shit of all of us at the end. Interesting
>you
>>>felt it but told yourself it was writing skill and are ready to argue
>it.
>>>You should be allowed the luxury of your delusion.
>>>
>>
>>
>>Reilloc and Randy at the same time..gee, and it was so peaceful
>>'round here...
>
>Sorry, I don't know Randy but he or she's apparently not an unthinking
>hero-worshipper, huh? Probably a damn, un-Libertarian Panshin spouter, too,
>eh? Know her/his Heinlein, does he/she? Annoying, isn't it?
>>
>>Reilloc,just who does, 'all of us' comprise? Not me....and don't
>>willfully misunderstand just to give yourself an excuse to be
>>caustic; it's OK, we haven't forgotten you, no need to come on so
>>strong just to remind us :-).
>
>Jane, you igno...no, that would be trite and perceived as too over the top.
>Besides, you're a mother now and may be mellower than you used to be. I know
>I got that way when somebody called me that.
>
>>The boring bit was the 'reward' of untold wealth, leisure and
>>safety. Oscar rejecting this (and Star to a certain extent) was
>>Heinlein taking 'happily ever after' a few pages further. A little
>>like the end of 'The Princess Bride' in a way.
>
>Starined, Jane. A passing mention that Mandy would make a great dread pirate
>Roberts isn't anything more than a suggestion but, as you wish.
>
>>The 'final' ending of continued danger, adventures and romance was
>>the real reward for a hero; not the only way it could have ended but
>>it worked for me.
>
>Compare, GR's ending and NOTB's. Zeb and Cyril, Star and Deety, swords and
>sorcerers (Jake and Rufo) and tell me where the imagination went. All these
>elements and ground covered twice and what's the ending? None. For a guy
>with all the answers where's the resolution? Ain't none. Why's that?
>
>GR set up the sequel but Bob couldn't pull it off. Oh, sure, he wrote a book
>and it's got everyone talking and it's not a bad book for as self-indulgent
>a forced sale as it is but where's the ending? My guesses are GR was
>old-style Heinlein when the business of writing was on his mind and he was
>really leaving the door open to a sequel or series and NOTB is
>corrupt-Heinlein where his fans would buy anything (even absolute garbage
>like IWFNE). Consequently, you don't really deserve an ending, do you? You
>take what you can get and hang on every crumb, ready to dissect them and
>attribute god-like qualities to their creator. Silly, really. Who wouldn't
>be flattered, though?
>>
>>One avenue we could look at is alternative endings; could Heinlein
>>have turned it tragic? Have a disillusioned Oscar go back to Earth,
>>and turn into a slob, blearily remembering his past triumphs through
>>a haze of alcohol or drugs? When a hero retires, does he go downhill
>>faster than most? Or a tragic but heroic end, Oscar dying in some
>>rescue attempt, re enlisting and this time not surviving? Or,
>>scariest of all, marrying a mundane and settling for that pool and
>>garage...but Heinlein didn't go for sad endings often..or did he?
>
>See, above.
>
>>(I'm going to relabel this for the chat; shame to waste GR
>>discussion. Elizabeth, do you want to relabel your thread too as
>>it's off to such a good start? Chat can be next Thursday but one and
>>Saturday which gives us 2 weeks to continue posts and read the book?
>>I can help out some of those dates if you want to be the main host.)
>>
>>Jane
>>
>>--
>>http://www.heinleinsociety.org
>>
>LNC

My. What a lot of Critical Expertise from one who cannot write a simple declarative sentence.

Child, one who so often tells another's /words/ to go fuck themselves (and from the safety of a can tied to a long string!) should really have considered what happens when he has to tell another's /sword/ to go fuck itself.

Especially as Mr. Heinlein so often deals in words for the sword.

Because it means that rather a lot of his readers do, too...

("ROTFLMAO," I think you guys put it?)

Oh, Gee, I Forgot. You don't /have/ a sword (that's self-evident).

You say elsewhere that you have a "We." Being larger than a dog, you can use Sargent's Capsules for that.

-- 
------(m+
  ~/:o)_|
You can call your priest anything you want,
 except /my/ priest.
http://t-independent.com/scrawlmark-press/

"Simon Jester"
>Dan Davis invents an entire industry in TDiS, including CAD/CAM systems in
>2000 which noone else had thought of in the 30 years since he designed Hired
>Girl.

<nitpick>Original patent for Drafting Dan is 1971. He discovers the Machine in 2001, but he thought up the gag on the way to the confrontation with Myles and Belle. He created on his return trip to 1971.

NW


David Wright wrote:
>Don't worry Jane, I am going to pick up all of the Glory Road thread to post
>at the beginning of the upcoming Glory Road discussion.
>
>David W.
>
>

You are archiver par excellence David :-)

Jane http://www.heinleinsociety.org


cmaj7dmin7 wrote:
>Sorry, I don't know Randy but he or she's apparently not an unthinking
>hero-worshipper, huh? Probably a damn, un-Libertarian Panshin spouter, too,
>eh? Know her/his Heinlein, does he/she? Annoying, isn't it?

Heh. Hardly. You really don't know Randy, do you? But I'm sure you'd get along great.

>
>Jane, you igno...no, that would be trite and perceived as too over the top.
>Besides, you're a mother now and may be mellower than you used to be. I know
>I got that way when somebody called me that.

Mellow? Me? Nah. And in all the time you've known me, I've had children so no change there. Helps me to deal with the overgrown variety I run into on the net.Take that personally, please.

>
>
>>The boring bit was the 'reward' of untold wealth, leisure and
>>safety. Oscar rejecting this (and Star to a certain extent) was
>>Heinlein taking 'happily ever after' a few pages further. A little
>>like the end of 'The Princess Bride' in a way.
>>
>
>Starined, Jane. A passing mention that Mandy would make a great dread pirate
>Roberts isn't anything more than a suggestion but, as you wish.

Ooh, even when you use that line, it gets me shivery. Say it again, Reilloc..before I feed you to a ROUS :-)) And in my copy of PB, Goldman not only makes most of the book about what happens after the girl meets the prince (the wrong one of course) but provides an ending paragraph setting out all the problems the gang probably face in the future, which most fairy stories don't. Maybe you got the abridged version....

>
>
>>The 'final' ending of continued danger, adventures and romance was
>>the real reward for a hero; not the only way it could have ended but
>>it worked for me.
>>
>
>Compare, GR's ending and NOTB's. 

Why should I? We're talking about GR's ending. You can compare it to another book if you want but why not discuss it as it stands?

Jane

-- 
http://www.heinleinsociety.org

Brian Maranta wrote:
>Hmmm... is it just me, or does anyone else get kind of a "Stephen R 
>Donaldson" feel from the scenario Jane describes above? (I never did 
>finish that series; just too darned depressing)
>
>Cheers!
>
>

I read the ones about a girl who went through a mirror into another world (Mordant's Need books) but the Covenant ones were dire.Couldn't get into them at all.

Jane

-- 
http://www.heinleinsociety.org

On Fri, 26 Apr 2002 06:38:38 GMT, in alt.fan.heinlein, David Silver <ag.plusone@verizon.net>quoth:
>BPRAL22169 wrote:
>
>
>>
>>. . . [snip] I
>>think you've got hold of *something* Heinlein is doing in the books immediately
>>following Starnger, but the relative "competence" of the characters is just a
>>secondary effect of whatever else it is he might be doing.
>>. . . [snip] until JOB, Glory Road was Heinlein's most clearly Cabellian
>>book, as it uses the form of the Cabellian comedy, which characteristically
>>turns on finding out that what one wanted and worked toward was not what one
>>wants, after all -- or, alternatively, not achieving what one wanted and
>>finding it doesn't matter at all.  That's why he was so incensed that an editor
>>wanted to cut the last 100 pages of the book -- the part that makes it a
>>Cabellian comedy instead of a sword-and-sworcery romance.  And (4)  I've been
>>able to detect more Cabellian material in the books before TMIAHM and after ST.
>>This subject is dealt with at greater (though not much greater) length in the
>>Cabell Prize essay.  I just checked my link, and it seems to have been taken
>>down recently.  If we wind up going out on this topic, I'll try to excerpt what
>>I said at greater length.
>>
>
>
>Try: http://www.library.vcu.edu/jbc/speccoll/exhibit/cabell/Prize3.html

My Alma Mater. The library is called the James Branch Cabell library, as I think I have mentioned here before. Not surprising that this work is shown here. :-)

-- 
~teresa~

 ^..^    "Never try to outstubborn a cat."  Robert A. Heinlein    ^..^
  http://www.heinleinsociety.org/ & http://rahbooks.virtualave.net/
 "Blert!!!"  quoth Pixel, a small, yellow cat.
  email me at pixelmeow at aol dot com or yahoo dot com
  MSN messenger ID = pixelmeow@passport.com
  Yahoo Messenger ID = pixelmeow@yahoo.com
  AIM id = pixelmeow

"Jane Davitt" asks:
>(I'm going to relabel this for the chat; shame to waste GR
>discussion. Elizabeth, do you want to relabel your thread too as
>it's off to such a good start? Chat can be next Thursday but one and
>Saturday which gives us 2 weeks to continue posts and read the book?
>I can help out some of those dates if you want to be the main host.)
>
>Jane
>
>--
>http://www.heinleinsociety.org

Me??? Be the host of a chat?!? Yikes!! I could possibly be the host on the Thursday meet, but Saturday is right out! I must work and my old folks would miss me (truthfully, I would miss them) Hosting...I wouldn't know where to start, help would be much appreciated. I had no idea my silly little ponder would cause such an uproar! I have only been able to read through most of the posts till now as I picked up an extra shift at work and still have not had time to think about all of it! And I am soon off to bed for another round of three twelve-hour shifts. I will try to get caught up and read "Glory Road" again, yes I have the time, I can read it in two afternoons!

Sitting in the corner,

Elizabeth

(how do you create the log for the chat?)


"David Wright" reassures me:
>
>"Jane Davitt" <jdavitt01@rogers.com>wrote in message
>news:3CC8B786.90806@rogers.com...
>>cmaj7dmin7 wrote:
>
>
>(snip)
>
>>(I'm going to relabel this for the chat; shame to waste GR
>>discussion. Elizabeth, do you want to relabel your thread too as
>>it's off to such a good start? Chat can be next Thursday but one and
>>Saturday which gives us 2 weeks to continue posts and read the book?
>>I can help out some of those dates if you want to be the main host.)
>>
>
>Don't worry Jane, I am going to pick up all of the Glory Road thread to post
>at the beginning of the upcoming Glory Road discussion.
>
>David W.

Thanks a bunch (of bananas)

Elizabeth

(delirium has set in)


In article <3CC865E9.9788FDC8@hotmail.com>, Roger Connor writes...
... 
>I'm afraid your referring to EE "Doc" Smith, there- perhaps Space Hounds of
>IPC?
>Which "competent" Heinlein heroes saved the day with items in their pockets?

Let us not forget the wonderful scene in HSSWT where Kip actually does survey the contents of his pockets and concludes that they contain nothing that will enable him to save the day.

-- 
Gordon Sollars
gsollars@pobox.com

In article <3CC90B4D.17BF2C67@arvig.net>, Dennis M. Hammes writes...
...
>So, two points; he isn't a "super-hyper-hero," and he doesn't tout
>himself as one.

Perhaps not a "super-hyper" hero, but remember that Oscar's tone is always modest:

"Just inside the cover of trees, they jumped us. Horned Ghosts, I mean, not the Cold Water Gang. An ambush from all sides, I don't know how many. Rufo killed four or five and Star at least two and I danced around, looking active and trying to survive.

"We had to /climb up and over bodies/ to move on, /too many to count/." [emphasis added]

Did all those uncountables beyond Rufo's and Star's seven or so just die of fright?

-- 
Gordon Sollars
gsollars@pobox.com

Roger Connor wrote:
>Which "competent" Heinlein heroes saved the day with items in their pockets?

Sorry, it's an obscure reference to the text on the "Heinlein Hero" t-shirt. Humor alert. :)

Note to all: I am not abandoning the "competence" thread but my personal competencies are being exercised maximally in the mundane world. I will readdress the subject shortly.

-- 

|           James Gifford - Nitrosyncretic Press            |
| http://www.nitrosyncretic.com for the Heinlein FAQ & more |
|  Tired of auto-spam... change "not" to "net" for replies  |

Gordon G. Sollars wrote:
>Let us not forget the wonderful scene in HSSWT where Kip actually does 
>survey the contents of his pockets and concludes that they contain 
>nothing that will enable him to save the day.

Which is exactly what I was thinking of when I wrote the t-shirt.

-- 

|           James Gifford - Nitrosyncretic Press            |
| http://www.nitrosyncretic.com for the Heinlein FAQ & more |
|  Tired of auto-spam... change "not" to "net" for replies  |

Simon Jester wrote:
>James Gifford wrote:
>Without Mannie, the revolutionaries would never have got Mike on their side...

Right, I already credited him with this one contribution - passing along Mike's friendship.

>Where did you think Mannie was a screwup?

I'll address it when I have time to write a more comprehensive reply. I think much confusion has arisen from my choice of "competence" and "incompetence." I will be inventing my own term in my next pass. :)

-- 

|           James Gifford - Nitrosyncretic Press            |
| http://www.nitrosyncretic.com for the Heinlein FAQ & more |
|  Tired of auto-spam... change "not" to "net" for replies  |

TreetopAngel wrote:
>
>Me???  Be the host of a chat?!?  Yikes!!   

OK, I think that's enough to qualify for volunteering :-) Elizabeth,

the log will be kept by David Wright who does a great job of saving all our typos , or, failing that, anyone who's been there from the start of the chat can save it and email it to Dave to go on the page. On my version of AIM you simply click save and all the text is selected and goes onto your hard drive wherever you want it. It can then be attached as a file to an e mail.

I can be there from 9.40 pm onwards on Thursday, possibly not Saturday but there are lots of people who can make Saturday so that's covered. And if there aren't lots of people, then there's no chat, so no problem :-)

Hosting is easy; greet people as they enter, bring them up to date on what's happening, if the conversation lags (not usually an issue) fling out a question to get it going again or pick on someone else to do so.

It's a lot of fun.

Jane
-- 
http://www.heinleinsociety.org

Dee wrote
>>What I was trying
>>to say was that some of Heinlein's protagonists are very intelligent, very
>>educated, very physically fit, and of exceptionally good character, but they
>>can still remind me of real people I have known.  Some other protagonists
>>are just completely off the scale, larger than life.
Gordon G. Sollars wrote:
>I think that a person's stand on this may be a function of the people he
>or she has met.  I am just smart enough to know that I have been, on a
>few occasions, in the presence of someone who was "off the scale".

Gordon--

You may have something there, but "have met" and "have Known" are two entirely different things. If you have _known_ several of those "off the scale" types, then your life must have travelled a very interesting route.

As David says, it is a rare thing.

By larger than life, I don't mean that these people don't exist, but that they are almost a completely different critter from the "merely" very intelligent, very fit, etc.

--Dee


David Silver re the URL for the Cabell Prize essay:

that's it. I have no idea why my link to the University's Cabell page wouldn't work. I assumed they had taken the page down to redo it.

Bill


>Without Mannie, the revolutionaries would never have got Mike on their side,
>and the revolution would almost certainly have failed. Mannie also explains
>the "throwing rocks" strategy to Prof and Wyoh (the professional
>revolutionaries), devises a number of the disruptive tactics used in the
>pre-revolutionary period, designs a more efficient revolutionary cell
>structure and even out-thinks Mike in the matter of using telescopes to spot
>incoming warships.
>
>The only lack of competency I can think of is a lack of diplomacy, wrt going
>earthside and the question of Howard Wright. In the former case, Prof and
>Mike anticipate potential problems, and keep Mannie in the dark for his own good.

All good points - and I really think Manny is portrayed as a more blunt and direct personality type than the others, not as intellectually or otherwise challenged, even relatively speaking. You might refer this to the "engineer type," but *somebody* in that bunch has to be a speaker of plain truths, and Manny fills the role admirably, IMO.

Bill


BPRAL22169 wrote:
>David Silver re the URL for the Cabell Prize essay:
>
>that's it.  I have no idea why my link to the University's Cabell page wouldn't
>work.  I assumed they had taken the page down to redo it.

Well, let's give the appropriate part of that paper a try then, as a basis for discussion, since it's germane to what is Glory Road, and what Glory Road is not. It's not too difficult to read and is probably one of the best parts of the paper:

from "The Heir of James Branch Cabell:

the Biography of the Life of Manuel (A Comedy of Inheritances)"

©2001 By Bill Patterson

      *     *     *     *     *

"3.2.2 Glory Road - a Cabellian Comedy

"Heinlein's 1963 novel Glory Road is ostensibly an essay in the 
sword-and-sorcery genre that was then coming back into vogue. 
Sword-and-sorcery is a subset of the heroic/quest fantasy form 
conventionalized by pulp writers such as Robert E. Howard, in which 
warriors and magic-users band together to combat warriors and 
magic-users. At the time Glory Road was published, pirated paperback 
editions of Tolkein's Lord of the Rings were enthusiastically 
circulating among college students in the U.S. The popularity of the 
sub-genre has continued to accelerate over the intervening decades, 
moving out of print and into role-playing games such as Dungeons and 
Dragons, and films of extremely variable quality.

