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Book 4 AKA let's talk about April

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#1 vToMy

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 01:23

Anyone else noticed the contrast between this book and previous ones?

When I played through books 1-3 all I've been thinking about was "what about April?" There were no mentions, no conversations, nothing (don't catch me up here--at least nothing as serious as this topic demands).

I wasn't sure if it was on purpose until this book. Book 4 was like a "feels"-dam breaking and pouring everything that's April. Suddenly we talked about her - she mattered.

To top it all, Zoe's adventure through Arcadia was analogues to the one April had in TLJ.

I mean, CROW! Meeting with Roper Klacks, and Zoe facing the babayaga was very reminiscent of April in the cave - facing your fears/wrong doing.

Holding back for the previous books really made an impact. I felt it was a good closure - one I've been waiting for for along time.


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#2 DarkPerson

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 01:52

Anyone else noticed the contrast between this book and previous ones?

When I played through books 1-3 all I've been thinking about was "what about April?" There were no mentions, no conversations, nothing (don't catch me up here--at least nothing as serious as this topic demands).

I wasn't sure if it was on purpose until this book. Book 4 was like a "feels"-dam breaking and pouring everything that's April. Suddenly we talked about her - she mattered.

To top it all, Zoe's adventure through Arcadia was analogues to the one April had in TLJ.

I mean, CROW! Meeting with Roper Klacks, and Zoe facing the babayaga was very reminiscent of April in the cave - facing your fears/wrong doing.

Holding back for the previous books really made an impact. I felt it was a good closure - one I've been waiting for for along time.

 I agree. I wasn't fully happy about how Zoe's Journey to Arcadia was stalled, but I am glad that everything is sorted out. I wonder what will happen in Book 5.
 I am still curious what they meant by saying there are two Aprils now. I also noticed that merging or becoming one is a theme.



#3 Neurotic

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 02:44

The reason why Zoe's story appears similar to April's is because Saga is Zoe.



#4 Lee-m

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 22:38

The reason why Zoe's story appears similar to April's is because Saga is Zoe.

In your opinion. Most people on this forum currently disagree.


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#5 magic88889

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 23:51

When you have a series like this, similarities from one game to the next is actually fairly common.  Sometimes it's deliberate and can actually add a lot to the story.  It can also be used to build a sense of familiarity from episode to episode.  Most of the time though, I feel it's just a function of the Hero's Journey story format.  They're similar because they're all using the same story formula.  Throw in some of the same characters, and things can seem very familiar.

 

Check this out: http://www.thewriter...o's_journey.htm

 

You'll find practically every fantasy story follows this model, from comic books, to regular books, to movies and TV shows.  Heck, even Lord of the Rings followed this model.  There are exceptions of course, but every entry in the TLJ series has followed it.

 

 

Edit: That might not be the best coverage of the Hero's Journey available, just the best I could find on short notice.  There's an excellent youtube video about it somewhere that I remember watching, but I can't seem to find it just now.


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#6 Neurotic

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 05:34

I don't disagree with you, but here we're dealing with an example where a person can be two, or more, characters. Why is the proposition seemingly so outlandish in this example?



#7 the red of the kin

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 07:58

Don't read this in the wrong way: I respect very much your theory, Neurotic.

I think one reason why at this moment your proposition seems "outlandish" is that many similar ones may be presented, given there is lots of obscure clues that can be interpreted.

Let me give you an example.

 

April is the villain of TLJ.
Think about it. Everywhere she goes people die, she even states it herself. We come to know how the Undreaming posesses people. My proposition is that she's been posessed by the undreaming. Crow is really the Undreaming and he follows all of his "victims" until he's done with them.

I won't go on elaborating on this, since I don't think it's worth spending time over, but you get the gist of it.

What I'm getting at is that bold statements that subvert the core of a story's plot are hard to take in, especially when the evidence for other paths is stronger. So while I appreciate your theory a lot because it makes me "trip", I don't commit to it all the way.


