Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Samuel R. Delany—Babel 17/Empire Star

            I only read Babel 17.  It was highly enjoyable.  Delany definitely knows his way around language.  Rydra Wong is a great heroin.  She has her mysterious past and compassionate vulnerabilities.  Her personality and best selling poetry makes her quite agreeable with just about everybody she happens to warp into.  I like how she can fit herself into all the different social classes so seamlessly.  General Forester’s battle-hardened heart falls for her instantly, and she is able to mingle her crew with the Baron Vor Dorco’s high society.  She is a true cosmopolitan.  This is where I like to try to make a joke about being a true COSMICPOLITIAN or something.  Delany would know all the Greek root words and be able to make a better joke.  I don’t want to look it all up just to find out it is not even that funny. 
            I was confused while reading the parts where Rydra switches into thinking in Bable 17.  I think this was the intended effect because Rydra feels fatigued after thinking that barrage of information.  It is like a tidal wave of free thought.  I like all the connections that are going on there.  Somehow she is able to transcribe all the seemingly chaotic thought into a very useful grid or something.  I wonder what would happen if I was able to get a different view of all my thoughts.  If there was a way to see all the subconscious thoughts streaming together all at once.  Maybe I would be able to find serenity and inner peace.  I’d probably just get a birds eye view of a beautifully orchestrated mess of anxiety, fart jokes, and porn.  I doubt my thoughts would be as useful as Babel 17.  Somebody as brilliant as Rydra Wong would not be impressed with toilet humor and Sienfeld reruns.             
            The whole struggle with the Alliance and Invaders is left pretty vague.  It seems to have been going on for a long time but any information about is just mentioned by characters in passing.  The war has been going on for so long it is just a normal part of life.  I think it might have been going on before Rydra was even born.  I can’t imagine what that kind of thing would do on a person’s upbringing.  I live in beautiful, sunny Florida, in the wealthy and safe United States of America.  I have no idea what it is like to be in a war zone.  I imagine somebody in a less fortunate situation would have a better idea.  Like a kid growing up in one of those place the Rambo movies are set in.  The Alliance seems to be like the Americans.  We may be at war, but the battles are in some distant galaxy, and right now I’m watching wrestling in a bar getting hammered.  

No comments:

Post a Comment