Tuesday, May 15, 2007
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.
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!