[LMB] Literary Bujold: WA

adkinslawfirm at mindspring.com adkinslawfirm at mindspring.com
Wed Apr 21 15:33:55 BST 2010

Two points:

Miles may well have picked up on Shakespeare from Aral.  Remember when Aral is referenced as getting drunk in barracks and "spouting revolution in iambic pentameter" as a young man?

It is human nature to seek connection, "someone like me."  Several Asian comics have gotten good mileage [all puns thereunto appertaining are incorporated herein by reference  ;)] out of how, when they were growing up, the only fellow Asians they saw on tv were cooks ["Bonanza"], housekeepers ["Courtship Of Eddie's Father"], or in laundry detergent commercials ["ancient Chinese secret"].  In Barrayaran culture, where the mutant is inevitably the villain, at least Richard III is a villain with brilliance and panache [Cyrano's white feather--literally, in "Borders of Infinity"].  As others have commented so insightfully, much of Barrayar--especially High Vor Barrayar--is theater.  Much like Richard, Miles feels unwanted/unwelcome/uneasy in his native milieu.  If he's going to be unwelcome, at least Richard is dangerous, rather than carelessly dismissed.  Miles definitely yearns for recognition, as a menace, if nothing else.

The theatrical element also introduces the dichotomy of appearance vs. reality [forecasting "reputation/honor"?].  Miles looks like the deformed mutant who might go mad at any moment & seize the throne [a perception used to good purpose in _Vor Game_]; the reality is he's to-the-bedrock loyal.


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