Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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madupont
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« Reply #195 on: July 16, 2007, 09:17:05 PM »

"a permission-less kiss from her cousin"

Reader 5232, re:#266

You are obviously oblivious to my posts. You either do not read them or you are utterly disdainful of them meriting attention. I gave you the cultural authentification of what the kiss is about from an unimpeachable source. But for some purpose, you choose to distort it.

re:#265, you mistake the definition of  "consecration" which in the case of the Kingsolver novel significantly involves a Christian orientation rather than the divinations we have been considering so far. It refers to the transubstantiation into the Body of Christ which can be taken in either of two explicit meanings which caused a split in Christianity  over a lengthy period of time perhaps ever since the first Muslim conquest of Christianized Europe; that has currently been readdressed by Pope Benedict who has stated that none of the other offshoots of Christianity will from now on be considered valid. I'm sure they probably don't care but it rattles their cages nonetheless.

Back at #264 you have never heard of how the Delphic Oracle becomes intoxicated to render her oracular babblings?    I have always made it a point to use Wikipedia, to verify something that I already know about as a matter of being  educated, because it provides the links that any poster reading my posts can then check out themselves as they may read something other or more or less than what I have discussed  and may want to use sources that are recommended by Wikipedia to investigate on their own.

They may not have access to recognized academic texts like Jane Harrison's Prolegomena to Greek Religion.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #196 on: July 16, 2007, 10:32:05 PM »

Madupont re: Wikipedia....entertaining, but not a reliable source

Nytemps...There was quite a bit of ritual leading up to the ceremony of the Oracle.  On the seventh day of each month, the Oracle Priestess, or Pythian, would fast and bathe and drink of the Castalian Spring, which was located in the Oracle and was fed by the Kassotis spring which came down from Mount Parnassus.  (The spring was located under the southern retaining wall of the Temple, but is dried up now.)  It is said that the Pythia received inspiration from the naiad  (Castalia) who lived in the river.  After bathing and drinking of the spring, she would enter the temple and take questions.  There seems to be disagreement about how the Oracle answered the questions.   One theory is that she got the answers from the rustling of waters in two bowls she brought into the temple from the spring.  Another is that she divined the answer from a combination of the rustle of laurel leaves and waters.  A third is that she divined the answer from breathing in vapors from a fissure in the floor of the temple.  In this method, the Pythia would mumble answers which would then be interpreted by a priest.  A few years ago,  AAAS published research from one of its members postulating that the vapors were ethylane.  This would explain why the Pythia would mumble and why she would need a priest to interpret her prophecy. 

There was also a ritual the supplicant had to undergo to prepare to face the oracle, but I can't find much information about it. 

(Here is a link to a site that discusses the ethylene theory.)

http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/ethylene/ethylene_history1.shtml


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Lhoffman
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« Reply #197 on: July 16, 2007, 11:04:37 PM »

Reader...the word "consecration" isn't always associated with the doctrine of transubstantiation.  It also refers to the people being set apart. 

It can also refer in a secular sense to one's commitment to a particular pursuit...although this is not a common usage. 

Orleanna's use of the word seems to imply that she dedicated herself and her time to study, believing that knowledge would heal the wounds caused by religion.  It says quite a bit about Orleanna's mind-set that she chooses to use a religious term to express secular sentiment. 

It is interesting that one of her discoveries in the library relates to her sighting of the okapi.  At the time she saw it on the riverbank, no one even knew it existed.  In Orleanna's perspective, the animal takes on an almost mythological significance.  And Orleanna's personal religion is closer to the worship of nature than to the worship of God.
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madupont
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« Reply #198 on: July 17, 2007, 01:57:51 AM »

You've got it. Now which would you rather have as your prize?  Also, I'm not too sure whether the dolphin figures in as neatly as it does more likely with  a more erotic figure.  
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madupont
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« Reply #199 on: July 17, 2007, 02:55:46 AM »

"Madupont re: Wikipedia....entertaining, but not a reliable source"  re:#270 Lhoffman

"I have always made it a point to use Wikipedia, to verify something that I already know about .... because it provides the links that any poster ... can then check out themselves as they may read ...  and may want to use sources that are recommended by Wikipedia to investigate on their own." madupont re:#268

I'd might even hesitate to say that there are any reliable sources as long as academia has been the keeper of esoteric knowledge. The consensus of opinion inevitably readjusts what it knew with every wind of change and then every so often is suddenly startled by some break-through knowledge which causes excitement(that being the whole object, to become excited, about something, anything),only to discover,"Why we knew that before."

Therefore, as Wikipedia hardly qualifies as some Hermetic knowledge  or gnosis, I attempted to make clear that it is just a point of reference available  on the internet to anybody who wants to verify a point for themselves that I  have mentioned.

In regard to #271, Orleanna might as well have 'dedicated' herself as consecrated herself,  which by the very structure of the word lets you know, it takes more than an individual but is rather that which is administered by one person to another. Someone officiates at the consecration whether of a person or a place. Which of course you refer to in describing the supplicant to the Pythia, and the priest who interprets the message and then records it (to see if it comes to pass).

I guess that you are saying Orleanna had a conversion experience where the Okapi moment was a bit like Queen Elizabeth  (in the film,The Queen) experiencing her "familiar", the great Scots stag with his stately many pointed rack born like a gigantic crown.  Well, it's an epiphany, isn't it. 
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #200 on: July 17, 2007, 10:48:31 AM »

Madupont...."dedicated" vs "consecrated".  If you have the book, read the fifth paragraph in context.  Orleanna seems to have stripped all meaning related to the sacred in her use of "consecrate."  The paragraph in context expresses cynicism and bitterness...which to me, would indicated the very opposite of anything holy.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #201 on: July 17, 2007, 10:56:04 AM »

Quote
The thought occurs that the girls and Orleanna are all aspects of Barbara

It does indeed, Reader, but to me (and forgive me for restating this), Leah seemed closer to what I imagine to be Kingsolver's persona (as far as it is within my power to ascertain).  Adah's wordplay is certainly a wonderful aspect, though.  I've forgotten what was given as the reason for that having to change when Adah was rehabilitated or reborn (oops, that might be a bit of a loaded term, smacking as it does of baptism, etc.)



