Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Fri Feb 26, 2021 4:51 am





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 
Ch. 2 - The Place Inside the Blizzard 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Owner
Diamond Contributor 3

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16346
Location: Florida
Thanks: 3602
Thanked: 1382 times in 1082 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Ch. 2 - The Place Inside the Blizzard
This thread is for talking about Ch. 2 - The Place Inside the Blizzard. 8)



Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:12 pm
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Likes the book better than the movie

Gold Contributor

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 826
Location: Germany
Thanks: 201
Thanked: 179 times in 139 posts
Gender: Female
Country: Germany (de)

Post Re: Ch. 2 - The Place Inside the Blizzard
I'm sitting here with a cup of tea pretending I'm warmer than I am....we've been told to keep off the roads tomorrow as 40+ cm of snow is expected and more with drifts. I can very intimately begin to feel and understand the meaning of "cold" on Gethen.

This chapter, although sad, tragic even, is simply a beautiful chapter.....the most beautiful in the book. the peace, the sorrow, the absolute silence penetrates every pore with in your body.

Which brings me on to another point: the structure of the novel. At first I found it rather irritating. Yes. There is first-person narration. Yes, there is physical structure into chapters. But! At first glance (or reading), it appears to be a bit of a jumbled-up mess--first-person narrative from Ai (talk about blatant! "Ai" being "I"....certainly about as "in the first person" as you can get). Then we have the inclusion of myths. Ah, we say. We're going into another style here. No. Fooled again. We're into dialogue. Then history. Then first person narration by Estreven. Whoops. Now we're reading day-by-day journal entries. A bit confusing about just which protagonist is narrating as we are sometimes served up two opposing views of the same event. But this is Le Guin's genius!!! She dishes us out some wonderful circular narration, enhanced by multiple levels. It's a bit like playing 3 dimensional chess. There are so many levels at which to discuss this book.


_________________
Gods and spirits are parasitic--Pascal Boyer

Religion is the only force in the world that lets a person have his prejudice or hatred and feel good about it --S C Hitchcock

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. --André Gide

Reading is a majority skill but a minority art. --Julian Barnes


Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:08 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Book General

Silver Contributor

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 2517
Location: New Jersey
Thanks: 557
Thanked: 448 times in 357 posts
Gender: Female

Post Re: Ch. 2 - The Place Inside the Blizzard
oblivion wrote:
There are so many levels at which to discuss this book.


You got that right!

You sound like you are just about where I am in the book. What struck me while reading it tonight, was the mention of basalt and mountain buliding in Winter. Infact, she mentions basalt twice. I associate basalt with the Earth, and the mountain building of the Earth, now we read that an alien planet is forming using the same mechanisms as Earth. She mentions hot spots, and cindercones, and fumeroles, all associated with Earth. Also, she mentions what I read as a decription of global warming, Estraven has been told that if the current trend continues on Winter, the temperature may reach into the 70's and he would not be able to survive at this temperature. Ai states that this same trend is seen on Earth. (I apologize, this is a bit past chapter 2)

oblivion wrote:
Which brings me on to another point: the structure of the novel. At first I found it rather irritating.


I like the way the novel is structured. I enjoy the time outs in the narration for the myths and stories. The first person narration does flip flop between the two characters, but I like this as well, I feel I am able to see the true character of each.



Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:25 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Likes the book better than the movie

Gold Contributor

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 826
Location: Germany
Thanks: 201
Thanked: 179 times in 139 posts
Gender: Female
Country: Germany (de)

Post Re: Ch. 2 - The Place Inside the Blizzard
Oh, but I do like the way it is structured. I enjoy circular structure (just not circular argumentation :)).
As to where I am in the book, I'm on my 3rd reading of it. Trying to work through the different levels.


_________________
Gods and spirits are parasitic--Pascal Boyer

Religion is the only force in the world that lets a person have his prejudice or hatred and feel good about it --S C Hitchcock

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. --André Gide

Reading is a majority skill but a minority art. --Julian Barnes


Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:18 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Book General

Silver Contributor

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 2517
Location: New Jersey
Thanks: 557
Thanked: 448 times in 357 posts
Gender: Female

Post Re: Ch. 2 - The Place Inside the Blizzard
Wow, on your third reading! You are right about the different layers, I think they mesh together well, what part, or layer interests you the most?



Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:28 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Likes the book better than the movie

Gold Contributor

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 826
Location: Germany
Thanks: 201
Thanked: 179 times in 139 posts
Gender: Female
Country: Germany (de)

Post Re: Ch. 2 - The Place Inside the Blizzard
I am exceedingly interested in the use of religious themes as well as the theme of journey. Afterall, all great sagas have the hero being expelled (in this case AI wasn't expelled but rather requested to use his "freedom of the country"), enduring hardship and danger, perhaps performing the one or the other task and then returning home in glory. A hard trek over hill and dale (of course, in those temps that is an understatement).This is what Ai did. I find the variation intriguing that Ai was more or less considering himself returning "home" to Karhide, where "even the food was better" and he didn't "feel as cold". This was returning home to a home which actually was not his It wasn't Earth, afterall. When did the transition occur? At once? An epiphany? No, gradually, during the physical journey. Once he arrived in Karhide, the inward as well as the outward journey had been completed.

