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Thread: stories on power politics

  1. #1
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    Literatures and Movies on Power Politics

    I'm looking for works that explore how power politics works.
    How someone exploits personal relationships to serve someone's selfish needs.

    What works have you read, seen or you know that talks about
    psychopathic manipulation of relationships in the road to power?

    If you can cite works by the canonical authors, or works of recognized merit,
    so much the better.

    Here's a list of the names of works contributed by members:

    Novels and plays:
    King Lear and Othello (by Red Terror)

    The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell. (by Taraxippos)

    The Fall of a Titan by Igor Gouzenko (by Bill 42)

    Robert Graves' "I Claudius" (by Ecurb)

    John Williams" "Augustus" (by Ecurb)

    John Fowles' The Collector (by Taraxippos)

    The Voices of the River by Jaume Cabre (by Taraxippos)

    Sidney Sheldon's Master of the Game. (by Taraxippos)

    Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi (by Freudian Monkey)

    Before I Go To Sleep, by S.J. Watson (by kiz_paws)


    Movies:
    The Founder (by Freudian Monkey)

    Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood (by Freudian Monkey)

    Before I Go To Sleep, by S.J. Watson (by kiz_paws)


    I'll be updating this list as I get more.
    Last edited by freaky; 12-08-2017 at 04:27 PM.

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    The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell. Part Two, "Myrr is Mine, its Bitter Perfume", is narrated in first person by one Hugo Lamb, a person possesed by a narcissism so intense it is almost psychopathic. He manipulates friends, colleagues, girlfriends, relatives , you name it.

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    Much thanks, Taraxippos.

    A Google search for 'power politics in literature' reveals Kafka's The Trial, R.P. Warren's All the King's Men, 1984, etc.

    But I need works that narrate from the power-seeker's perspective, not the victim's. Even though multiple
    perspectives would be fantastic. And Taraxippos's recommendations probably fit the criterion.

    I'm looking for more replies.
    Last edited by freaky; 12-06-2017 at 05:02 PM.

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    The Fall of a Titan by Igor Gouzenko. I'd like to point out that not all power seekers start out as power seekers. Some are transformed. The Fall of a Titan is about a fella who started out as a regular person in a bit of financial difficulty (IIRC), and was then drawn into the Soviet power circle and became a Titan.

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    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    For politically oriented novels involving personal power relations, try Robert Graves' "I Claudius" or John Williams" "Augustus". Augustus is an epistolary novel in which the letter writers (Augustus and others) write in the rhetorical styles for which they were known.

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    The subject is quite unpleasant, and that is perhaps the reason there are not many books around with this subject. A well known novel about manipulation should be John Fowles' The Collector. Narration is in first-person style, the book is about a man who kidnaps a girl and keeps her imprisoned, all told from the perspective of the perpetrator. In that case manipulation does not serve some ultimate goal, it is manipulation for its own sake. Like I said, a very unpleasant subject, I never finished the book.

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    TheFairyDogMother kiz_paws's Avatar
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    Oh my, yes... The Collector ... what a dreadful story indeed...
    Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty
    ~Albert Einstein

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taraxippos View Post
    The subject is quite unpleasant, and that is perhaps the reason there are not many books around with this subject. A well known novel about manipulation should be John Fowles' The Collector. Narration is in first-person style, the book is about a man who kidnaps a girl and keeps her imprisoned, all told from the perspective of the perpetrator. In that case manipulation does not serve some ultimate goal, it is manipulation for its own sake. Like I said, a very unpleasant subject, I never finished the book.
    If I remember rightly the story was told both from the perspective of the girl and from the kidnaper. I think there is also a film about th story.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danik 2016 View Post
    If I remember rightly the story was told both from the perspective of the girl and from the kidnaper.

    I couldn't say, I never even finished Chapter One, so you might be right.

    I think there is also a film about th story.
    There is, and it is supposedly a very good one, but I haven't seen it either.

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    There has been a contributor to the question of power. His name is Freudian Monkey, still active, I believe.

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    Another book that could be interesting to you is The Voices of the River by Jaume Cabre. It has a very complicated plot, narrated in third-person through the perspective of various characters, but ultimately it is all about the terrible secret of a woman who acquires a great deal of power along with an enormous fortune in Franco's Spain (and later) and what she did in order to gain this power. Unfortunately there is no english translation, but if you can read German, French, italian, or spanish it is worth a try.

    Additionally, if you don't mind trivial literature, there is Sidney Sheldon's Master of the Game.

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    Registered User Red Terror's Avatar
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    King Lear and Othello.
    There has never been a single, great revolution in history without civil war. --- Vladimir Lenin

    There are decades when nothing happens and then there are weeks when decades happen. --- Vladimir Lenin

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    Thank you all for your active engagement.

    I plan to edit the first post and make a list of the mentioned works.

    Dreamwoven, yes, you're right, Freudian Monkey is still more or less active.
    I'll try to invite the member. No pun intended.

    Let me note that any kind of narrative work is welcome. Movies, short stories,
    even biographies. If I make the said list I'll categorize them.

  14. #14
    Hello everyone! I just came back after being inactive for months. So I welcome everyone to join the discussion on The Definition of Power on this thread:

    http://www.online-literature.com/for...ition-of-Power

    As for the written or dramatized accounts of the politics of power, I tend to be more interested in theoretical and practical accounts of power than fictional accounts. Machiavelli's Prince, maybe? Does it count? I also rather enjoyed Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi that has a lot to do with power structures in society.

    However I would actually recommend a rather recent movie called The Founder. It deals with power in business and personal relationships.
    The ultimate story about power is of course Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood. It's such a phenomenal film that I have to watch it at least once a year. But I'm sure everyone here has seen it already.
    Last edited by Freudian Monkey; 12-08-2017 at 06:10 AM.
    De omnibus dubitandum.

  15. #15
    TheFairyDogMother kiz_paws's Avatar
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    freaky, I would like to add a book to your list. This book was also made into a movie, just saying.

    Before I Go To Sleep, by S.J. Watson was a psychological thriller about a woman who has amnesia and struggles to regain her memories. Her husband does not want her to do this and does everything in his power to prevent memory recapture. Don't want to spoil this for anyone who is interested in reading. But the husband is the epitome of controlling someone else. A very good read.
    Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty
    ~Albert Einstein

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