"It would have been wildly uncharacteristic of Heinlein to write a story 
that conforms to the narrow conventions of the field, and, indeed, he 
did not. He enlarged the possibilities of the genre by writing his 
sword-and-sorcery story as a Cabellian comedy -- and he takes Cabell's 
own cue by making it a "fairy story" (i.e., an allegorical fable), as well.

"Cabell explicitly stated the form of the Cabellian comedy in several 
places, most notably in the Epistle Dedicatory (which became the 
Storisende edition preface) to The Lineage of Lichfield.

"'For I do not find the comedy ever to be much altered in its essentials 
. . . The first act is the imagining of the place where contentment 
exists and may be come to; and the second act reveals the striving 
toward, and the third act the falling short of, that shining goal, or 
else (the difference here being negligible) the attaining of it, to 
discover that happiness, after all, abides a thought farther down the 
bogged, rocky, clogged, befogged, heart-breaking road, if anywhere. That 
is the comedy which, to my finding, . . . the life I write about has 
enacted over and over again on every stage between Poictesme and 
Lichfield.' [quoted in Van Doren at 62]

"Heinlein joins his warrior -- a disillusioned veteran of a Southeast 
Asian conflict (in 1963!) -- 'Scar' (instead of 'Flash') Gordon -- to 
the geomantic 'Star' (cf. Etarre), a 'white witch,' and they go off 
adventuring in quest of first marriage and then 'the Egg of the 
Phoenix.' Betimes, the context of their adventures widens for the Hero, 
and he discovers that his adventures are science fictional, after all, 
and not those of a fantasy. The Egg is the data core of a unique 
teaching machine, a super-high-tech artifact, rather than a magical 
talisman. Heinlein has taken [Sir] Arthur Clarke's dictum that 'any 
sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic' to 
make a story of the type named by science fiction fan Walt Liebscher a 
'gay deceiver' -- a story of apparently fantastic doings given, at the 
end, a mundane explanation. The 'mundane' is here a matter of relatives. 
Star's geomancy -- indeed, all her 'magic' -- is explained as an 
application of super-high-order mathematics (geometry) (a subject with 
which Heinlein has been preoccupied since at least high high school 
years and which has figured in a number of his stories -- e.g., inter 
alia, 'Pied Piper,' ''And He Built a Crooked House--',' Starman Jones, 
Tunnel in the Sky, Starnger in a Starnge Land).

"Star is not only the magic-user of the sword-and-sorcery form; she is 
also the conventional 'damsel' (princess) in distress of the fairy-tale 
form -- or, rather, she is the Empress of the Twenty Universes, and the 
Egg is her teacher, for it contains, and she must assimilate, the 
combined 'wisdom' of all her predecessors in that office.

"The story pivots at the capture of the Egg in a way which is 
particularly Cabellian, for it focuses now on the marriage, as Cabell 
was ever wont to do -- but with Heinlein's own, unique twist. Star is 
content in the power and glory of her administration, but Oscar now 
feels like a fifth wheel when the domestic virtues of judgment and 
administration are wanted, and not heroics. He decides, ultimately, to 
offer his services to anyone in need of a hero, to take up again the 
Glory Road. Scar Gordon thus returns to his starting situation, and the 
Glory Road assumes its place as myth and archetype.

"Thus Glory Road is not merely 'a' Cabellian comedy, it is a reply, in 
Heinlein's own terms, to a specific Cabellian comedy -- Something About 
Eve. Oscar Gordon is not Gerald Musgrave, pottering with visitors in 
Maya's domestic comfort of Mispec Moor. Heinlein does not share Cabell's 
fatalistic notion that hero-artists necessarily fall from their pursuit 
of the ideal into the arms of Maya, Sereda, or even Her Wisdom Star. 
This seems to be Heinlein's central disagreement with Cabell, and it is 
pervasive through his corpus. The compromise (of which Mispec Moor is an 
anagram) would not appeal to a Hero in the first place. Heinlein seems 
to rejoin, indirectly, that this particular compromise with domestic 
usage is bourgeois, and not either gallant or chivalric. Even less is it 
the compromise of an artist -- the route Scar Gordon chooses. As Tolkein 
was contemporaneously assuring American college students,'"the road goes 
ever on and on.'

"Heinlein knew precisely what he was doing and why. When his first editor 
wanted to cut the last hundred pages from the manuscript -- the 
Cabellian third act, after the capture of the Egg -- Heinlein protested:

'. . . I am not interested in his offer . . . What I do object to is that 
he wants me simply to chop off the last hundred pages.

'If I do this, what is left is merely a sexed up fairy story, with no 
meaning and no explanations. I do not want this story published in such 
an amputated form. . . I am quite unwilling simply to chop the story off 
at the point where they capture the Egg of the Phoenix. It leaves the 
story without meaning.' [Grumbles, letter of RAH to Lurton Blassingame 
dated 9/30/62, pp 170-171]

"The 'meaning' of the story is in the finding that 'happiness, after all, 
abides a thought farther down the bogged, rocky, clogged, befogged, 
heart-breaking road, if anywhere.' Without the third act of the 
Cabellian comedy, the story is left 'without meaning.' Heinlein's 
intention is clearly a Cabellian comedy. He is standing deliberately 
apart from the genre conventions at which his editor is aiming. He has 
no interest in writing a marketable, highly commercial 'sexed up fairy 
story.' He is aiming, as would become gradually more clear, at a higher 
art." [end extract from Patterson's paper.]

* * * * *

Has anyone read (or watched) "All About Eve?" I haven't read it; and it's been so many years since I watched that old movie, I've forgotten what it's about.

What does Bill mean when he says:

" . . . Cabell's fatalistic notion that hero-artists necessarily fall 
from their pursuit of the ideal into the arms of Maya, Sereda, or even 
Her Wisdom Star. This seems to be Heinlein's central disagreement with 
Cabell, and it is pervasive through his corpus. The compromise (of which 
Mispec Moor is an anagram) would not appeal to a Hero in the first 
place. Heinlein seems to rejoin, indirectly, that this particular 
compromise with domestic usage is bourgeois, and not either gallant or 
chivalric."

What's the anagram, Jane?

-- 
   David M. Silver
   http://www.heinleinsociety.org
   http://www.readinggroupsonline.com/groups/heinlein.htm
   "The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
   Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29
   Lt (jg)., USN R'td (1907-1988)

I wrote:
>
>Has anyone read (or watched) "All About Eve?" I haven't read it; and 
>it's been so many years since I watched that old movie, I've forgotten 
>what it's about.
>

D'oh! The novel by Cabell is _Something About Eve_ not what is above; and the relationship of the Bette Davis 1950 movie, if any, is unknown.

>
>What does Bill mean when he says:
>
>
>" . . . Cabell's fatalistic notion that hero-artists necessarily fall 
>from their pursuit of the ideal into the arms of Maya, Sereda, or even 
>Her Wisdom Star. This seems to be Heinlein's central disagreement with 
>Cabell, and it is pervasive through his corpus. The compromise (of which 
>Mispec Moor is an anagram) would not appeal to a Hero in the first 
>place. Heinlein seems to rejoin, indirectly, that this particular 
>compromise with domestic usage is bourgeois, and not either gallant or 
>chivalric."
>
>What's the anagram, Jane?
>

-- 
   David M. Silver
   http://www.heinleinsociety.org
   http://www.readinggroupsonline.com/groups/heinlein.htm
   "The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
   Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29
   Lt (jg)., USN R'td (1907-1988)

On Fri, 26 Apr 2002 02:12:26 GMT, Jane Davitt <jdavitt01@rogers.com>wrote:
It doesn't "fail in the end."  Heinlein successfully reproduces
in the reader the same ennui (in the midst of luxury) that Oscar
was feeling.
**********************************
CMAJ7DMIN7: 
>>Agreed. He bores the unholy shit of all of us at the end. Interesting you
>>felt it but told yourself it was writing skill and are ready to argue it.
>>You should be allowed the luxury of your delusion.
***********************

Jane, if you wrote the above, I concur. Oscar has gone from high school into some rather interesting combat in Vietnam. Then he went to Europe and then the south of France. He then gets to travel with Star and Rufo and have some rather interesting adventures.

He then resides, briefly, at Center... After his adventures I do not believe it improable he would experience ennui.

In the same manner, his return to the his own country, and trying school, even work, might well bore him.

No wonder he would jump at the opportunity that Dr. Rufo would be prepared to offer him.

Some people are constitutionally able to be scholars. Others adventurers.

Others, simply trolls determined to snip at others and to make barbed comments about an author who can write and achieve far more than they apparently have been able...

---Mac


"David Silver" <ag.plusone@verizon.net>wrote in message news:3CC9BB98.3030107@verizon.net...
>I wrote:
>
>
>>
>>Has anyone read (or watched) "All About Eve?" I haven't read it; and
>>it's been so many years since I watched that old movie, I've forgotten
>>what it's about.
>>
>
>
>D'oh! The novel by Cabell is _Something About Eve_ not what is above;
>and the relationship of the Bette Davis 1950 movie, if any, is unknown.
>
>
>>
>>What does Bill mean when he says:
>>
>>
>>" . . . Cabell's fatalistic notion that hero-artists necessarily fall
>>from their pursuit of the ideal into the arms of Maya, Sereda, or even
>>Her Wisdom Star. This seems to be Heinlein's central disagreement with
>>Cabell, and it is pervasive through his corpus. The compromise (of which
>>Mispec Moor is an anagram) would not appeal to a Hero in the first
>>place. Heinlein seems to rejoin, indirectly, that this particular
>>compromise with domestic usage is bourgeois, and not either gallant or
>>chivalric."
>>
>>What's the anagram, Jane?
>>
>
>
>
>--

Mr. Silver!

I'm shocked! Having a senior moment? ;)) Mispec Moor is an anagram of Compromise.

Either i'm an idiot or you're feeling a bit dumb.

George


David Silver wrote:
>
>What does Bill mean when he says:
>
>
>" . . . Cabell's fatalistic notion that hero-artists necessarily fall 
>from their pursuit of the ideal into the arms of Maya, Sereda, or even 
>Her Wisdom Star. This seems to be Heinlein's central disagreement with 
>Cabell, and it is pervasive through his corpus. The compromise (of which 
>Mispec Moor is an anagram) would not appeal to a Hero in the first 
>place. Heinlein seems to rejoin, indirectly, that this particular 
>compromise with domestic usage is bourgeois, and not either gallant or 
>chivalric."
>
>What's the anagram, Jane?
>
>
>
>

? Bill says it; Mispec Moor = compromise.I haven't read the Cabell book but Bill's saying that Cabell's hero settled for what Oscar rejected, I think. A paradox; the quest has a glittering prize as a carrot for a hero but to a true hero 'action is his reward'. (That film looks fun; I might go for my birthday treat :-))

Jane
-- 
http://www.heinleinsociety.org

Mac wrote:
>On Fri, 26 Apr 2002 02:12:26 GMT, Jane Davitt
><jdavitt01@rogers.com>wrote:
>
>It doesn't "fail in the end."  Heinlein successfully reproduces
>in the reader the same ennui (in the midst of luxury) that Oscar
>was feeling.
>**********************************

>Jane, if you wrote the above, I concur.

No, it wasn't me (though I agree with it) but my new and improved newsreader won't do what the previous edition would, which is hard to describe but made going back through posts easy as it numbered them and clicking on the previous number showed you the post to which the last poster was replying ..err, it was better, OK? Anyway, I don't know who said it.

Jane

-- 
http://www.heinleinsociety.org

"Jane Davitt" <jdavitt01@rogers.com>wrote in message news:3CC9C831.8000208@rogers.com...
>>It doesn't "fail in the end."  Heinlein successfully reproduces
>>in the reader the same ennui (in the midst of luxury) that Oscar
>>was feeling.
>>**********************************
>
>>Jane, if you wrote the above, I concur.
>
>No, it wasn't me (though I agree with it) but my new and improved
>newsreader won't do what the previous edition would, which is hard
>to describe but made going back through posts easy as it numbered
>them and clicking on the previous number showed you the post to
>which the last poster was replying ..err, it was better, OK? Anyway,
>I don't know who said it.

Jane & Mac--

It wa R.D. Kirk.

--Dee


In article <MPG.173335b5a17a5dce9897d3@news.nji.com>, gsollars@pobox.com says...
>Perhaps not a "super-hyper" hero, but remember that Oscar's tone is 
>always modest:
>
>"Just inside the cover of trees, they jumped us.  Horned Ghosts, I mean, 
>not the Cold Water Gang.  An ambush from all sides, I don't know how 
>many.  Rufo killed four or five and Star at least two and I danced 
>around, looking active and trying to survive.
>
>"We had to /climb up and over bodies/ to move on, /too many to count/."
>[emphasis added]
>
>Did all those uncountables beyond Rufo's and Star's seven or so just die 
>of fright? 
>

When I was in high school, a good buddy of mine was deeply into Karate before martial arts became cool in the US (the fact that his mother was Japanese might have some influence).

One evening a group of hooligans attacked him and his girlfriend as they left the dojo (she was into martial arts as well).

He told me that he didn't clearly remember what happened next, although when it was over all the miscreants were running or limping away.

-- 
RDKirk
"It's always socially unacceptable to be right too soon." -- RAH

GMC wrote:
>"David Silver" <ag.plusone@verizon.net>wrote in message
>news:3CC9BB98.3030107@verizon.net...
>
>>I wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>>Has anyone read (or watched) "All About Eve?" I haven't read it; and
>>>it's been so many years since I watched that old movie, I've forgotten
>>>what it's about.
>>>
>>>
>>
>>D'oh! The novel by Cabell is _Something About Eve_ not what is above;
>>and the relationship of the Bette Davis 1950 movie, if any, is unknown.
>>
>>
>>
>>>What does Bill mean when he says:
>>>
>>>
>>>" . . . Cabell's fatalistic notion that hero-artists necessarily fall
>>>from their pursuit of the ideal into the arms of Maya, Sereda, or even
>>>Her Wisdom Star. This seems to be Heinlein's central disagreement with
>>>Cabell, and it is pervasive through his corpus. The compromise (of which
>>>Mispec Moor is an anagram) would not appeal to a Hero in the first
>>>place. Heinlein seems to rejoin, indirectly, that this particular
>>>compromise with domestic usage is bourgeois, and not either gallant or
>>>chivalric."
>>>
>>>What's the anagram, Jane?
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>>--
>>
>Mr. Silver!
>I'm shocked!  Having a senior moment? ;)) Mispec Moor is an anagram of
>Compromise.
>Either i'm an idiot or you're feeling a bit dumb.
>
>George
>
>
>

Anagrams are my weakness. I have to be shoved into them up to my elbows to see the answers. Thanks. I frequently feel dumb!

-- 
   David M. Silver
   http://www.heinleinsociety.org
   http://www.readinggroupsonline.com/groups/heinlein.htm
   "The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
   Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29
   Lt (jg)., USN R'td (1907-1988)

I wrote, quoting from Bill Patterson's Cabell Prize essay:
[snip]
>"Cabell explicitly stated the form of the Cabellian comedy in 
>several places, most notably in the Epistle Dedicatory (which became the 
>Storisende edition preface) to The Lineage of Lichfield.
>
>"'For I do not find the comedy ever to be much altered in its 
>essentials . . . The first act is the imagining of the place where 
>contentment exists and may be come to; and the second act reveals the 
>striving toward, and the third act the falling short of, that shining 
>goal, or else (the difference here being negligible) the attaining of 
>it, to discover that happiness, after all, abides a thought farther down 
>the bogged, rocky, clogged, befogged, heart-breaking road, if anywhere. 
>That is the comedy which, to my finding, . . . the life I write about 
>has enacted over and over again on every stage between Poictesme and 
>Lichfield.' [quoted in Van Doren at 62]

Poictesme and Lichfield are, if I understand what I've read about Cabell's series of works, two ends of a spectrum, Poictesme in the remote past and Lichfield in the 'present' to which the stories travel.

This "life . . . enacted over and over" is the condition of life of everyone of us, past, present, and in the future, everyone of us who were, are, and will be human.

