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Enchantment [Format Kindle]

Orson Scott Card
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

Enchantment is the story of a Ukraine-born, American grad student who finds himself transported to the ninth century to play the prince in a Russian version of Sleeping Beauty. Early in the story, he muses that in a French or English retelling of the tale, the prince and princess would live happily ever after. But, "only a fool would want to live through the Russian version of any fairy tale."

Although his fears turn out to be warranted, as he and his cursed princess contend with the diabolical witch Baba Yaga--easily Russia's best pre-Khrushchev villain--to save the princess's kingdom, Enchantment is ultimately a sweet story. Mixing magic and modernity, the acclaimed Orson Scott Card (Ender's Game) has woven threads of history, religion, and myth together into a convincing, time-hopping tale that is part love story, part adventure. Enchantment's heroes, "Prince" Ivan and Princess Katerina, must deal with cross-cultural mores, ancient gods, treacherous kinsmen (and fianceés), and ultimately Baba Yaga herself.

Card has a knack for coming across like your nerdy dad at times, when he runs on too long or makes some particularly wince-inducing observation or reference ("Daaad, Bruce Cockburn is not cool!"). But, as you might expect of a good dad, as uncool as he might be, Card still manages to tell a good bedtime story. --Paul Hughes


"I'm ten years old, my whole life you've called me Vanya. My name is on the school records, on government papers as Ivan Petrovich Smetski. Now you tell me I'm really Itzak Shlomo. What am I, a Jewish secret agent?"

Vanya's father listened silently, his face as smooth, weathered, and blank as parchment. Vanya's mother, who was merely hovering near the conversation rather than taking part in it, seemed to be having a little trouble keeping herself from smiling. In amusement? If so, at what? At Vanya? At her husband's sudden discovery of their intense commitment to Judaism?

Whatever the cause of her almost-smile, Vanya did not want to be ridiculous. Even at the age of ten, dignity was important to him. He calmed himself, spoke in more measured tones. "We eat pork," he pointed out. "Rak. Caviar."

"I think Jews can eat caviar," offered his mother helpfully.

"I hear them whispering, calling me zhid, they say they only want to race with Russians, I can't even run with them," said Vanya. "I've always been the fastest runner, the best hurdler, and yesterday they wouldn't even let me keep time. And it's my stopwatch!"

"Mine, actually," said Father. "The principal won't let me sit in class with the other children because I'm not a Russian or a Ukrainian, I'm a disloyal foreigner, a Jew. So why don't I know how to speak Hebrew? You change everything else, why not that?"

Father looked up toward the ceiling.

"What is that look, Father? Prayer? All these years, whenever I talk too much, you look at the ceiling—were you talking to God then?"

Father turned his gaze to Vanya. His eyes were heavy—scholar's eyes, baggy and soft from always peering through lenses at a thousand hectares of printed words. "I have listened to you," he said. "Ten years old, a boy who thinks he's so brilliant, he rails on and on, showing no respect for his father, no trust. I do it all for your sake."

"And for God's," offered Mother. Was she being ironic? Vanya had never been able to guess about Mother.

"For you I do this," said Father. "You think I did it for me? My work is here in Russia, the old manuscripts. What I need from other countries is sent to me because of the respect I've earned. I make a good living."

"Made," said Mother.

For the first time it occurred to Vanya that if he was cut out of school classes, Father's punishment might be even more dire. "You lost your place at the university?"

Father shrugged. "My students will still come to me."

"If they can find you," said Mother. Still that strange smile.

"They'll find me! Or not!" cried Father. "We'll eat or not! But we will get Vanya—Itzak—out of this country so he grows up in a place where this mouth of his, this disrespect for everyone that doesn't measure up to his lofty standards, where they will call it creativity or cleverness or rock and roll!"

"Rock and roll is music," said Vanya.

"Prokofiev is music, Stravinski is music, Tchaikovski and Borodin and Rimski-Korsakov and even Rachmaninov, they are music. Rock and roll is smart boys with no respect, you are rock and roll. All the trouble you get into at school, you will never get into university with this attitude. Why are you the only child in Russia who doesn't learn to bow his head to power?"

Father had asked this question at least a dozen times before, and this time as always, Vanya knew that his father was saying it more in pride than in consternation. Father liked the fact that Vanya spoke his mind. He encouraged it. So how did this become the reason for the family to declare itself Jewish and apply for a visa to Israel? "You make a decision without asking me, and it's my fault?"