I also thought Adah seemed most representative of Kingsolver.  She shares Kingsolver's love of words and science.  The flaw there is that Adah is ambivalent about the Congo, a feeling clearly not shared by Kingsolver.  Leah seems to share  Kingsolver's passion for the Congo and for justice.   Twins...two sides of the same coin. 
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weezo
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« Reply #202 on: July 20, 2007, 10:08:39 PM »

Reader,

Yes, I think Rachel, in spite of her word choice, is smarter than her sisters give her credit for.

Yes, she used to sexuality to "get ahead", but she didn't wallow in it. Once she got to a comfortable place, she took over like a strong businesswoman in the years before strong businesswomen were admired.

I have worked with dyslexic students, and know that malapropism has another name - dysnomia, the inability to get the right word out and making a substitution. It is sometimes called: tip-of-the-tongue disorder to make it more understandable. It is not indicative of a weak intellect.

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Lhoffman
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« Reply #203 on: July 21, 2007, 12:07:10 AM »

Quote
Don't get me wrong.  I don't mean to say that each narrator is restricted to the one way of seeing, only that they tend to come back to that way of thinking.  It is a default way of seeing.  As such, the method carries structural benefits but it also opens the way for Kingsolver to (1) make her characters more real; (2) tell the story from different perspectives; (3) make the different perspectives ring true and not as if they are the product of gimmicky dialogue and word choice; (4) develop the implications of the experience in ways that go beyond the mere telling of it.

There are other benefits too.

Could Kingsolver have written the perspectives another way and still keep the voices separate?  Her way of writing this seems to ring true.  In large families, each child very often has her own unique style of perception.  Since siblings have the same parents, I suspect that this is an inborn form of sibling rivalry.  Children struggle for individual identities. 


Quote
Yes, I think Rachel, in spite of her word choice, is smarter than her sisters give her credit for.

Yes, she used to sexuality to "get ahead", but she didn't wallow in it. Once she got to a comfortable place, she took over like a strong businesswoman in the years before strong businesswomen were admired.

I have worked with dyslexic students, and know that malapropism has another name - dysnomia, the inability to get the right word out and making a substitution. It is sometimes called: tip-of-the-tongue disorder to make it more understandable. It is not indicative of a weak intellect.


I wouldn't say that Rachel had a weak intellect, either.  I do think that she lacked a certain intellectual curiousity and for all her experiences, maintained a very narrow view of the world.


re synesthesia....I was interested in the idea of synthesia around Adah's
"almond-tasting word,"  and in Orleanna's sense of smell, too.  But I don't think Kingsolver is writing of synethesia here.  I think that Adah identifies almonds with the word Mongoloid because she is thinking of the almond shaped eyes that were associated with the condition.  And I think Orleanna uses smell as an anchor for memory.  Neither of these are synesthesiac.
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Charles
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« Reply #204 on: July 21, 2007, 07:05:14 AM »

Absalom, Absalom would be a temptation.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #205 on: July 21, 2007, 12:15:17 PM »

The narrators tend to perceive one sense over others.  They tend to use language in highly individualistic -- if not eccentric -- ways.  Their characters are defined in part by how they see things.  Their names have meanings that characterize them but which also establish them as parts of a meaningful whole. 

All this works toward the development of interesting characters.  All of it moves the story, keeps it dynamic, intriguing, even tense in a balance/counter-balance sort of way.  It also might (might) go a bit toward supporting the thought that these narrators are the facet personalities of a single person (or entity or idea).

We can even throw in Nathan, the personality too disturbed, enraged, insane to be able to narrate.

So, Kingsolver used the perception of sense as her main distinction in the separate voicings?  Given the set up here, five distinct female voices, do you think there are other ways Kingsolver could have achieved individuality?  It is realistic to have five members of the same family view life differently, but is it realistic to have them express themselves, to have them use language, so differently?  Even factoring in the giftedness of Adah and Leah and the girls ages?
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #206 on: July 21, 2007, 12:16:39 PM »

"Who are they writing to?"


Leah and Rachel both seem to be writing love letters.  Of course, the object of Rachel's affections seems to be Rachel.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #207 on: July 21, 2007, 12:19:03 PM »

Looking forward to a voting forum....but I'm definitely up for Absalom, Absalom.  A lot of the Southern readers might really enjoy this one, too.


And Ovid has the answer to everything!
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #208 on: July 21, 2007, 01:36:28 PM »

There haven't been too many comments on Nathan, but Kingsolver clearly gave a lot of thought to his name.  Here is a link to the Biblical Nathan.  Kingsolver is quite clever here.  Her character identifies with the prophet, but there is also a certain irony at play in her creating him as a symbol of Colonialism and the rich taking advantage of the poor.    (Of course, this takes me back to the question of Orleanna's name, which seems a bit of an orphan in the grand scheme of things).

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=10&chapter=12&version=31
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #209 on: July 21, 2007, 01:41:24 PM »

Orleanna....perhaps a play on words and etymology?


aural 
1847, "of or pertaining to the ear," from L. auris "ear" (see ear (1)). Meaning "received or perceived by ear" is attested from 1860.

aureole 
c.1220, from L. fem. adj. dim. of aureus "golden." In medieval Christianity, the celestial crown worn by martyrs, virgins, etc., as victors over the flesh.

(Etymology online dictionary)



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