It reads to me as if Cabell, and Heinlein, are both expressing a view toward an idea the poet John Keats may have also been working towards when he wrote, in 1817, a letter to a friend stating:

  " . . several things dovetailed in my mind, & at once it struck me, 
what quality went to form a Man of Achievement especially in Literature 
& which Shakespeare possessed so enormously--I mean Negative Capability, 
that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, 
doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason . . . . This 
pursued through Volumes would perhaps take us no further than this, that 
with a great poet the sense of Beauty overcomes every other 
consideration, or rather obliterates all consideration."

Now let's look at Oscar in Glory Road and see whether or how this may apply:

>
>"Heinlein joins his warrior -- a disillusioned veteran of a 
>Southeast Asian conflict (in 1963!) -- 'Scar' (instead of 'Flash') 
>Gordon -- to the geomantic 'Star' (cf. Etarre), a 'white witch,' and 
>they go off adventuring in quest of first marriage and then 'the Egg of 
>the Phoenix.' [snip much]
>
>"The story pivots at the capture of the Egg in a way which is 
>particularly Cabellian, for it focuses now on the marriage, as Cabell 
>was ever wont to do -- but with Heinlein's own, unique twist. Star is 
>content in the power and glory of her administration, but Oscar now 
>feels like a fifth wheel when the domestic virtues of judgment and 
>administration are wanted, and not heroics. He decides, ultimately, to 
>offer his services to anyone in need of a hero, to take up again the 
>Glory Road. Scar Gordon thus returns to his starting situation, and the 
>Glory Road assumes its place as myth and archetype.

The "myth and archetype" I think is perhaps identical to Keats' "Negative Capability," that quality which in Oscar's mind now exists, his ability at the end of the story, "capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason," something he was unable or unwilling to accept at the beginning. He has found his fit place in the adult, albeit for him, a very romantic, adult world.

This, perhaps, ties into Patterson's final conclusion about the story:

>
>"The 'meaning' of the story is in the finding that 'happiness, after 
>all, abides a thought farther down the bogged, rocky, clogged, befogged, 
>heart-breaking road, if anywhere.' Without the third act of the 
>Cabellian comedy, the story is left 'without meaning.' Heinlein's 
>intention is clearly a Cabellian comedy. He is standing deliberately 
>apart from the genre conventions at which his editor is aiming. He has 
>no interest in writing a marketable, highly commercial 'sexed up fairy 
>story.' He is aiming, as would become gradually more clear, at a higher 
>art." [end extract from Patterson's paper.]

What, then, however, is the "higher art" aimed at?

Where else is Glory Road taking us?

-- 
   David M. Silver
   http://www.heinleinsociety.org
   http://www.readinggroupsonline.com/groups/heinlein.htm
   "The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
   Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29
   Lt (jg)., USN R'td (1907-1988)

"Jane Davitt" <jdavitt01@rogers.com>wrote in message news:3CC9C831.8000208@rogers.com...
>>It doesn't "fail in the end."  Heinlein successfully reproduces
>>in the reader the same ennui (in the midst of luxury) that Oscar
>>was feeling.
>>**********************************
>Jane, if you wrote the above, I concur.

**************

>No, it wasn't me (though I agree with it) but my new and improved
>newsreader won't do what the previous edition would, which is hard
>to describe but made going back through posts easy as it numbered
>them and clicking on the previous number showed you the post to
>which the last poster was replying ..err, it was better, OK? Anyway,
>I don't know who said it.
***************
Jane & Mac--
It was R.D. Kirk.
--Dee
*********************

Thank you.

For some reason I am having more than enough trouble checking previous messages, what-not.

Again, thanks for the heads-up.

AND, R.D. Kirk, I do concur.

---Mac


David Silver wrote:
>
>I wrote, quoting from Bill Patterson's
>
>Cabell Prize essay:
>[snip]
>>"Cabell explicitly stated the form of the Cabellian comedy in
>>several places, most notably in the Epistle Dedicatory (which became the
>>Storisende edition preface) to The Lineage of Lichfield.
>>
>>"'For I do not find the comedy ever to be much altered in its
>>essentials . . . The first act is the imagining of the place where
>>contentment exists and may be come to; and the second act reveals the
>>striving toward, and the third act the falling short of, that shining
>>goal, or else (the difference here being negligible) the attaining of
>>it, to discover that happiness, after all, abides a thought farther down
>>the bogged, rocky, clogged, befogged, heart-breaking road, if anywhere.
>>That is the comedy which, to my finding, . . . the life I write about
>>has enacted over and over again on every stage between Poictesme and
>>Lichfield.' [quoted in Van Doren at 62]
>
>Poictesme and Lichfield are, if I understand what I've read about
>Cabell's series of works, two ends of a spectrum, Poictesme in the
>remote past and Lichfield in the 'present' to which the stories travel.
>
>This "life . . . enacted over and over" is the condition of life of
>everyone of us, past, present, and in the future, everyone of us who
>were, are, and will be human.
>
>It reads to me as if Cabell, and Heinlein, are both expressing a view
>toward an idea the poet John Keats may have also been working towards
>when he wrote, in 1817, a letter to a friend stating:
>
>" . . several things dovetailed in my mind, & at once it struck me,
>what quality went to form a Man of Achievement especially in Literature
>& which Shakespeare possessed so enormously--I mean Negative Capability,
>that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries,
>doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason . . . . This
>pursued through Volumes would perhaps take us no further than this, that
>with a great poet the sense of Beauty overcomes every other
>consideration, or rather obliterates all consideration."
>
>Now let's look at Oscar in Glory Road and see whether or how this may apply:
>
>>
>>"Heinlein joins his warrior -- a disillusioned veteran of a
>>Southeast Asian conflict (in 1963!) -- 'Scar' (instead of 'Flash')
>>Gordon -- to the geomantic 'Star' (cf. Etarre), a 'white witch,' and
>>they go off adventuring in quest of first marriage and then 'the Egg of
>>the Phoenix.' [snip much]
>>
>>"The story pivots at the capture of the Egg in a way which is
>>particularly Cabellian, for it focuses now on the marriage, as Cabell
>>was ever wont to do -- but with Heinlein's own, unique twist. Star is
>>content in the power and glory of her administration, but Oscar now
>>feels like a fifth wheel when the domestic virtues of judgment and
>>administration are wanted, and not heroics. He decides, ultimately, to
>>offer his services to anyone in need of a hero, to take up again the
>>Glory Road. Scar Gordon thus returns to his starting situation, and the
>>Glory Road assumes its place as myth and archetype.
>
>The "myth and archetype" I think is perhaps identical to Keats'
>"Negative Capability," that quality which in Oscar's mind now exists,
>his ability at the end of the story, "capable of being in uncertainties,
>Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason,"
>something he was unable or unwilling to accept at the beginning. He has
>found his fit place in the adult, albeit for him, a very romantic, adult
>world.
>
>This, perhaps, ties into Patterson's final conclusion about the story:
>
>>
>>"The 'meaning' of the story is in the finding that 'happiness, after
>>all, abides a thought farther down the bogged, rocky, clogged, befogged,
>>heart-breaking road, if anywhere.' Without the third act of the
>>Cabellian comedy, the story is left 'without meaning.' Heinlein's
>>intention is clearly a Cabellian comedy. He is standing deliberately
>>apart from the genre conventions at which his editor is aiming. He has
>>no interest in writing a marketable, highly commercial 'sexed up fairy
>>story.' He is aiming, as would become gradually more clear, at a higher
>>art." [end extract from Patterson's paper.]
>
>What, then, however, is the "higher art" aimed at?

That "Negative Capability," to steal Keats, though I've no use for his term however his definition may be adequate. (It should be noted that Keats was aware of his own impending demise almost from the time he started writing, a career that lasted only four years by the calendar, only 2.5 in actual production. It /hurried/ everything he wrote until he settled in the "Odes" -- which were his last works.)

The minor linguistic problem that persists in all these analyses, from Keats' (not badly) through Cabell's (apparently severely) through those written here (misdirected by the Kulchur /to/ those arguments), is in the term "aimed at," since the Glory Road (the real "one" and the book), do not "aim at" anything; they are a /way of travelling/. Mr. Heinlein certainly knew that, as "Oscar," "Star," and "Rufo" all know it; "Oscar's" coming to that realisation is the "point" of the book, however it also succeeds at its economic purpose of providing a very salable yarn with which to carry its point.

Here, when the finger points to the Moon, we /should/ be looking at the finger.

>
>Where else is Glory Road taking us?
Lift your foot.
>
>--
>David M. Silver

[Dennis M. Hammes]

-- 
------(m+
  ~/:o)_|
You can call your priest anything you want,
 except /my/ priest.
http://t-independent.com/scrawlmark-press/

Dennis M. Hammes wrote:
>David Silver wrote:
>
>>I wrote, quoting from Bill Patterson's
>>Cabell Prize essay:
[beaucoup snip]
>>>
>>The "myth and archetype" I think is perhaps identical to Keats'
>>"Negative Capability," that quality which in Oscar's mind now exists,
>>his ability at the end of the story, "capable of being in uncertainties,
>>Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason,"
>>something he was unable or unwilling to accept at the beginning. He has
>>found his fit place in the adult, albeit for him, a very romantic, adult
>>world.
>>
>>This, perhaps, ties into Patterson's final conclusion about the story:
>>
>>
>>>"The 'meaning' of the story is in the finding that 'happiness, after
>>>all, abides a thought farther down the bogged, rocky, clogged, befogged,
>>>heart-breaking road, if anywhere.' Without the third act of the
>>>Cabellian comedy, the story is left 'without meaning.' Heinlein's
>>>intention is clearly a Cabellian comedy. He is standing deliberately
>>>apart from the genre conventions at which his editor is aiming. He has
>>>no interest in writing a marketable, highly commercial 'sexed up fairy
>>>story.' He is aiming, as would become gradually more clear, at a higher
>>>art." [end extract from Patterson's paper.]
>>>
>>What, then, however, is the "higher art" aimed at?
>>
>
>That "Negative Capability," to steal Keats, though I've no use for
>his term however his definition may be adequate.  (It should be
>noted that Keats was aware of his own impending demise almost from
>the time he started writing, a career that lasted only four years by
>the calendar, only 2.5 in actual production.  It /hurried/
>everything he wrote until he settled in the "Odes" -- which were his
>last works.)

Yes, a damned hurry; and what is surprising was the output. The ambivalence of mind, if that's a better phrase, and it probably isn't, can try to explain a lot.

>The minor linguistic problem that persists in all these analyses,
>from Keats' (not badly) through Cabell's (apparently severely)
>through those written here (misdirected by the Kulchur /to/ those
>arguments), is in the term "aimed at," since the Glory Road (the
>real "one" and the book), do not "aim at" anything; they are a /way
>of travelling/.  Mr. Heinlein certainly knew that, as "Oscar,"
>"Star," and "Rufo" all know it; "Oscar's" coming to that realisation
>is the "point" of the book, however it also succeeds at its economic
>purpose of providing a very salable yarn with which to carry its
>point.

I completely agree, Dennis, looking at Glory Road, all by itself. It's the process, not the goods produced.

>Here, when the finger points to the Moon, we /should/ be looking
>at the finger.

But my question is directed at Bill's statement about Heinlein's aims which I read as Heinlein's future aims. Is he going to return to other variations on this theme, develope them into something else? Cabell resolves the human question into "compromise" which Heinlein (and Oscar at age 25 or so), Patterson says, rejects. That's a salable resolution to the yarn, as you've put it. As Oscar put it early on, he didn't understand quite what the fuss generated by post-World War I generation of Hemmingway and Fitzgerald and others (likely Cabell belongs in with them) was all about: all they had to worry about was wood alcohol in their bootleg booze; so Oscar was inclined from outset to reject the compromise writers of the 1920s wrote.

Oscar's resolution seems, however, "romantic" to me; or put another way quite early Victorian: "to seek, to strive, and not to yield" perhaps even "To Sail Beyond the Sunset." What lesson's up next in the Heinlein opera?

Do we ultimately get another resolution that isn't a variation on this theme? Or is it forever simply Da Capo?

>
>>Where else is Glory Road taking us?
>>
>
>Lift your foot.
>

Got it. Been there, done that, earned most of that farm I think (I was lucky, many in my generation have by now 'bought' it instead). Still dawdling on down "dat road" as they sing in The Wiz. What's next? Or rather, what else am I going to find in Heinlein, if anything?

-- 
   David M. Silver
   http://www.heinleinsociety.org
   http://www.readinggroupsonline.com/groups/heinlein.htm
   "The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
   Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29
   Lt (jg)., USN R'td (1907-1988)

It has been asked on another thread about the significance of using Cyrano de Bergerac as a foil (pun somewhat intended) against Oscar.

Do you have any insight into this?

David W. (a very unliterary reader)


David Wright:
>It has been asked on another thread about the significance of using Cyrano
>de Bergerac as a foil (pun somewhat intended) against Oscar.
>
>Do you have any insight into this?

I don't know how good an insight it is, but -- noting that it isn't really Cyrano, it's a construct of some kind masquerading as Cyrano -- I think it is "the greatest swordsman" confronting "the greatest swordsman" and thereby identifying Oscar as a poet/artist. All the most important confrontations are, after all, with oneself.

And that brings to mind another of Mr. Cabell's most enduring (through the Biography, at any rate) ideas: "What a deal of living it takes to make a little art!" The artist is ruthlessly and sometimes self-destructively "economical" in exploiting his life-experiences to make art. Oscar found his art in the making of the Glory Road -- after trying out domestic arts and fine arts and decorative arts in Star's palace. (This may show an awareness of Sinclair Lewis' _Work of Art_, in which he treats hostelry as an art form.)

I have been following with interest the argument that the Glory Road is the road that goes ever on and on and that the book is thus connected more to TEFL and the World as Myth books than they are to Methuselah's Children, but I rather think that in this case it was a specific Tao of the Mythic (or at least archetypal) Hero he was talking about. That seems to make sense particularly of the book's obvious relationship with Cabell, inasmuch as Cabell's Biography of the Life of Manuel follows Manuel's life-force into his descendents from Poictesme to Litchfield in three specific taos: the tao of Chivalry, the tao of Gallantry, and the tao of poetry (as a general term for artists and artistry)

Bill


"David Wright" <dwrighsr@alltel.net>wrote in message news:aafb9b$a8p2t$1@ID-53646.news.dfncis.de...
>It has been asked on another thread about the significance of using Cyrano
>de Bergerac as a foil (pun somewhat intended) against Oscar.
>
>Do you have any insight into this?
>
>David W. (a very unliterary reader)

How about RAH meeting Cyrano on Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld? Or Sam Clemens?

[William Dennis]


On Fri, 26 Apr 2002 13:20:38 GMT, Jane Davitt <jdavitt01@rogers.com> held forth, saying:
>Brian Maranta wrote:
>
>
>>Hmmm... is it just me, or does anyone else get kind of a "Stephen R 
>>Donaldson" feel from the scenario Jane describes above? (I never did 
>>finish that series; just too darned depressing)
>>
>>Cheers!
>>
>>
>
>I read the ones about a girl who went through a mirror into another 
>world (Mordant's Need books) but the Covenant ones were 
>dire.Couldn't get into them at all.

I think I deserve some kind of award. Through sheer stubbornness I soldiered on to the very end of the Chronicles of TC the Unbeliever.

I would not so waste my time today. ugh. ack. urgh. and similar. Though there's this: the companies which make antidepressants should get a huge hype going in order to have *everyone* read those Chronicles. Think of all the drug sales.

--
-denny-
nocturnal curmudgeon, editor

Never try to outstubborn a cat.  -  Lazarus Long

BPRAL22169 wrote:
>
>David Wright:  >It has been asked on another thread about the significance of
>using Cyrano
>>de Bergerac as a foil (pun somewhat intended) against Oscar.
>>
>>Do you have any insight into this?
>
>I don't know how good an insight it is, but -- noting that it isn't really
>Cyrano, it's a construct of some kind masquerading as Cyrano -- I think it is
>"the greatest swordsman" confronting "the greatest swordsman" and thereby
>identifying Oscar as a poet/artist.  All the most important confrontations are,
>after all, with oneself.

But the encounter /was/ with himself, and only began with the poet/swordsman aspect. See the briefly-reported (but apparently extensive) fugue following the coup de grace.

Cut him up pretty badly, too, as "Oscar" gave the only two hits reported in the duel.

Little is given of his actual "dragons" in that encounter(s), but it is noteworthy that the only "dragons" competent to give a Hero a good run are his own.

But that's just like everybody else...

>
>And that brings to mind another of Mr. Cabell's most enduring (through the
>Biography, at any rate) ideas:  "What a deal of living it takes to make a
>little art!"

Well, he got that right.

All poetry (e.g.) necessarily uses other people's words for 99.9...% of its substance; that's language. But the smarmiest poetry is that which asserts to be using other people's knowledge (Earth) /by/ using their words (Air).

(Earth and Air is Dust, and since Dust is what everybody, not just the artist, leaves lying around of himself for a minute or a millooneyum, it's what we're stuck with -- and why that old Trick works, 99.)