"I have to get you out of here, let you grow up in a free land," said Father.

"Israel is a land of war and terrorism," said Vanya. "They'll make me a soldier and I'll have to shoot down Palestinians and burn their houses."

"None of that propaganda is true," said Father. "And besides, it won't matter. I can promise you that you will never be a soldier of Israel."

Vanya was scornful for a moment, until it dawned on him why Father was so certain he wouldn't be drafted into the Israeli military. "Once you get out of Russia, you aren't going to Israel at all."

Father sighed. "What you don't know, you can't tell."

There was a knock at the door. Mother went to answer.

"Maybe here in Russia you aren't in class for a while," said Father. "And this nonsense of running, you'll never be world champion, that's for Africans. But your mind will be quick long after your legs slow down, and there are countries where you will be valued."

"Which other countries?" asked Vanya.

Mother was letting somebody into the apartment.

"Maybe Germany. Maybe England. Canada, maybe."

"America," whispered Vanya.

"How do I know? It depends where there's a university that wants an aging scholar of ancient Slavic literature."

America. The enemy. The rival. The land of jeans and rock and roll, of crime and capitalism, of poverty and oppression. Of hope and freedom. All kinds of stories about America, from rumor, from the government press. It was 1975 and the Vietnam War had ended only a few years ago—America had bloody hands. But through all the propaganda, the rivalry, the envy, one message was constant: America was the most important country on earth. And that's where Father wanted him to grow up. That's why Mother's Jewish relatives were suddenly the only ones who counted, they and Father's grandmother on his mother's side. To get them to America.

For a moment, Vanya almost understood.

Then Mother came back into the room. "He's here."

"Who's here?" asked Vanya. Father and Mother looked at him blankly.

"He's called a mohel," said Mother finally. Then they explained what this old Jewish man was going to do to Vanya's penis.

Ten seconds later, Vanya was down the stairs, out on the street, running for his life, running in despair. He was not going to let a man take hold of his member and cut bits of it off just so he could get on a plane and fly to the land of cowboys. By the time he came home, the mohel was gone, and his parents said nothing about his abrupt departure. He took no false hope from this. In Vanya's family, silence had never meant surrender, only tactical retreat.

Even without the mohel, though, Vanya continued to take solace in running. Isolated at school, resentful at home, cut off from romping with his friends, he took to the streets again and again, day after day, running, dodging, leaving behind him ever-grumpier mutters and shouts of Slow down! Watch your step! Show some respect! Crazy boy! To Vanya that was part of the music of the city.

Running was the way he dreamed. Having never been in control of his own life, his idea of freedom was simply to break free. He dreamed of being at the mercy of the wind, carried aloft and blown here and there, a life of true randomness instead of always being part of someone else's purpose. Father's earnest, inconvenient plans for him. Mother's ironic vision of life as one prank after another, in the midst of which you did what was needed. What I need, Mother, is to kite myself up in the air and cut the string and fly untethered. What I need, Father, when you're setting out the pieces for your living chess game, is to be left in the box.

Forget me!

But running couldn't save him from anyone's plans, in the end. Nor did it bring him freedom, for his parents, as always, took his little idiosyncrasies in stride. In fact they made it part of their story; he overheard them telling some of their new Jewish friends that they had to be patient with Itzak, he was between realities, having had the old one stolen from him and not yet ready to enter the new one. How did they think of these glib little encapsulations of his life?

Only when Father underwent the male ritual of obedience himself did Vanya realize that this Jewish business was not just something they were doing to their son. Father tried to go about his ordinary work but could not; though he said nothing, his pain and embarrassment at showing it made him almost silent.

Mother, ever supportive, said nothing even to refer to what the mohel had done to her husband, but Vanya thought he detected a slight smirk on her face when Father asked her to fetch him something that ordinarily he would get up and find for himself. He wondered briefly if this meant that Mother thought the whole enterprise of believing in God was amusing, but as Father's wound healed and life returned to what passed for normal these days, Vanya began to suspect that, despite her irony, it was Mother who was a believer.

Perhaps she had been a believer all along, despite slathering the tangy, bacony lard on her bread like any other Russian. Father's discovery of his Jewishness was part of an overall strategy; Mother simply knew who ran the universe. Father was forcing himself to act like a believer. Mother showed not a doubt that God really existed. She just wasn't on speaking terms with him. "Six million Jews died from the Fascists," she said to Father. "Your one voice, praying, is going to fill all that silence? When a child dies, do you comfort the parents by bringing them a puppy to take care of?"

