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Author Topic: Empire!
insanesam
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So I just finished it. It was great and really suspensfull and exciting. But, I couldn't help but get this anti-liberal feel from it [Smile]
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Launchywiggin
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eeeeyep.

Although there have been a lot of threads on the subject, this one is one of my favorites. Just do a search for "Empire" to find a whole lot more of them with complaints and arguments and debates.

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LargeTuna
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Hey launchywiggen, dont you wish docmagic was still a frequent hatracker, hes pretty cool [Wink] [Cool]
We need to somehow contack all of the classic hatrackers and bring them back to posting every couple of days XD

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Orincoro
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No, that would not be nice at all. Why do we need that guy jumping on the bush/card bandwagon and acting like he isn't vehemently partisan- at least Card was the only one who thought he could write a book that hammered his wacky agenda, and then just claim that it was some kind of non-agenda about partisanship.

Card's not the first author, and he won't be the last, to find out that his work speaks for itself, much louder than he can- even when he shouts. Although I must admit that the irony of a wish fulfillment novel about partisan violence and authoritarian rule being claimed as some kind of call for sanity is entertaining, I don't think it gives him a degree of credit for talking about his own books. I know he doesn't want to believe this, but for all practical purposes, and in the history of any kind of criticism, what he has to say about his work means next to nothing in the long run- either people will read them and read into them, or they won't. He doesn't get to have you read them, and then shape your attitudes later- he had that chance. Amazingly he's no different from an academic he would revile for telling people the meaning or value of books that they have no reason to appreciate. I would settle for a refund.

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DDDaysh
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Wow Orincoro - that's harsh. You do realize you have a choice about whether or not to read a book, right? You also have a choice about whether or not to read/listen to author commentary on it.

And asking for a refund is just dumb. Why would you buy a political fiction book by an author you KNOW has strong political views and expect them to not filter in? That seems pretty naive to me. You remind me of a time I was working in a movie theater as a kid. These two middle aged women were ranting at me (and then the manager) about how they wanted a refund for Eyes Wide Shut because they didn't get to see as much of Tom Cruise as they thought they would.

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Constipatron
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I couldn't stomach Empire myself. I got a very prompt refund after reading the merciful last page of the first book. I didn't see Empire as a 'political book' either, just a trumped up premise for fictional reality; countless authors have done that one. Card's not unique in that regard. Besides, most of his books that I've read (and I've read quite a few of them) a usual reader of his work wouldn't necessarily assume his personal politics would get in the way of telling a good story. That's what I've initially liked about Card when I first began to read his work: is that he DOESN'T let his political views get in the way of said story. He CAN disconnect between story and personal opinion. As far as Empire goes though, it IS a bit extreme. I sincerely doubt those issues will crop up in reality to any violence though the issues have some merit to them. Card said himself that it was 'possible', but with the unsaid 'unlikely' behind it from what I've read from it all. Anyway, I think readers would be far better to pick up a different book and steer clear from this book. For Card, I donít think itís his best work.
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Puppy
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quote:
... a wish fulfillment novel about partisan violence and authoritarian rule ...
Where do you get this, Orincoro? The novel contains partisan violence and authoritarian rule, but at which point did you read the author's mind and determine that those aspects of the story were included for the purpose of "wish fulfillment"?
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DDDaysh
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Well, I can't say I think it's his best book either. Though, it's better than most stuff I've read. I don't get into all that "spy guys" stuff though. I never really liked Tom Clancy because I just don't get "into" it.

However, I thought it was a decent book. I had fun listening to it (I got it on audio from the library). That being said, I didn't feel the need to then go and buy the book. I think it's the only OSC novel I don't own.

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Josh Cooper
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Ok, I'd rather not go searching through threads to see if this has been talked about already or not, but I was wondering. What do people think about Captain Coleman? With all that happens, I really think that he had involvement with Torrent.
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Battler03
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insanesam, there is not an "anti-liberal" feel to Empire. There is a very relevant illustration of the image conservatives have in their minds of liberals.

I myself am a conservative; so I've had my comments about this book shot down (with lots of personal invective, as is the common liberal MO) several times. The important thing to understand, though--and most of the liberals on this forum refuse to address this, choosing instead to insult me or others--is this: the caricature of liberalism in Empire may, in fact, not be entirely accurate (I say it completely is, but that is one man's opinion)...but it is important to realize that this is how conservatives SEE liberals. Sure, maybe it isn't FACTUALLY accurate (but it IS). But it's how liberals are PERCEIVED by conservatives. And as the saying goes, perception is 99% of reality.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Sure, maybe it isn't FACTUALLY accurate (but it IS).
um
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Puppy:
quote:
... a wish fulfillment novel about partisan violence and authoritarian rule ...
Where do you get this, Orincoro? The novel contains partisan violence and authoritarian rule, but at which point did you read the author's mind and determine that those aspects of the story were included for the purpose of "wish fulfillment"?
I for one, believe in my instincts as a reader. I know that the intentions or the interests of the writer can be revealed in what he writes. My observations on intent are guesses, but they are educated guesses. They may be wrong, but I tend to believe that I did not spend hours out of my life reading what OSC wrote in this particular book, and not gain some kind of insight as to his intent, at least in this case.

