From the imagination of one of the most brilliant writers of our time and bestselling author of The Life of Thomas More, a novel that playfully imagines how the "modern" era might appear to a thinker seventeen centuries hence.
At the turn of the 38th century, London's greatest orator, Plato, is known for his lectures on the long, tumultuous history of his now tranquil city. Plato focuses on the obscure and confusing era that began in A.D. 1500, the Age of Mouldwarp. His subjects include Sigmund Freud's comic masterpiece "Jokes and Their Relation to the Subconscious," and Charles D.'s greatest novel, "The Origin of Species." He explores the rituals of Mouldwarp, and the later cult of webs and nets that enslaved the population. By the end of his lecture series, however, Plato has been drawn closer to the subject of his fascination than he could ever have anticipated. At once funny and erudite, The Plato Papers is a smart and entertaining look at how the future is imagined, the present absorbed, and the past misrepresented.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Plato Papers|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group|
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The Plato Papers
Sparkler: Wait, Sidonia, wait!
Sparkler: I just saw you in the market. You were standing beneath the city wall, and so I assumed that you were listening to Plato's oration.
Sidonia: Correct in every respect, Sparkler. But I expected to see you there, since you always celebrate the feast of Gog.
Sparkler: I was about to cross the Fleet, and join you, when Madrigal stopped me.
Sidonia: What did he want?
Sparkler: Only something about a parish meeting. But, as a result, I missed Plato's opening remarks. I heard only his ending, when he spoke of his sorrow at the darkness of past ages.
Sidonia: It was all very interesting. There was a period when our ancestors believed that they inhabited a world which revolved around a sun.
Sparkler: Can it be true?
Sidonia: Oh yes. They had been told that they lived upon a spherical planet, moving through some kind of infinite space.
Sidonia: That was their delusion. But it was the Age of Mouldwarp. According to Plato, the whole earth seemed to have been reduced and rolled into a ball until it was small enough to fit their theories.
Sparkler: But surely they must have known--or felt?
Sidonia: They could not have known. For them the sun was a very powerful god. Of course we were all silent for a moment, after Plato had told us this, and then he laughed.
Sparkler: He laughed?
Sidonia: Even when he had taken off the orator's mask, he was still smiling. Then he began to question us. 'Do you consider me to be small? I know that you do. Could you imagine the people o...