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April 16, 2006

The Diamond Age II

Stephenson, Diamond Age 2 -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

The Diamond Age is such an interesting piece of writing. I don't know how one man allowed all these different ideas to flow inside his head. One can tell that there has been an extreme amount of effort, planning, and detail that has been put into this book. I would like to comment about one specific passage that I found very alarming. While reading this book, I tend to day dream and sometimes get off track...don't we all sometimes? This part, however, captured my attention and as a matter of fact, I reread it just to make sure I was reading what I read, correctly.

..."The drumbeats and the dancing speed up very slowly. The erections tll Hackworth why this is taking so long: He's watching foreplay here. After half an hour or so, the excitrment, phallic and otherwise, is unbearable. The beat is now a notch faster than you basic pulse rate, lots of other beats and counterrhytms woven through it, and the chanting of the individual singer has become a wild seim-organized choral phenomenon. ....The dancers reach down, grip the flaccid reservoir tips of the radioactive condoms, stretch them out. Someone runs out with a knife and cuts of the tips of the condoms in a freakish parody of circumcision, exposing the glans of each man's penis. The girl moves for the first time, tossing her bouquet up in the air like a bride making her move toward the limo;...."

The passage is longer than what I have typed but, I'm sure you all remember reading it because it was so out of the ordinary! This passage just goes to show a reader how creative Neal Stephenson is when it comes to writing and creating this book.

I also liked how Neal was creative when beginning the second part of his book. By now, he was probably thinking that one, the reader was very interested or two, the reader was bored to death. Either way, the he does an excellent job in brining the audience back into the book for another round of creativeness and interesting readings.

This book is coming together very nicely. The one area where I am confused about is Dr. X. Is he someone else who is just given another name? I was a confused about what he does. I always seem to miss something when reading the sections that involve him.

Posted by ElyseBranam at April 16, 2006 07:54 PM


Yes, that passage certainly gets peoples' attention. The fact that it's told through the perspective of Hackworth, who is something of a stuffed shirt, makes it even more interesting. We'll talk a little bit tomorrow about the concept of the benevolent omniscient Victorian narrator, and how Stephenson uses this storytelling device (and how he changes it). And if you like, we can talk about Dr. X, too.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at April 16, 2006 09:56 PM

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