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The Amadeus Net: Utopia meets Armageddon, or what?

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message 1: by ENC (new)

ENC Press (enc_press) | 21 comments Mod
When the initial query for a novel starts with "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart walks into the sex change clinic, determined to have his 'sprouter' snipped off," it makes you sit up and pay attention. Discuss. (The Amadeus Net)

message 2: by Heather (new)

Heather Oh, the book is about so much more than that. There's the issue of what happens when you live in a utopia... and find out you don't actually like living in a utopia. Money has no value there, but art, and creation do. Or what happens when a machine rules your life, making decisions that it deems appropriate to make for the survival of those under its care.

And there's the issue of people who don't get to live in the utopia (for whatever reason). What do you do about them? You can't ignore them, because they arm themselves with nuclear warheads and blow you up, but you can't just bring them into the fold either, because they're clearly not utopia-minded people.

message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 6 comments Ipolis is a "utopia" in which both art and science are valued, areas seemingly at odds with one another. At first, it is bewildering how the two coexist without conflict or rivalry, especially since One, the "mind" of the Ipolis machine, admits to not understanding the importance of art. However, as the novel progresses, it seems impossible to disentangle the two. Science seeps its way into Bella's art techniques, as One begins to recognize Mozart as its own soul.

Mozart himself is an embodiment of the two spheres of Ipolis life: an artistic genius and a biological miracle. At the end of the novel the question still remains: How has Mozart managed to remain alive for 272 years? It is pretty clear that the answer will not come from any scientific explanation. Instead, the answer seems to lie somewhere in his need for Katerina's love, a love that may be strong enough to replace his need for music, and hence, possibly signal the start of his mortality.

Is it this need for love that fuels his immortality? Will the death of his artistry transform it? Furthermore, if Mozart dies, will Ipolis be able to survive without its counterpart?

message 4: by Heather (new)

Heather Interesting questions, Sarah, and ones I hadn't thought of. I really hadn't questioned the whys of Mozart's immortality; I was so wrapped up in One and her mission to protect Ipolis and Mozart's secret that I let that slide.

I supposed I'd have to say that I believe it's his music, and his drive to create it, that has kept him alive so long; what will happen now that he's (maybe?) replacing that love with his love for Katerina is an excellent question.

message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 6 comments Mozart has said himself that if he is accepted by Katerina, "then I will love her for the rest of a lifetime-and finally, then I will die." He also adds that he will no longer have any more need for his music, that her love will be enough. From this, it seems that art may only be a temporary place-holder, until real passion and love can be found in another human being.

He obviously believes that a shared love with Katerina will free him from his immortality. Perhaps a life is not truly a life unless it experiences this kind of love, hence his reason for living so long.

However, this would then lead one to believe that there are many others who have also lived past a logical expiration date. Mozart would not be alone.

message 6: by Heather (new)

Heather That's an excellent point and one I hadn't though of, Sarah; now I'm wondering if there were others besides Mozart.

message 7: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Breslin (andrewbreslin) | 3 comments I must confess: it's been a while since I read the book, and I don't remember much of the details. I just remember this weird dreamy sensation when I read it. The surreality of it all. Symbols and metaphors were doubtless rampant, but I can't tell a cigar from a cigar. But I've rarely seen a book that could so vividly make me feel like maybe I dreamed the entire thing.

message 8: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 6 comments Andy, I agree with you. I thought the book was beautifully written, and I remember feeling a similar dreamy sensation while reading it. It's pretty different from anything I've read before; then again, I haven't read much science fiction. But it's become one of my favorites.

message 9: by Heather (new)

Heather Hmm; I didn't get a dreamy sense from TAN; I actually found it sharp, in terms of descriptions and people.

message 10: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 6 comments Yes, I found the descriptions to be sharp too. But overall, the whole atmosphere of Ipolis, coupled with the flow of the writing, made me feel like I was in a fantasy world. It seemed both realistically possible, and yet dreamily far-fetched at the same time.

message 11: by Heather (new)

Heather I can see that; living on an island run by AI, where money isn't wanted or needed (or missed by many); that does have a sort of dreamy feel to it.

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