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The House of Rumour
"Whenever he's got a new book out I drop everything." - David Bowie
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The Power of Words

Created: 04/25/13

Replies: 3

Posted Apr. 25, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
maryr

Join Date: 10/18/12

Posts: 1

The Power of Words

There is a quote that struck me in The Sun chapter at the end of the story, "The City of the Sun": "...words are not merely ciphers for the thoughts they represent; they have a power of their own; they are analogs of a divinized cosmos, evocative, charmed, incantational."

It got me thinking about how words, and by extension, media such as films and television, shape our culture and influence our lives. This book is about how life influenced literature and how literature influenced life. It is as if the words on the page have the power to create the world, just as the world creates the story.

The premise of the House of Rumour: "At the centre of the world where everything can be seen is a tower of sounding bronze that hums and echoes, repeating all it hears, mixing truth with fiction," reminds me of Jean Baudrillard's book Simulacra and Simulation, in which Baudrillard argues that today there is no such thing as reality.

It also reminded me that history is written by the victors and there is no real truth, just what I would call "spin".


Posted Apr. 28, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lesleyf

Join Date: 05/14/11

Posts: 6

RE: The Power of Words

Maryr has hit on the phrase "history is written by the victors" which I mentioned in answer to another of the discussion questions.. And spin is exactly what it is. We have seen it in very recent times as politicians attempt to find a short powerful phrase to capture the spin of their message. As I was reading I kept stopping to jot down words, phrases, and ideas that appealed to me. That act in itself points out to me the power of the words of the author. Last chapter, page 429 "...the scarce time we had together was spent at the wrong end of our lives..Eveything speeds up so much when you get this old." makes me smile with insight having met the love of my life at the age of 50!


Posted Apr. 30, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 82

Expert

RE: The Power of Words

Words do mean something. They can elevate us to the heights of joy and understanding or dump us in the garbage. Words do mean something. Sometimes we read a sentence and it answers a multitude of questions. Sometimes we are left with questions that seem to have no answers. In this age of instant communication, words disappear. Words are abreviated. Words are omitted by space constraint. Words are twisted to suit the writers agenda. We lose our trust in words. That is sad because WORDS do mean something. This book is not my favorite by a long shot. It has some beautiful combinations of words and some ugly combinations of words. But, it has words that do mean something. And for that reason, if no other, it is worthy.


Posted Apr. 30, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 235

Expert

RE: The Power of Words

Aside from the fact that this book was a tad difficult for me I definitely found numerous combinations of words that really made me stop. I reread many a sentence in pure admiration. Several phrases and sentences got jotted down in my notes. Most of what I read is so plot driven that I read quickly and rarely think of the words or the structure of the sentences. It was good to be stopped cold and just think of what I had just read.


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