RE: MD Intellectually Nowhere

From: David Buchanan (
Date: Sun Jul 20 2003 - 21:21:39 BST

  • Next message: David Buchanan: "RE: MD Intellectual patterns? huh?"

    Rick and all:

    Let me take a different, additional approach.

    dmb had said:
    ...More to the point, the reason I don't take Lila's ability to speak
    English as a sign of her intellectual quality, besides the undisputable fact
    that the author says she has none...

    'Undisputable' fact? That sounds like a challenge to me. have to look at both equally as characters in
    the same world. Phaedrus is NOT the omniscient author. Phaedrus's thoughts
    are his own and he's just another person in that world seeing things from
    his own perspective. Phaedrus thought Lila was "intellectually" nowhere,
    and that intellectual quality was "outside her range". Well, if this were
    LITERALLY true, then Phaedrus himself must sub-retarted, because if you read
    carefully, you'll note that it's Lila who outsmarts Phaedrus when they argue
    about beauty....

    dmb says:
    As I understand it, Phaedrus is the Platonist that existed prior to his
    insanity and his character is then largely a ghost, a re-construction from
    notes and such. The one who does the reconstructing is the narrator in ZAMM
    and The Captain in Lila. And I'm pretty sure its the captain who is the one
    working on the MOQ and comments on Lila's relative quality. In both books
    talks about Phaedrus as if he were a completely different person from his
    post-electro shock "therapy". And that's true enough. I think it serves to
    balance Platonic and Aristotelean sides of himself and the two sides work
    together on the MOQ. The captain is trying to avoid the mistakes that
    Phaedrus made, going crazy being not the least of them. Then there is Pirsig
    himself, the author of all that. I suppose the autobiographical nature of
    his work makes it harder that it might otherwise be to sort this stuff out,
    its not rocket surgery.

    In any case, the phrase "indisputable fact" was perhaps used in frustration.
    It seems that a very specific, obvious and concrete case has been placed
    before the eyes and yet it has only been ignored and otherwise danced
    around. The responses have been unresponsive. Even yours strikes me as quite
    a reach and a little off the topic. I mean, does the book repeatedly say
    Lila has no intellectual quality or not? Yes, it does. That is
    "indisputable". We debate which character said it, but such a discussion
    will not erase those words. I'm frustrated at the lack of a direct response
    to passages, especially since it directly bears on the central question and
    the title character, "who missed the whole point of everything".

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