Paula Lieberman paal at gis.net
Tue Jan 11 20:06:43 GMT 2011

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Elizabeth Holden" <azurite at rogers.com>
To: "Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold." 
<lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 12:23 PM
Subject: Re: [LMB] ACC

> --- On Tue, 1/11/11, Paula Lieberman <paal at gis.net> wrote:
>> Aral didn't have Cordelia as mother and a grandfather who'd
>> tried to murder him as a baby.....
> No, but I don't follow.  He had different experiences, inescapably. Do you 
> think that means he feels less understanding of Miles?
I wouldn't say -feels-: Aral's attracted to different  things in people 
sexually than Miles is.  Aral's attracted to the masculine, what's in 
Cordelia that attracts him are male Barrayaran honor value in a -woman-, 
he's attracted to the "secret male" in Cordelia.  Miles likes -women- 
as -people-, it's not clear that -Aral- does, and not clear that the typical 
Barrayaran male even can.  "Women, they're women, women can't be pilots" 
said a dyed-in-the-wool Southern male misogynist bigot to me, to whom it 
was -unthinkable- to consider women as being pilots, and particularly 
military pilots.  The concept was not allowed in his worldview--and the 
culture that inculcated him with that, was much like the Barryaran culture 
which produced Aral.  Cordelia was a massive exception, because he and she 
bonded as -equals- in a life and death crisis situation on Sergyar where 
they -had- to cooperate and work together and bond to survive.  That sort of 
experience, trumps all sorts of prejudices.  They -had- to work together and 
trust one another--and that meant that Cordelia was -unique- to Aral--she 
has the position and status and role and authority that on -Barrayar- only a 
man could have....

Mile spent significant amounts of his growing up years on Beta, in a 
completely different civilization than Barrayar, and in his time on 
Barrayar, the Regent's Wife was his caretaker and major influence on. 
Aral's childhood was a lot different than that.  Miles grew up withot a war 
going on, with his parents the most powerful people on the planet.  Aral 
grew up with his grandfather a close relative of an Emperor who decided to 
purge the royal family of competition to himself, including assassinating 
Aral's mother in front of Aral.  Aral's father was a straight and narrow and 
zealous True Vor sort who'd been a guerrilla who helped kick the Cetagandans 
off the planet and lost the biggest locality in his district to a 
radioactive show of force by the Cetagandan...if his wife could have been a 
leavening factor in his life, Yuri having her assassinated removed -that- 

>> and until running into
>> Cordelia appears to have never had any serious interest in
>> galatic women.... he was mainly interested in Barrayaran
>> men....
> Do you have textev for that?  It may be so, but I don't see it. I see his 
> problematic love for his wife as significant to him; he may have avoided 
> entanglement with women somewhat after that, but I would think the 
> relationship with Ges was just as problematic.  When he talks about his 
> past, it seems that in his mid-twenties his main relationship was with 
> alcohol.

Aral was Lord Vorkosigan expected to remarry and produce sons to continue 
the line of Counts Vorkosigan.  Aral had failed to do that.  From Aral's 
descriiption to Cordelia of Vorlord Paterfamilias forgiving all sins to the 
woman who produced legitimate male heirs for him, it's hard to believe that 
Piotr had NOT been pressuring Aral, for -decades- to marry =someone- and 
maky babies....  But Aral had NOT done so.  Piotr probably would even have 
welcomed Taura were she fertile and able to bear a son who didn't look like 
a "mutie.'  Piotr wanted legitimate grandsons and didn't much care who the 
woman was produced them. 

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