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Registered: 06/22/05
Posts: 3,595
Loc: Flag
Tralfamadorians; whats the deal?
    #9327988 - 11/28/08 05:48 PM (9 years, 6 months ago)

From Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five:


"Welcome aboard, Mr. Pilgrim," said the loudspeaker. "Any questions?"
    "Billy licked his lips, thought a while, inquired at last: "Why me"
    "That is very Earthling question to ask, Mr. Pilgrim. Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything? Because this moment simply is. Have you ever seen bugs trapped in amber?"
    "Yes." Billy, in fact, had a paperweight in his office which was a blob of polished amber with three ladybugs embedded in it.
    "Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.


    "Where am I?" said Billy Pilgrim.
    "Trapped in another blob of amber, Mr. Piilgrim. We are where we have to be just now-three hundred millio miles from Earth, Bound for a time warp which will get us to Tralfamadore in hours rather than centuries."
    "How-how did I get here?"
    "It would take another Earthling to explain it to you. Earthlings are the great explainers, explaining why this event is structured as it is, telling how other event may be achieved or avoided. I am a Tralfamadorian, seeing all time as you might see a stretch of the Rocky Mountains. All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is.Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I've said before, bugs in amber."
    "You sound to me as though you don't believe in free will," said Billy Pilgrim.

    "If I hadn't spent so much time studying Earthlings," said the Tralfamadorian, "Iwouldn't have any idea what was meant by 'free will.' I've visited thirty-one inhabited planets in the universe,  and I have studied reports on one hundred more. Only on Earth is there any talk of free will."


    ...the universe does not look like a lot of bright little dots to the creatures from Tralfamadore. The creatures can see where each star has been and where it is going, so that the heavens are filled with rarefied, luminous spaghetti. And Tralfamadorians don't see human beings as two legged creatures, either. They see them as great millepedes- "with babies' legs at one and old people's legs at the other.

Tralfamadorian books:


Billy couldn't read Tralfamadorian, of course, but he could at least see how the books were laid out - in brief clumps of symbols seperated by stars. Billy commented that the clumps might be telegrams.
    "Exactly," said the voice.
    "They are telegrams?
    "There are no telegrams on Tralfamadore. But you're right: each clump of symbols is a brief, urgent message-describing a situation, a scene. We Tralfamadorians read them all at once, not one after the other. There isn't any particular relationship between all the messages, except that the author has chosen them carefully, so that, when seen all at once, they produce an image of life that is beautiful and surprising and deep. There is no beginning,no middle, no end, no suspense, no moral,no causes, no effects. What we love in our books are the depths of many marvelous moments seen all at one time.

So what do you all think of the Tralfamadorians?  The moment as a "bugs trapped in amber" really interests me, any thoughts on that in particular?

Its a good book by the way, this is my third time through it.

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humans, lol
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Registered: 08/19/05
Posts: 43,948
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Re: Tralfamadorians; whats the deal? [Re: daytripper23]
    #9329517 - 11/29/08 12:03 AM (9 years, 6 months ago)

i think vonnegut had a very good connection with the places his mind was able to take him

i also think he used some hefty psyches (probably some form of n,n-dmt).  i have had a few consecutive experiences that made me think of those he wrote about the tralfamadorians (specifically the zoo)

channel your inner Larry David

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The Cap'n

Registered: 06/19/07
Posts: 8,016
Loc: New England, USA
Last seen: 3 years, 9 months
Re: Tralfamadorians; whats the deal? [Re: demiu5]
    #9330501 - 11/29/08 04:32 AM (9 years, 6 months ago)

slaughterhouse 5

had to read it back in high school and i thought it'd be a drag
but i absolutely loved it

the first quote is my favorite :sun:

I don't believe in cops, bosses, or politicians. Some call that anarchism. I call it having a fucking heart that beats.

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Registered: 06/22/05
Posts: 3,595
Loc: Flag
Re: Tralfamadorians; whats the deal? [Re: igwna]
    #9331573 - 11/29/08 01:31 PM (9 years, 6 months ago)

In my first read, I was sort of annoyed by the tralfamadorians. I thought, what an interesting concept of time, why does he unnecessarily cast his idea into disrepute by including aliens? Now I can't get over how perfect it is.

Many times I see a shroomer speaking the truth in here to little avail, and I think dude, I can dig this, but you know you're speaking tralfamadorian right?

The tao that is spoken...

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