Tuesday, May 15, 2007

coming up...

Last night was a slightly late one for me, since I needed to finally finish my second reading of The Magus, by John Fowles. It really is a fascinating read about a very unusual social experiment and its subject, Nicholas Urfe. There are more twists and turns in this novel's plot than any other I've ever read.

One thought I did not have the first time through was how much of this experiment was voluntary. Just as in the real-life obedience experiments which were carried out by Stanley Milgram in the 1950's, Nicholas becomes so attached to this experiment that he never even thinks about quitting, no matter how troublesome, or even traumatic, things get.

We are visiting a few other people to discuss this book this weekend, and I have no idea where the conversation will start or end, since there is so much to talk about.

Some ideas--

The ethics of the experiment, who were the conspirators, what was the motivation behind it, how were certain effects accomplished?

And of course, the ending. Both times, I found the ending unsatisfying, but this time, it's more obvious that the end of the book is not the end of the story, nor is it the point--it's the mental journey and transformation of Nicholas Urfe.

It'll be interesting. And I am SO behind. I better start running after Harry!


Doug said...

Interesting. I have no idea what you're talking about which suggests one of us was profoundly affected. We were kind of running parallel this week, though, weren't we?

Minka said...

Yeah, I have to second Doug on this. Seems like you have given this book a lot of thought and are on a way higher level of appreciation for us to understand. In teh end, it makes this book a must read :)

Have fun in the group and if tehre is somewhere who did not like it all that much, dontæ give him too hard a time ;)

TLP said...

You're so refined. And sorta smart too.

Doug said...

TLP, I'm starting to think more smart than refined. You all branded her wrong. I blame Aral.

Doug said...

TLP, I'm starting to think more smart than refined. You all branded her wrong. I blame Aral.

neva said...

smart, refined, and, apparently, well-read.

sounds like a fascinating read -- a difficult one, but fascinating, nonetheless. that said, i'm much more amenable to twists and turns in the course of a book than i am on a running course. but maybe that's just me and/or my lousy sense of direction... ; ) xox