Søg På Websted
På dette site bruger vi cookies til at levere vores ydelser, forbedre performance, til analyseformål, og (hvis brugeren ikke er logget ind) til reklamer. Ved at bruge LibraryThing anerkender du at have læst og forstået vores vilkår og betingelser inklusive vores politik for håndtering af brugeroplysninger. Din brug af dette site og dets ydelser er underlagt disse vilkår og betingelser.

Resultater fra Google Bøger

Klik på en miniature for at gå til Google Books


The Plato Papers (1999)

af Peter Ackroyd

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
4881348,479 (3.4)9
A novel on the way time deforms reality and the futility of bucking the process. In the 37th century, as a result of an error somewhere over the centuries, academics teach The Origin of Species was not a book on evolution by Charles Darwin, but a novel by Charles Dickens. When the hero questions the accuracy of this bit of history, he lands in trouble.… (mere)
99 (16)

Bliv medlem af LibraryThing for at finde ud af, om du vil kunne lide denne bog.

Der er ingen diskussionstråde på Snak om denne bog.

» Se også 9 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 13 (næste | vis alle)
Ackroyd makes a sharp criticism of modern society and fully creates a utopian future society. Use of quotes from created texts helps him transition the reader seamlessly from present day into a future utopia which he prompts the reader to fill in with just enough detail.
His structure, floating between direct storytelling from the perspective of Plato and dialogue, mimics the Socratic dialogues, and fits the form perfectly, and is fresh and incisive as the plot follows Plato's increasing frenzy.
Occasionally, especially during his worldbuilding, Ackroyd would dip from satiric commentary to abrasive condescension, but generally his thoughts were seamlessly inserted into his characters' points of view.
Altogether, recommended: an enjoyable if a bit pretentious satire. ( )
  et.carole | Jan 21, 2022 |
This is a strange little book set in a version of London, which takes place about 1800 years in the future. The characters are living at the end of what is described as a long dark age followed by a new period of enlightenment (literally--the beings inhabiting this world radiate their own light). It's a meditation on our desire to paint cyclical pictures of history and to impose our own understandings onto past eras. At first, it seems like a long joke, a more philosophical version of David Macauley's great "Motel of the Mysteries."

But, the second half, in which Plato sees a version of the past superimposed on and coexisting with his own world, was strangely haunting. He leaves us with the urgent reminder to question everything. Though it is twenty years old, this does not yet feel dated, in spite of some gloomy pronouncements about Mouldwarp humans being ensnared in a "Web" of darkness that led to the downfall of their civilization. Rather, I think given our times, it's even more important to look head-on at how the needs of the present always necessitate shaping the past to suit ourselves. ( )
  sansmerci | Jan 12, 2022 |
This is a playful intellectual exercise in speculative fiction which postulates a thirty-eighth century scholar trying to understand how people lived in former eras, principally our own, from the snippets of material culture which have been left behind. And he invariably gets it hilariously wrong; the twentieth century's greatest comedian was named Sigmund Freud, the finest source for how Americans lived in the nineteenth century was E. A. Poe, and their favorite comic novelist was named Charles Darwin. He also provides his disciples with a similarly garbled glossary of terms used in the period for their own researches. This is great fun and wildly inventive; the spell broken occasionally by the author interjecting political opinion, presumably his own, and some lackluster interstitial bits which advance a skeletal plot. ( )
  Big_Bang_Gorilla | May 29, 2016 |
I found Peter Ackroyd’s The Plato Papers, his mostly forgotten 1999 offering, in the basement of a Bemidji bookstore. Bought it, put it on a shelf for a couple of years, and having lately finished a re-read of some Plato, thought it a good time to polish this diminutive book off. Well, it’s actually 173 pages but that’s Nan A. Talese’s formatting trick. A small hardcover with giant margins and maximum use of white space at the start (and usually finish) of all 55 chapters. Naturally enough, much of the text is in dialogue. And what does it all have to do with Plato? Next to nothing, actually.

The Plato Papers uses the future as a conceit to talk about the past. In 2299 a "collapsophe" plunges London into a new sci-fi dark age but the city endures and by 3705 the orator Plato is entertaining crowds with his interpretations of 'ancient texts.' When he’s not delivering orations, he’s conversing with his soul. When he’s not on the page, friends with improbable names are discussing him and his ideas.

That’s it. My hopes were not high, as it sounds like a glib work of postmodernism with no greater purpose than to showcase Ackroyd’s cleverness. Some of it does fall into that trap. The Plato Papers can be split roughly in half – while the second half delves into metaphysics, the first is all about the blithely overeducated joke as when Plato offers definitions of ancient idioms.

"dead end: a place where corpses were taken … Those who chose to inhabit these areas apparently suffered from a ‘death wish.’"
"literature: a word of unknown provenance, generally attributed to ‘litter’ or waste."

I mean, come on! These are glorified puns, funny literalisms it can’t have taken Ackroyd more than a second to compile. Occasionally, one hits the mark:

"pedestrian: one who journeyed on foot. Used as a term of abuse, as in ‘this is a very pedestrian plot.’ It is possible, therefore, that in ancient days walking was considered to be an ignoble or unnatural activity; this would explain the endless varieties of transport used to convey people for very short distances."

This is amusing yet reflective. The conclusion is wrong but it feels plausible and the verdict is pleasantly illuminating. It’s also very lightly treated, which sums up my experience with the whole work. Some call it a satire, but it’s not mean enough by half. And as a novel of ideas, it puts all the right ingredients together…in the smallest possible amounts. Throughout, Ackroyd is making a point about the treatment of history, the interpretations we make about 'the wrong ages' (essentially how we always feel about the past). Each new generation unaware that history has them in its gunsights as well.

