Galatea 2.2 Pages 1-138

October 25, 2007

Alright, I’ve been a bit tardy on my blog posts, so here is an extended post about our latest text.  So with this book, I’m not of the constituency in the class who utterly despises the text.  However, I’m not in love with it either.  It’s kind of like when you eat something, and it doesn’t taste bad per-say, but you probably won’t eat it again.

To start off, I mentioned this in class, but the fact that the building Powers goes to everyday, and which contains all of these different sciences and advancements, is called simply The Center.  And for the rest of my days, when someone says the center, I say Derrida.  I think this book does note shift in the center.  That shift being from literature to technology.  For Powers, this would be a shift back to science for him.  With his first book being heavy on the science, then shifting to literature; but has now seemingly abandoned literature in his pursuit of helping Lentz.  When Powers attempts to go back to literature and write the novel which he is supposed to be writing with his time off, he cannot get further than his opening image of the train.  There are several instances where Powers notes how he feels he has nothing in terms of writing his novel, and we get further proof on page 138 when he says, “I went home to chosen loneliness.  To the book I would never be able to write.”  So for Powers, his center has shifted away from writing, and he will be stuck until the center shifts again.

As for this machine that Powers and Lentz are supposed to be making, I can’t say that I fully understand the technical terms; but I do grasp that they are attempting to make a device that would be able to understand and interpret literature as well as a college educated person.  The machine could probably do more with Mrs. Dalloway or Robert Frost than I ever could.  In trying to understand how their machine would work, I kind of got the impression that it’s heading into Terminator 3 territory, where the machines have finally become self aware and decide to wipe out people.  I didn’t mention this in class because, well, just didn’t seem like a Terminator 3 kind of crowd. 

Finally, I’m starting to notice what could be described as a softening in Lentz.  He really seems to have taken a liking to Powers, and enjoys his company.  When the 2 first met, Lentz made a concentrated effort to put Powers down every chance he got, but now it’s almost like Lentz considers Powers a friend.  It was a little creepy when Diana asks Powers if he’s ever been in the office with Lentz when he has the door closed.  And she doesn’t give him an answer as to why, leaving Powers to figure that out when the time comes. 

So we march onward through the text, eagerly waiting to see if Powers and Lentz can devise a machine which can give you an in-depth analysis of Shakespeare, and maybe attempt to wipe out the human race and travel through time.

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2 Responses to “Galatea 2.2 Pages 1-138”

  1. I’m with you, Ryan; this book isn’t making my crazy, but I’m no fan club member. Your connection between Powers The Center and Derrida’s center is an interesting one. I was especially struck by your suggestion that while the center is constantly changing, how this is manifested might be different for everyone, citing how the shift in the center might be a return to science for Powers, etc. I think that Powers might not be abandoning literature, as you suggest, but is instead beginning to see the process of writing as just another formulaic system of inputs and expected outputs. What I am curious to find out is what the final evidence will be regarding this experiment in literature.

  2. mcallistera910 said

    I enjoyed reading your post and found it to be very interesting. One of the aspects I enjoyed the most is when you discuss how the narrator doubts his own writing ability. Something about this seemed to humanize the character a bit more and made him more identifiable. I think we all deal with the same self doubt in our literary writing. GOOD POST!

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