Mother apparently believed not only in the idea of God, but also that he was the very same God who chose the Jews back when it was just Abraham carting his barren wife around with him, pretending she was his sister whenever some powerful man lusted after her.

That was a favorite story for Vanya, as Father insisted that they study Torah together, going over to the apartment of a rabbi and hearing him read the Hebrew and translate. As they walked home, they would talk about what they'd heard. "These guys are religious?" Vanya kept asking. "Judah sleeps with a prostitute on the road, only it turns out to be his daughter-in-law so it's all right with God?"

The story of the circumcision of Shechem was Vanya's turning point. Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, gets raped by the prince of Shechem. The prince wants to marry her and Jacob agrees that this would make everything all right, only Dinah's twelve brothers are more interested in repairing the family's wounded honor than in getting their sister married to a rich man with a throne in his future. So they tell the prince that he and all the men of his city have to be circumcised, and when the men are all lying there holding their handles and saying Ow, ow, ow, the sons of Jacob draw their swords and slaughter them all. At the end of that story, Vanya said to his father, "Maybe I'll let the mohel do it to me."

Father looked at him in utter consternation. "That story makes you want to be circumcised?"

Vanya shrugged.

"Is there any hope that you can explain to me why this makes sense?" "I'm thinking about it, that's all," said Vanya. He would have explained it, if he could. Before the story he refused even to think about it; after the story, it became conceivable to him, and, once he could conceive of it, it soon became inevitable.

Later, running, he thought maybe he understood why that story changed his mind. Circumcision was a foolish, barbaric thing to do. But having the story of Shechem in Torah showed that God himself knew this. It's barbaric, God seemed to be saying, and it hurts like hell, but I want you to do it. Make yourself weak, so somebody could come in and kill you and you'd just say, Thank you, I don't want to live anyway because somebody cut off part of my privates.

He couldn't explain this to his father. He just knew that as long as God recognized that it was a ludicrous thing to do, he could do it.

So for a few days Vanya didn't run. And it turned out that by the time the circumcision healed so he could run again, they took the city out from under him. The American Congress had antagonized the Russian government by tying most-favored-nation status to Russia's upping the number of Jews getting visas, and in reply the Russians cut the emigration of Jews down to nothing and started harassing them more. To Vanya's family, this had very practical consequences. They lost their apartment.

For Father, it meant no more consultations with students, no more visits with his former colleagues at the university. It meant the shame of being utterly dependent on others for food and clothing for his family, for there was no job he could get.

Mother took it all in stride. "So we make bricks without straw," she said. All his life Vanya remembered her making enigmatic comments like that. Only now he was reading Exodus and he got the reference and realized: Mother really is a Jew! She's been talking to us as if we were all Jews my whole life, only I didn't get it. And for the first time Vanya wondered if maybe this whole thing might not be her plan, only she was so good at it that she had gotten Father to think of it himself, for his own very logical, unreligious reasons. Don't become a practicing Jew because God commands it, become one so you can get your son a good life in America. Could she possibly be that sneaky?

For a week, they camped in the homes of several Jews who had no room for them. It couldn't last for long, this life, partly because the crowding was so uncomfortable, and partly because it was so obvious that, compared to these lifelong followers of the Law, Vanya and his parents were dilettantes at Judaism. Father and Vanya hacked at Hebrew, struggled to keep up with the prayers, and looked blankly a hundred times a day when words and phrases were said that meant nothing to them.

Mother seemed untroubled by such problems, since she had lived for a couple of years with her mother's parents, who kept all the holidays, the two kitchens, the prayers, the differentiation of women and men. Yet Vanya saw that she, too, seemed more amused than involved in the life of these homes, and the women of these households seemed even more wary of her than the men were of Father.

