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Re: Pythons, chickens, frogs and wifes

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  • clrovers
    Sorry, late substitute in the TT game (time left still?), and looking back over a newly discovered scorecard (to me) perhaps longer than the match itself
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 8 1:53 PM
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      Sorry, late substitute in the TT game (time left still?), and
      looking back over a newly discovered scorecard (to me) perhaps
      longer than the match itself (posts v. pages by 2 to 1), and only
      starting Day3 as I write this, (and that's the beauty of your
      discussion list which can be faux current to myself), but I thought
      I'd lay my thought on this thread, if only for posterity:
      I thought this dream pre-illustrated a later narration of author
      which held that seldom does fate/death treat actual people to a
      noble or significant or planned end brimming with irony and
      symbolism as the characters of a story should normally expect. If
      it were a movie opening with John Wayne trapped with a python, the
      only thing we were assured of was that JW would not be eaten by the
      python, or no movie!
      My guess is that JB would have us believe that our lives are our
      lives (and better to live them than hide from the inescapable), and
      if we cannot change the ending or its circumstances, we can at least
      tailor the 'story of our lives' to our own dramatical impulses.
      Which is probably exactly what Barth has done in more than a few of
      his stories.
      To further illustrate, when you started reading this response you
      could make a reasonable assumption that the writer (even unknown)
      would make an attempt to provide an interesting comment with
      beginning, middle and end, or why else would it be posted? But while
      at the keyboard typing, I cannot say for sure that I won't succumb
      to an angry artery, or eventually grow tired playing S & M with a
      past-prime equine, or feel too strange among strangers or simply
      lose my IN connection and this missive will have no meaningful end.
      Well, the reader can still decide if it did.
      (again, apologies for unravelling an old thread)

      --- In johnbarth@y..., "Kris Majer" <stonk@f...> wrote:
      > Mal chimes in:
      > > The parables
      > > aren't meant to encourage fatalism (no matter how passively
      > > comforting that might be for us) but to inspire contempt for
      those
      > > (chickens, frogs) that let it happen.
      >
      > Ah, Mal, I never meant they encourage fatalism, but that they
      register the
      > Tragic View (in this case of human life) and get on with it,
      drawing maybe
      > even more life energy *from* the fact that What We Have Here ends
      some
      > day - Destroyer of Delights, Severer of Societies etc. That's not
      fatalism;
      > it's carpe diem, more like, I guess.
      >
      > > Barth wasn't much of an activist as a younger man (if we
      > > can believe him) but in later years he's increasingly
      contemplated
      > > environment, political evil, public education, and so forth.
      >
      > He has pondered all right, came to some grim conclusions (like,
      will the
      > world end before the end of this sentence?). Some more Tragic
      View, but
      > love, sailing & stories can still save you. That's the way I see
      it,
      > mainly.
      >
      > > On an entirely different note, I'll be fascinated to see how
      group
      > > members interpret Barth's treatment of his first wife here.
      >
      > We've had a short thread a while ago on Marcie Blitzstein & Marsha
      Blank,
      > for instance. We haven't really come to any final conclusions:
      >
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johnbarth/message/1031
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johnbarth/message/1041
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/johnbarth/message/1063
      >
      > .K
      >
      >
      >
      > --
      > Placisz raz - uzywasz caly czas!
      > http://www.onetmail.onet.pl/oferta
    • agrimorfee
      ... Sheesh, s all right! Jump in at anytime, I say, as our home page thus doth encourage. I think you raise a very valid and truthful point. Ties in with
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 8 2:00 PM
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        --- In johnbarth@y..., "clrovers" <clrovers@y...> wrote:
        > Sorry, late substitute in the TT game

        Sheesh, s'all right! Jump in at anytime, I say, as our home page
        thus doth encourage.

        I think you raise a very valid and truthful point. Ties in with
        WDYWID which will show up again and again throughout the book, as
        well as the end consequences of some of the characters (not to spoil
        anything).
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