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#8 Neurotic

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 17:34

Don't read this in the wrong way: I respect very much your theory, Neurotic.

I think one reason why at this moment your proposition seems "outlandish" is that many similar ones may be presented, given there is lots of obscure clues that can be interpreted.

Let me give you an example.

 

April is the villain of TLJ.
Think about it. Everywhere she goes people die, she even states it herself. We come to know how the Undreaming posesses people. My proposition is that she's been posessed by the undreaming. Crow is really the Undreaming and he follows all of his "victims" until he's done with them.

I won't go on elaborating on this, since I don't think it's worth spending time over, but you get the gist of it.

What I'm getting at is that bold statements that subvert the core of a story's plot are hard to take in, especially when the evidence for other paths is stronger. So while I appreciate your theory a lot because it makes me "trip", I don't commit to it all the way.

"This story, like all good stories, begins where it ends; in a realm in a tower that is no more.'
 
Does that mean that stories without cyclicality are bad stories? It doesn't, does it? That's not what she is trying to communicate here. She is speaking to us from the past, back when ancient storytellers passed on their legacy through oral delivery. It was easier to remember the story if the start was the finish; there and back again.
 
Lady Alvane: "All my stories are true, child. There are enough fairy tales in the worlds already. There's no need for me to make up more, believe me."
 
Quite a self-contradiction there, don't you think? Why are HER stories true while other stories in the world are simply fairytales? And since we know that stories change, especially those passed from generation to generation through oral delivery, is she lying to us?
 
She is not, she is trying to tell us something else...
 
Remember when you're told, through Emma, to meet Cortez at the place where 'children visualize their dreams' and he drawls on and on about art and truth, yet April is STILL clueless, maybe even moreso than when she arrived? This is one of several places in the game I recommend revisiting. It didn't make sense then but it's different now because we're looking at it with new eyes;
 
Cortez: "Truth, exactly! A deeper truth. This painting, this particular work of art, speaks of a deeper truth. It has a soul."
April: "How can a painting have a soul?"
Cortez: "It has a soul because it has an identity, it has a heart. The memory of this painting will survive beyond this moment, it will linger in your mind, become part of the tapestry of your subconscious. It has made a lasting impression on you, and you're not quite sure why."
April: "It's just a painting by some kid. It's not as if it's a Picasso or a Monet."
Cortez: "Now you're arguing technique. Not every painting by Van Gogh or Michellangelo is real art either, although they all demonstrate great technique and craftsmanship. And the scribbled drawings of a five-year old child are rarely technically impressive, but they may still have a soul, they may still be real art."
April: "So you're saying "real art" is not defined by the skill of the artist? Then what is art, if just anybody can create something more "real" than artists who've spent their entire lives developing their skills?"
Cortez: "Art is still the work of artists. And skill, craftsmanship, technique -- those things are critical to the success of the an artist's work. But alone, those things are merely pretense. For something to be real, to be truthful, the artist must transfer -- shift -- part of him or her into the work to transcend the illusion and reach for the truth of art."
 
So what is truth and what is mere illusion? What is reality and what is fiction? I don't know..I've been wondering about that one myself.. Meet me tomorrow and I'll tell you.... everything.
 
:P
 
Obviously I'm not gonna wait until tomorrow.. Just wanted to make a Cortez-esque dramatic exit. :P

I am going to split this into several parts cause it is gonna be a long journey. So this is end of part one, I'll hurry as much as I can with the next part..


#9 Indrid Cold

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 18:09



Lady Alvane: "All my stories are true, child. There are enough fairy tales in the worlds already. There's no need for me to make up more, believe me."

Quite a self-contradiction there, don't you think? Why are HER stories true while other stories in the world are simply fairytales?

That's not what this part means. She's saying that the real fairy tales are enough so she won't make up a fake one.

