Friday, November 1, 2013

Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game, and Contradictions

Today I read a fantastic interview on  In 2000, Donna (“commie lesbian”) Minkowitz interviewed Orson Scott Card.  Here’s an excerpt:

Now, I’m someone who loves contradictions, especially in writers. I think Ezra Pound should have been allowed to remain in the Poets’ Corner of New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine because his fascism and anti-Semitism will never make him a less beautiful poet. I have great fun reading Andrea Dworkin, even though I agree with her about exactly one thing: Rape is bad. And Allan Bloom’s translation of Plato’s “Republic” is fantastic and remains fantastic, even though his politics were gross.  But it’s one thing to admire a bigot on the page, and another to endure a two-hour conversation with one. And my love and admiration for Card only made it worse. Talking to Klansmen was nothing compared to talking to the author of the most ethical book I’ve ever read.

For those of you who don’t know, Card is the author of Ender’s Game, one of my favorite works of sci-fi/fantacy.  It’s about a boy who grew-up in violence, who is then trained in violence by an abusive, manipulative military academy that wants to mold the young super-genius into a literally genocidal military commander.  It’s a book w/ a lot to say about drone technology, preemptive attacks, just wars, post-traumatic stress disorder (in children), and killing-by-joystick… but also about compassion, communication, and overcoming Otherness.

That’s ironic.  Because Card is a ranting homophobic bigot.

This interview is really, really good.  Minkowitz perfectly captures (w/ both mockery and venom) what a disgusting creep Card is… while also managing to convey how really good (quality-good and morally-good) his book is – despite its author.  This interview is definitely worth reading – Oh, but before you read, it’s worth knowing that in terms of Jungian psychology, your “shadow” is made-up of those yucky, nasty, bad qualities in you that you can’t bear to consciously recognize, so you project them onto others, refusing to see them in yourself.  Keep that in mind while you read Card’s idiotic (but strangely revealing) prattle:

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