Finally it wasn't a Jew at all, but a second cousin (grandson of Father's grandfather's brother, as they painstakingly explained to Vanya), who took them in for the potentially long wait for an exit visa. Cousin Marek had a dairy farm in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, in a region that had been part of Poland between the wars, and so escaped Stalin's savage collectivization of the freehold farmers of Ukraine. Because this hill country was remote, strategically unimportant, and thinly populated, Communism here was mostly window dressing. Technically Cousin Marek's dairy herd was merely a portion of the herd belonging to the farflung dairy collective; in actual practice, they were his cows, to be bred and cared for as he wished. A good portion of the milk and cheese they produced didn't quite make its way into the state-run dairy system. Instead, it was bartered here and there for goods and services, and now and then for hard Western currency. Cousin Marek had the room, the independent attitude, and enough surplus to take in a few hapless cousins who had decided to become Jews in order to get to the West.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 479 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 433 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0345416880
  • Editeur : Del Rey; Édition : Reprint (31 mai 2005)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B000FCK5P8
  • Synthèse vocale : Non activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°141.189 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great great fantasy 21 août 2003
I cannot tell how much I loved this book. It is so different from the Ender's series but it is so funny.
Orson Scott Card introduces us in the "ever after" side of all fairy tales with imagination, humor and skills.
What happens after the hero kisses the sleeping beauty ???? Never wondered ?
Well now you know and it is hectic....!
Buy it, read it and you will offer it to many I did..
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.2 étoiles sur 5  269 commentaires
106 internautes sur 113 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An excellent "What came next" story! 1 juillet 2000
Par Abigail Fair - Publié sur
I am probably the only sci-fi/fantasy reader in the United States who read "Enchantment" as her introduction to Orson Scott Card's fiction. As unbelievable as it may sound, I avoided reading every OSC book, despite the fact that my sister and best friend did everything but read "Ender's Game" to me. You see, "EG" was once a class assignment (I chose to read Dickens' "David Copperfield" instead -- talk about your opposite book!), and after that, I refused to read it more out of obstinance than anything else. But I'm glad I read "Enchantment."
Coming right off the heels of Robin McKinley's "Spindle's End," I wasn't sure "Enchantment" would be different enough to hold my attention. I was, fortunately, wrong! The best part about this book, aside from complete characters, effortless narration, and a compelling plot -- no small asides! -- was the fact that it had much more to do with what happened AFTER Ivan kissed and awoke the princess. We learned about her village, ancient Slavic culture and religion, magic (both ancient and modern) and the inner workings of an enchanted princess.
Card handled 8 viewpoints with ease, though of course the dominant ones were Ivan, Princess Katerina, and the witch, Baba Yaga. As I am completely unfamiliar with Russian culture and folklore, I found OSC's version of Baba Yaga a completely hideous and believable villain; I was glad to get her viewpoint throughout the story. I also appreciated OSC's depiction of modern and ancient Russia, which to me are now familiar in my head. He conveys incredible amounts of information in few words, and the plot never lags; though this is a long book, it is a quick read. We also feel like we get to know the characters right away, and he writes with equal believability about women and men (I guess it helps to have a wife who proofreads your work :-) ).
If you ever wanted to read an excellent story, get to know many interesting characters, and find out what happened after Sleeping Beauty woke up, read "Enchantment"!
46 internautes sur 52 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A new classic. Card's best ever. 26 avril 2000
Par Peter A. Kimball - Publié sur
I'm a tough critic, and I don't throw around sentences like "this is the best work of fantasy I've read in a year" without giving the matter some thought. But this is a really superb story. I cannot see where it could have been done better, and I don't say that often.
It's superb because it is told vigorously and plausibly. Assume for a few hours that gods and magic have been real, and that there can be magic bridges across time, and the actions of the characters make perfect sense. They are all intelligent problem-solvers - not only Ivan and his parents and Princess Katarina, but the witch-queen Baba Yaga and her captive Bear-god. At no point does Card feel the need to make a leading character into a dunce or a lunatic to shove the plot along.
Card also avoids many pitfalls which you might be afraid that he fell into, given the subject matter and the fact that he really succumbed to some of them in the "Alvin Maker" series. For example, he does not bog the story down in discussing contemporary post-Soviet politics, or in the fine points of culture and technology in tenth-century Ukraine, nor in determining who the real heroes and villains were in Eastern Europe then, nor does he clutter the volume with every Russian folk tale element ever recorded. Nor, although this book does elaborate on the "Sleeping Beauty" story, is it merely a self-conscious "retelling" of the kind that we fantasy readers have come to dread, often in connection with Arthurian legend. The present and the past are nicely balanced and interwoven, and the center of attention throughout is on the story rather than on its setting and provenance.
Furthermore, he manages to throw in a few surprising plot twists, which is difficult to do in a story like this, considering that you mostly expect that the hero and heroine are not going to get killed by Baba Yaga and it's mainly a question of how they will win. Nothing here is trite. Furthermore Card avoids the temptation to explain "everything" at the end or to develop a textbook on the laws of magic. He recognizes that some things have to be explained, but other things just work because that's how they work in fairy tales, and he draws the line between the two sets of things quite well.
You know how you know that a book has really worked? After you are done with the book - you find that you aren't really done with it. You leaf back through it and re-read some of the nicely done parts and recapture how you felt at the first read-through. Then you put it on your shelf along with your other favorite books, where you can pick it up in a few months or a year and read it again. Not all that much stuff by Card has made it onto that shelf of mine, but this one has.
34 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Well-written magical realism, good character developement 20 mars 2005
Par Rabbi Yonassan Gershom - Publié sur
When I first picked up this book, I expected it to be yet another one of those "modern Jewish person goes back in time to experience some aspect of Jewish history" trips. (Why is it that SF writers always have to send the Jews back into the past? Don't they think we will have a future?) Yes, there is an aspect of that here, but it's much, much more. The focus is not so much on JEWISH history as it is on RUSSIAN history, although Jewishness does play an important part.