#10 Neurotic

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 18:48

In 'Dreamfall: Chapters' we're introduced to Etta and Saga. These are references to Norse Pagan Mythology; Etta refers to Edda, the Norse Pagan myths that were passed on through generations until they were written down. There are two types of Eddas; The older and the younger.
 
When it comes to the older Edda we don't know who wrote them down, but we know who wrote the the younger Edda;; Snorre Sturlason. The stories are considerably different when you compare the younger to the older Edda, and we know that Snorre based the younger Edda on the older. 
 
Snorre changed these stories, but why? Well, he was an opporunistic self-centered asshole who would do pretty much anything to advance his agenda. He was also a huge proponent of the Christianization of Scandinavia. So what happens when a person, who is biased towards the concept of monotheism, rewrites and changes what has already been written down?
 
The Azadi shows up with their concept of one true deity proclaiming that all other deities are false idols, that the concept of magic and science separated and kept balanced is opposed in favor of their judgment and afterlife concepts. And April, the chosen one who would forever serve as the savior and protector of the two worlds, has changed into a brutal and deadly enemy; a liar and a false prophet.
 
Then there's Saga...
 
Saga incorporates details and stories from both the older and the younger Eddas creating a new story where the two Eddas overlap; Frøya and Frigg are two different deities, then all of a sudden they're not, they're one and the same. One deity becoming her own mother, sister, daughter...etc..
 
This is why Lady Alvane, Magnus, Edda and Saga lives in the exact same house not governed by time, yet they're not there at the same time; they exist in the same place but in different realities within the Storytime;
 
Lady Alvane is the older Edda; she delivers her stories orally and in that cyclical fashion mentioned earlier.
 
Edda is the younger Edda; Remember her typewriter? She doesn't need to apply the cyclical method because she doesn't need to remember the stories, she writes them down and there they are.
 
Saga is Saga; She has access to both the older and the younger Eddas so the stories she tells contain elements from both. This is why she is referred to as 'The girl who walks betwen worlds'. Since she has that ability, she can also change the past. She can override Lady Alvane's story and ship her off to oblivion, effectively killing her off;
 
Lady Alvane: "And so the story goes... How strange it was to tell it again, to remember...April Ryan. That was such a long, long time ago. And now...now my story is almost over as well."
Crow: "Ah, you're as healthy as ever. You still got a lot of life in you... Wish I was half as lucky."   
 
The reason why Crow is so very important to this story is because of his true identity; He is Odin, the All-father. Without him there would be no Lady Alvane, no Etta and no Saga. He must remain as a constant in all of the stories, because if you remove him the story never existed to begin with; They're all connected through him because the entire story's backbone is Norse Pagan Mythology.
 
Now that you know who he is, you can start identifying who the different characters in the story represent in the Norse Pagan myths. Not only will things start to make more sense, you'll also know certain details that are yet to be revealed, and may never be revealed.
 
From April Ryan's diary: 'I'm going to the pond tonight, to say goodbye. I haven't been there in a long while, not since that CRAZY day. Well, I have to see it one last time, or I'll never get it out of my head.'
 
Including this one.. 

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#11 Ringtail

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 20:38

I'm intrigued by the theory, though my instinct is that it's stretching a bit too far.  It doesn't feel to me like a meta-narrative, dialectical tussle between three storytellers with differing versions of reality is what the story's really about.  But I like the "Edda" thought - I think there's something there.

 

However, if I'm picking nits:

 

 

The reason why Crow is so very important to this story is because of his true identity; He is Odin, the All-father. Without him there would be no Lady Alvane, no Etta and no Saga. He must remain as a constant in all of the stories, because if you remove him the story never existed to begin with; They're all connected through him because the entire story's backbone is Norse Pagan Mythology.

 

But Etta's never met Crow, right?  Only Lady Alvane and Saga (through her drawings) have.  So how does that fit?

