tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE's Reviews > Watchstar

Watchstar by Pamela Sargent
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Mar 12, 10

really liked it
bookshelves: sf
Read in March, 2010

This bk was.. fascinating.. I read it slowly.. so I didn't necessarily 'enjoy' it in the way I enjoy other fiction. I think of my childhood, when I started reading SF. I sometimes tell people that I learned my ethics from reading superhero comics - not from church. I have a similar relationship to SF.

Let's say I have the closest literary relationships to concrete poetry, language centered writing, OuLiPo, & SF. Of these 4, SF is the only one deeply rooted in my childhood. It's like a parent to me. It stimulated my thinking & still continues to do so. I've read 2 things by Sargent previously: "Venus of Dreams" & "The Sudden Star". I think I liked them ok but I don't really remember either of them. This one's different.

"Watchstar" is a pretty multi-leveled fable - it's easy to see it as an analog for growing up during the time I have. The anguish of the main character's growth is certainly something that I can identify w/. &, of course, there're no easy answers. I wonder what Sargent's personal history is? Was she raised, as I was, by 'religious' people whose 'stable' society was based around the destruction of scapegoats? Did she, personally, become such a scapegoat as a result of being a harbinger of change?

P47: "You are tempted by the evils in every human mind that would lead to anarchy and ruin if we gave in to them." Is this yet-another misuse of the word "anarchy"? It wd seem so. Or, perhaps, she's just presenting the mindset of the religious society - forever against free thinking as its primary enemy.

I'll definitely be reading more of Sargent &, in fact, I'm delighted to find that she's a GoodReads author! Hi Pamela!
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