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The Marginalia  

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wildsalmon
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@stella Could you elaborate on that? To me it seems like author intent was never in the picture to begin with, the academy representing meaning in the text and the marginalia representing a lack of meaning, or entirely subjective meaning. When the author dies, how does that move us away from literature? 

Maybe I'm just misinterpreting your words, but this has actually led me to an interesting idea. If "death of the author" is taken to mean disregarding the authorial intent, why is only the marginalia killing these authors? Wouldn't Eliot be technically killing them too, by disregarding them? There has to be another angle to attack this from, but I'm stumped as of right now.


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username27
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@a2m0e0m2 - I completely agree. I too am really questioning the intentions of the marginalia. When we were tempted to join them a few chapters ago, the woman was not very clear on their mission or what the purpose of killing the canon authors does for their cause. They seem willing to sacrifice anything for what they believe in whatever that might be, I'm not sure.


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octavia
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@salmon This is an interesting aspect to bring up. It's true, if their intent is to disregard authorial intent, it seems only fair that Eliot would be killing these authors, too. Their goals with the killings are very unclear, and I really hope it is cleared up soon. There has to be some other reason for it, or maybe the killing in itself is symbolic for something else? 


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username27
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@octavia - That makes a lot of sense. If this were the purpose of these killings, it would happen on both sides: the canon and the marginalia. I think their reasoning might have to go deeper than that. Unfortunately, the leader of the marginalia was so discrete when she tempted us and never really explain the purpose of the group. I wonder if this will be further revealed as we move through the chapters?


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octavia
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@username27 That's a great point to bring up. If they did have meaning, the killing would be on both sides. Now, I'm curious about what the marginalia's morals and ideals are and what makes them so different from the canon to push them towards killing. There has to be something morally or psychologically different with them to push them to act this way...


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Persephone
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After reading through this thread again, I'd have to say that I disagree with the whole author intent thing, because like @salmon said, this would make Eliot a killer too. I think that the intent of the marginalia is less about erasing the canons ideas, and more about watering it down. I think that because of the definition of the word marginalia, as well as some interactions with the assassin earlier on where she mentions that we wont NEED to know all this. It seems like the marginalia thinks that this is another one of those high school classes that we'll never use again so it shouldn't be so important/put on a pedestal. 


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Anonymous Parrot
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@persephone Sounds like a credulity/credibility situation. You mentioned that she said, "we won't NEED to know this" and maybe that's how they're able to maintain power. Maybe their entire philosophy is that this sort of literature has created free minded and willed people to where they question and challenge authority and order. It seems like their organization is based around this entire premise so in order to prevent this, they must eliminate the canon authors. You can't control the pour-soi but you can control the en-soi


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wildsalmon
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@aaparrot The interesting thing here is that by trying to prevent literature from allowing people to challenge authority, they themselves are challenging the authority of the authors. I wonder, then, is this strictly hypocritical, or something else? I know that contradictions give meaning and depth to any human idea, but something so obvious makes it seem like there's a clear-cut "good guy" and "bad guy". While it's pretty obvious Chisnell and the College Board are pushing that narrative, I don't think it's that simple. I also really wonder what the knowledge gap is between the fictional and the real members of each team, how many of the students here aligned with the marginalia are on the same page as the ones in the plot? Same goes for the guardians, with a group of people there's never really a singular motive and that's what makes this so hard.


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Persephone
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Posted by: @aaparrot

 You can't control the pour-soi but you can control the en-soi

This quote is SO important!!!! Not only does this connect to what we're talking about now, but I think because of that fact, you are 110% on the right track. I hadn't even thought of this like that... That being said, does this mean that perhaps we can convert the marginalia back into guardians? Honestly I doubt it's possible, but it's worth thinking about.


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wildsalmon
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@persephone That's a very interesting thought, are there mid-game switches? It would be in each organization's best interest to not allow that, but maybe learning more about literature could sway you one way or another. It's really quite strange when you think about it, since you have to pick pretty much the rest of the year after only 3 chapters. It would be super interesting to see some swaps, it would definitely liven up the game if "confirmed" people switched, or something like that.


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a2m0e0m2
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@persephone I never thought about that, but it is an interesting thought process. I would assume that there is no killing of marginalia since the authors are seen as the " good guys ", henceforth not exactly allowing them to kill. But there may be a part in the game where either the marginalia are able to choose if they want to switch their sides back, or maybe the authors are able to take the marginalia away from their team somehow. 


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Delphine
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@username27 I think that that's the point of the Marginalia. Their entire mission must be kept discrete in order to protect themselves from the Guardians because they know their mission lacks morality. To touch on the idea of "swapping", I think that it could be really beneficial to the game. Like it was said above, having to choose a side after only three chapters definitely could result in the changing of opinions by members of both sides as we continue to analyze, learn, and develop our own ideas regarding literature and the Marginalia. I think swapping could be a great idea that would assist the Guardian's in their defense as some members of the Marginalia move over the the morally correct side.


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Anonymous Parrot
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@delphine I think the discreteness of the mission is more attributed to the fact that it is much easier to control subordinates if they are only told their task and no more. The less thinking they do, the less of a chance they have in turning over crucial intel to the Guardians. Marginalia values order over any form of free will or conscientious thinker. 


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octavia
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@delphine The idea of swapping is a great one to bring up. I agree with the fact that a change of thinking can very much happen, but I think that seriously swapping sides can create a messy fight between sides and essentially might create a free-for-all. People will be viewed as traitors on both side and create a big mess that's hard to get out of. Maybe it would play out differently, but that's what I see possibly happening as intel is swapped. 


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Anonymous Parrot
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@octavia I highly doubt that will ever happen but nonetheless, it's an interesting concept to think about. Also, there is no real fun in switches since figuring out who are the traitors and ultimately seeing a clash between the two factions is where the actual fun is. I think Chisnell will provide another incentive for us soon to continue playing this game soo we will see. 


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