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Question

As both Dr. Evans and Dr. Stockton said several times, Imperium in Imperio was odd. Not only did it seem fantastical and full-hearty, but I thought it brought to light a very interesting side of history in a VERY interesting way. One thing that struck me in Dr. Levander’s article was something she said in the beginning. “….–possibly because the novel was ‘too treasonous to evaluate’ (322)– twenty years later Imperium has become a significant object of study, especially for its commentary on race relations in an imperializing late-nineteenth-century US.” (pg. 60). I agree with this statement completely, however odd the text was, it was an interesting representation of real struggles and events. However, my question for Dr. Levander is this: Because this text was so fantastical and so fictional, how were you able to take from it the most “realistic” or “truthful” parts in order to help support your argument? Does it even matter whether or not it is real?

I am so excited for everyone to ask their questions and I can’t wait to meet someone so famous!!!  I am a little star struck and this is going to be sooooo awesome!

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. krcoleman
    April 10, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I love your question. I think it’s particularly relevant to this text because while it doesn’t involve time travel or magic or the supernatural, it still directly conflicts with historical truth. I think this question really challenges the definitions of “real” and “truth” and whether or not they are necessarily the same thing.

  2. 4lillie5
    April 10, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    I’m glad some one pointed out Dr. Levander’s description of the book as “too treasonous to evaluate” at the time. I find it interesting to think about how our ideas on treasonous acts have changed. In my opinion the members of he Imperium are extraordinarily patriotic- not treasonous

  3. April 10, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I’m so glad you asked this question because I also wanted to but it wasn’t my most important one. It is interesting that so many of us had a hard time connecting with this material because of the seemingly strange breaks with reality. But the way I was able to rationalize the fantastical elements was by thinking of the stories we hear every day. Memories and stories are rarely pieced together perfectly, and I think Imperium makes that especially evident. In a way, I think it almost makes other aspects more believable because there is a striking difference between the very “real” and factual information, especially near the end and the more ethereal moments. That way, those former moments seem to hold more weight. I don’t know. Just guesses!

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