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sologdin

china mieville

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On 10/10/2016 at 9:48 PM, sologdin said:

iron council has the best ending, yeah.

Yes, if you like your hopelessness with a side order of ruined expectations and a sprinkle of extra bleakness. :P

 

EDIT: Or if Waiting for Godot is your favourite play.

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1 hour ago, Lyanna Stark said:

Yes, if you like your hopelessness with a side order of ruined expectations and a sprinkle of extra bleakness. :P

 

EDIT: Or if Waiting for Godot is your favourite play.

yes please! or, as herr professor kant says:

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In my opinion, tragedy is distinguished from comedy primarily in the fact that in the former it is the feeling for the sublime while in the latter it is the feeling for the beautiful that is touched. In the former there is displayed magnanimous sacrifice for the well-being of another, bold resolve in the face of danger, and proven fidelity. There love is melancholic, tender, and full of esteem; the misfortune of others stirs sympathetic sentiments in the bosom of the onlooker and allows his magnanimous heart to beat for the need of others. He is gently moved and feels the dignity of his own nature. Comedy, in contrast, represents intrigues, marvelous entanglements and clever people who know how to wriggle out of them, fools who let themselves be deceived, jests and ridiculous characters. Here love is not so grave, it is merry and intimate. Yet as in other cases, here too the noble can be united with the beautiful to a certain degree.

 

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3 hours ago, sologdin said:

yes please! or, as herr professor kant says:

 

Hahaha, I am terribly uncouth and lowbrow, so I prefer my bleakness not quite so bleak. That is also probably due to my growing up in a country where working class misery and social realism were the main themes of literature that got recognised during the time period that was my formative years. The more starvation, dying children, crushing oppression and miserable emigration, the better, apparently. :)

Personally I preferred the ending of The Scar to Iron Council, although I can appreciate how stylish and thematically correct it was, for lack of better words. The Scar at least is a bit more open ended and is more medium bleak instead of a total blow out. :PKraken just confused me in general, but I quite a approved of Railsea's "Onwards" credo. (I kept wondering if the Railsea guys might eventually show up at Armada.)

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the scar and iron council are kinda sibling texts, and should be read together.  i described the relation elsewhere as:

Quote

As in The Scar, the narrative here involves a group of outcasts who travel on a more or less traditional quest to find something in particular. Both books involve a renegade, mobile city that interacts weirdly with a bizarre breach in the fabric of the setting (here, the Stain, there, the eponymous Scar). Both involve ambitious plans by the outcasts with broad geopolitical implications. Both testify to the abject failure of grand plans.

whereas the mobile city of the scar is the incarnation of lumpenized antisocial nihilism, the iron council protagonists are cool.

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19 hours ago, sologdin said:

the scar and iron council are kinda sibling texts, and should be read together.  i described the relation elsewhere as:

whereas the mobile city of the scar is the incarnation of lumpenized antisocial nihilism, the iron council protagonists are cool.

Ah yes, good point on how they are sibling texts. They do indeed seem to belong together. Does China really, really hate grand plans as much as he loves trains? Regardless of whether it is PSS, The Scar or Iron Council, grand plans must fail spectacularly. They can't sort of fizzle out, or end up being somewhat different, no; they have to fail spectacularly. :lol: Is it inherent in marxism to be so convinced of it working, yet equally convinced it can never actually work? It seems to be headache inducing to me. :P

On the failure of grand plans, I suppose that is why Railsea surprised me, since its surprisingly upbeat ending.

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On 10/14/2016 at 9:08 AM, Lyanna Stark said:

EDIT: Or if Waiting for Godot is your favourite play.

As a matter of fact, it is.

I'm some kind of cliche, aren't I?

I like The Scar better as a novel. Some of the setup for Iron Council, particularly the middle biographical section, I find really kind of excruciating. My enjoyment of the ending might have included some personal vendetta. My take is the opposite of Solo's - the floating city is cool and the Iron Council protagonists are intolerable. Straight up intolerable. I don't actually want to be on a socialist train with them. 

