Re: RARA-AVIS: more Teran

Date: 28 May 2001

>>Really? I thought the ending of Bullet was one of redemption as the
>>main characters turn their backs on corrupt society and go off to >build
>and define their new family.

I would say that this is certainly what's intended. Damaged but internally loyal refugee family complete with new mother figure heads off to the frontier in search of purity, internal and external...

>It has been a couple of years, and there were many things I disliked about
>BULLET. Did you really get the sense that these utterly damaged people were
>going to somehow become functioning members of society, any society? I
>didn't. But then I have to point out that the corruption of that society is made clear by the end of the book, and that you have therefore two alternatives: the society of a corrupt civilisation, and the outlaw society which preys on it. The protagonists are in opposition to both, and ultimately make a third alternative for themselves: at the end of the book it's Mayflower time, it's covered-wagon time. I don't find this a false ending, Mark; it seems logical in the circumstances. It doesn't sit in my memory as a happy family scenario, though it might hope to find one - fingers crossed. The fact that all 3 of them are horribly damaged by events is unforgettable. I think the reason that I would reject the false-ending idea is that it's only an ending in the sense that there has been a lot of destruction.

> Not even a society where they create their own rules, since it would
>have to work in conjuction with the corrupt society they were fleeing from.
>I much prefer when the characters attempt to find their niche from within
>that society.
You must fit in to any society, just because it's there and that's where you started from??? Isn't the book saying that you have to flee corruption of all kinds, and that it's so omnipresent that you'll be lucky to get away with your life? This is Sodom and Gomorrah country, friends. There's the (notice) hermit figure (I read it a year ago, too busy to go back right now for a name) who informs people that God is a bullet, and events certainly tells us this is true; there are our
'family' - a very few may escape from the fire and brimstone, and they might be able to get themselves cleaned up, look for personal salvation somewhere away . Not the city, not the desert, maybe the mountains... Their success is obviously not guaranteed. Ending is not closure.

>Maybe redemption does not always have to be there for me to enjoy a novel,
>but it is a preference.

Of course. But remember - God is a bullet. Destructive. Redemption in this story is through death and the destruction of evil, in the process of which there are sacrifices to be made, possibly in vain. The Pequod founders. (Curiously enough, I find this a very 'literary' book, almost academic. I picture the author as this balding 55-year-old male academic teaching American literature at a California college....)

This is not a nice book. It IS nihilistic, not comforting, not cosy. If there were a cat in this book, it would get skinned. Probably alive. Like everybody else....


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