>The artist is ruthlessly and sometimes self-destructively
>"economical" in exploiting his life-experiences to make art.

Heh. And exploiting his art to make life experiences.

Hey. That's what it's /for/. The smart artist, the really-sneaky artist, the downright dirty-dog dealing-from-the-bottom-of-the-deck artist, is the one who gets his art to exploit /other people/ into life experiences (Aristotle said so, making it TrVth), but we don't know any moderns like /that/...

>Oscar found his
>art in the making of the Glory Road -- after trying out domestic arts and fine
>arts and decorative arts in Star's palace.  (This may show an awareness of
>Sinclair Lewis' _Work of Art_, in which he treats hostelry as an art form.)
>
>I have been following with interest the argument that the Glory Road is the
>road that goes ever on and on and that the book is thus connected more to TEFL
>and the World as Myth books than they are to Methuselah's Children, but I
>rather think that in this case it was a specific Tao of the Mythic (or at least
>archetypal) Hero he was talking about.  That seems to make sense particularly
>of the book's obvious relationship with Cabell, inasmuch as Cabell's Biography
>of the Life of Manuel follows Manuel's life-force into his descendents from
>Poictesme to Litchfield in three specific taos:  the tao of Chivalry, the tao
>of Gallantry, and the tao of poetry (as a general term for artists and
>artistry)
>Bill

P.S.: I think Mr. Heinlein's characters, but esp. "Lazarus Long" (and "Oscar") have more connection with the "Hero of a Thousand Faces" (Gilgamesh gets mention, e.g.) than they do with Cabell's arguments as reported here, but in any case they are Mr. Heinlein's own.

And (like Campbell's "Hero," for that matter) there is in them no "life-force" flowing or following from anybody to anybody; these characters (and the "Hero") arise in their own lives on their own merits.

But Mr. Heinlein is perfectly aware that words are mind-altering chemicals, and that when you sugar-coat a little wad of them (carefully-selected to produce a specific disease, ah, syndrome, ah, /idea/, dammit), you have a "virus." And that it can flow from anybody to anybody entirely without any plan -- or even life -- of its own.

[Dennis M. Hammes]

-- 
------(m+
  ~/:o)_|
You can call your priest anything you want,
 except /my/ priest.
http://t-independent.com/scrawlmark-press/

>P.S.:  I think Mr. Heinlein's characters, but esp. "Lazarus Long"
>(and "Oscar") have more connection with the "Hero of a Thousand
>Faces" (Gilgamesh gets mention, e.g.) than they do with Cabell's
>arguments as reported here

This is a true but trivial observation (meaning only that it doesn't get us anywhere in particular). The magic passes you saw when the magic word "Hero" was written were Heinlein's geomancy, moving his story into the range of archetype, and myth. Campbell's point was that all hero stories are patterns of archetypes... and we have just been discussing a duel with the hero-self as an archetype projected into Oscar's personal reality. So I kind of thought we were really already there and looking around for the routes to the next thought.

Bill


On Sat, 27 Apr 2002 19:12:33 -0400, "David Wright" <dwrighsr@alltel.net>wrote:
>It has been asked on another thread about the significance of using Cyrano
>de Bergerac as a foil (pun somewhat intended) against Oscar.
>
>Do you have any insight into this?
>
>David W. (a very unliterary reader)

There's a scene toward the end of the play "Cyrano de Bergerac" where Cyrano says:

"'Struck down by the sword of a hero let me fall,
Steel in my heart and laughter on my lips'
Yes, I said that once. How Fate loves a jest!--
Behold me ambushed--taken in the rear--
My battlefield a gutter--my noble foe
A lackey with a log of wood..."

I've often thought this was Heinlein's way of giving Cyrano a better death: at the hands of the Hero Gordon.

-Chris Zakes
Texas

"I'm a homicidal maniac. They look just like 
everybody else."

-Wednesday Addams

Chris Zakes wrote:
>On Sat, 27 Apr 2002 19:12:33 -0400, "David Wright"
><dwrighsr@alltel.net>wrote:
>
>
>>It has been asked on another thread about the significance of using Cyrano
>>de Bergerac as a foil (pun somewhat intended) against Oscar.
>>
>>Do you have any insight into this?
>>
>>David W. (a very unliterary reader)
>>
>
>There's a scene toward the end of the play "Cyrano de Bergerac" where
>Cyrano says:
>
>"'Struck down by the sword of a hero let me fall,
>Steel in my heart and laughter on my lips'
>Yes, I said that once. How Fate loves a jest!--
>Behold me ambushed--taken in the rear--
>My battlefield a gutter--my noble foe
>A lackey with a log of wood..."
>
>I've often thought this was Heinlein's way of giving Cyrano a better
>death: at the hands of the Hero Gordon.
>
>-Chris Zakes
>Texas
>

B R A V O ! ! ! !

May you, also, always have a "white plume" to decorate your soul.

Dr. Rufo


Dr. Rufo wrote:
>Chris Zakes wrote:
>
>>On Sat, 27 Apr 2002 19:12:33 -0400, "David Wright"
>><dwrighsr@alltel.net>wrote:
>>
>>
>>>It has been asked on another thread about the significance of using 
>>>Cyrano
>>>de Bergerac as a foil (pun somewhat intended) against Oscar.
>>>
>>>Do you have any insight into this?
>>>
>>>David W. (a very unliterary reader)
>>>
>>
>>There's a scene toward the end of the play "Cyrano de Bergerac" where
>>Cyrano says:
>>
>>"'Struck down by the sword of a hero let me fall,
>>Steel in my heart and laughter on my lips'
>>Yes, I said that once. How Fate loves a jest!--
>>Behold me ambushed--taken in the rear--
>>My battlefield a gutter--my noble foe
>>A lackey with a log of wood..."
>>
>>I've often thought this was Heinlein's way of giving Cyrano a better
>>death: at the hands of the Hero Gordon.
>>
>>-Chris Zakes
>> Texas
>>
>
>B  R A  V O  !  ! !  !
>
>May you, also, always have a "white plume" to decorate your soul.
>
>Dr. Rufo
>
>
>

That's as good an explanation as I've heard, Chris; and I like it a lot better than that he's just a "construct" one.

-- 
   David M. Silver
   http://www.heinleinsociety.org
   http://www.readinggroupsonline.com/groups/heinlein.htm
   "The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
   Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29
   Lt (jg)., USN R'td (1907-1988)

"William Dennis" <dwilliam16@insightbb.com>wrote in message news:qKJy8.67999$CH.11209@rwcrnsc52.ops.asp.att.net...
>
>"David Wright" <dwrighsr@alltel.net>wrote in message
>news:aafb9b$a8p2t$1@ID-53646.news.dfncis.de...
>>It has been asked on another thread about the significance of using
>Cyrano
>>de Bergerac as a foil (pun somewhat intended) against Oscar.
>>
>>Do you have any insight into this?
>>
>>David W. (a very unliterary reader)
>
>How about RAH meeting Cyrano on Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld? Or Sam
>Clemens?
>

RAH, Cyrano, Sam Clemens and Randy have a poker game on riverworld where they win randy's grail and throw him into the deep end..

GMC


Dennis M. Hammes wrote:
>But the only actual competence /anybody/ can observe in /any/ of
>these stories is Mr. Heinlein's own.  And, considering the number of
>characters and universes he juggled without dropping any of them, I
>think What We Have Heah (besides a failuah tew c'MUnicate), is a
>/real/ example of a "super-hyper-competent."
>Though at this point, I can only hope that the residuals 
>agree, because, you see, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus.

I was getting an apartment in Orange County, and when the manager found out I was from Virginia, she yelled down from the second floor "Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus."

My personal opinion is that I have seen Santa Cruz.

Tian Harter
http://tian.greens.org
--
Yesterday there was an Earth Day Celebration in Los Gatos.
The highlight of the event was an electric car show that 
featured two Corbin Sparrows and several EV1s. 
One of the EV1 owners was drinking EV1 brand water.

After having some time to think, read over my notes and the ng replies, I offer this:

First of all:

My quote from Mr. Gifford's book was not a challenge, I replied only to where I had gotten the idea that Oscar Gordon was considered an incompetent. It was an idle wonder and I was surprised (I didn't remember writng any notes from said book) when I found that I had gotten it from RAH:ARC. (note for James Gifford: you should see me read the newspaper with my blue pencil, not a critisism, but a true citation direct from the text, I didn't see it the first time! ;-)

Secondly:

I still consider the word 'incompetent' unfortunate, but, have come to see why it was used and that a literal translation of the word is my failing, not that of the author. Having been called incompetent and ignorant, I much prefer ignorant, at least that way I have an excuse for my not-knowing.

Thirdly:

Thanks for the discussion and next time I have an "idle question" I will pose it on a Monday, rather than the day before I have to go to work, so I will have the time to respond to the thread. ;-)

I hope to see all of you in the chat room on May 9th, Jane Davitt, I believe has offered to host on May 11th. I will be at work on Saturday the 11th and will miss that chat. Unless I can plan to have pneumonia and/or break a limb so I can get the day off. (fat chance)

Elizabeth


I'm going to take a look at GR from the perspective of the very first words; not, "I know a place where there is no smog.." but the quotation in the dedication which sets the tone of the whole book IMO. It reads,
"BRITANNUS (shocked):
Caesar, this is not proper.
THEODOTUS (outraged):
HOW?
CAESAR (recovering his self-possession):
Pardon him, Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the 
customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.
  _Caesar and Cleopatra_Act II GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

It seems to me that this is a theme that runs throughout Heinlein's work, starting perhaps in the early juvenile, _Space Cadet_ with the 'eating pie with a fork' incident. In that, the cadet is told that there's an overall way of doing things that will take you everywhere. This might seem to be a counter illustration but I don't think it is; rather, Tex learned that just because he did it one way at home didn't mean that was suitable for all occasions.

Moving on to Thorby of COTG, we see an adaptable youngster continually going with the flow and fitting in with diametrically opposed 'rules' as he moves from planet to ship to army to mansion. He knows that it would be pointless to apply the standards of his life as a slave to his life aboard a highly organised ship for instance.

Mike from SIASL transcends Earthly custom if it doesn't suit him, as does his mentor, Jubal but in a way, both are aware of the parochial nature of those customs so they are more in tune with Caesar than it seems.

But back to Oscar....he has to learn this lesson and it takes him a while. He begins the book with a list of aims that will come to seem petty and pointless,

" ....single minded pursuit of the three-car garage, the swimming 
pool, and the safe & secure retirement benefits.
I am not being holier_than_thou: I was after that same 
three-car-garage myself."

In the society that sees these goals as laudable there is no room for independence of thought and tolerance of different behaviour. Ironically, there isn't on Nevia either...in fact, everywhere Oscar goes is another version of Earth in its inflexibility but (and this is the important part) they're all the same in different ways and they all think their way is the right way.

So we have Oscar playing by Earthly rules in Nevia and turning down the wife and daughters of his host as sleeping partners...which is a mortal insult and nearly gets him killed. Neither Nevia or Earth are wrong in their rules exactly but where Oscar made his mistake was in bringing his own rules with him.

That's all very obvious but what I question is the value of the lesson. Is there then, a pie with a fork attitude to sex? A mode of behavior that fits all places? Are we not allowed any scruples or individual preferences? If we have to adapt to where we are, if we can take nothing with us, never follow our own carefully thought out beliefs, then what point is there in evolving such beliefs? Is it right to make visitors conform in such matters? By making Oscar sleep with his wife, was Jocko being an inconsiderate host?

True, once assured that he wasn't doing something wrong, or hurtful to Star, Oscar leapt at the chance to have lots of sex with talented and uninhibited females (hmm...odd that :-)) but would that conforming to local standards have been so easy if he'd had to do something distasteful? Was it a true test of his adaptability and ability to step outside the lessons he learned on Earth?

Jane
-- 
http://www.heinleinsociety.org

Jane:
>it's [NOTB] been discussed quite a 
>few times over the years.

You might also want to look up Gharlane of Eddore's discussion of the book before going back to read it again. Will someone assist with a URL? Bill


Jane:
>it's [NOTB] been discussed quite a 
>few times over the years.

You might also want to look up Gharlane of Eddore's discussion of the book before going back to read it again. Will someone assist with a URL?

Bill


>That's all very obvious but what I question is the value of the 
>lesson. Is there then, a pie with a fork attitude to sex? A mode of 
>behavior that fits all places?

I think,rather, this is a challenge to Tex's lesson -- a showing that there is, in fact no truly "universal" mode of behavior and that all "modes of behavior" are ipso facto local to their cultures. What we might glean from this is that the interplanetary civilizations of Space Cadet are in fact all one culture.

What Oscar tripped up on was that by acting on the behavioral standards of his culture, he rendered a deadly insult to his hosts. He could have achieved the same end in different ways -- every culture has ways of doing anything in particular you might want to do -- and what he should have done was to ask for guidance. But he didn't trust Star enough at that point to ask her for it.

The lesson I get from that is that the most dangerous thing to you in the cosmos at large is the particular hypocrisies of your particular culture, and that is where you have to concentrate your efforts.

Bill


Jane Davitt wrote:
>I'm going to take a look at GR from the perspective of the very
>first words; not, "I know a place where there is no smog.."
>but the quotation in the dedication which sets the tone of the whole
>book IMO.
>It reads,
>"BRITANNUS (shocked):
>Caesar, this is not proper.
>THEODOTUS (outraged):
>HOW?
>CAESAR (recovering his self-possession):
>Pardon him, Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the
>customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.
>_Caesar and Cleopatra_Act II GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
>
>It seems to me that this is a theme that runs throughout Heinlein's
>work, starting perhaps in the early juvenile, _Space Cadet_ with the
>'eating pie with a fork' incident. In that, the cadet is told that
>there's an overall way of doing things that will take you
>everywhere. This might seem to be a counter illustration but I don't
>think it is; rather, Tex learned that just because he did it one way
>at home didn't mean that was suitable for all occasions.
>
>Moving on to Thorby of COTG, we see an adaptable youngster
>continually going with the flow and fitting in with diametrically
>opposed 'rules' as he moves from planet to ship to army to mansion.
>He knows that it would be pointless to apply the standards of his
>life as a slave to his life aboard a highly organised ship for
>instance.
>Mike from SIASL transcends Earthly custom if it doesn't suit him, as
>does his mentor, Jubal but in a way, both are aware of the parochial
>nature of those customs so they are more in tune with Caesar than it
>seems.
>But back to Oscar....he has to learn this lesson and it takes him a
>while. He begins the book with a list of aims that will come to seem
>petty and pointless,
>" ....single minded pursuit of the three-car garage, the swimming
>pool, and the safe & secure retirement benefits.
>I am not being holier_than_thou: I was after that same
>three-car-garage myself."
>In the society that sees these goals as laudable there is no room
>for independence of thought and tolerance of different behaviour.
>Ironically, there isn't on Nevia either...in fact, everywhere Oscar
>goes is another version of Earth in its inflexibility but (and this
>is the important part) they're all the same in different ways and
>they all think their way is the right way.
>So we have Oscar playing by Earthly rules in Nevia and turning down
>the wife and daughters of his host as sleeping partners...which is a
>mortal insult and nearly gets him killed.
>Neither Nevia or Earth are wrong in their rules exactly but where
>Oscar made his mistake was in bringing his own rules with him.
>
>That's all very obvious but what I question is the value of the
>lesson. Is there then, a pie with a fork attitude to sex? A mode of
>behavior that fits all places? Are we not allowed any scruples or
>individual preferences? If we have to adapt to where we are, if we
>can take nothing with us, never follow our own carefully thought out
>beliefs, then what point is there in evolving such beliefs? Is it
>right to make visitors conform in such matters? By making Oscar
>sleep with his wife, was Jocko being an inconsiderate host?
>
>True, once assured that he wasn't doing something wrong, or hurtful
>to Star, Oscar leapt at the chance to have lots of sex with talented
>and uninhibited females (hmm...odd that :-)) but would that
>conforming to local standards have been so easy if he'd had to do
>something distasteful? Was it a true test of his adaptability and
>ability to step outside the lessons he learned on Earth?
>
>Jane
>
>--
>http://www.heinleinsociety.org

In GR, Oscar has already commented about the availability of "little brown sister" and the freedom of the French island, long before he gets to Jocko's. It's not his mistake, it's Star & Rufo's- they've been here before and are also familiar with the local customs of Oscar's tribe. They should have mentioned to Oscar about what was to be expected. The same as Oscar! Jensen, the cadet from Venus did about the local customs on Venus when the disastrous landing on Venus happened in Space Cadet. (Remember the sudden change in gender?) The same as the Free Traders did when making Thorby one of themselves. They didn't believe their customs were universal, they /knew/ they weren't, and acted accordingly, to teach Thorby the "customs of the tribe".

