Skip to main content

View Diary: Orson Scott Card: What's Mainstream in the Madness (144 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Horrible what he's become! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texnance, kyril

    The moral of the "Ender" series--that we glorify war and irrationally hate "the other"--is lost on him. The wonderful insights in his planet of OCD's are lost on him as well.

    What happened to this moral soul? He was once my favorite author, because he had an ethical compass.

    •  But that's not really the moral (3+ / 0-)

      If you go back and look at the Ender series, Ender himself comes to those conclusions, but the reader is encouraged (and at times actually ordered!) to come to more or less the opposite conclusion: that what Ender did was entirely moral, just, and indeed was the only correct course of action.

      Indeed, part of the point of the first sequel is that the only reason Ender agonizes over his actions is because in addition to being the most intelligent, crafty, and all-around awesome being in the universe (c.f. Card writing himself into every book he writes), he is also the most empathetic and sensitive being in the universe. Literally every single other character, including the one who is supposed to be Ender's moral sense, tells him over and over that he was right to do what he did. In fact, if you go back and look, the omniscient narrater tells you more than once that there was literally no other possible salvation for the human race, before Ender or instead of him.

      As far as I can see, the idea behind Ender's game is not so much that we shouldn't glorify war and irrationally hate the other, so much as it is that if you understand the other instead of irrationally hating it, it's a lot easier to destroy it, and then once you've destroyed it (which is of course absolutely necessary) it's unseemly to go dancing about on its grave.

      •  The Intentional Fallacy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril

        Kessel's essay is a good example of why authorial intent isn't always interesting. That essay is mostly fighting against a strawman.

        Even if Card's own intention did match your construction, that intention is irrelevant if the reader came away with a different reading.

        All narrators are unreliable, particularly omniscient narrators.

        ("Fallacy" might be a little strong, but the main point remains.)

        •  Except... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy

          ...a lot of readers did come away with that narrative. I just read it for the first time a couple months ago and came to the same conclusion Fred Fnord posted. And that was before I read any reviews on it and discovered I wasn't the only one.

          Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

          by moviemeister76 on Mon Aug 19, 2013 at 08:47:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site