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Author Topic: PC Miniature 67: The Madness Of Andelsprutz  (Read 2064 times)
Ocicat
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Anything for a Weird Life


« on: January 22, 2012, 11:37:47 PM »

PodCastle Miniature 67: The Madness Of Andelsprutz

by Lord Dunsany.

Read by Steve Anderson


I had said: “I will see Andelsprutz arrogant with her beauty,” and I had said: “I will see her weeping over her conquest.”

I had said: “She will sing songs to me,” and “she will be reticent,” “she will be all robed,” and “she will be bare but splendid.”

But the windows of Andelsprutz in her houses looked vacantly over the plains like the eyes of a dead madman. At the hour her chimes sounded unlovely and discordant, some of them were out of tune, and the bells of some were cracked, her roofs were bald and without moss. At evening no pleasant rumour arose in her streets. When the lamps were lit in the houses no mystical flood of light stole out into the dusk, you merely saw that there were lighted lamps; Andelsprutz had no way with her and no air about her. When the night fell and the blinds were all drawn down, then I perceived what I had not thought in the daylight. I knew then that Andelsprutz was dead.

Rated PG.

Listen to this PodCastle Miniature!
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 03:24:00 AM by Ocicat » Logged
l33tminion
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2012, 06:38:57 PM »

(Your author link is broken.)

I really enjoyed this story, and the narration was great.
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Devoted135
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2012, 10:19:11 AM »

Somehow I missed the part at the beginning where Steve said "by Lord Dunsany," so the stylistic choices really threw me off in the beginning. However, once I settled in this was a great poetic piece on the heartbeat that every great city has. In fact, are we sure this was meant as a short story and not as an unstructured poem? Either way, great narration paired with a beautiful piece.
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InfiniteMonkey
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2012, 09:27:43 PM »

You have a bylaw that states Steve Anderson has to read all the Dunsany, no?  Wink

Well, that's fine, because he does such a good job.

The story reminded me of one of the later passages in Neil Gaiman's Sandman series.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 11:09:41 AM by InfiniteMonkey » Logged
Unblinking
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2012, 09:42:12 AM »

It was fine, for what it was.  It was pretty much just a description of a premise, but it was an interesting premise, and brief enough that I didn't get bored. 

It doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  If a city has a mind or a soul, then surely it is made up of the people who dwell in it.  So I still find the concept of a dead city that is still populated to be rather confusing--if it's still full of residents, then it is still alive to me.  It may be more lethargic, less reactive, more introverted, or something, but I don't feel that it can be dead until its residents are gone.
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kibitzer
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2012, 12:45:56 AM »

It doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  If a city has a mind or a soul, then surely it is made up of the people who dwell in it.  So I still find the concept of a dead city that is still populated to be rather confusing--if it's still full of residents, then it is still alive to me.  It may be more lethargic, less reactive, more introverted, or something, but I don't feel that it can be dead until its residents are gone.

That's a very literal interpretation. Do you not think a city has its own distinct flavour, metier, feeling? Initially it comes from the people and I suppose it changes over time as different or more people settle there but equally, people are drawn to a city because of its own uniqueness. It is reasonable, then, to speak of a city having a soul, or a personality at the very least.

I liked the poetic nature of the story and the idea of a city personified. Might have to listen again as I was concentrating on walking my doggy politely.
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eytanz
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« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2012, 04:40:58 AM »

Unblinking - I find your criticism a bit baffling, as (taking it entirely literally) the story is clearly about cities having some sort of spirit that is independent from their inhabitants. We can argue as to whether this makes any sense in reference to how cities actually work, but your critique is sort of like saying that a story about a unicorn is unrealistic because horses don't have horns.
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kibitzer
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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2012, 06:12:53 AM »

Unblinking - I find your criticism a bit baffling, as (taking it entirely literally) the story is clearly about cities having some sort of spirit that is independent from their inhabitants. We can argue as to whether this makes any sense in reference to how cities actually work, but your critique is sort of like saying that a story about a unicorn is unrealistic because horses don't have horns.

Having just finished reading The Last Unicorn, unicorns ain't horses.

You're welcome.
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raetsel
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« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2012, 07:09:46 AM »

It doesn't make a lot of sense to me.  If a city has a mind or a soul, then surely it is made up of the people who dwell in it.  So I still find the concept of a dead city that is still populated to be rather confusing--if it's still full of residents, then it is still alive to me.  It may be more lethargic, less reactive, more introverted, or something, but I don't feel that it can be dead until its residents are gone.