What I've learned is:

1-Every culture has it's own set of customs, traditions, taboos, acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

2-Most people are blind to most of their own culture's irrational peculiarities.

(Why can't our society do away with ties as men's proper dress clothing?)

3-Most people think the more obvious of another culture's differences as "quaint", but of no importance.

(Electric power in the US is 60Hz, 120v single phase AC, the rest of the world uses 50Hz, 220v 3-phase AC)

4-Members of each culture think their's is the "right" way. (And thus, wars begin!)

5-Defining your own personal integrity with respect to multiple cultures is difficult, particularly when dealing with mutually exclusive "irrational" customs. "When in Rome, be a Roman candle!" may not fit your own personal integrity.

(As a quick for instance: an alcoholic that must "socialize" in situations where the wine and booze are flowing, but he, personally, must refuse to drink those alcoholic drinks, as must a follower of Islam or a Mormon.)

6-RAH's message seems to be "Find out what is the acceptable behavior for the situation, and in public, follow it. When in private, make sure that Mrs. Grundy won't find out, and then do as your personal desires and integrity allow. (I noticed early that he believes in /personal/ integrity! )

[Roger Connor]


Roger Connor wrote:
The same as the Free Traders did
>when making Thorby one of themselves. They didn't believe their customs
>were universal, they /knew/ they weren't, and acted accordingly, to
>teach Thorby the "customs of the tribe".
>
>

Yes; when he makes a mistake they don't come down on him hard..because the very fact that he made it shows that he isn't mature enough to be held responsible; in their culture he's still an egg.

They had many customs I don't like but that logic is quite kindly meant I think.

Jane
-- 
http://www.heinleinsociety.org

>Oscar, I think, failed to ask Star for help not because he didn't 
>trust her but because,
>1. He was embarrassed.Sexual discussion between opposite sexes = 
>blushing, shuffling of feet, secrecy and hypocrisy.
>2. He was being tactful; you don't tell a woman you are falling for 
>that another woman has propositioned you.Either she gets jealous or 
>it looks like you're boasting.
>

Yes, well, I would say both of these are matters of trust. She knew the lay of the land (pun not intended) but Oscar didn't trust her enough to make himself vulnerable to her or to realize that she would not be offended by an imaginary lack of tact on his part in this case.

Bill


BPRAL22169 wrote:
>
>Yes, well, I would say both of these are matters of trust.  She knew the lay of
>the land (pun not intended) but Oscar didn't trust her enough to make himself
>vulnerable to her or to realize that she would not be offended by an imaginary
>lack of tact on his part in this case.
>Bill
>
>

I really don't think trust came into it exactly; it just didn't occur to him as an option because he comes from a culture where all the emphasis is on men and women being adversaries not partners (Battle of the Sexes, Men are From Mars etc....). As Mike would have noticed, all the humour about male/female relationships is based on mistrust, conning each other, getting one over on the missus...if that's what we think is _funny_ then we're doomed or severely handicapped in the search for an across the board, equal but different, hook up.

Jane
-- 
http://www.heinleinsociety.org

>I really don't think trust came into it exactly; it just didn't 
>occur to him as an option because he comes from a culture where all 
>the emphasis is on men and women being adversaries not partners 

I don't disagree with the particular points you make, but I really do see these as matters of trust in a relationship. If what you have to work with in a relationship is the general social rules of thumb about adversarial relationships, that's really not much of a relationship. The gravamen of a relationship is that you repose confidence in your partner that he/she _will not_ approach you as an adversary. That's the nature of intimacy. Some one remarked, and I can't recall who at this moment, that intimacy is the state of a relationship in which we dispense with ritual.

Bill


BPRAL22169 wrote:
>That's the nature of intimacy.  Some one
>remarked, and I can't recall who at this moment, that intimacy is the state of
>a relationship in which we dispense with ritual.
>Bill

And yet there's that Notebook quotation about formal politeness being even more important between husband and wife than between strangers. I'd class courtesy as a ritual. Odd; I find myself agreeing with both views in part yet they seem to be mutually exclusive.

Jane
-- 
http://www.heinleinsociety.org

>And yet there's that Notebook quotation about formal politeness 
>being even more important between husband and wife than between 
>strangers. I'd class courtesy as a ritual.
>Odd; I find myself agreeing with both views in part yet they seem to 
>be mutually exclusive.

I would tend to agree -- but . . . here's an anecdote dating from 1978 when I was involved in putting IguanaCon II together. There was a serious division of opinion on the concom and the meetings degenerated to what I would regard as an extreme of discourtesy. It was suggested that we institute formal address -- Mr. or Ms. or Mrs. -- as a way of holding the line and preventing any further deterioration.

Just such a small thing as that did stabilize the deterioration of personal relations in that case. Perhaps Heinlein insisted on formal courtesy between husband and wife for two reasons: first, as marking the line to be held, because if you never let go of formal courtesy there is no change that your public relationship will ever degenerate to interpersonal discourtesy -- and second as a way of marking the boundary between the just-between-the-two-of-us and the relatively more public en famille. And, of course, that leads to no. 3 -- teaching the children how to do it. Strong boundaries may be the most important job parents have.

Bill


"Jane Davitt" writes:
>BPRAL22169 wrote:
>
>>That's the nature of intimacy.  Some one
>>remarked, and I can't recall who at this moment, that intimacy is the state of
>>a relationship in which we dispense with ritual.
>>Bill
>>
>>
>
>And yet there's that Notebook quotation about formal politeness
>being even more important between husband and wife than between
>strangers. I'd class courtesy as a ritual.
>Odd; I find myself agreeing with both views in part yet they seem to
>be mutually exclusive.
>
>Jane

I take the quote from Notebook to mean: it is even more important to say "please," "thank-you," "I'm sorry," etc. to your spouse rather than any formal response when intimate. Starngers, casual acquaintances and the like don't need the constant 'greasing' of the way as do married folks.

Also in Notebook is the quote: "Darling, a true lady takes off her dignity with her clothes and does her whorish best. At other times you can be as modest and dignified as your _persona_ requires." In order to do this, there cannot be anything held back and complete trust is necessary between partners. Once the intimate moment is over "politeness" must kick in. Unless you LIKE an adversarial relationship with your spouse.

Elizabeth

(21 years with the same exasperating and totally lovable man)


BPRAL22169 wrote:
[Jane wrote:]
>>Oscar, I think, failed to ask Star for help not because he didn't
>>trust her but because,
>>1. He was embarrassed.Sexual discussion between opposite sexes =
>>blushing, shuffling of feet, secrecy and hypocrisy.
>>2. He was being tactful; you don't tell a woman you are falling for
>>that another woman has propositioned you.Either she gets jealous or
>>it looks like you're boasting.
>>
>
>Yes, well, I would say both of these are matters of trust.  She knew the lay of
>the land (pun not intended) but Oscar didn't trust her enough to make himself
>vulnerable to her or to realize that she would not be offended by an imaginary
>lack of tact on his part in this case.
>Bill
>

I think you're both being a bit hard on Oscar. When Oscar, Star and Rufo first arrived at the Doral's "farmhouse", the Doral offers "'hospitality of roof ... and table ...and bed'". At this point, Oscar says "I had no chance to look at Star for a hint. And I wanted a hint. The person who says smugly that good manners are the same everywhere and people are just people hasn't been farther out of Podunk than the next whistle stop. I'm no sophisticate but I had been around enough to know that."

Neither Star nor Rufo had thought to warn Oscar beforehand that something like this was coming. Neither of them informed him afterwards of the meaning of what he had accepted - as Oscar says later, beds are multipurpose equipment; sometimes people use them just to sleep.

Both Star and Rufo are aware that Oscar is a barbarian. Star later pleads ignorance of American customs, but some of her subsequent actions show a greater knowledge of American culture than she will admit. Both of them should have been aware of this pitfall, yet neither of them advised Oscar about it. In the absence of further information, Oscar acted the best way he knew.

When the crucial moment came - when the Doral's wife and two favourite daughters appeared in Oscar's bedroom - neither Star nor Rufo were available for advice. Oscar could conceivably have stalled the ladies and gone looking for his companions for advice - but wouldn't this have been as hurtful to them as his pleading that he wasn't up to it that evening?

Star seems to have made the assumption that Oscar would automatically have taken the culturally correct course, because it was the right choice. This seems to me as provincial as any of Oscar's actions, and far more culpably so - Oscar is a barbarian chosen for his big muscles and small brain, Star is Her Wisdom, the ruler of eighty thousand universes; if anyone should be aware of cultural differences, she should.

Simon


Simon Jester wrote:
>
>Star seems to have made the assumption that Oscar would automatically have
>taken the culturally correct course, because it was the right choice. This
>seems to me as provincial as any of Oscar's actions, and far more culpably
>so - Oscar is a barbarian chosen for his big muscles and small brain, Star
>is Her Wisdom, the ruler of eighty thousand universes; if anyone should be
>aware of cultural differences, she should.
>
>Simon
>

Good points..which make me almost certain now that Star and Rufo did it on purpose.

As you say, both know Earth, both know how Oscar is likely to react..yet they throw him in at the deep end and walk away as he flounders to the edge...then tell him off for getting wet. It has to be just one more lesson, one more stage in the forging of a hero. At the end, Star tells Oscar that she could have just skipped most of the adventures and taken them directly to the place with the Egg but the journey was vital to train him, accustom him to his new life. Learning to adapt to local customs wouldn't have been necessary for the fight but it was if she could take her new pet..err, husband, back to the cosmopolitan world of Center.

Jane
-- 
http://www.heinleinsociety.org

Simon Jester:
>I think you're both being a bit hard on Oscar. 

John Connor raised this same point earlier, and I think you are both right -- Star and Rufo had an obligation to apprise Oscar of the local "map" of customs and didn't. This could be a lack of trust on their part -- but I think it's more likely to be just the "shakedown" part of their quest, the process of becoming a team. This part shows they aren't yet.

Bill


BPRAL22169 wrote:
>Simon Jester:
>
>
>>I think you're both being a bit hard on Oscar. 
>>
>
>John Connor raised this same point earlier, and I think you are both right --
>Star and Rufo had an obligation to apprise Oscar of the local "map" of customs
>and didn't.  This could be a lack of trust on their part -- but I think it's
>more likely to be just the "shakedown" part of their quest, the process of
>becoming a team.  This part shows they aren't yet.
>Bill
>

Though it may seem that I make defense for my "namesake" (or "patron saint", if you prefer), I agree with the position that Her Wisdom CCIV and her grandson, Rufo, had an "agenda" which they wished to follow. The person who created that agenda was, of course, Her Wisdom and Rufo had no choice but to follow -- you stick by your family, through everything! Even if she IS an Old Bag!! As you say, Bill, Star was in the process of "vetting" Milord Hero Oscar for the Eater of Souls. The pains involved in the process were necessary. By allowing him to fail she allowed him to "succeed" later.

As for Sancho, er . . . Rufo, I don't believe he really had anything to do with strategy -- just logistics. Rather like, "first we dig 'em; then we die in 'em." Oscar "ate what was set before him."

Dr. Rufo (and I DON'T BELIEVE what Her Wisdom said! I KNOW she "witched" that first arrow that the Hero-in-training shot -- she knew that EC's self-esteem would have been offended by the corpulent Rufo besting him with the longbow. -- YMMV, of course.)


bpral22169@aol.com (BPRAL22169) wrote:
[Quoting some, unnamed, person]

>>That's all very obvious but what I question is the value of the 
>>lesson. Is there then, a pie with a fork attitude to sex? A mode of 
>>behavior that fits all places?

>I think,rather, this is a challenge to Tex's lesson -- a showing that there is,
>in fact no truly "universal" mode of behavior and that all "modes of behavior"
>are ipso facto local to their cultures.  What we might glean from this is that
>the interplanetary civilizations of Space Cadet are in fact all one culture.
>
>What Oscar tripped up on was that by acting on the behavioral standards of his
>culture, he rendered a deadly insult to his hosts.  He could have achieved the
>same end in different ways -- every culture has ways of doing anything in
>particular you might want to do -- and what he should have done was to ask for
>guidance.  But he didn't trust Star enough at that point to ask her for it. 
>The lesson I get from that is that the most dangerous thing to you in the
>cosmos at large is the particular hypocrisies of your particular culture, and
>that is where you have to concentrate your efforts.

This is one of the weak parts of the book for me. Oscar was, nominally, from my era. Long before I went to Parris Island, as an *Army* brat I learned the military golden rule - "Never assume, it just makes an ass out of u and me." In Glory Road, despite his military training, combat experience, and a period at college, Oscar is depicted many times making assumptions that could make an ass out of himself, Star, and Rufo; assumptions that, given his putative background, he shouldn't have made. The required "suspension of disbelief" got me through the book the first time, and through several rereads. It is still in the top half of my favorite RAH novels, but I still have to bite my tongue sometimes while reading it.

OJ III

[OK, I *think* I remember when I was twenty-something, and maybe the fact that he had the hots for Star may have clouded his mind, and that is what has preserved my tongue from serious damage.]


"Ogden Johnson III" <oj3@cpcug.org>wrote in message news:ps54du010rn47a1gp0cfn9c79po0vfltun@4ax.com...
>bpral22169@aol.com (BPRAL22169) wrote:
>
>This is one of the weak parts of the book for me.  Oscar was,
>nominally, from my era.  Long before I went to Parris Island, as an
>*Army* brat I learned the military golden rule - "Never assume, it
>just makes an ass out of u and me."  In Glory Road, despite his
>military training, combat experience, and a period at college, Oscar
>is depicted many times making assumptions that could make an ass out
>of himself, Star, and Rufo; assumptions that, given his putative
>background, he shouldn't have made.  The required "suspension of
>disbelief" got me through the book the first time, and through several
>rereads.  It is still in the top half of my favorite RAH novels, but I
>still have to bite my tongue sometimes while reading it.
>
>OJ III
>[OK, I *think* I remember when I was twenty-something, and maybe the
>fact that he had the hots for Star may have clouded his mind, and that
>is what has preserved my tongue from serious damage.]
>

I see Heinlein using this method often to make his point/lesson to the reader. The character makes unwarranted/foolish assumptions and we watch him/her being corrected. From the lofty god perspective of the reader we can think...Ha! foolish mortal..thus he shows us that ASSuming makes an ass out of you and me with no pain to the student.

That has always been one of the most important aspects of his work for me. When I started reading him at about age 10, his juveniles were most important to a child (me) trying to define my personal ethics and 'world view'. Heinlein taught me many things with this method and in an entertaining way. Among the early lessons I attribute to him are...ALWAYS consider the actual facts before you decide how things MUST be..Sometimes you DO have to be cruel to be kind, as either all heart or all head are both bad ways to make decisions, Duty, Honor and Country..(in that order), Question Authority and make them PROVE it and never sit with your back to the door ;).

I'm too old to have heros (i'm pushing 50) but RAH is still mine for being there when I needed some good guidance (that i'd listen to heh)

Gad I begin to ramble..oh well I think i'll leave it as is and hit 'send'.

George


GMC wrote:
>"Ogden Johnson III" <oj3@cpcug.org>wrote in message
>news:ps54du010rn47a1gp0cfn9c79po0vfltun@4ax.com...
>
>>bpral22169@aol.com (BPRAL22169) wrote:
>>
>>This is one of the weak parts of the book for me.  Oscar was,
>>nominally, from my era.  Long before I went to Parris Island, as an
>>*Army* brat I learned the military golden rule - "Never assume, it
>>just makes an ass out of u and me."  In Glory Road, despite his
>>military training, combat experience, and a period at college, Oscar
>>is depicted many times making assumptions that could make an ass out
>>of himself, Star, and Rufo; assumptions that, given his putative
>>background, he shouldn't have made.  The required "suspension of
>>disbelief" got me through the book the first time, and through several
>>rereads.  It is still in the top half of my favorite RAH novels, but I
>>still have to bite my tongue sometimes while reading it.
>>
>>OJ III
>>[OK, I *think* I remember when I was twenty-something, and maybe the
>>fact that he had the hots for Star may have clouded his mind, and that
>>is what has preserved my tongue from serious damage.]
>>
>>
>I see Heinlein using this method often to make his point/lesson to the
>reader.  The character makes unwarranted/foolish assumptions and we watch
>him/her being corrected. From the lofty god perspective of the reader we can
>think...Ha! foolish mortal..thus he shows us that ASSuming makes an ass out
>of you and me with no pain to the student.
>That has always been one of the most important aspects of his work for me.
>When I started reading him at about age 10, his juveniles were most
>important to a child (me) trying to define my personal ethics and 'world
>view'.  Heinlein taught me many things with this method and in an
>entertaining way.  Among the early lessons I attribute to him are...ALWAYS
>consider the actual facts before you decide how things MUST be..Sometimes
>you DO have to be cruel to be kind, as either all heart or all head are both
>bad ways to make decisions, Duty, Honor and Country..(in that order),
>Question Authority and make them PROVE it and never sit with your back to
>the door ;).
>I'm too old to have heros (i'm pushing 50) but RAH is still mine for being
>there when I needed some good guidance (that i'd listen to heh)
>
>Gad I begin to ramble..oh well I think i'll leave it as is and hit 'send'.
>
>George

I agree, sir, with ALL you have said EXCEPT "I'm too old to have heros (i'm [sic] pushing 50). . . ."

