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Reply #17: I don't believe that you believe that I believe Ishmael isn't a fictional character. [View All]

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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-17-07 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. I don't believe that you believe that I believe Ishmael isn't a fictional character.
Edited on Tue Jul-17-07 11:33 AM by greyl
I think you're going ad hominem on a straw man again in attempt to attack my character. You're really making a lot out of nothing.

Chomsky has asked his audiences to try to imagine how our culture's behavior would look like through the eyes of an extraterrestrial being, and Quinn, as a self-described cultural critic, has compared his pov to a what a "Martian anthropologist's" might be. It's an attempt to free oneself from the unexamined assumptions of ones cultural myths in order to see them clearly.

When asked why he chose to make Ishmael a gorilla, Quinn says:

The point I'm trying to make in all my work is this: "If we want to survive on this planet, we must listen to what our neighbors in the community of life have to tell us." Thus it made sense for the teacher in Ishmael to be one of those neighbors---a nonhuman. Among those neighbors none is more impressive and authoritative than a gorilla (which is why I chose to make Ishmael a gorilla rather than, say, a parrot or a salmon).

For anyone interested in studying this question more deeply, I highly recommend the monograph "Apes of the Imagination: A Bibliography" by Marion W. Copeland.


Furthermore, Ishmael(which received the Turner Tomorrow Fellowhip Award and is utilized in hundreds of classrooms around the planet) isn't the only book has Quinn written on these topics, but the gorilla does appear in the sequel My Ishmael, and is referred to in The Story of B whose central characters are all very human, though indeed fictional.

So, big deal.

edit: I again remind you of the time you chastised me for criticizing Mel Gibson's Apocalypto even though I hadn't seen the movie, and again suggest that you take your own advice.

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