 

(Also, how does Crow being stuck in Umber Ianos' trunk for 20 years fit with him being Odin?  Or having two fully functional eyes, no wisdom to speak of, and nary an eight-legged horse in sight?)



#12 Neurotic

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 22:52

I'm intrigued by the theory, though my instinct is that it's stretching a bit too far.  It doesn't feel to me like a meta-narrative, dialectical tussle between three storytellers with differing versions of reality is what the story's really about.  But I like the "Edda" thought - I think there's something there.

 

However, if I'm picking nits:

 

 

But Etta's never met Crow, right?  Only Lady Alvane and Saga (through her drawings) have.  So how does that fit?

 

(Also, how does Crow being stuck in Umber Ianos' trunk for 20 years fit with him being Odin?  Or having two fully functional eyes, no wisdom to speak of, and nary an eight-legged horse in sight?)

 

Because of how he is portrayed in both Eddas and the Sagas; he is a shapeshifter, taking on the guise of other people, animals..etc... He also appears to be in multiple places at once when he does this, even in the very same room! 
 
One example can be found in the Prose Edda(younger Edda) when Gylfi, a Swedish king disguised as a a traveler presenting himself as , asks a series of questions about how the world was created to three figures seated on thrones, they are referred to as; High, Just-As-High and Third. This is one of MANY pseudonyms Odin uses throughout the Norse Pagan Myths, including the name the traveler used to disguise his identity; Gangleri.
 
The name Gangleri means 'wanderer' which is something Odin does A LOT, in many different forms. While shapeshifted he appears to limit his traveling to whatever means he has available to him as whatever species/person he appears as. It also appears to be situation-dependent almost always concealing his identity to whomever he encounters. If he showed up with only one eye all of the time then his identity would be revealed, wouldn't it? Same with his horse.
 
Another thing to consider is the reason why Odin only has one eye; he placed it as a sacrifice so he could drink from Mimir's well and gain knowledge. In order for it to be an actual sacrifice, it couldn't be something that he could pluck out while shapeshifted. It had to be his REAL eye from his original form.
 
As for Edda never having met Crow, are we sure about that? Their names are references to the different types of myths/collections, so who are they really? Saga is the easiest one to identify cause her name is right there; Såga. She doesn't have her own independent myth, it's always in connection to other myths. Her name means 'she who sees everything' and according to the younger Edda she lives in Søkkvabekk, where she and Odin spends their days together drinking from golden chalices.There is also a mention of Søkkvabekk being alternative name for Fensal, where Odin's wife Frigg lives. Frigg is described as the goddess of love and destiny and is often mistaken for Odin's other wife Frøya, whom Odin left to go on one of his many wanderings, and never returned.

 

 


 


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#13 magic88889

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 10:13

While I do think the theory is kind of neat, there are some major issues with it.  All I'm trying to do is point those out, and others have done for the few theories I have posted.

 

First and foremost is the amount of in-game evidence you have, which is almost none.  Every time I see you try to explain something you're pulling from stories in Norse Mythology, or making whole new backstories for characters.  While fine, it doesn't make for a very compelling argument.

 

Plus, the game makes clear references to Australian Aboriginal Mythology, not Norse.  Wati, Eingana, Storytime, heck even Crow are all references to Aboriginal Mythology.  It just seems odd to me that there would be a sudden switch to Norse Mythology (although not surprising, I suppose, considering where the game is made).

 

You've essentially re-written entire backstories and character motivations that fly in the face of everything we understand to fit this theory.  While possible that some revelation in the future could make all of this true, I find that possibility extremely unlikely. 

 

 

Like I said, nice theory, but I think it has too many issues.


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#14 the red of the kin

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 11:19

Lady Alvane: "All my stories are true, child. There are enough fairy tales in the worlds already. There's no need for me to make up more, believe me."
 
Quite a self-contradiction there, don't you think? Why are HER stories true while other stories in the world are simply fairytales?