I HAVE PUSHED BEYOND 50 (not by much, granted, but beyond). I claim my heros and will do so proudly! I won't try your patience with a listing of them but I agree with citing RAH. I WILL mention also the little, old priest who died giving the Last Rites last September on a very busy day in Manhattan. Whatever else Fr. Mychal may have been, that day he EARNED being acclaimed a Hero!

RAH said,

There comes a time in the life of every human when he or she must decide to risk "his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor" on an outcome dubious.

--Starnger In A Starnge Land, pg 56

Shabbes shalom,

Dr. Rufo

(from one old Rambler to another, if you take my meaning?)


On 02 May 2002 20:40:05 GMT, bpral22169@aol.com (BPRAL22169) held forth, saying:
>What Oscar tripped up on was that by acting on the behavioral standards of his
>culture, he rendered a deadly insult to his hosts.  He could have achieved the
>same end in different ways -- every culture has ways of doing anything in
>particular you might want to do -- and what he should have done was to ask for
>guidance.  But he didn't trust Star enough at that point to ask her for it. 

My take is that he didn't even realize the potential for such a contretemps. This was his first exposure to an off-Earth culture, and he was still quite parochial in his outlook. Which of us would not be?

--
-denny-
nocturnal curmudgeon, editor

Never try to outstubborn a cat.  -  Lazarus Long

"Jane Davitt" writes:
>So we have Oscar playing by Earthly rules in Nevia and turning down
>the wife and daughters of his host as sleeping partners...which is a
>mortal insult and nearly gets him killed.
>Neither Nevia or Earth are wrong in their rules exactly but where
>Oscar made his mistake was in bringing his own rules with him.
>
>That's all very obvious but what I question is the value of the
>lesson. Is there then, a pie with a fork attitude to sex? A mode of
>behavior that fits all places? Are we not allowed any scruples or
>individual preferences? If we have to adapt to where we are, if we
>can take nothing with us, never follow our own carefully thought out
>beliefs, then what point is there in evolving such beliefs? Is it
>right to make visitors conform in such matters? By making Oscar
>sleep with his wife, was Jocko being an inconsiderate host?
>
>True, once assured that he wasn't doing something wrong, or hurtful
>to Star, Oscar leapt at the chance to have lots of sex with talented
>and uninhibited females (hmm...odd that :-)) but would that
>conforming to local standards have been so easy if he'd had to do
>something distasteful? Was it a true test of his adaptability and
>ability to step outside the lessons he learned on Earth?
>
>

In this one scenario, Oscar has several things tossed at him at once:

1. He is falling for and lusts after Star, his first choice.

2. Having sex with women not of his choosing and unaware he had agreed to do so when responding to a formal greeting (many formal greetings in our culture, i.e. "my house is yours" are not to be taken literally, I would have a problem with a guest who sold my house to another party...)

3. Having sex with the wife of his host.

4. Having sex with the daughter(s) of his host.

5. His aversion to having sex with "little" girls, a big taboo in our culture.

6. Having THREE females show up at the same time for the night, overwhelming! He says he could have handled it if they had shown up one at a time.

Of course he cannot cope. Too many decisions and feelings of guilt over several taboos. Personal taboos being the hardest to overcome. So he picks what he considers to be a gallant excuse, tiredness. We know this was a wrong decision, but unfortunately Oscar doesn't. He doesn't even understand the brush off in the morning, because Star and Rufo still don't explain it until he asks the right questions.

His two guides, Star and Rufo, are sorely negligent in helping Oscar understand his circumstances and they should both know better. Rufo, especially, since he is so fond of Earth and has spent so much time there.

Elizabeth


TreetopAngel wrote:
>
>His two guides, Star and Rufo, are sorely negligent in helping Oscar
>understand his circumstances and they should both know better.  Rufo,
>especially, since he is so fond of Earth and has spent so much time there.
>
>Elizabeth
>
>
>

Yes, you're right. And I think he knows that which is why he loses patience with Star when she begins to chew him out. He is embarrassed that he put his foot in it and endangered them...but he's intelligent enough to spot that the blame isn't all or even mostly his.

[Jane Davitt]
-- 
http://www.heinleinsociety.org

Jane Davitt wrote:
>
>I'm going to take a look at GR from the perspective of the very
>first words; not, "I know a place where there is no smog.."
>but the quotation in the dedication which sets the tone of the whole
>book IMO.
>It reads,
>"BRITANNUS (shocked):
>Caesar, this is not proper.
>THEODOTUS (outraged):
>HOW?
>CAESAR (recovering his self-possession):
>Pardon him, Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the
>customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.
>  _Caesar and Cleopatra_Act II GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
>
>It seems to me that this is a theme that runs throughout Heinlein's
>work, starting perhaps in the early juvenile, _Space Cadet_ with the
>'eating pie with a fork' incident. In that, the cadet is told that
>there's an overall way of doing things that will take you
>everywhere. This might seem to be a counter illustration but I don't
>think it is; rather, Tex learned that just because he did it one way
>at home didn't mean that was suitable for all occasions.
>
>Moving on to Thorby of COTG, we see an adaptable youngster
>continually going with the flow and fitting in with diametrically
>opposed 'rules' as he moves from planet to ship to army to mansion.
>He knows that it would be pointless to apply the standards of his
>life as a slave to his life aboard a highly organised ship for
>instance.
>Mike from SIASL transcends Earthly custom if it doesn't suit him, as
>does his mentor, Jubal but in a way, both are aware of the parochial
>nature of those customs so they are more in tune with Caesar than it
>seems.
>But back to Oscar....he has to learn this lesson and it takes him a
>while. He begins the book with a list of aims that will come to seem
>  petty and pointless,
>" ....single minded pursuit of the three-car garage, the swimming
>pool, and the safe & secure retirement benefits.
>I am not being holier_than_thou: I was after that same
>three-car-garage myself."
>In the society that sees these goals as laudable there is no room
>for independence of thought and tolerance of different behaviour.
>Ironically, there isn't on Nevia either...in fact, everywhere Oscar
>goes is another version of Earth in its inflexibility but (and this
>is the important part) they're all the same in different ways and
>they all think their way is the right way.
>So we have Oscar playing by Earthly rules in Nevia and turning down
>the wife and daughters of his host as sleeping partners...which is a
>mortal insult and nearly gets him killed.
>Neither Nevia or Earth are wrong in their rules exactly but where
>Oscar made his mistake was in bringing his own rules with him.
>
>That's all very obvious but what I question is the value of the
>lesson. Is there then, a pie with a fork attitude to sex? A mode of
>behavior that fits all places? Are we not allowed any scruples or
>individual preferences? If we have to adapt to where we are, if we
>can take nothing with us, never follow our own carefully thought out
>beliefs, then what point is there in evolving such beliefs? Is it
>right to make visitors conform in such matters? By making Oscar
>sleep with his wife, was Jocko being an inconsiderate host?
>
>True, once assured that he wasn't doing something wrong, or hurtful
>to Star, Oscar leapt at the chance to have lots of sex with talented
>and uninhibited females (hmm...odd that :-)) but would that
>conforming to local standards have been so easy if he'd had to do
>something distasteful? Was it a true test of his adaptability and
>ability to step outside the lessons he learned on Earth?
>
>Jane
>

A pie and a fork a la mode:

I submit that while getting a machete in his face in SEA, smelling Igli's armpits, making a wishbone of a horned ghost and kebab of the Eater of Souls, and listening to Beat poetry with a girl with dirty feet was "conforming to local custom," I find nowhere that Mr. Heinlein indicates that "Ocsar" found it particularly tasteworthy. "Rufo" warned him about Igli. The village sign warned him about the g-string. His DI warned him about Little Brown Brother. "Star" warned him about dragons and horned ghosts. Both warned him about the Eater of Souls. When thus "clued in," "Oscar" turned in a performance the local custom found quite suitable. Nobody warned him about The Doral's sleeping customs or Beat poets.

"Oscar" brought a lifetime of habits to SEA, to l'Ile du Levant, to the riverbank, to the fights with Igli, the horned ghosts, the dragons, the guards, the Eater of Souls. And acquired more in each incident. "Star" makes the point that this /was/ the point. And Mr. Heinlein makes the point that he brought a lifetime of habits to The Doral's guestroom -- /and/ to his own marriage. He's to do without which? Under what circumstances?

I thus fail to see that "on Earth" vs. "not on Earth" is a valid distinction, but that was /Shaw's/ point.

The True Test Of Adaptability is "last man standing, wins." Mother Nature is a bitch we're /all/ married to, 99. But I can't take credit for that conclusion, since it was Mr. Heinlein's point. "Oscar" makes it informally; "Lazarus" keeps making it formally.

-- 
------(m+
  ~/:o)_|
You can call your priest anything you want,
 except /my/ priest.
http://t-independent.com/scrawlmark-press/

Go To Postings

Here Begins The Discussion Log

You have just entered room "Heinlein Readers Group chat."

TreetopAngelRN has entered the room.

DavidWrightSr: Hi Elizabeth

TreetopAngelRN: Hi David!

TreetopAngelRN: How goes it?

DavidWrightSr: Nobody here but us chickens, I expect others to start joining soon. Going good. Finally rested up after a long weekend

TreetopAngelRN: I barely made it in time...laundry, blech!

Paradis401 has entered the room.

DavidWrightSr: Hi Denis. Welcome

Paradis401: Hi David. How have you been?

TreetopAngelRN: Hello Denis

Paradis401: Hi Elizabeth.

DavidWrightSr: Good.

Paradis401: David, do you know what happened to Steve's sites?

DavidWrightSr: Steve who?

Paradis401: Junp101. Unofficial NASA Web

DavidWrightSr: No, I wasn't aware of his sites. Have they disappeared?

TreetopAngelRN: They are no longer listed in his sig, I just noticed

Paradis401: Yes. Best site of NASA missions I've ever seen.

TreetopAngelRN: The AHFPics site is down, too! and MNSdesigns

Paradis401: I know. Has he gotten the hatchet? It's been about 10 days now.

DavidWrightSr: I hope not, but things are chancy these days.

TreetopAngelRN: I know he has been having trouble with his puter the last few days, since he got back online

Paradis401: Can somebody bump him off the net. All his sites?

TreetopAngelRN: I don't know

Paradis401: That would be sad.

DavidWrightSr: It would depend on what ISP is hosting his sites. If they are having trouble or he is having trouble with them, they could do it.

TreetopAngelRN: could be as simple as being offline until he gets setup again after moving

Paradis401: I hope it's that simple. That gentleman is a genius.

TreetopAngelRN: no kidding...and funny, too!

Paradis401: I agree. He programs changes faster than superman.

TreetopAngelRN: next to him, I am still in pre-school when it comes to computers

Paradis401: Me too. But David W is quite a wiz himself.

DavidWrightSr: Just lots and lots of years, but these younger guys go way ahead of me.

Paradis401: You are as humble as Jubal.

TreetopAngelRN: I bet you built your first one from parts bought at Radio Shack:-D

DavidWrightSr: No. I go back before RS was offering computer kits.

TreetopAngelRN: LOL

TreetopAngelRN: I remember the catalogs laying around that Dad bought his parts from

DavidWrightSr: My first program was written in the fall of 1965.

DavidWrightSr: Hang on. Got to feed my cat.

Paradis401: Is there a meeting tonite, Elizabeth?

TreetopAngelRN: Yes, we were to discuss and wrangle about Glory Road.

Paradis401: I thought so. I wonder where everybody is at?

TreetopAngelRN: Just catching the end of ST:TNG???

TreetopAngelRN: Me too, about 4 in the morning.

Paradis401: =-O

TreetopAngelRN: I just woke up about two hours ago

Paradis401: Oh, my. Starnge hours.

TreetopAngelRN: Sitting here sipping latte in my jammies...not if you work the nightshift!

mertide has entered the room.

TreetopAngelRN: Hello Mertide

Paradis401: Ah. I understand.

mertide: hi

DavidWrightSr: Ok. I expected a large crowd, with that spirited exchange that has been going on.

TreetopAngelRN: Yeah, I got to sleep in today

DavidWrightSr: Hi Mertide.

mertide: Not at work then?

mertide: Hi David, call me Carolyn please

TreetopAngelRN: oh no, just hanging at home

Paradis401: Carolyn, I'm Denis.

TreetopAngelRN: Sorry Carolyn, we met last time and I forgot your name

mertide: don't tell me they gave a nurse a night off!

mertide: Hi Denis

DavidWrightSr: Carolyn Evans?

mertide: C'est moi!

TreetopAngelRN: I got online quick so they couldn't call me in!

mertide: haha

ddavitt has entered the room.

TreetopAngelRN: Hi Jane!

DavidWrightSr: Hi Jane. Welcome.

ddavitt: Hi everyone

DavidWrightSr: Light crowd so far.

Paradis401: Hi Jane.

mertide: I'm quite intimidated by all the posting about that book

ddavitt: I'm playing hooky from exercise

ddavitt: What book is that?

mertide: Hi Jane

mertide: Glory Road

mertide: isn't that why we're here? Glup!

ddavitt: The topic, of course :-)

TreetopAngelRN: It's easy Carolyn, I used to feel the same way

mertide: Or am I in the Twilight Zone

TreetopAngelRN: Glory Road it is

ddavitt: Still early; more people will probably show up

TreetopAngelRN: I can't find my notes:-(

TreetopAngelRN: BRB

ddavitt: I'm ashamed to admit I didn't get to read GR again

TreetopAngelRN: Found 'em:-$

pjscott100 has entered the room.

ddavitt: Hi Peter

TreetopAngelRN: Hi Peter

pjscott100: Hi Jane

ddavitt: Notes; you're so organised Elizabeth:-)

Paradis401: Hi Peter.

TreetopAngelRN: Notes: I suffer from working with Alzheimer patients and forget what real life is supposed to be

pjscott100: Sorry, not familiar with names aside from Jayne and David

TreetopAngelRN: Elizabeth here

ddavitt: Jane here

Paradis401: I'm Denis

mertide: I'm Carolyn

pjscott100: er, Jane

pjscott100: Jane, that is

SageMerlin has entered the room.

DavidWrightSr: And this is Alan.

ddavitt: What time is it for you Carolyn?

pjscott100: Hullo all!

ddavitt: No problem Peter

TreetopAngelRN: Hi Alan

SageMerlin: Good evening

ddavitt: Hi Alan

mertide: 11.10am, Friday

Paradis401: Now we have a doctor, a nurse, and a blood banker.

ddavitt: 9 pm thursday for me

SageMerlin: who's the blood banker

ddavitt: And a housewife!

pjscott100: 6pm for me

Paradis401: Me.

mertide: Thunderstorming there? I was just talking to a friend in Delaware who's being boom boomed

TreetopAngelRN: 7 pm here

ddavitt: We had one this morning in Ontario

pjscott100: I am on travel in Los Angeles and dialing in from hotel room

DavidWrightSr: My we are spread around :-)

TreetopAngelRN: It was snowing here this morning

DavidWrightSr: Where?

ddavitt: We're having crazy weather too.

TreetopAngelRN: Montana

mertide: Love that English weather

Paradis401: Michigan today.

mertide: Now why did I think you were British?

mertide: my bad

DavidWrightSr: Just like on that Prarie house program. they had snow in june/july

pjscott100: It snowed briefly on Vancouver Island ~ 5 days ago

ddavitt: I'm English, emigrated to canada 5 yrs ago

TreetopAngelRN: We had bad snow last year in June

mertide: that must be it, sorry

ddavitt: Can't you tell by my accent?:-)

pjscott100: Jane: ditto (except spent 18 years in LA in between and thus have US citizenship also)

ddavitt: Where from in UK?

pjscott100: Sarfend, er, Southend

ddavitt: I was born in the Potteries, moved to portsmouth

mertide: I'm sure our spelling lets our origins out as well

pjscott100: Much nicer than Southend

ddavitt: Yep; my spell checker hates me

ddavitt: Going back this summer for a holiday

mertide: Only time of year to go :-)

ddavitt: Think this is enough to start Elizabeth?

pjscott100: Victoria (motto: We put the British in British Columbia) is like Britain used to be in the 60s in many ways

geeairmoe2 has entered the room.

ddavitt: Hi Will

mertide: We've had almost the first rain this year this week - major drought season

TreetopAngelRN: Yeah, Let's hit the Glory Road!