There is also the inward journey, the understanding of the Gethenians, the understanding of himself, the understanding of the human. And the journey to love and what love really is.

Estreven, of course, was very busy at journeys. Being exhiled twice, having to leave the homes he knew, the security of the way humans on his planet worked and thought. He was prepared to make an even longer and harder journey than Ai was, prepared to accept the aliens and their ship. There is also the classical betrayel scene that is well-known in antique sagas.

Nothing like being on a journey filled with hardship and danger in order to bring two people together.

But as I mentioned, I am completely taken by le Guin's religious themes as well.

What level /levels do you enjoy?


_________________
Gods and spirits are parasitic--Pascal Boyer

Religion is the only force in the world that lets a person have his prejudice or hatred and feel good about it --S C Hitchcock

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. --André Gide

Reading is a majority skill but a minority art. --Julian Barnes


Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:53 am
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Getting Comfortable


Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 8
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: Female
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Ch. 2 - The Place Inside the Blizzard
I really enjoyed this chapter. I like the way sci fi authors use quotes from the mythology and literature of the worlds they have created to add depth to their creations. The inserts often act like a greek chorus, commenting on or satirising the action and characters of the "real" story. This chapter seems to be a harbinger of Estraven's various tragedies and and gives insight into his character. A nice touch. :)


_________________
Jeanette

The trouble with joining the rat race is that even if you win you are still a rat.


Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:15 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Likes the book better than the movie

Gold Contributor

Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 826
Location: Germany
Thanks: 201
Thanked: 179 times in 139 posts
Gender: Female
Country: Germany (de)

Post Re: Ch. 2 - The Place Inside the Blizzard
Jeanette wrote:
The inserts often act like a greek chorus


I like that! Thank you for the insight! Why do you think the planet has been given the attribute "Winter" (Gethen)?


_________________
Gods and spirits are parasitic--Pascal Boyer

Religion is the only force in the world that lets a person have his prejudice or hatred and feel good about it --S C Hitchcock

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. --André Gide

Reading is a majority skill but a minority art. --Julian Barnes


Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:19 pm
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Pop up Book Fanatic


Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 10
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post
Gender: Female
Country: Germany (de)

Post Re: Ch. 2 - The Place Inside the Blizzard
On the structure: On my first reading I found it off-putting. Le Guin demands a great deal of attention from the reader in this book, doesn't she? To understand these tales and cultural notes you have to be really on your toes, noting that this one for instance was written in the reign of Argaven VIII -- how many readers are going to remember that the current king is Argaven XV, or flip back to check? Does she assume that every reader will read it at least twice?

But it is so tightly and intricately crafted that it richly rewards the repeat reader. Only after you know how it ends do you appreciate what is going on in the beginning.

Other people have been irritated by the structure though. I was poking around on the author's web site and found this hilarious letter: http://www.ursulakleguin.com/Reject.html.

There is also a lovely map of Gethen on that site -- my book didn't have one and I found it very helpful to envision the journey.



Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:59 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Book General

Silver Contributor

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 2517
Location: New Jersey
Thanks: 557
Thanked: 448 times in 357 posts
Gender: Female

Post Re: Ch. 2 - The Place Inside the Blizzard
oblivion wrote:
Why do you think the planet has been given the attribute "Winter" (Gethen)?


This is something that has really given me some thoughts to ponder. There are several interesting statements that have been made in the book. The book mentions that "Winter" lays above basalt, and that mountain buliding is occuring. Basalt is the foundation of Earth. Also, global warming has been mentioned. In the last part of the book, Ai mentions that the "Sea Hemisphere" has not yet been explored on the planet Gethen. South America is considered the "water Hemisphere". Also, Antartica has been mentioned. Is it just me, or does anyone else believe, that Gethen was once part of Earth, but due to global warming, or another disaster, Gethen seperated from North America, that the continents of Earth have seperated and are called planets due to there distance from one another? Winter would be an appropriate name from South America if it were to experience an ice age. Also, Ai is described as a black male, but, Ai is described as being just a little darker than Estraven, this would also describe the skin color of many people from South America.



Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:55 am
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Getting Comfortable


Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 8
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: Female
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Ch. 2 - The Place Inside the Blizzard
I read this novel as Le Guin thought experiment - take one planet on the extreme edge of human survivability that has been seeded by the mysterious Hains with a form of humanity with an ambisexual, retro mamalian estrus cycle; add one command economy/bureacratic culture and one laissez fair/ monarchic culture; throw in an outsider; stir well and see what happens!

The fact that it is a winter planet probably has some deep metaphysical or metaphorical significance but I can't pick it. The novel could have been written as a counter point to Dune (by Frank Herbert), an iconic sci fi novel about a desert planet that was written in the same era but slightly before The Left hand Of Darkness.

I like the way Le Guin makes me work to understand her novel but I'm a sci fi freak so I enjoyed re reading it. :roll:


_________________
Jeanette

The trouble with joining the rat race is that even if you win you are still a rat.


Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:59 pm
Profile Email
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Community Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Book Discussion Leaders

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
Banned Books
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Coming Soon!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Coming Soon!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
Promote your FICTION book
Promote your NON-FICTION book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2021. All rights reserved.

Display Pagerank