I don't think it's a contraddiction. She's talking to youg people and telling them while there are stories that are fictional, she knows the stories she's narrating are true. The strongest defence for this would be she IS April and actually LIVED the story she's about to narrate.
That's why most people, after playing TLJ in 1999 automatically thought she's April.

Remember when you're told, through Emma, to meet Cortez at the place where 'children visualize their dreams' and he drawls on and on about art and truth, yet April is STILL clueless, maybe even moreso than when she arrived? This is one of several places in the game I recommend revisiting. It didn't make sense then but it's different now because we're looking at it with new eyes;


That specific moment is one of my favourite ones of all the saga. I immediately understood the meaning of it and the relation to April's current state of mind. I didn't know what shifting was, but Art being alive, "soulful"...this is what the whole videogame talked about and that's pretty much why it's one of my favourite games ever :)
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#15 Nathanael

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 16:42

My theory is that Saga is Magnus, Etta is April, Zoe is Kian, Crow is Prophet, Klacks is Brian and Shitbot is Lady Alvane.

And first of all they are all the same person just reborn. Because it's basically what people on this forum are trying to say.


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#16 Neurotic

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 17:39

While I do think the theory is kind of neat, there are some major issues with it.  All I'm trying to do is point those out, and others have done for the few theories I have posted.

 

First and foremost is the amount of in-game evidence you have, which is almost none.  Every time I see you try to explain something you're pulling from stories in Norse Mythology, or making whole new backstories for characters.  While fine, it doesn't make for a very compelling argument.

 

Plus, the game makes clear references to Australian Aboriginal Mythology, not Norse.  Wati, Eingana, Storytime, heck even Crow are all references to Aboriginal Mythology.  It just seems odd to me that there would be a sudden switch to Norse Mythology (although not surprising, I suppose, considering where the game is made).

 

You've essentially re-written entire backstories and character motivations that fly in the face of everything we understand to fit this theory.  While possible that some revelation in the future could make all of this true, I find that possibility extremely unlikely. 

 

 

Like I said, nice theory, but I think it has too many issues.

It makes more references to Norse Mythology than Australian Aboriginal, and no I've not rewritten any backstory. Here's some in-game evidence for you:

Venar - Vanir: Gods that can see into the future.
April's golden ring - Draupir.
April dreaming things that are true - Balder's dreams.
April's death - Balder's death.
Mother tree - Yggdrasil.
Etta and Saga I've already mentioned.
Crow mentioning a fold-up lifeboat that you can put in your pocket, obvious reference to Skíðblaðnir.

There's a few for you, satisfied?


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#17 the red of the kin

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 18:06

My theory is that Saga is Magnus, Etta is April, Zoe is Kian, Crow is Prophet, Klacks is Brian and Shitbot is Lady Alvane.
And first of all they are all the same person just reborn. Because it's basically what people on this forum are trying to say.


you are perceptive indeed, my friend! ;)

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#18 Ringtail

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 21:22

It makes more references to Norse Mythology than Australian Aboriginal, and no I've not rewritten any backstory.


Dreamfall (the first one) explicitly name-checks two Aboriginal concepts - Eingana and the Storytime. It also invokes Tibetan Buddhism. TLJ has some strong Manichean elements (and I think wandrew confirmed with Ragnar at some point in the past that Manicheism was on his mind when he came up with Stark and Arcadia). The whole thing is a metaphysical potpourri. I do think you're right that there's some Norse mythology in the DNA of the story, but I don't think it's as strong a correlation as you do.

And thank you for putting the idea forward - as a long-time TLJ speculator, it's really great to have a brand-new, cool idea to mull over. :)
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#19 Neurotic

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 15:51

Dreamfall (the first one) explicitly name-checks two Aboriginal concepts - Eingana and the Storytime. It also invokes Tibetan Buddhism. TLJ has some strong Manichean elements (and I think wandrew confirmed with Ragnar at some point in the past that Manicheism was on his mind when he came up with Stark and Arcadia). The whole thing is a metaphysical potpourri. I do think you're right that there's some Norse mythology in the DNA of the story, but I don't think it's as strong a correlation as you do.

