Posts Tagged ‘Phil’

Something on John Norman, the author of the Gor books…

December 14, 2008

I cribbed this from Wikipedia because most people are not familiar with John Norman’s background and this gives a little about his philosophical basis. I have recognized Nietzche’s ‘natural order’ philosophy, but this is just a partial basis to understanding Norman.

Lady Nyo

Norman is a follower of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and his influential Gor series bears parallels to Burroughs’ John Carter (character)|John Carter of Mars. His novels include lengthy philosophical and sociology|sociological dissertations criticizing the malaise of modern society (everything from common dishonesty to nuclear warfare|nuclear holocaust). A wide variety of societies, cultures, moral concepts, and technologies are described in depth in his novels; however it is always within the context of the male adventure genre, and, as such, families, children, and other mundane aspects of real life are generally absent and those roles are left undiscussed.

His fiction places emphasis on living in accordance with a Friedrich Nietzsche|Nietzsche-esque natural order, sponsoring a hierarchy of talent, especially strength. Based on this assumed hierarchy, combined with a particular usage of evolutionary psychology to analyze gender role|gender differences, he contends that woman is the submissive natural helper, and figurative slave, of man. His work often takes this observation literally: heroes enslave heroines who, upon being enslaved, revel in the discovery of their natural place. Norman and Goreans have been criticized for this tenet of what they consider honoring nature. The extent to which Norman intended this philosophy to be taken literally, rather than as a vehicle of sexual fantasy, is debatable. Bondage in the novels and in his Imaginative Sex guide is overtly and completely sexual in nature and while the philosophy presented is unquestionably that of male dominance, the male characters are themselves often temporarily and elaborately enslaved by powerful females.

It should be noted that Norman’s interpretations of evolutionary psychology represent one set of viewpoints among many, few of which define men’s and women’s roles as John Norman does. Rather, evolutionary psychology provides theories and evidence that may be interpreted and used in many ways, like almost all science.

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