And by the way, if he didn't intend this conclusion, then he achieved an amazing feat as a writer: making the readers believe that he was writing a book about understanding and forgiveness that was really a wish fulfillment novel about violence, and not having it actually BE a wish fulfillment novel. But then, that's just too coy for him.

Puppy, it would be foolish for me to call your particular insight and experience with OSC detrimental to your own understanding of his work. Maybe you know something I don't, but that may be my point. At least in this novel, the joyous celebration of conflict to simplify and segregate the American consciousness into recognizable factions, is a major focus. OSC can talk about how such violence is dangerous and that we have to be aware of the danger in order to avoid it, but the novel doesn't accomplish the argument he makes about it. Instead, it goes to very great lengths to flatten the characters into violent pancakes- which is a shame because there was an idea in all of this that was a good one.

Again, I do love OSC's denials of these observations from none other than his closest, most interested readers. That is oddly reminiscent, to me, of OSC's passionate refutations of literary figures who are preserved only through advocacy.

Maybe, cosmically speaking, this is just not the best book he's written.

But never fear, I am still going to be a reader in the future. Maybe just not on this series.

Edit to add: Which is why it's a shame that it was this particular issue that seemed to prompt him to stop posting here.

[ April 06, 2008, 06:55 AM: Message edited by: Orincoro ]

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by DDDaysh:
Wow Orincoro - that's harsh. You do realize you have a choice about whether or not to read a book, right? You also have a choice about whether or not to read/listen to author commentary on it.

And asking for a refund is just dumb.

I'm not asking for a refund, I was (failingly) trying to suggest that rather than have my experience molded for my by an author after the fact, for instance in the afterword which is in the book, I would settle for a refund. That may still seem dumb to you, but I don't care.

As to your first point- rhetoric aside (even though yours is insulting- to both of us), literature and criticism is not about avoiding things you might not like. It's kind of the opposite actually. I wouldn't feel very good about myself if I had put this particular book back on the shelf, even though I did know when I bought it that the reviews I had read were not glowing. I had to see for myself, and I did. Now I can talk about it. If that bothers you, I don't care.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Battler03:
insanesam, there is not an "anti-liberal" feel to Empire. There is a very relevant illustration of the image conservatives have in their minds of liberals.

The feel is not for you to judge absolutely, it is something we are talking about. It is open to a fair amount of interpretation.

quote:
Originally posted by Battler03:

And as the saying goes, perception is 99% of reality.

You Have just provided me with a very relevant illustration of the image I have in my mind of "conservatives."
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TomDavidson
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Battler: to clarify, are you saying that conservatives think of liberals as whiny do-nothings manipulated by shadowy capitalist forces into ineffectually deploying giant robots for the purposes of betraying America? That you believe the typical urban area is within one constitutional crisis of rebelling against the government and killing a bunch of its own citizens?
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Samprimary
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quote:
You Have just provided me with a very relevant illustration of the image I have in my mind of "conservatives."
One that applies "my interpretation" as "perception" and then goes on to say that that's reality?

Because as far as I know, both sides have plenty of jokers who pull that. But I dunno, you're probably thinking of something else.

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Orincoro
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My Response
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AJFleckenstein
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I liked it, especially the whole cookie side-joke. It gave the two characters a well needed humanity and way to feel closer to them in the rare silly times.
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DDDaysh
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Oh, Orincoro, don't you sound so high and mighty... Literature and criticism??? I didn't realize we were getting so intense here. After all, we're still talking about the actual plot, not how it's really some sort of subconscious message about men and women battling for sexual gratification or something. Reading ficition is supposed to be FUN! If you don't have fun reading it, and you think the author is completely wacky, then I still don't understand why you bother...

As for saying asking for a refund is dumb... it is. While it may have been insulting to you, I fail yet to see how it was insulting to me, or was someone else included in your "both"?

AJFleck... you're right. The cookie part was great!

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Orincoro
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Daysh, you insult yourself, by suggesting that your view of, yes, "literature and criticism" is so shallow.

I'm sorry if some teacher somewhere convinced you that you needed to either submit yourself completely to never enjoying reading again, or else reject all that was not "fun," but like anything, reading is a mix of emotions. It is a patchwork of moods and intentions and contexts. If that's too scary for you, the idea of ever reading anything that is difficult for you in any way, then I can see why you wouldn't understand.

And, despite the scariness of the word, "Criticism" is what I am doing. "Literature" is what we are talking about. Again, the words suggest many contexts for discussion, but your view is a narrow and childish one, even as it pretends to be open and care free.

But hey, don't read my posts, they aren't always fun! [Big Grin]

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