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It is the duty of every generation to destroy our fathers. What scraps we keep for sentimental reasons will be their legacy.

tisdag 25 september 2012

Missade deadline - vad blev det av det?


Jag missade visst en deadline i en Coursera-kurs. Tror inte det ska drabba mig allvarligt, man ska kunna missa en vecka eller två. Tyvärr berodde det på klantighet, då jag hade skrivit essän för en vecka sedan och bara inte tagit mig för att skriva in den, för jag trodde jag hade till 19 på mig. Det var visst 17, jag hade översatt tidszonerna fel.

Nu schemalägger jag den här istället, så den kommer till någon nytta.

Dune and "Darkness"
As we learned from the lectures, "Darkness" shares the honor of winning both Hugo and Nebula awards with "Dune". It also shares a setting, in a sense. The fact that both stories take place on planets with a very harsh climate, in "Darkness" the planet Gethen is also known as Winter - in "Dune" the planet Arrakis is a desert world known as Dune. The are also both stories of a lone off-worlder trying to understand the local culture in order to triumph.'
There is of course a difference between the androgynous Gethenians and the very gender-separated Fremen. But in a way, the interaction of the off-worlder (Genly Ai in the one, Paul or Jessica Atreides in the other) to the local natives is single-gendered. Ai at first only see the androgynous gethenians as male but realise in the end that they are both male and female. Jessica find that the elder Fremen women share traditions with her all-female order and become a "Reverend Mother", but in the end it is Paul who combine the elements of male and female to become the Kwisatz Haderach.
In these ways "Darkness" mirrors "Dune", but it is a fun-house mirror. Instead of a dry desert planet we have a planet of eternal winter, but that sort of cold is a desert in it's own way. Instead of a people who send their women to the deep desert for safety and where a man kan win another mans wife in a duel we have a people who have neither male nor female gender, but the bridging of male and female is a central theme.
Perhaps these are themes that were perfect for it's time, how a climate can change it's people and the male/female dicotomy. At least two very different books turn out to be very much alike.

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