Talk:The Dispossessed

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Possessive language?[edit]

" the possessive case is strongly discouraged. " I thought the point was that their constructed language had no possessives. - Omegatron June 30, 2005 02:31 (UTC)

Article structure[edit]

The current plot section covers more than, and much that is better than, mere plot summary. Discussion of Themes, e.g., should be reorganized into a separate section or sections and given prominence. ~ Ningauble (talk) 20:42, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree. Sadly, 8 years later it still hasn't been fixed. The novel lends itself to multiple interpretations, so I think it is much better to split up a simple description of the plot (as much as that is possible given the nature of the narrative) from any analysis of what is all means. Ashmoo (talk) 12:34, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

Time relative to ours[edit]

The Setting section ends with: "Terrans are also there, and the novel occurs some time in the future. A date of 2300 has been suggested, while the complexities of Urrasti history hint otherwise."

These statements imply that the timeframe of the novel can be related to our own time on Earth, but this is clearly not so. The Dispossessed is an alternative history, with an alternative past for the Earth. As it says in Hainish Cycle: "Hundreds of thousands of years ago, the people of Hain colonized a large number of worlds, including Earth, known as Terra." No citation has been provided for "A date of 2300 has been suggested" etc, so I will delete these last two sentences shortly, unless someone comes to their rescue. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Brymor (talkcontribs) 22:54, 21 February 2017 (UTC)

@Brymor: I don't have the time to add a reference at the moment, but the fact is that scholars usually treat Hainish fiction as set in our own future, rather than in an alternate universe; and Hainish colonization being a part of terran history is one of the fictional elements of the story. Conjecture can thus be made about the timeline. Look at the sources in The Left Hand of Darkness, or The Word for World is Forest, for instance. Vanamonde (talk) 07:30, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
There is nothing to suggest the author intended it as an Alternate Future. The notion of humans settled from another planet is common in SF. And would be true in all Alternate Worlds, if true. (I don't believe it, but it is all opinions.) --GwydionM (talk) 09:35, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
Okay, let's leave it for the moment, but the conjecture I quoted was tagged 'citation needed' in January 2016 - this is still true! (And are you saying that the statement in Hainish Cycle: "It is set in an alternate history/future history" is incorrect?) I'll look around myself, we need to make the reference here sound less far-fetched. Brymor (talk) 17:50, 22 February 2017 (UTC)
@Brymor: Yes, that statement would be incorrect; additionally, alternate history and future history are very different things! So the sentence would be a problem even otherwise. I have a source for the timeline, I just need a brief while to dig it up. Should happen later this evening. Vanamonde (talk) 03:06, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
Okay, I've found the source for the date of 2300 for The Dispossessed: it's in a piece by Ian Watson dating from 1975. I don't believe it for a moment, but it is a reputable source, so I have updated the article. Interestingly, I now see that this Watson paper is cited as a source in both The Left Hand of Darkness and The Word for World is Forest, so was this the source you (Vanamonde93) had in mind? Brymor (talk) 15:26, 26 February 2017 (UTC)
Yes indeed. Vanamonde (talk) 16:41, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Proposed time[edit]

@Ashmoo: Why did you move this out of Setting? The first sentence is undoubtedly Setting. If you want a separate section about time, then it should begin at the point in the text starting the novel occurs some time in the future. . . But arguably, when the novel takes place is the setting? Brymor (talk) 20:57, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

Hi Brymor. Because I believe that the init Plot Summary should be a simple explanation of the plot, as it appears in the book. Any analysis and interpretation should be after the plot is explained. As evidenced by the discussion above, calculations of where it fits in real history (or even if it does) is too complex for the beginning of the article. Ashmoo (talk) 08:23, 14 March 2017 (UTC)