The year is 1975, the place is Soviet Russia. Young Ivan "Vanya" Smetski finds out he is Jewish when his father decides to claim his Jewish heritage in order to emigrate to Israel and then, hopefully, to the United States. Politically, it is a time when America is putting pressure on the USSR to release more Soviet Jews, but the Soviets react the other way and clamp down on letting Russian Jews leave. The result is that Ivan's father loses his university position, the Smetskis lose their apartment, and the family ends up living with a cousin named Marek on a little farm near Kiev. At this point, little Vanya is 10 years old.

One day, while out in the woods by the farm, Vanya discovers a clearing with a strange round pit full of leaves. Something is moving in the pit -- a monster? The leaves rustle away and he thinks he sees a woman's face rising up among the leaves. He runs away in terror, but never forgets that place, although he thinks of it as some sort of nightmare or hallucination.

Years later, the Smetskis are living in America, and Vanya, now calling himself "Ivan" with the English pronunciation, is working on his Ph.D. thesis about ancient Russian fairy tales. He returns to the part of Russia where he grew up (now part of the Ukrainian Republic) and eventually finds that same clearing in the forest. There is indeed a woman asleep on a pedestal in the middle of the pit -- and a huge enchanted bear is guarding her. Sleeping Beauty is real... Only it's not quite "happily ever after." After kissing the princess, he must agree to marry her in order to get past the bear -- or be killed by it. He proposes and she accepts. He then follows her over a magical bridge into 10th-century Russia -- and into a major a culture shock. Suddenly he is in a barbaric world where literacy and scholarship count for next to nothing, and he is considered a useless weakling because he cannot wield a sword or battle axe. From then on, the real adventure begins...

The book is a convincing mix of realism and magical fantasy that is based on serious historical research, but one thing did bother me in the beginning of the book. There is a rather strange scene where, after Professor Smetski decides to be openly Jewish, he has a mohel (ritual circumciser) come to the house to circumcise him and 10-year-old Ivan. Now, I do know that most Russiam Jews of that era were not circumcised because the Soviet government forbade it. I also know that, after emigration from Russia, many such Jews did have themselves circumcised as an affirtmation of their Jewishness. But I have not heard that they were doing it in a home operation in Russia. For adults, this operation is painful and dangerous and usually requires an overnight stay in the hospital. Plus, it was ILLEGAL in the Soviet Union and regarded as "practicing medicine without a license." So nu, would a mohel risk imprisonment to do it like that? I'm not saying is NEVER happened, but I found the focus on circumcision somewhat disconcerting. Ivan's circumcision does play a part in the plot, however, so it could be taken as a literary device.

