badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
I'm freaking out with weird epiphanies while reading Ventus! It fits in with my theory of SFF as obsessed with and fighting over what we do with culture and knowledge! On the one side (the side of patriarchy and rock stars and conservatism) we have things like Dune, and Book of the New Sun, where a hero ingests and consumes knowledge and history, memory and the past and people (and, weirdly, the future) and becomes a powerful god. I consider this a grotesque imperial fantasy that sums up a lot of what is fucking wrong with this society! In opposition we have lots of feminist sff that dis-integrates without having to consume,incorporate, and re-synthesize everything into one person. I had a list of examples but can't think of them just now except for Bujold in Hallowed Hunt, but there are lots of examples of this rejection where instead of eating knowledge and reality and history, you acknowledge its separate life & existence. You respect the differentness of everything and have some perspective.... And can be in conversation. (A Grand Conversation, even!) A decentralized emphasis of consciousness (or individuality) (without being some sort of fascist same-y hive-mind.) So it is a model of consciousness and attitude towards how to think about history and culture, other people, and the future, and just plain being -- and of a way of constructing authorship. (The "Dune" model positions one person as "author", torturer, 'authority', detective, emperor, interrogator... with EVERYTHING ELSE as their subject).

(Also, in the Culture Wars sometimes I feel we demur about it being actually the Cultural Revolution and burning up of the past but it really kind of is, or comes out that way, or risks it.)

Anyway, I have been also enjoying Ventus as I consider it in the genre of anthropologists and rogue emissaries on medieval space worlds, like Enchantress from the STars or Ancient Light and its sequel. It fits nicely in that tradition too.

I had not thought about culture-eating until I hit this gorgeous bit with the crash landed anthropologist having a dream where her library is talking to her...
You have to make a choice," said the voice. "You woke us. Now you have to choose whether you want us to become a part of you, as memory, or whether you want us to become people, with whom you can speak."

OMG that is exactly it!!!!!!!!!!!!

i.e. you don't have to treat people like one thing and books, or robots, or animals (or other things, like dirt) in a different way, on some level of relation or .... expectingness of what you think you are as part of geography. I am now babbling. I hope this makes sense. It does in my head! That's what I try to write about in poems!

<3 <3 <3

Date: 2014-05-06 12:18 pm (UTC)
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)
From: [personal profile] brainwane
What a great quote!

Date: 2014-05-06 03:14 pm (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
From: [personal profile] snippy
Elsenet a blog I've been reading for several years is asking for recommendations of blogs that deal with intersectionality, not just feminism. May I list your Dreamwidth as a recommendation?

Date: 2014-05-08 03:27 pm (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
From: [personal profile] snippy
Thank you! I have learned a lot about intersectionality just from reading about your life, and I needed to learn it.

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