From past threads, it seems that I'm in the minority of having really enjoyed Kraken.

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I loved The Scar, but I've twice failed to finish Iron Council. Don't remember what the furthest I got was, but it might have been that middle part. 

 

I also enjoyed Kraken. 

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On 19/10/2016 at 0:25 AM, Eponine said:

As a matter of fact, it is.

I'm some kind of cliche, aren't I?

I like The Scar better as a novel. Some of the setup for Iron Council, particularly the middle biographical section, I find really kind of excruciating. My enjoyment of the ending might have included some personal vendetta. My take is the opposite of Solo's - the floating city is cool and the Iron Council protagonists are intolerable. Straight up intolerable. I don't actually want to be on a socialist train with them. 

From past threads, it seems that I'm in the minority of having really enjoyed Kraken.

I really like Waiting for Godot, so I am not ready to throw any stones, at all. :lol:

As it happens, I also thought the protagonists of Iron Council were more annoying and not a bunch of people I'd like to associate with, while like you, I was far more keen on Armada.

On 19/10/2016 at 6:02 PM, sologdin said:

y'all of course are overlooking his magnificent octopus between equal rights: a marxist theory of international law.

Hipster. :P

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On 19/10/2016 at 0:25 AM, Eponine said:

From past threads, it seems that I'm in the minority of having really enjoyed Kraken.

Kraken is awesome fun, I love it. (For the record ;) )

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Kraken is the only one outside of the Bas Lag books that appeals to me, would love to hear some more opinions on it.

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23 hours ago, Calibandar said:

Kraken is the only one outside of the Bas Lag books that appeals to me, would love to hear some more opinions on it.

It's the most lightweight book Mieville has ever put out (I'd rank it as substantially less substantial than either of his actual alleged YA novels, Un Lun Dun and Railsea). It's frothy and funny and silly and Mieville firmly in "Parking brain in neutral" mode. Nothing wrong with that, but it is a bit of an oddball outlier from his work and might be the weakest novel of his that I've read (although still certainly enjoyable).

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Seems to me the quality of his work has been on the decline since PSS and the Scar.

Now I was never the biggest fans of those books anyway, and certainly Mieville is not my type of writer.

But there is at least some stuff that I found intriguing in his worldbuilding in those two novels.

But then, Iron Council was seen as a disappointment. Embassytown was a step down that I at least could not finish. City and City seems to have been well received but personally I did not care for it. His YA novels likewise did not impress me. And of late he has been producing bite sized novellas which like the rest of his post- Bas Lag work, runs into very mixed reception. 

I remember 12 years ago or so it really seemed like this guy would keep blowing people away with new stuff and be a top writer in the genre but IMO, it hasn't happened. His best work was his first, and after that, well, very mixed results.

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Weird to think that Perdido Street Station is 16 years old.  I think I read it around 2005 or 2006.  Was my introduction to the whole New Weird vs. epic fantasy thing.  :P 

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4 hours ago, Calibandar said:

His best work was his first, and after that, well, very mixed results.

technically, king rat and some of the stories in looking for jake pre-exist the bas-lag books.

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I think his best books are The Scar and The City and the City, with maybe then Perdido Street Station in third place.

It's odd that he hasn't published a proper novel in four years, given he went through a very productive period before that.

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He seems to have been doing some graphic-novel writing and shorter stuff, but, yeah, I miss having new novels from him. 

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On 19/10/2016 at 4:15 PM, Voland said:

I loved The Scar, but I've twice failed to finish Iron Council. Don't remember what the furthest I got was, but it might have been that middle part. 

Beautiful. This is exactly the point of Iron Council, and much of Marxist literature. Beautiful failure, arrested in a perpetual promise. I think you should leave it right there, fantasising now and then of a Glorious Future, a utopia-yet-to-come where you will actually read the whole thing.

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