The article or letter that the link leads to is freaking weird. I think this is a letter between Gladman and a fan/poet/author (?). This guy discusses himself in the writing and opened ideas that I think we are getting close too. There is a discussion of languages developed in our world that matches the opening of the Ravickians. “That there is 4 languages being created, and trying to be understood. one: your translator’s English meeting mine; two: yourRavic; three: the one that is made as these thresh; four: everything that is below the line, unable to be carried across in sense—the untranslatable crisis of this.” That the complication of trying to convey thought through spoken word creates a “hunger” and that drive to commune. He or she also discusses what Gladman had also mentioned in an interview: that the language is an architecture. We (humans) create a community between two conversations. The middle ground, the sentences, and the actions that have no definition may breed an understanding and develop a structure. “Through reading, and now writing you, we create a kind of communal city…I imagine a nexus, mouth-to-mouth, a bridge of light and syllables that sisters itself, flanking cities, hybridizing them into a place of gloss. The architectures built and collapsed, slipped between, are made with languages that may not parallel. Your body’s language. Mine. Ravic. English. Ravic contracting through translation and translator into English — being made echoic and maybe hollowed. We meet here among the lingual debris.” It was an interesting concept that started to put things in perspective where there was only inner conflict. In summation, the feelings of complication we get from understand the language fluidity of this series maybe that “hunger”. The “hunger” maybe the motivator to move through the “lingual debris” to meet in lingual community.
Concept of the Foreign article discussed a lot of the same motifs of the foreign that Foreign Correspondence discussed. In the connection between the article, Foreign Correspondent, Event Factory, and us (the readers) is the scene in Foreign Correspondent where it is she discusses alienation within circles (of people) and foreign being outside of the circle looking in. There is an in depth discussion about human interaction and the placement of two different groups or individuals. I feel in Event Factory, we experience this phenomenon as the reader. In other words it is possible we take on the role of Foreign Correspondent as we read through this story.
Time moves in snippets and causes for a lot ambiguity and establishes a sense of foreign in already foreign atmosphere. I thought that this movement through time was develop the experience of a foreigner in a foreign atmosphere. That the unreal experiences are exacerbated by the jumpy texture. What makes this more of a reality for me is the reflective nature of the narrator’s telling. The language used is very observant and lapsed (“and then” type language). In the interview with Gladman Joe posted she states that the sentence structure was to deliberately unravel the reader as much as the main character had to be unravelled and experience a foreign land. That the odd sentence structure was a caricature of the world we are experiencing.
The quote that most benefited my understanding of the ambiguity of In the House from our reading of Bruce Kawin’s essay was, “Science fiction is open to the potential value of the inhuman: one can learn from it, take a trip with it (Close Encounters), include it in larger sense of what is. Horror is fascinated by transmutations between human and inhuman (wolfmen, etc.), but the human characteristics decisively mandate destruction.” We see this same interaction with this book as the humans transform into bears or bears transform of act as destructive humans. We take an adventure with ourselves into idea that our most horrific experiences are a reality of the natural world and progression of time. I also found it interesting he highlights the idea that worst actions committed are committed by man. As we see the narrator of the story (if he is human) makes the most atrocious decisions. But his transformation into bear becomes and reveals a docile character brooding in his past. As for the Foundling (a bear) it remains a docile character. The bear is wrecked, the female bear has its child taken away. Our previous inclination is that humans in this story are the decent characters. However, I have come to the conclusion with the help of Bruce’s essay that we identified with human and projected our own understanding of the real world on the “human’s” of this book. As we become adjusted to the this world we slowly find, to our horror, that we were wrong. And the answers maybe found in the natural realms of this story.
There seems to be pairs in all the relationships and a deterioration in a few of the relationships. Husband-wife, father-son(ish), mother-son, water-earth, two moons (created out of a hateful situation), inside-outside, and probably more. Especially the inside-outside. This is a world of boundaries but no rules for them. The bear won’t approach his land, the water was her area (as I understand it), but yet he can enter the wood or fish the river. The rules of birth are playing within some norms. For example a miscarriage. However, gestation periods are unknown or weird. What constitutes a child is weird. Time flows not like our time flows and conventional physics do not either. So what’s the point I am trying to make? I find it interesting that the context of the characters and their motivations change when barriers are crossed. When a character goes from outside to inside, in the woods, across the mountains, or even threshold of time. More so the discussion in the book about how things were before the bear or how their marriage has changed and that relevancy. The idea that memory is a physical thing can also apply to the physical changes in time. Consider the growth of the Foundling (which is natural even in our world) or the constant change of the house. As the book progresses the description of the interior of the house changes. The house becomes larger or smaller or changes style depending on the context in which the events are unfolding (whether they are positive or negative, which means really negative or sort of negative). But especially the birth of things. Notice the function of the fetus. The idea of birth being a positive thing and among the transition of birth/abortion(?) it is gobbled up to be not a child of want but a negative manifestation. Interestingly enough the reasons given for this. He ate it so it wouldn’t die yet it is once again internalized. The actions are grossly miss guided paternalism. Later on when there seems to be an increased savagery in his character as the bear seems to be deteriating I was drawn back to that paternalism and once again thought of the famed protection of a mother bear. This coupling of reasoning and behavior I found the most interesting thus far.
Here is an interview with Matt Bell that might help with some clarity: http://www.tinhouse.com/blog/24399/even-our-bones-had-memories.html
I’m glad it was brought up again. I have been relevantly silent do to the fact that I didn’t really know how articulate my understand of the use of “flat characters”. What jkc10001 says in “The Brutality of Man, The Art of Animals” was a new perspective that I haven’t thought of just yet. I don’t think it’s wrong, in fact it helped me to a conclusion that we see flat characters as a result of our point of view. I feel that we see ourselves as having interesting and exciting lives but I can’t help to feel that to others our lives are lived through cliche melodrama. While the verbiage I use seems as if this is negative I don’t think this is so. I think it helps me understand further why characters react the way they do. Every time I ask why a character makes a decision I feel is irresponsible or doesn’t make sense I look to real world application and realize many real decisions are not always clear in their moment. I feel that’s the most brilliant part of the book. The earthy development of characters. The best connection I feel to these characters is the anarchist views. Consider the idea that connotation behind anarchism as a fallacy and the reality that anarchism is the anti-top-bottom society structure. Anarchist ideals are typically bred from the disenfranchised and their long term goal is the interdependent man. If I were to tie this ideal of anarchism back to trauma I’d argue anyone’s life because a form of anarchist agenda when they recognize their worth is substantially increased when they can self actualize. And I feel a lot of those views are being portrayed through Morgan’s characterization. I had to dig deeper just as you’d have to with anyone stranger. I also don’t feel this is flat but a pretty complicated process and character development.