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Seventh Decimate Discussion SPOILERS
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Savor Dam
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seventh Decimate paints a world with deep and enduring diametric divisions that color people's perceptions more than the reality before them. We need not emulate that here.

[glares left and right, n'uff said]

SRD's works are consistently challenging in that the end is never clear from the beginning. Any first book may set expectations entirely skew to the eventual story, since the introductory volume is likely only the initial hard pull of what will be a robust emotional and thematic tug-of-war.

While I do not agree with Z's assessment of Seventh Decimate (seems I ought not refer to the book by its initials Razz ), I understand his reaction, as I did those who tore down various books of the Last Chrons. My mantra has been to Trust SRD. While not every outcome fully satisfies everyone (some may not have even fully satisfied me), he is always going somewhere interesting with his story arcs.

I, for one, am looking forward to The War Within and the subsequent story in the The Great God's War arc. I may not love it, but it will have my attention.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:23 pm    Post subject: Is It So Wrong? Reply with quote

Is it so wrong for me to have enjoyed Prince Bifalt's many frustrations? I caught myself more than once snickering at his blindness as he walked into another literal or figurative trap. I mean, its one of my rooms..that apparently the door is never really closed and locked. I can enjoy the music in the room,,crank up the jams!..okay okay I'll put on the headphones. And I don't think its a good idea to go with the wireless earbuds either,,but the room is there..I can crack open the door every once in awhile and take a peak inside can't I? Even The Prince wondered about such guilty...uhmm..pleasure.

I mean..I am ok with the Prince being " saved" from the various death sentences so Im redeemed a bit there. The author allows us to find both sides of the coin of ourselves in this tale. But every hot dog deserves some relish and yes I relish every instance of dawning awareness by the Prince that he isn't the sharpest lightbulb in the drawer..if ya kno what I mean. But the onion and mustard comes when even with that realization..he still doesn't get it..!!.He still doesn't let go of the anchor of being a Bellegerin. He actually embraces " who he is" ever more desperately. Hey, I guess,not all the music can be bright.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Savor Dam wrote:

While I do not agree with Z's assessment of Seventh Decimate (seems I ought not refer to the book by its initials Razz ), I understand his reaction, as I did those who tore down various books of the Last Chrons. My mantra has been to Trust SRD. While not every outcome fully satisfies everyone (some may not have even fully satisfied me), he is always going somewhere interesting with his story arcs.
Well, as I've said, I haven't read it yet, so I don't have an assessment. I did have an opinion of what SRD said in the interview, but I remain hopeful about the books themselves.

I dislike allegory, especially political allegory. I hope this is more like "applicability," as Tolkien says, and not a blatant one-to-one relationship to American politics/culture. I'd like to judge the story on its own merits, rather than its message about my country and/or President. As much as I like to discuss politics, it would be disappointing if we have to bring politics into a discussion of this story. I don't know anyone who would enjoy that! [But here we are . . . Trump being criticized in this thread, for some bizarre reason.]

I just think it goes against everything SRD has insisted over the years about his work, i.e. that he doesn't have a message, he has a story. Has he changed his mind on this point? Is he now in the business of preaching to his readers?
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:34 pm    Post subject: Tonsure Reply with quote

Tonsure...okay ,,off the top of my head I couldn't recall the definition of that word, tonsure, the first time i encountered it in 7th Decimate....I'll meet you half way Savor,,and even tho I should apologize for the pun, I rather like it , so I won't...Anyway, I looked up " tonsure" and was made ready for the next time I would see it..But..like..maybe once more the author uses it here..The other times he used,," bald Spot",,or shaved head or..Point being this is not the Donaldson of " formication" or "inchoate"...There probably are other examples of this different style that imho is part of the overall thematic development here..He uses the common, mundane, as well as the rare, refined, words and descriptions in narration. ..I can remember a few folks howling about the many appearances of "formication" in TCoTC. Maybe a 3rd place or " reality" of words he seeks between the mundane and the refined..?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:35 am    Post subject: You Lie Reply with quote

ON September 9, 2009 During President Obama's Speech To A Joint Session of Congress on Health Care, South Carolina's 2nd District's Representative Joe Wilson Shouted Out " YOU LIE!"..twice I believe..

Prince Bifalt when confronting The Librarian for the Truth was told no Amikan Had seen the 7th Decimate ,eliciting a shouted response of , " You Lie!" from the Prince...
Both eventually ate their words.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:46 am    Post subject: Re: You Lie Reply with quote

lurch wrote:
ON September 9, 2009 During President Obama's Speech To A Joint Session of Congress on Health Care, South Carolina's 2nd District's Representative Joe Wilson Shouted Out " YOU LIE!"..twice I believe..