Madrigal: … But why are the beliefs of our ancestors so ridiculous? I am sure that they were sincerely held.
Ornatus: No doubt.
Madrigal: Perhaps, in the future someone might laugh at – well – you and me.
Ornatus: There is nothing funny about us.
Madrigal: As far as we know.

Of course, The Plato Papers is too diffuse to really impress with its intellect. It flits from scene to scene and all the critical praise adorning the dust jacket can’t obscure the fact that this is foremost a light read. It wants to amuse. Plato’s orations are postmodern routines and they form the bulk of the text. Dickens and Darwin are confuted in the best sequence, offering The Origin of Species as a novel with an unreliable narrator at the helm. Freud (pronounced Fraud, ha ha) is assumed a comedian. Poe’s Tales and Histories is taken at face value as a factual account of the American people. "Its inhabitants dwelled in very large and very old houses which, perhaps because of climactic conditions, were often covered with lichen or ivy. In many respects the architecture of these ancient mansions conformed to the same pattern; they contained libraries and galleries, chambers of antique painting and long corridors leading in serpentine fashion to great bolted doors. … they were a highly nervous people, who suffered from a morbid acuteness of their faculties. They experienced continually ‘a vague feeling of terror and despair’. They were prone to the most extreme sensations of wonder or hilarity and there seems to have been an unusual amount of lunacy among the young."

As Plato talks to his soul, the cheap jokes go by the wayside and Ackroyd gets down to business. History is bent and run through Plato’s Cave. Willful illusion, rather than simple ignorance, becomes a main tenet of human behaviour. The stubborn Ornatus says “Ignorance is better than doubt” and the citizens of London reject Plato’s new and more accurate findings on ancient ways because to countenance them would introduce uncertainty – and require humility. To class your ancestors as ignorant makes you enlightened; to call them barbarians is to make yourself civilized. Plato tests the limits of his world, not by journeying to another, but by admitting his own errors. This makes him a pariah and he is soon put on trial…

In a final prank, Ackroyd chose not to finish his fable with an ending everyone already knows. Perhaps he thought that would be predictable, or would clash with his established tone. Or perhaps he was making the point that, even while unconscious of the past, history does not always repeat and there is hope for the human race. Deeper meaning aside, Ackroyd’s finale is diffuse, anti-climactic and very appropriately the final word in the book is dream.

Yes, there’s a fair amount of artistry on display in The Plato Papers. However, it’s not likely to satisfy many readers with its combination of highly metaphorical sci-fi and postmodern jokery. Sure, it stimulates the intellect, but it bounces around too much to feel really substantial and based on this sample it makes sense that he’s more known for his non-fiction these days. I enjoyed it but I would never claim it qualifies as a necessary addition to the library of any non-Ackroyd fan. The characters are flat, the prose is average, the imagery does not dazzle…and yet the whole concoction is so odd I can’t help but like it. In its favour, it absolutely does have the ability to spark thought. It’s one of those cases where the reviews are a necessary addendum to the book. There’s an excellent essay on it at London Fictions that I direct you to as a case in point. Ackroyd’s erudite. In the end I’m glad I picked it up.

http://pseudointellectualreviews.wordpress.com/2014/04/24/the-plato-papers-peter... ( )
  nymith | Aug 13, 2014 |
Not one of the Ackroyd must-reads, in my opinion. It is stylistically interesting, but seems obscure about the theme of the tale. It uses a good deal of imagery arising from Plato's cave. Perhaps we are dealing with a story about the amount of direct and brutal experience is compatible with normal levels of human comfort. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Dec 30, 2013 |
Viser 1-5 af 13 (næste | vis alle)
ingen anmeldelser | tilføj en anmeldelse
Du bliver nødt til at logge ind for at redigere data i Almen Viden.
For mere hjælp se Almen Viden hjælpesiden.
Kanonisk titel
Alternative titler
Information fra den russiske Almen Viden. Redigér teksten, så den bliver dansk.
Oprindelig udgivelsesdato
Vigtige steder
Vigtige begivenheder
Beslægtede film
Oplysninger fra den engelske Almen Viden Redigér teksten, så den bliver dansk.
For Elizabeth Wyndham
Første ord
Oplysninger fra den engelske Almen Viden Redigér teksten, så den bliver dansk.
Sparkler: Wait, Sidonia, wait!
Sidste ord
Oplysning om flertydighed
Forlagets redaktører
Oplysninger fra den engelske Almen Viden Redigér teksten, så den bliver dansk.
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

Henvisninger til dette værk andre steder.

Wikipedia på engelsk


A novel on the way time deforms reality and the futility of bucking the process. In the 37th century, as a result of an error somewhere over the centuries, academics teach The Origin of Species was not a book on evolution by Charles Darwin, but a novel by Charles Dickens. When the hero questions the accuracy of this bit of history, he lands in trouble.

No library descriptions found.

Beskrivelse af bogen

Current Discussions


Populære omslag

Quick Links


Gennemsnit: (3.4)
0.5 1
1 1
2 9
2.5 8
3 27
3.5 4
4 24
4.5 5
5 10

Er det dig?

Bliv LibraryThing-forfatter.


Om | Kontakt | LibraryThing.com | Brugerbetingelser/Håndtering af brugeroplysninger | Hjælp/FAQs | Blog | Butik | APIs | TinyCat | Efterladte biblioteker | Tidlige Anmeldere | Almen Viden | 197,630,724 bøger! | Topbjælke: Altid synlig