Sunday, January 9, 2011

Laughter is release

Sometimes when you point out a truth, people will laugh. But they may be doing it because the truth resonated with them, and out of release of mental pain rather than because they thought you were making a joke.

13 comments:

neeraj said...

It reminds me:

"I've found out why people laugh. They laugh because it hurts so much ... because it's the only thing that'll make it stop hurting."

Robert A. Heinlein
"Stranger In A Strange Land", p. 386,
ISBN 0-441-78838-6 (the original version!)

neeraj said...

Addendum:

It might not be well known what "original version" means:

Around 1960 (when it was published) the publishers thought, that the original manuscript was "too much" for being published, so about one third was cut off by Robert A. Heinlein, and over about 30 years the original version was totally forgotten - nobody remembered.

After the death of Robert A. Heinlein his widow got all his copyrights, and by looking through his bequest (is that the correct word?) she found out about the original version and decided to publish it ... so, the "uncut original version" was published finally around 1990.

eolake said...

Wow, thanks.

Indeed "Strangler In A Strange Man" as I've always called it, is an extraordinary book. Especially for somebody who was a hardcore action writer before.

I think I read it in the eighties. I wonder if the original edition (which I only heard about now) is in ebook format somewhere. ... Yep, it's in Kindle format. But some reviewers (Vernon Hewitt on Amazon UK) say the shorter version should be preferred. ??

neeraj said...

"But some reviewers (Vernon Hewitt on Amazon UK) say the shorter version should be preferred. ??"

I know both versions, and in my opinion the uncut version is much more kind of complete or round ...

eolake said...

Thanks.

I've bought it as audio book today. It's probably not the big version, but I might never get through that anyhow. I don't have the patience I used to have, and I never had it. I'm skipping around between like a dozen books all the time.

neeraj said...

I have read a lot of Heinleins books, and liked them all very much ... but in a special way "Stranger In A Strange Land" is a kind of masterpiece, like a peak overtopping all his other books and having more depth at the same time - o.k. it's my subjective feeling.

But think about for a moment: It starts as a kind of action book and develops into a tantric vision of living together in a community, touching deeply a lot of aspects about sex and love and spirituality, and it was written in the Fiftees!

In my view, all his books before were a kind of exercising to be able to write this book, and all his books after that were a kind of afterglow - that's how I feel about it.

eolake said...

I was very young when I read a bunch of his books, so I can't judge.

At the moment I'm reading (audio) the latest SF book by Iain M. Banks, "Surface Detail". I'm enjoying it a lot. If you like space opera, but with thought as well as action, I recommend Banks' "Culture" novels.
Each one stands alone, but it may be smart to start in sequence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iain_M_Banks#The_Culture_novels
Or:
http://thurly.net/0lby

neeraj said...

Thanks for the tip - I didn't read anything from Iain M. Banks up to now. I will look into his books ...

eolake said...

Here is a page I made years ago:

http://stobblehouse.com/bookshop/SF.html


http://thurly.net/0lc8

neeraj said...

Thanks :-)

I think I've read a lot of SF, mostly in the Seventies, and still there are so many more "good" books I don't know yet ...

eolake said...

Apart from Banks, William Gibson is one of my faves. Though he seems to have stopped writing SF, sadly.

neeraj said...

Yes, I've read one or two books from Gibson long ago, it was kind of strange and not very much attracting me, I don't remember why ...

Mostly I have read older classical authors like Aldiss, Anderson, Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, Dick, Franke, Galouye, Heinlein, Leiber, Leinster, Lem, Pohl, Russell, Shaw, Sheckley, Simak, Sturgeon, Varley ... I'll stop now, but the list is not complete ;-)

Oh, and Pratchett and Adams.

eolake said...

Those two are not to be missed. I've read them all.

I think I like Gibson mainly for the beautiful language and the beautiful imagery (or imaginative anyway) he conjures up.