The use of Russian fairy tales was interesting and believable. I was already familiar with the stories of Baba Yaga the wicked witch, but I did not know of the significance of the Bear in Russian folklore until I read this book. The story is taking place right at the time when Christianity is first reaching the area, and the people have not really given up their pagan beliefs. Magic still works because people believe in it, and the evil powers of Baba Yaga are very, very real. But so are the powers for good -- and they are not always coming from the Christian side, either. There's even a Jewish "good witch" who helps defeat Baba Yaga -- but more than that would be a spoiler.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 They lived happily every after. NOT! 8 décembre 2000
Par Godly Gadfly - Publié sur
If the "happily ever after" at the end of fairy tales never left you completely satisfied, then this is the book for you. In "Enchantment", Orson Scott Card takes you beyond the "happily ever after" of the traditional story of Sleeping Beauty. The first few chapters introduce Ivan, a brilliant Russian graduate student living in America, and preparing to write a dissertation about Russian fairy tales. Just when Card's realism had me convinced that this could be a true story, Ivan stumbles across the sleeping princess Katerina, and awakes her with his kiss. But don't think that Card is just borrowing a fairy tale, because the end of the traditional story of Sleeping Beauty is merely the beginning of Card's tale! Ivan quickly discovers that kissing a princess doesn't result in living happily ever after, as he travels back in time to Katerina's world, and becomes involved with her in an epic struggle to defend the kingdom of her father over against the wannabe ruler, the witch Baba Yaga. In the course of this struggle, Ivan and Katerina travel to worlds past and present. This leads to some delightfully cultural comedy, where ninth century Russians get to use gunpowder and molotov cocktails and also have the rare privilege of seeing a 747 jumbo jet enter their world well ahead of its time. Card's story-telling is superb, and his fantastic blend of reality and magic, past and present, is wonderfully entertaining. There is constant suspense, romance, adventure and humour.
But as usual, Card does much more than just tell a good story. His special attention to inner thoughts and struggles and the psychology of human relationships is masterful. In the course of telling his fairy tale, he shares numerous philosophical thoughts about literary theory, psychology, and religion. The clash between cultures achieves more than just comedy, but provides deep insights about the chasm between times, cultures, and religions (especially Judaism and Christianity - both of which are somewhat unfairly portrayed as mere outward rituals entered upon by circumcision or baptism). Card demonstrates that it is possible for two very different individuals from different times and cultures to make a new beginning together in a marriage, although this meeting of cultures cannot occur without both gaining and losing something at the same time.
Especially thought provoking is the fact that Card uses a fairy tale to show that reality is not like the high fantasy of fairy tales, because in the real world that there is no such thing as living happily ever. Is Card satirizing the impossibly high ideals of beauty and happiness that fairy tales normally offer? I quickly found myself laughing at Card's harsh fantasy world, because it was one I recognized: the real world, my world, which in reality is often cold and harsh. We quickly discover that kissing a beautiful princess in the real world is not all it is made out to be. So we can identify with Ivan the naked prince - his shock at the harsh reality of a fairy tale come true (p.90) is our shock at the harsh reality of life.
Perhaps to heighten the effect of a fairy tale that reflects reality rather than fantasy, Card frequently resorts to crude language, and sexually explicit details. Also the portrayal of the witch Baba Yaga and her sidekick Bear was at times unnecessarily morbid. It is undeniable that this contributes to the effect of bringing the fantasy to cold hard earth, but personally I found it unnecessary to go so far in order to create the effect he wanted, and from Card (a Mormon) rather surprising and unexpected. I find it a shame that by employing such language and giving attention to such crude details, Card has made this book suitable only for mature and discerning readers, and made it inappropriate even for older children.
Card also uses the culture contrast between modernity and myth, past and present to criticize contemporary culture. Are Card's comments about the lack of respect for authority and the change in roles between husbands and wives (p.206) an implicit criticism of Western society? And is Ivan a mouthpiece for Card when he makes the observation that contemporary culture focuses on having itself remembered, whereas past culture focuses more on surviving (p.139)? And is the disappointing and harsh fantasy world that first promised so much intended to be a mirror image of life in the USA, which Ivan's Russian immigrant family also found disappointing (p.144)?
These and more questions will amuse you for hours. "Enchantment" is certainly a wonderful marriage of fantasy and reality, past and present, magic and science, pleasure and philosophy. The crude details do leave a bit of a bad aftertaste, but like Ivan and Katerina's marriage, this marriage of modernity and myth in the end proves to be most successful and satisfying
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Enchantment: Enchanting 29 janvier 2000
Par Darrell Grizzle - Publié sur
Once again, Orson Scott Card has done a masterful job of making fantastical situations seem realistic -- even the relationship between the malevolent witch, Baba Yaga, and her kidnapped Bear-god husband. This is a well written story of clashing cultures, modern and ancient, as well as clashing spiritualities: Christian, Jewish, Pagan. The novel is respectful of them all. It's also a romance with a happy ending that bridges both worlds. And contrary to what one reviewer wrote, Bruce Cockburn (whose lyrics are quoted in the novel) IS cool!
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