That's a very literal interpretation. Do you not think a city has its own distinct flavour, metier, feeling? Initially it comes from the people and I suppose it changes over time as different or more people settle there but equally, people are drawn to a city because of its own uniqueness. It is reasonable, then, to speak of a city having a soul, or a personality at the very least.


I think it is a little from column A and a little from Column B. It's a feedback loop, the people make the city and give it its personality but the city affects the people and changes their personality, attracts and repels different people.

That said I do think the idea of a city being populated but dead is a hard one to sell, unless the populations are themselves, soulless, dead or dying.
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Sgarre1
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« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2012, 11:05:30 AM »

Quote
Having just finished reading The Last Unicorn, unicorns ain't horses.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHcBDHrE45I

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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2012, 10:02:27 AM »

Unblinking - I find your criticism a bit baffling, as (taking it entirely literally) the story is clearly about cities having some sort of spirit that is independent from their inhabitants. We can argue as to whether this makes any sense in reference to how cities actually work, but your critique is sort of like saying that a story about a unicorn is unrealistic because horses don't have horns.

My comment's not about realism, it's about suspension of disbelief.  Obviously, I don't require my fiction to be provably realistic, or this would be the wrong place to hang out.  It's not at all like your example about unicorns--although I don't believe that unicorns exist, I can suspend disbelief in their existence, and so a story about unicorns or dragons or tentacled creatures from the depths is not a problem.

But I don't find it easy to suspend my disbelief for this one.  To me, if a city is alive, then the living things within it are the cells and the organs that make up its existence.  This metaphor makes a lot of sense to me.  But to me, the way it happened in this story, is like going to the doctor for a routine physical and finding out that I'm dead, but that all of my organs are in working condition, and the fact that I'm dead is pretty much irrelevant to my everyday existence.  I still go to work, I still eat and sleep and do all the other functions necessary to keep my organs running properly, I still think and feel and love and hate, but I am officially dead.  That's pretty much what this story's explanation seemed like and it didn't really make sense to me.  Sort of like I also have trouble suspending disbelief in sparkly emo vampires--if vampires exist, then the True Blood vampires make much more sense to me, more predator than human.

So it's not that I find it unrealistic, but that I found that I couldn't suspend disbelief.  Which you can interpret as being something about the story, or something about this reader, whichever one is perfectly valid and at least partially true. 
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eytanz
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« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2012, 07:17:52 PM »

But I don't find it easy to suspend my disbelief for this one.  To me, if a city is alive, then the living things within it are the cells and the organs that make up its existence.  This metaphor makes a lot of sense to me. 

I think this story is built on a different metaphor - the city is alive, and the living things within it are parasites/symbiots that occupy it. If I die, the bacteria in my gut won't die for quite a while. They may need me to live, but they don't need me to be alive to live, at least not in the short run.
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« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2012, 10:41:34 AM »

I think this story is built on a different metaphor - the city is alive, and the living things within it are parasites/symbiots that occupy it. If I die, the bacteria in my gut won't die for quite a while. They may need me to live, but they don't need me to be alive to live, at least not in the short run.

That's an interesting take on it, that does make more sense.  But then it's not really clear what actually defines a city's state of living.  The things he mentioned were so vague that it seemed more likely that he is just feeling his own presence as an outsider rather than any attribute of the city.
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MuseofChaos
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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2012, 04:54:57 PM »

That said I do think the idea of a city being populated but dead is a hard one to sell, unless the populations are themselves, soulless, dead or dying.

I can see evidence of that point in the story - the strangers who respond to the protagonists questions are curt and disbelieving of the very existence of the city's soul. It's only the one man who followed it up into the mountains who knows about it's plight. From an artistic point of view, might that not be soulless?

I love the imagery of anthropomorphized places, especially when the spirits of the other fallen and conquered cities came to comfort Andelsprutz and lead her away.

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LaShawn
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« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2012, 12:23:25 PM »


I love the imagery of anthropomorphized places, especially when the spirits of the other fallen and conquered cities came to comfort Andelsprutz and lead her away.


I have no problem whatsoever with anthropomorphized cities.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 12:25:08 PM by LaShawn » Logged

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