Re: Worst Hugos Ever?
- From: "David E. Siegel" <siegel@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2008 08:27:42 -0700 (PDT)
On Mar 13, 9:08 am, Bill Patterson <WHPatter...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Yes, I find it not supported by the correspondence that he
deliberately wrote an unacceptable book in an attempt to break the
chain of options; at the same time, I, like you, can't understand how
he could have believed that first chapter would pass a children's
publisher, none of whom have ever been notably supportive of
Verfremdungseffekt. He wasn't typically THAT oblivious; nor was he
typicaly engaged n that kind of double-think in his commercial
dealings. It's an anomalous historical fact..
Yes it is. (Although one of the letters in Grumbles, written before ST
was rejected, says that it is really *not* a juvenile, but that he has
so written it that it can be marketed as one -- this is the "omitting
bed-games" passage that i referred to in another post. Perhaps he was
on some level aware that this was not really acceptable in a "juvie"
but he hoped that he reputation and ongoing relationship with
Scribners would get it past boundaries that would otherwise stop it.
That is however, speculation.)
BTW, it was another poster, not I, who was so amazed that the fighting
scenes and particularly the opening chapter were included in a book
originally submitted to the "juvenile" market.
There are several separate philosophical problems in the H&MP
material. I think the species-survival argument both has merit and
has problems, and in the end it simply reflects his orientation as an
modernist taking issue with the old religious-based ethics.
I tend to agree. It is interesting (to me at least) to analyze both
its merits and its problems, and to point out the holes in the logic
as presented -- perhaps in significant part because I found the logic
so very persuasive when i first read it (at about age 15, IIRC).
the "mathematically provable" bit is speculative projection --
legitimate given certain other contingies coming to pass. But I also
tend to think that if a rigor were established on which logical
operations could be sustained, then the field would be a lot narrower
in its imeaning and implication than we are accustomed to thinking of
ethics, and what Heinlein might have had in mind (assuming he got
further in working out the implications than the intuition of rigor)
was probably not very close to what we currently think of as morals
Perhaps. But consider the "calculus of statement" presented in Blowups
Happen. There the same mathematical methods are used to accurately
predict the results of a public relations campaign and of a nuclear
explosion.There are at least hints of similar methods in Gulf and
Friday, for example. I suspect that RAH wanted to think (and least on
the "wouldn't it be cool if" level) that sociology and indeed morals
and ethics could and should eventually acquire the same sort of
mathematical underpinning that Ballistics and mechanical engineering
had -- and that if they did, his own strongly held ethical opinions
would be provably correct.
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