Paradis401: Hi Will.

geeairmoe2: Hello, Jane, everyone.

ddavitt: You go, Empress

mertide: hottest April since white settlement

TreetopAngelRN: Errr.....Let's see, Oscar Gordon is being taken in by Star and Rofo...agreed?

TreetopAngelRN: Rufo, sorry

ddavitt: Fooled him every step

ddavitt: Had to I suppose

TreetopAngelRN: In fact it isn't until after the SoulEater that he is told most of it.

ddavitt: He didn't resent it as much as I expected

ddavitt: Once the adventure is over, yes.

pjscott100: He was in love :-)

ddavitt: But even then, it's not until the talk with Rufo that he gets the full story on Star

ddavitt: And leaves a few weeks later.

TreetopAngelRN: I like how Professor Rufo described it "carried around like a cat in a sack..."

mertide: We assume no incompetence on their part then? All poor communication and seeming errors were their training programme?

ddavitt: I got that impression

ddavitt: Weed out the weaklings

ddavitt: He wasn't the first to try and retrieve the Egg

TreetopAngelRN: But they specifically set out to recruit Oscar, the others were only to map out the route

pjscott100: Doesn't She say that their chances were estimated at x%? What was it?

mertide: I suppose that was the book that didn't get written, where the hero gets all the info and that causes them to fail?

ddavitt: weren't there others in reserve though, in case he got killed in combat in the jungle?

DavidWrightSr: They had backups IIRC in case he was killed or whatever.

Paradis401: I believe Glory Road was written by Robert as a love story for Ginny (Star).

ddavitt: It mentions other candidates being honed

TreetopAngelRN: I thought Star said they would have to wait until they found another, according to the computer program that found Oscar

DavidWrightSr: I heard that he wrote it in 23 days.

ddavitt: That is an interesting slant on it Denis.

Paradis401: Inspiration. Often happened with Ginny around.

ddavitt: Star is a very special lady; larger than life.

Paradis401: So is Ginny.

mertide: It feels like it, like it was written in one continuous thought, rather than re-written

ddavitt: With a very difficult job to do

DavidWrightSr: One of the few who wasn't red-headed though

ddavitt: That's true

ddavitt: But the outside wasn't important

ddavitt: Ginny didn't have to look like Star or vice versa

TreetopAngelRN: Aha! Page 217...explains how the computers picked Oscar, a hero type

Paradis401: She did when Robert met her.

ddavitt: The way Star was described was a perfect match for a Sword and Sorcery novel

mertide: a touch of the amazon fighting corp in the later books

pjscott100: I have a version here (printed 1986) for which the cover art shows a Star whose appearance from behind very much looks like Ginny from the 40s

ddavitt: I've seen a photo of Ginny back then and she looked diffeernt than i imagine Star was but I'll bow to your knowledge on that <g>

ddavitt: Maybe my cover is influencing me

ddavitt: Star looks impossibly gorgeous

ddavitt: I'm jealous:-)

pjscott100: Not that much of her face is visible... but she is not an Amazon type... build is just like picture of Ginny & Robert on DM set

Paradis401: So did Ginny - at age 60.

ddavitt: My cover girl is built like Deety; 40, 21,34

Paradis401: Nice.

ddavitt: It's a lovely cover actually; all green mountains, hazy in the setting sun

ddavitt: Star and Rufo are small figures walking along a trail

ddavitt: Oscar I mean

geeairmoe2: My vision of Star was always Ursula Andress from "Dr. No".

pjscott100 has left the room.

pjscott100 has entered the room.

TreetopAngelRN: Oscar's soliloquy...discussing how students were not allowed to have opinions

ddavitt: Yes, that's like this cover but Star is topless. Which is painful when you're that big.

Paradis401: Yes. Andress was indeed lovely.

ddavitt: Did Heinlein see himself as Oscar then?

Paradis401: I donno. Maybe not.

ddavitt: Learning to expand his horizons and drop preconceptions?

TreetopAngelRN: Seems Heinlein was already seeing the time when students were not allowed opinion and had to accept and conform to group thinking in order to pass, the "lowest common denominator.'

ddavitt: Falling educational standards are a recurrent theme

ddavitt: in his books

ddavitt: Especially the juveniles

TreetopAngelRN: I really see it now, in talking with my sibs and the troubles they have with their kids in school

ddavitt: I see it in newsgroup posts.

ddavitt: I keep thinking that they must be people to whom English is second language...

pjscott100: Boston Public is not fiction... it's documentary

ddavitt: But then we get posters like Kultsi from finland who are word perfect

ddavitt: and put them to shame

TreetopAngelRN: True

SageMerlin: Ah...who says

SageMerlin: Boston Public is documentary?

pjscott100: Somewhere RAH said that in his fanmail the letters from outside the US were of a far higher standard

SageMerlin: That's news to us here in Boston.

ddavitt: Yes he did.

geeairmoe2: If you suggest making English the official language in the U.S. you get called a racist.

ddavitt: Ad in that letter about Canada, he urged them not to let their standards slip to match the US

SageMerlin: No, about Boston Public being a documentary....who says?

pjscott100: I read that a lot of kids say that Boston Public is very much like their school...

pjscott100: TV Guide asserted it FWIW

SageMerlin: Absolute bull turd.

ddavitt: Isn't it? The official language?

ddavitt: All your signs are in English

ddavitt: In ontario, we have to have Englsih and French on stuff

TreetopAngelRN: there are many groups trying to get that changed, Jane.

ddavitt: To what for heavens sake?

SageMerlin: I never been in a Boston school, and I've never seen the program, but I can tell you that no one in this city thinks that show is remotely realistic.

geeairmoe2: The U.S. doesn't have an 'official' language. Election ballots are required to be mulit-language in many states.

pjscott100: Interesting

SageMerlin: In fact most of the people I have spoken to hate the program.

TreetopAngelRN: Some communities, Spanish, Mexican.

SageMerlin: In what languge is the US Passport written?

SageMerlin: English and French if I am not mistaken .

mertide: The Swiss seem to manage a comfortable multi-lingual country by having cantons with different languages used

TreetopAngelRN: I wouldn't know.

pjscott100: I have mine here

pjscott100: The page which tells furriners to treat the holder with deference is in English, French, Spanish

SageMerlin: At least it isn't in Russian

ddavitt: Hmm, interesting

SageMerlin: Or Chinese

ddavitt: My british one is just in Englsih, I'm certain.

ddavitt: I keep spelling English wrong

ddavitt: Retribution for slagging off posters who can't spell or use correct grammar

TreetopAngelRN: funny, I didn't notish

ddavitt: Don't they teach apostrophe use anymore?

ddavitt: :-)

ddavitt: We're wandering...slap us about the head Elizabeth

Paradis401: Robert was an expert at swordsmanship. Maybe it helped with Glory Road eh?

ddavitt: The fights rang true.

TreetopAngelRN: <Thwaps Group>

TreetopAngelRN: I like the swordplay and the quick lessons, makes me able to visualize, and think I could do it, too!

ddavitt: But so did the hunting in Tunnel and he got those details from Lurton didn't he?

pjscott100: It was hard to reread the fight scene without flashing on Princess Bride

ddavitt: A good writer can make any skill sound convincing I suppose

TreetopAngelRN: I had the same problem Peter!

pjscott100: "...I also am left-handed!"

TreetopAngelRN: LOL

ddavitt: Yes; that seemed to take a lot from GR

ddavitt: Great book

SageMerlin: Oh, so we are discussing GLORY ROAD.

ddavitt: Life is unfair' was a catch phrase for my friend and me as teens

TreetopAngelRN: Yes, Glory Road

ddavitt: Yes, that is the topic Alan.

SageMerlin: I am building a 4 dim spreadsheet in another window so it is easy for me to get lost.

mertide: We used to say "All men are bastards", but that's another topic :-)

ddavitt: Well i just did but don't explain it:-)

pjscott100: I happened to reread GR about 6 weeks ago... and not for the first time felt that I would rather reread anything by RAH than anything written by anyone else in the last 5 years

SageMerlin: doesn't say much for women to call all men bastards

ddavitt: 'As you wish"

ddavitt: Loved that in the film

mertide: teenage girls, mate

Paradis401: Thank you Peter. I feel the same way about all RAH books.

mertide: romantic hopes and dreams dashed by pimply heartbreakers

TreetopAngelRN: I was supposed to reread Glory Road again, but got caught up and am almost finished with NOTB for the umpteenth time

pjscott100: Many books can be a "good read" but few aside from Heinlein can leave me feeling good about myself, Life, and everything

geeairmoe2: To "all men are bastards" the reply is: When you're good at something, stick to it!

ddavitt: GR nice reversal; Oscar had his dreams smashed by Star

pjscott100: Eh? How do you get that?

ddavitt: But it was OK; he built them again but stronger this time

DavidWrightSr: He just realized how shallow his dreams had been before.

ddavitt: He did the quest, got the girl and it all fell to pieces

ddavitt: turned to ashes

TreetopAngelRN: True, he was looking to get married and have the kids and the house and got snared by Star and was made into a Hero

mertide: when you realise the girl is actually superwoman, where can the relationship go?

ddavitt: And the grandmother of Rufo..that had to be weird

pjscott100: Starnge... I read it like he was not getting very far... denied the GI Bill etc

ddavitt: He was marrying a Howard in a way..but unlike Dora he took the chance at long life for himself

pjscott100: Had just missed on the lottery...

mertide: how would any of us deal with realising our love object was truly out of our league

TreetopAngelRN: Peter, I think some of that may have been engineered by Star and Rufo.

pjscott100: I dealt with it about every month when I was a teen :-)

Paradis401: Me too.

ddavitt: It was Conan's problem; can't be a retired hero

mertide: Still, we're talking about the difference between say me and Mel Gibson here :-)

ddavitt: Anyone read the Pratchett books with the Horde in them?

TreetopAngelRN: Yes! They are hysterical!

ddavitt: Ancient old men tottering around with swords and false teeth

pjscott100: IMHO Star didn't crush his dreams... just didn't tell Oscar that he'd likely end up feeling a 5th wheel

ddavitt: But still capbable of gutting you in a split second

pjscott100: And why should she... he's a big boy

ddavitt: He was expecting happy ever after

ddavitt: He became a gigolo

TreetopAngelRN: Star is still there for him in between heroing

mertide: ends justified the means?

pjscott100: This is another example of the Hero dragged kicking and screaming into maturity... by which I mean an advanced level of maturity

ddavitt: He didn't have anything to do and was temperamentally unsuited for idleness

ddavitt: he had to go back on the Road again; the chance to do that was his real H.E

mertide: a relationship without true respect with one manipulating the other for her ultimate goal, however worthy - she was a cad

pjscott100: But better to have trod the Glory Road and faced the boredom at the end than never to have had the chance

ddavitt: But isn't heroing essentially an adolescent fantasy?

TreetopAngelRN: Star KNEW he would not be happy to hang out all the time, but Oscar had to figure it out for himself.

ddavitt: <stirring the pot>

ddavitt: True; she pushed him into going subtly

geeairmoe2: I think Oscar gave up the perfect adolescent fantasy.

ddavitt: And Rufo did the dirty work..again

pjscott100: I don't think any hero is consciously a hero... they do heroic acts because they see they need to be done, not out of fantasy fulfillment

geeairmoe2: Call me when you need me, otherwise leave me alone.

TreetopAngelRN: How many guys you know wouldn't rather be still hitting the Glory Road??? Even my hubby still wishes for it at 56.

pjscott100: During the act, anyone sane would be scared witless, not much of a fantasy

ddavitt: By the end of the book he's conscious of it; 'Got any dragons you want killed/'

SageMerlin: I get the impression that everyone is missing something here.

pjscott100: Go for it

TreetopAngelRN: But, instead of waiting for the dragons he sets out to find them.

SageMerlin: Who's the real hero of this story?

ddavitt: Not that many Elizabeth...I bet if they really had the chance, most would stay home. That's why Oscar's are special

SageMerlin: Who gets the job done? Oscar or Rufo?

mertide: So having come out of the adventure, he's living only for the adrenalin rush? Or has he become a parody of himself?

ddavitt: Oscar is the horse who runs the race, Rufo the trainer, Star the jockey; a team

pjscott100: He has found his metier (sp?)

SageMerlin: Horses aren't brave. Riders are.

ddavitt: Yes they are!

ddavitt: Ever read Dick francis?

mertide: Does he have the capacity to develop wisdom, to reach Star's level mentally? Was she like him in her youth?

TreetopAngelRN: Horses are very brave and most of the time more sensible than their riders.

pjscott100: By the same token, Star was just as brave

SageMerlin: No, they're not. They are stupid dumb brutes that we have romanticized into a creature from an alternative universe.

ddavitt: It was her job and her duty

SageMerlin: I read everything Dick wrote for years...until I actually had to ride horses for work, after which I agreed with the latter thesis.

pjscott100: Doesn't preclude braveness

Paradis401: Oscar and Rufo are different sorts of heroes. Rufo was Star's son.

ddavitt: I've shovelled horse manure, i don't romanticise them

TreetopAngelRN: me too and herded dumb ones.

SageMerlin: Ever seen a ten year old kid bossing around a 1 1/2 ton animal who could crush him in an instant. That qualifes as dumb to me.

ddavitt: Police horses, horses in battle...they are brave. Trained but still brave.

Paradis401: Not they are just gentle by nature.

SageMerlin: The kid was my son and he as much as he loves horses, he is even more adamant about their dumbness and he used to break them in as a hobby.

SageMerlin: But Oscar isn;t really a horse.

SageMerlin: Bravery requires an awareness of consequences.

mertide: They're just social animals like dogs, they can easily be dominated mentally

ddavitt: Anyway, don't get sidetracked by my analogy

SageMerlin: Which requires consciousness

pjscott100: In some ways he is

mertide: so maybe not a hero but a patsy

geeairmoe2: Star acted bravely because she was desparate for something. What prompted Oscar's bravery?

SageMerlin: but the crucial issue about bravery is choice.

Paradis401: Love

mertide: His ignorance?

pjscott100: If braveness or heroism is doing what you believe to be right when you're scared for your survival, Oscar qualifies

TreetopAngelRN: Oscar was a patsy who was trained into being a hero, by the time the lessons were over, they didn't need him anymore.

SageMerlin: Trained or tricked.

geeairmoe2: Boredom, perhaps; after having been in combat.

TreetopAngelRN: patsy covers the tricked part, i.e. going along in the first place, training covered in his adventures

mertide: He was happy to lay down his life for her, she knew the stakes were much higher than that

SageMerlin: My father talks about some of the stuff he has been through and about the conception of bravery....his view (and with his scars I will take his word for it) is that most heroes are scared shitless, afterward.

TreetopAngelRN: I agree with that, Alan.

SageMerlin: When it's happening it's pure adreneline and kneejerk reaction

TreetopAngelRN: yup!

geeairmoe2: Many 'common' people say, after doing something heroic, it wasn't until after it was all over did fear arise.

mertide: On the horse analogy, it's like only the rider knows what's on the other side of the jump, the horse needs to trust he won't be killed by the blind fall

SageMerlin: Any anyone too stupid to be scared doesn't qualify as a hero because a hero can't be stupid and still be a hero.

Paradis401: You are quoting Robert, Alan.

SageMerlin: Not on purpose

Paradis401: I know.

SageMerlin: After forty years of total immersion something had to rub off.

Paradis401: Doen't it though?

pjscott100: Bravery is reflex?

SageMerlin: trained reflex

TreetopAngelRN: Potty break, feed the cat, mix another time??? Break for ten minutes?

ddavitt: Sounds good.

Paradis401: OK by me.

SageMerlin: For example, if I step into a situation where it is necessary for me to take action, the fact that I have practiced that action over and over again simply takes over. I don't about it.

SageMerlin: think

Paradis401: Exactly.

pjscott100: Horses would certainly qualify for bravery then... they operate on trained reflex frequently

TreetopAngelRN: Okay, ten minutes and then back at it, time to go beat the spouse!

TreetopAngelRN: to the bathroom I mean!:-D

ddavitt: Hmm.. I just got plonked for the first time on a newgroup.

ddavitt: There goes my reputation...

TreetopAngelRN: who plonked you Jnae?

TreetopAngelRN: Jane

ddavitt: A real nucase on the Buffy group

ddavitt: nutcase

ddavitt: We tangled before IIRC when he said a woman on the show deserved to die for threatending to tell the police she was raped

pjscott100: Life is too short to take the Internet seriously :-)

TreetopAngelRN: my plonker has been working overtime in afh

ddavitt: She had been kidnapped with that intention and was killed trying to escape; so no rape and her threat merited death

ddavitt: Whatever.

