Friday, October 13, 2006

Who Is Enoch Root IV

Enoch Root is a special type of Mary Sue.

Who Is Enoch Root III

"Enoch, why are you ... here?"

"Why has my spirit been incarnated into a physical body in this world generally. Or specifically, why am I here in a Swedish forest, standing on the wrick of a mysterious German rocket plane while a homosexual German sobs over the cremated remains of his Italian lover?"

Monday, October 09, 2006

How Conservative Is It

I'd like to go back to the dinner party to start a discussion about how conservative Cryptonomicon is. The dinner party is obvious; we are not using our secret conservative code breaking abilities to figure out that Stephenson is making fun of lefty academia. The part about nature being a social construct is particularly funny, and yet not at all subtle. So there is a subtext of social conservatism and, through the use of a Lord of the Rings metaphor, a recognition of a real world where people do things that matter. What is it that's missing from the world that reason has created.

Two strong hints will come in the next installment: through page 524.)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Who Is Enoch Root II

On a UNIX machine, "root" is the name of the most godlike of all users, the one who can read, erase, or edit any file, who can run any program, who can sign up new users and terminate existing ones.

Who Is Enoch Root I

Root goes around with a clawhammer, driving in sixteen-penny nails with sure, powerful, Carpenter-of-Nazareth-like strokes.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Second Installment

So we've met Randy Waterhouse and been to Charlene and Randy's terminal dinner. There is a huge amount of plot going on in the dinner party, including some we won't be able to make sense of for 1,000 pages more or less (hint: keep your eye on GEB Kivistik).

For the next instalment, let's go 200 pages and read through page 312. Here we can start to answer one of the two or three most important questions of the book: who is Enoch Root?