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The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; Introduction 
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Post Re: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; Introduction
Snicker. Penelope, what a good excuse! May it gale!

Thanks Giselle. You know that you've got a good author when the preface makes you giggle. My edition has a preface which is titled "A guide to the guide - some unhelpful remarks from the author". I mean really! Snickered from the first line. Good sign.

The "guide to the guide" lists the various forms of the HG as it emerged from a radio show on BBC to tv, books and movies. He talks about his drunken walk through Innsbruck trying to find someone to ask for directional guidance and keeps running into one deaf-mute person after another. (out right laughing now).

"When the third man I spoke to turned out to be deaf and dumb and also blind I began to feel a terrible weight settling on my shoulders; wherever I looked the trees and buildings took on dark and menacing aspects. I pulled my coat tightly around me and hurried lurching down the street, whipped by a sudden gusting wind. I bumped into someone and stammered an apology, but he was deaf and dumb and unable to understand me. The sky loured. The pavement seemed to tip and spin. If I hadn't happened then to duck down a side street and pass a hotel where a convention for the deaf and dumb was being held, there is every chance that my mind would have cracked completely and I would have spent the rest of my life writing the sort of books which Kafka became famous for and dribbling."

Howl.


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Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:49 pm
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Post Re: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; Introduction
MaryLupin wrote:
Snicker. Penelope, what a good excuse! May it gale!

Thanks Giselle. You know that you've got a good author when the preface makes you giggle. My edition has a preface which is titled "A guide to the guide - some unhelpful remarks from the author". I mean really! Snickered from the first line. Good sign.

Yes, that is a good sign. Funny thing about the story in this preface is that it has the ring of truth! And you are touching on something else here that has crossed my mind .. a 'guide to a guide' .. kinda post modern, eh? The Hitchhikers Guide as meta-narrative?



Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:55 pm
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Post Re: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; Introduction
Giselle - I hate to accuse DA of postmodernism (not at all sure he'd have liked that), but I do think HG is a commentary on our tendency to make grand statements and decisions that we forget are about as important as a pea in the face of 600 princesses with the necessary numbers of mattresses. All his stuff about Dent's house and then the Vogon's destroying the earth (unnecessarily as it turns out) is certainly a commentary on human decisions made without a heck of a lot of empathy. And that bit I quoted earlier in this thread - it can be easily construed as a commentary on the kind of mind (often found in those wanting a god or goddess as an explanation for all those odd - synchronous - things that happen and that we don't easily understand, but are, in fact, easily understandable) that shivers at signs and portents and then uses those shivers to "prove" whatever form of deity is momentarily instrumental. Anyway. I do think he's making a commentary on the big stories we build but I hesitate to think of HG as a critical theory exactly. Just think about analyzing Virgina Woolf via the actions of Ford Prefect! :lol:


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Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:21 pm
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Post Re: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; Introduction
Ah, the Hitchhikers Guide. A book that was wildly popular in my Highschool years that I didn't read, being into fantasy at the time, and only read years later when it was published as an entire collection. I only read one non-fantasy book in Highschool and that was because the title tricked me. I've played the text based game and never made it out of the house before it gets bulldozed, but I'm looking forward to re-reading The Guide with you all.

Book On!


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Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:06 pm
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Post Re: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; Introduction
MaryLupin wrote:
Giselle - I hate to accuse DA of postmodernism (not at all sure he'd have liked that), but I do think HG is a commentary on our tendency to make grand statements and decisions that we forget are about as important as a pea in the face of 600 princesses with the necessary numbers of mattresses. All his stuff about Dent's house and then the Vogon's destroying the earth (unnecessarily as it turns out) is certainly a commentary on human decisions made without a heck of a lot of empathy. And that bit I quoted earlier in this thread - it can be easily construed as a commentary on the kind of mind (often found in those wanting a god or goddess as an explanation for all those odd - synchronous - things that happen and that we don't easily understand, but are, in fact, easily understandable) that shivers at signs and portents and then uses those shivers to "prove" whatever form of deity is momentarily instrumental. Anyway. I do think he's making a commentary on the big stories we build but I hesitate to think of HG as a critical theory exactly. Just think about analyzing Virgina Woolf via the actions of Ford Prefect! :lol:

Mary: I missed this post earlier :( .... thank you, I think your comments are quite insightful. And yes I think DA would not like being branded a post-modernist at all, actually I don't think he would like being labelled period. I could label him a 'humourist' but I don't know if he would like that either! Labels aside, I find myself reading HHG as a 'big story' as you describe (not sure I would risk saying "meta-narrative" :P ). I think one can read and interpret HHG in many ways ranging from a rather silly story to a truely profound work and I would hazard to guess that DA wanted his readers to think about this. The HHG story is clear but the existence or non-existence of the meaning of that story is unclear and what about the grand stories we build, are they meaningful? Through HHG, Adams prompts us to wonder about all this, much like we might wonder in life generally.



Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:04 pm
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