TreetopAngelRN: I need to start watching Buffy, I enjoyed the movie.

ddavitt: The Buffy group is very tense after Tuesday's ep

ddavitt: Movie not a lot like the series but I can recommend it

pjscott100: I liked the movie too, but couldn't get into the series

ddavitt: Start at the beginning if you can

TreetopAngelRN: I have seen one episode so I can't really have an opinion.

ddavitt: Well, we had attemped rape (again) and the shooting death of a major character

TreetopAngelRN: I think I can rent them.

ddavitt: Very dark, lots of emotions. Fans of the dead character are going nuts practically issuing death threats against the writers

TreetopAngelRN: I saw the episode when Buffy goes to college.

ddavitt: Taking it a bit too seriously

TreetopAngelRN: It's hard to remember it's fiction sometimes.

ddavitt: That was so real; i felt that not fitting in anywhere feeling

pjscott100: "People, back away from the keyboards... go outside, get some fresh air, look at a tree or two..."

ddavitt: True; especially when you're involved in the ng too

pjscott100: Not you guys :-)

TreetopAngelRN: I would but I packed my snowshoes away

ddavitt: TV show groups are v different from book ones

ddavitt: Much more immediate and there's all the spoilers

TreetopAngelRN: When Charlie asks what's on TV I tell him a picture of the grandkids...

TreetopAngelRN: I don't watch it much

ddavitt: I know what is going to happen to the end of the season no will power:-(

TreetopAngelRN: always have a book around though

ddavitt: I just watch buffy and Angel

geeairmoe2: Is 'plonk' what they used to call 'flame'?

ddavitt: Yes; for the commercials

pjscott100: No, it means they have killfiled you so they won't see what you say any more

ddavitt: Plonk means he will never see my posts

geeairmoe2: (Been away from NGs for a while.)

mertide: OT: The plans of the Colorado house were fascinating, but is there any information available on the California circular house?

TreetopAngelRN: I have a book for traffic lights also8-)

ddavitt: Unless someone else quotes from them who he hasn't plonked

DavidWrightSr: Plonking is lovely when it comes to certain people. :-)

ddavitt: It's the equiv of the Martina srolling up in red Planet

pjscott100: Hahaha

ddavitt: I don't bother...you see them in other posts and it doesn't bother them

ddavitt: My spelling...tired fingers

TreetopAngelRN: Ten minutes are UP! Who's next???

pjscott100: Picks for movie casting for GR?

ddavitt: I wrote an article on RP once and spelled Martians martinas all the way through; the way the keys are I guess

pjscott100: Star: Milla Jojovich (go ahead... flame away)

ddavitt: What about secondary characters?

TreetopAngelRN: Hugh Jackman as Oscar and Ashley Judd for Star.

geeairmoe2: Loved her in Joan of Arc.

ddavitt: Do any stand out apart from the trio?

pjscott100: Rufo: Danny Devito

ddavitt: I can't do casting threads; don't know actors names

TreetopAngelRN: Tes, Danny Devito!

TreetopAngelRN: Yes, even

ddavitt: I know him!

TreetopAngelRN: Ashley Judd is Charlie's pick.

pjscott100: I got your husband's number :-)

Infobabefgh has entered the room.

ddavitt: Hi felicia

Infobabefgh: Evening all

ddavitt: Just chatting about Glory Road

pjscott100: 10 years ago, Bruce Willis for Oscar

Paradis401: Hi felicia!

ddavitt: Not hunky enough

TreetopAngelRN: Hi Felicia

pjscott100: It was not a criterion I valued highly :-)

Infobabefgh: George Clooney for Scar

pjscott100: Hello Felicia

ddavitt: Hercules/Xena maybe...

TreetopAngelRN: Of course I would watch Hugh Jackman stand in a garbage can and read the phone book...

geeairmoe2: Alexandra Tydings for Star. She played "Aphrodite" on Hercules and Xena.

Infobabefgh: Hear, hear

mertide: You'd need a good, powerfully built, comic actress I think

pjscott100: ??? Rhys-Jones (Sliders/Raiders of the Lost Ark) for The Doral

Paradis401: Yes.

TreetopAngelRN: Yes, he would be good.

mertide: Even as the "straight man" to Rufo she'd need the timing

Infobabefgh: Bob Hoskins for Rufo

pjscott100: good one

Paradis401: Better than Danny.

geeairmoe2: I was trying to think of someone British for Rufo.

ddavitt: He's gnomelike..why?

TreetopAngelRN: Hoskins would be very good.

pjscott100: British are too reserved, Rufo has an unrestrained mouth

pjscott100: I think it has to be a New Yorker :-)

ddavitt: Reserved? Stereotype us much?<g>

ddavitt: Our men are not all Hugh Grant types

Infobabefgh: Like all those reserved Monty Python members

geeairmoe2: New Yorker, huh? Woody Allen.

ddavitt: Quite.

pjscott100: Tsk, I am British as well you know

ddavitt: Gnome like and bald..white hair in a fringe round a pink scalp

Infobabefgh: Well, no, I didn't.

pjscott100: Is Patrick Moore still alive? <heh>

Paradis401: Richard Harris.

Infobabefgh: Sounds like Patrick Stewart to me

ddavitt: It came up earlier..but Peter has forgotten his heritage:-)

TreetopAngelRN: Too tall and thin

ddavitt: Merry smile and hard eyes.

pjscott100: Oooh, I got it... Mel Smith

ddavitt: That's about it for description.

ddavitt: Heh, heh

ddavitt: But he's not gnome like

Infobabefgh: Joel says Danny DeVito

pjscott100: Mel has been getting more and more gnomelike as the years go by

DavidWrightSr: Use special effects like in 'lord of Rings'. they made rhys-davies into gnome

ddavitt: Leaving aside the casting; could it be filmed with that ending?

Infobabefgh: A Dwarve not a gnome

DavidWrightSr: Sorry.

DavidWrightSr: :-)

ddavitt: Or would they do what the editor wanted and chop it off after the Egg is found?

pjscott100: I don't see it

mertide: would you start with the ending and "flash back" for the action?

pjscott100: Except as an indie

TreetopAngelRN: Fantastic Idea Carolyn!

SageMerlin: help have lost the beep

SageMerlin: beep is back

mertide: I can beep for you

DavidWrightSr: I see Oscar and Rufo riding off into the sunset in search of new adventures

ddavitt: Could start with him depressed in the cafe

mertide: because really it's a tragedy

ddavitt: After he's come back to earth

Infobabefgh: "Louis, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship."

TreetopAngelRN: Scene one: jewels falling from his hand

ddavitt: Flash back for the story, then back to present and end happy as Rufo gets in touch

TreetopAngelRN: Yes,It would work that way

ddavitt: Whihc is pretty much what the book does

ddavitt: It starts with him saying there's a land and he could go back

ddavitt: So i just cribbed from the master

TreetopAngelRN: but do the whole ending

TreetopAngelRN: except for riding off with Rufo

ddavitt: Ends with him hearing from Rufo in real time, excited and rushed as if he's scribbling a few last words in a diary

ddavitt: GR has some of H's most poetic bits

mertide: His destiny, though, is to die fighting, not to reach a point of buddhist-like enlightenment

ddavitt: Nostalgia so thick you can taste it

ddavitt: Remember that thread we had on afh once?

ddavitt: About the books referenced in that passage in the start?

pjscott100: Nostalgia or sentiment?

TreetopAngelRN: I don't think Oscar is the type to find enlightenment, just action.

ddavitt: 'I wanted a Roc's egg..." that one

ddavitt: Someone on another heinlein group read that at their wedding I think

ddavitt: marvellous bit.

ddavitt: I think it was just a yearning for that sense of wonder that gets sanded off us by life

pjscott100: What is rather interesting is how H puts Oscar in the Boomer generation and describes it from his point of view... even though H was from a very different generation 2 generations earlier

mertide: so that''s his tragedy, that he never really evolves as a character to become the true companion she must desperately need

ddavitt: 'I wanted the world to be what they had promised me it was going to be - instead of the tawdry, lousy, fouled up mess it is."

TreetopAngelRN: Sorry, I was looking for that bit...

ddavitt: p28 ish

ddavitt: Just as he's on the train to Nice after he's met Star

pjscott100: Yes!!! (And I don't even know half the references)

ddavitt: Well, he put him in a Vietnam type war too

ddavitt: We nailed them all on afh I think if you're interested

ddavitt: Gogle it, should be there

ddavitt: Google

pjscott100: I'll look for that some time... thanks

TreetopAngelRN: Found it, pg 35 Ace ppb

TreetopAngelRN: It is lovely

pjscott100: I was wrong... not a Boomer generation, but the one before, so-called Silents

ddavitt: Yes..very evocative as is the description of the Singing waters a little later

pjscott100: How many fictional worlds have an income tax...

ddavitt: Heinlein gets slammed for not doing descriptions and such..but when he does, he makes them count

TreetopAngelRN: There is a lot in the book that enjoy reading and maybe soon will have the hubby read to me...

pjscott100: Not many fantasies where the hero gets dinged for an expired registration while he's chasing the dragon, if you get my drift

ddavitt: I read a historical novel set in 1700's last week where they're bemoaning a rise to 3 % income tax :-)

ddavitt: Not many where he kills the dragon and feels guilty as the baby dragon turns up orphaned

pjscott100: I think I would rather face a dragon than the IRS... easier to understand the rules

TreetopAngelRN: much easier

pjscott100: CCRA or Inland Revenue, for our non-USA friends :-)

ddavitt: i know those dread initials:-)

mertide: ATO

pjscott100: I was trying to be culturally inclusive

ddavitt: i used to work for part of the DHSS in UK; now we;ve merged with the Inland revenue

ddavitt: So I escaped in time

ddavitt: I always felt a little hurt when a H character slammed civil servants

TreetopAngelRN: to which time?:-D

ddavitt: Bur Mr Kiku made up for it

ddavitt: Funny:-)

ddavitt: Though we have someone here from friday so it is possible:-)

TreetopAngelRN: NOTB on the brain

TreetopAngelRN: about twnety pages left

TreetopAngelRN: twenty

pjscott100: So if GR was a movie today... would Star's character be ahead of her time, feminism-wise, or behind?

mertide: Friday afternoon now

pjscott100: Let me say, "perceived as..."

geeairmoe2: I think the feminist would dislike her needing a man, Oscar, to help her.

mertide: She's outside feminism, because she has only duty, not really free choices

ddavitt: Good point

ddavitt: And she has men inside her head too..she's not pure female in that way

ddavitt: She can access male memories; like Eunice and johann sort of

TreetopAngelRN: agrees with last three statements

ddavitt: She is unique

pjscott100: Personally I believe that the femimism movement has yet to catch up with H's characters, but I could get castrated in some circles for that viewpoint

ddavitt: I'm not an 'ist', I'm just me.

TreetopAngelRN: not an 'isti either

mertide: She's almost not human, another speices in a human body (but what a body!)

ddavitt: Your bits and bobs are safe from me:-)

pjscott100: She's like a Bene Gesserit... only more fun

SageMerlin: please I just watched that last night

TreetopAngelRN: I like being superior, rather than equal:-D

SageMerlin: when you reach that point, we will let you know

ddavitt: ooh...nasty.

mertide: so she's a tragic figure too, unable ever to find her own potential because "the race" pre-empted her life

SageMerlin: just keeping the troops touched up

pjscott100: Which one? David Lynch or the Sci-Fi Channel?

SageMerlin: SF channel

pjscott100: Is there any character that John Hurt hasn't played like they're in a coma?

mertide: Is Rufo the only one with all the answers, who still has a choice about whether to do what he does, then the actual hero

SageMerlin: got it in one at 10:40 PM

TreetopAngelRN: Sorry, Carolyn

mertide: why sorry me?

TreetopAngelRN: I didn't track your last question.

SageMerlin: Rufo has the other essential element of a true hero, the tragic

pjscott100: What makes you think Rufo has all the answers?

mertide: And it took me all the way till 12.40 Friday, mate, I'm a little slow

SageMerlin: I read the ending first

mertide: He knows the background that is kept from Oscar

SageMerlin: He plays Oscar like a cheap guitar

ddavitt: I'm going to have to bail; getting hard to stay awake...recovering from a cold bug that's been going round.

pjscott100: H has a habit of bringing in a character who seems to have all the answers... until they're upstaged by someone else who is even wiser

mertide: And in the end he patronisingly "walks the dog" to reward him for good behavior

TreetopAngelRN: Yes, he was brought along by Star because SHE wanted him along, not by his choice. He was just following Her orders.

ddavitt: Enjoyed the chat; well done hosting Elizabeth!

ddavitt: See; it's fun

TreetopAngelRN: It is fun!

ddavitt: See some of you on Saturday maybe.

Paradis401: Night Jane.

ddavitt: Night.

pjscott100: So by now I just wonder whether the story ran out before an even wiser character showed up

TreetopAngelRN: Good Night Jane! Do you have Saturday Night?

ddavitt has left the room.

mertide: goodnight, get better

Infobabefgh: Good night Jane

pjscott100: Bye Jane

mertide: Or the author perhaps? :-)

TreetopAngelRN: she's way too fast for us!

Infobabefgh: I'm exhausted too. See you on Saturday

Infobabefgh has left the room.

TreetopAngelRN: We have about fifteen more minutes left.

Paradis401: Nite Felicia.

TreetopAngelRN: dropping like flies.

mertide: pre-emptive goodnight before you all leave :-)

pjscott100: I try to imagine what a story would be like where someone came along who put Jubal Harshaw in his place

geeairmoe2: Assuming Jubal could be put in his place.

TreetopAngelRN: That would be one tough character

Paradis401: Didn't Mike do that?

pjscott100: Jubal vs Lazarus... did that happen? Too long since I read all the post-NOTB books

TreetopAngelRN: I am just now getting there, I'll let you know

TreetopAngelRN: been too long since I read them

geeairmoe2: I'd forgotten that Star and Oscar show up in NOTB. That gathering was so crowded.

pjscott100: Mike catalyzed an awakening for Jubal, but didn't put him down in the sense I was thinking

Paradis401: In a way. Maybe Jubal got the message.

mertide: There were those characters Lazarus met that were like Gods - I don't think he ever quite got back there to challenge them

TreetopAngelRN: I think Jubal learned alot from Mike, but was never overawed by him. And was grateful for the learning.

TreetopAngelRN: Jubal was the only person who really understood where Mike came from and why Mike was the person he was.

mertide: He certainly thought he did, but I doubt it

mertide: He understood the human side of Mike better than the rest, but no-one could really grok Mike's Martian-ness

pjscott100: Jubal was the Wise Father Figure who discovered that even at his stage of life he could go through a spiritual catharsis and epiphany... IMHO

Paradis401: True.

mertide: but then, who ever really understands any one else, we don't understand ourselves

pjscott100: Cats understand us :-)

Paradis401: Yes!

TreetopAngelRN: Hey Folks! Thanks for the chat and I hope some, if not all of you can be here Saturday night. AFAIK Jane will be hosting. Keep chatting as long as you wish, my sister is knocking and want to talk. So I must dash.

mertide: Cat's don't care enough as long as the tins keep getting opened

Paradis401: Thanks Elizabeth. Nice job.

TreetopAngelRN: Thanks Denis!

pjscott100: I will call it a night also then... but won't be around Saturday. Thanks Elizabeth.

mertide: very nice chat indeed, thanks

mertide: goodnight all as well

DavidWrightSr: Good Job. Elizabeth

TreetopAngelRN: Good Night (afternoon) Carolyn!

mertide: time for lunch! :-)

pjscott100: Meet you along the Glory Road...

TreetopAngelRN: Thanks David and Peter

Paradis401: Bye Peter, Carolyn, All. Nice chat!

Paradis401 has left the room.

pjscott100: Thanks all

TreetopAngelRN: Good Night All!

geeairmoe2: Missed these chats. What is the time Saturday, Texas time?

pjscott100 has left the room.

TreetopAngelRN: What time are you on, Will?

DavidWrightSr: 5:00 EDT

geeairmoe2: Central Time, USA. Right now it is 9:55 PM.

TreetopAngelRN: * PM your time, then.

TreetopAngelRN: 8

DavidWrightSr: 4:00 then for you

TreetopAngelRN: Sorry, I forgot it was earlier on Saturday's

geeairmoe2: That'll be 4 PM here deepinthehearta Texas. Think I might be able to swing it.

TreetopAngelRN: 4 PM will!:-[

mertide: I've got a nasty suspicion it's 7am Sunday morning for me then

mertide: Ugh

geeairmoe2: See you then, hopefully.

geeairmoe2 has left the room.

TreetopAngelRN: I'll be getting off work then, Carolyn

mertide: I'll be snoring gently :-)

mertide: but thinking of Heinlein of course

TreetopAngelRN: Hopefully i WON'T be:-D

TreetopAngelRN has left the room.

mertide: au revoir, and nice to meet you guys

DavidWrightSr: Log officially closed at 11:00 P.M. EDT


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