Sunday, 30 November 2008
Uncharacteristically Shepherd Book fiercely looks at River and thinks: ‘I don’t give half a hump if you’re innocent or not! So where does that put you?’
What does that mean?
Also, what is the significance of the name ‘Book’ for the character for whom the Bible is so important?
And is it just coincidence that the names ‘River’ and ‘Reaver’ (both victims of the Alliance) are so similar?
Saturday, 29 November 2008
In the episode Jaynestown, Shepherd Book finds River editing his Bible in order to remove the contradictions.
Book: ‘River you don’t fix the Bible!’
River: ‘It’s broken, it doesn’t make sense!’
Book: ‘It’s not about making sense. It’s about believing in something. And letting that belief be real enough to change your life. It’s about faith. You don’t fix faith, River. It fixes you.’
Commenting on this dialogue, and on the relationship between Simon and River, Alyson Buckman writes:
‘Ironically, River is like the Bible – she “doesn’t make sense,” and her brother attempts to fix her as she attempts to fix the Bible. As Book says about the Bible, the crew of Serenity must come to have faith in River, which they do by the end of [the episode] “Objects in Space.”’Buckman, AR, ‘Much Madness is Divinest Sense’ in Wilcox, R & Cochran, TR (editors), Investigating Firefly and Serenity: Science Fiction on the Frontier, (London: I.B. Tauris,2008) p.46.
Book: ‘I've been out of the Abbey two days. I've beaten a lawman senseless. Fallen in with criminals. I watched the captain shoot the man I swore to protect. And I'm not even sure if I think he was wrong. I believe I just … I think I’m on the wrong ship.’
Inara: ‘Maybe. Or maybe you're exactly where you ought to be.’
Shepherd Book often comes out with pithy statements - as in this exchange from episode 1:
As I re-watch the series I am going to look out for ways in which Inara exhibits the same sort of wisdom in what she says.
Kaylee: ‘How come you don’t care where you’re going?’
Book: ‘’Cause how you get there is the worthier part.’
Or is it wisdom?
Cynthea Masson thinks that some of the pithy sayings used by Inara ‘verge on cliché’ and rather than being full of meaning they are actually used as a way of avoiding actual conversation - ‘an aspect of verbal etiquette in which a Companion would surely be well versed’. Masson, C, ‘But she was naked! And all articulate!’ in Wilcox, R & Cochran, TR (editors), Investigating Firefly and Serenity: Science Fiction on the Frontier, (London: I.B. Tauris,2008) p.20.
Could the same accusation (obviously without the reference to Companion training) be made against Shepherd Book – or against the Church/Emerging Conversation?
Whedon explains that:
'Companions trained in all the arts, extremely well-schooled. They lived not unlike nuns, worked not unlike geishas, and often rose to political or social prominence when they retired,’Whedon, J, Serenity: The Official Visual Companion, (London: Titan Books, 2005) pp.12-13.
After describing temple/sacred prostitution in ancient Middle Eastern society, Andrew Aberdein writes:
‘Inara also exhibits a strong spiritual side. She is frequently associated with religious iconography, primarily Buddhist, and both she and Nandi invoke the Buddha in Chinese imprecations. Moreover, Inara explicitly links the sacred to her practice as a Companion, referring to her shuttle as ‘a consecrated Place of Union’ (Jaynestown).’Aberdein, A, ‘The Companions and Socrates’ in Wilcox, R & Cochran, TR (editors), Investigating Firefly and Serenity: Science Fiction on the Frontier, (London: I.B. Tauris,2008) p.67.
Thursday, 13 November 2008
- Table Fellowship
- Promised Land
- No Aliens = No God?
- Psychic Powers
- Personhood/Being Human
- Nomadic Lifestyle