And thank you for putting the idea forward - as a long-time TLJ speculator, it's really great to have a brand-new, cool idea to mull over. :)

In regards to Manichean elements, I actually mentioned references to made Zoroastrianism in another OP and I definitely don't disagree with the Aboriginal concepts being present in 'Dreamfall'; In additon to Eingana and Storytime, there's Project Alchera, WATIcorp.. Those were introduced after TLJ, and TLJ has much more of a Norse Pagan feel to it; cyclical story, signs that herald the coming of end times, war, end and then a new beginning through rebirth. But all the Norse Pagan stories are cyclical, then there's no way to change anything because as Lady Alvane points out; The story has already been written, there's no changing that now. 

However, if in combination with Storytime, you CAN change a story by retelling it, right? And since a story told in Storytime becomes reality in the worlds, then whoever is telling stories in Storytime has the power over past, present and future. I think that person is Saga, although she doesn't have any ulterior motive behind it, she is simply retelling a story she has heard then making it her own.

Remember visiting the Alatiens? Did you know that the Teller is voiced by the same voice actress as Lady Alvane? I don't think that's a coincidence, do you? Here's some of the dialogue;
 

Teller: "That is what we do. The Alatien are the keepers of the Tales, and I am their Teller, the one who must know all the Tales told since the day we came to this world."
 
April: "How can you do that? How can you remember every story ever told?"
 
Teller: "The secret is to tell them often and to tell them in your own words, not the words of your ancestors."
 
April: "Doesn't that mean that the stories change with every generation?"
 
Teller: "Yes, as all Tales must. Change is important, otherwise the Tales will have no meaning to us... They will be just words and we do no care about the words. We care about what the words tell us."


Say a story is created about actual historical events and is passed down through the generations. It will change along the way but as long as the meaning of the story remains then it's essence is still truthful, right? But what if it is retold by someone who doesn't understand the meaning? It might lose it's essence of truth.. I think that's what Saga is doing; changing the past by retelling a story she doesn't understand in Storytime. Etta was supposed to teach her the 'craft' before letting Saga tell stories on her own, but then she disappeared. 

I think the entire game is an exploration of the human condition and our seemingly innate ability to corrupt even the most beautiful of things;

-The worlds had to be split in two because of human corruption.
-The stone disc being split in four because of human corruption. 

-Human corruption seeking to reunite the two worlds.
-Humans corrupting science to justify eradicating non-humans.

That last one being an exploration of history-denial and misappropriation of science; The Office of Scientific Progress on Ge'en is an obvious reference to the Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, something very few people will catch onto because they've never heard about it. Nazism didn't start in Germany, it started in the United States with the American Eugenics Movement and the establishment of the Eugenics Record Office and the corruption of a harmless philosophy combined with pseudoscience. Hardly anyone knows about this because of history denial; they were never taught where Nazism ideology began, so in their minds the 'truth' is that it started in Germany, but that's not true at all is it?

Corruption. It always comes back to that...  

 


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#20 Kari2

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 20:39

 

Corruption. It always comes back to that...  
 

 Perhaps the corruption extents beyond humanity.

 

I am not one who is into dissertations. I wrote my last on 50 years ago, and I have no intentions of resurrecting it. Many of the associations between the Longest Journey Saga and cultural legacies from oral traditions, exist because they are compelling stories. Maybe Ragnar was inspired by the traditional stories and maybe he was not. I doesn't matter. Certainly he couldn't escape their influence. The associations will inevitably come about because of the way our brains are wired. The question that must be asked regarding the TLG Saga as well as any work of Art is "Does it work?". The answer would be both personal and universal.(archetypal).


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