Prince Bifalt when confronting The Librarian for the Truth was told no Amikan Had seen the 7th Decimate ,eliciting a shouted response of , " You Lie!" from the Prince...
Both eventually ate their words.
I can't speak to the issue of Bifalt, but Joe Wilson was proven right, both factually and legally. Does "eat his own words" mean something unique in Lurchese?

And follow up point: is this confirmation that we are to expect direct, one-to-one relationships between events in this series and events in American political life? I haven't seen others making this point in this thread, except for the disturbing quote by WF. I'd really like to know before I spend money on it if Donaldson is writing a story about a fictional Bifalt or some congressman that no one cares about anymore.
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:58 pm    Post subject: Re: You Lie Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
I haven't seen others making this point in this thread, except for the disturbing quote by WF.

The quote makes no such point. You made up a story that it does, and now you're repeating it until, I presume, people think it's true.

Donaldson said his story is related to the idea of denouncing facts. (In some way we haven't yet seen.) He proposed some current events that make this idea relevant to our times. But he never said the story is about any of those events. Ever.

People who don't like a story may post that they don't like it, but they don't waste time trying to convince people not to like it, nor lay advance groundwork for not liking it before it even comes out. Only people who are invested for some reason in opposing a story do that. It seems like you are invested because it opposes current conservative propaganda.

This the kind of thing I was warning everyone about.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:49 pm    Post subject: Amazing.. Reply with quote

Somebody keeps saying they are ready but they are not. I don't expect anybody who has not read 7th Decimate to grasp any Larger Point I make in my postings here..but a real life example of a Prince Bifalt makes for some surreal "entertainment."

Elgart replied to the Prince's stunned confusion " I chose Life"..Eloquent simplicity.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also do not expect this story arc to become a veiled political commentary. Certainly, what is written in Seventh Decimate (and in the preview chapter of The War Within) do not suggest that, even if some interpret isolated not-in-story comments to imply this is happening.

What may have happened was that either the interviewer or SRD himself (maybe both) let what was happening in the world around the time of the interview too greatly influence how they couched their discussion of this entirely fictional work.

Let us remember that SRD was discussing the early roots of The Great Gods War as far back as the 2014 Elohimfest; barring any Last Chronicles style time travel, his conceptions for this story cannot be based in now-current events.

Let's not allow our own zealous perspectives to color our perspectives. As Watchers, we ought to know what to expect from SRD and be eager to see what he produces.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:40 pm    Post subject: Re: You Lie Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:
I haven't seen others making this point in this thread, except for the disturbing quote by WF.

The quote makes no such point. You made up a story that it does, and now you're repeating it until, I presume, people think it's true.
I guess I worded that poorly. I'm asking if it's true, not making up a story that it's true. The quote gave me a bad feeling/impression. You presented the quote as an example of "where Donaldson is going with this story," and then you said it will be, "polarizing," and then the first sentence which (we must assume) backs up these points talks about how how dumb Trump is. If I got the wrong impression from your post, can't you see that this impression is perhaps understandable? I don't mind you correcting my impression, in fact, I welcome it! If the book is different from this, that would be good news to me!

wayfriend wrote:
Donaldson said his story is related to the idea of denouncing facts. (In some way we haven't yet seen.) He proposed some current events that make this idea relevant to our times. But he never said the story is about any of those events. Ever.
He said writing this story is his way of trying to understand his place in this kind of culture (that "sucks, sucks, sucks," apparently). If this story isn't about that kind of culture, then I'm not sure how it helps him to understand *his* place in it. But I'm very interested to see what he means!

As I've noted elsewhere, I think Donaldson often contradicts himself. In the interview, he says that it's important that we don't deny facts, but then talks about diversity and understanding different perspectives. Well, sometimes those different perspectives include a debate about the facts. So the message of accepting consensus reality vs accepting diverse opinions seems mixed, to me. But maybe this was intentional (in the story). Maybe he does a better job writing it than talking about it, as Savor Dam suggests.

wayfriend wrote:
People who don't like a story may post that they don't like it, but they don't waste time trying to convince people not to like it, nor lay advance groundwork for not liking it before it even comes out. Only people who are invested for some reason in opposing a story do that. It seems like you are invested because it opposes current conservative propaganda.

This the kind of thing I was warning everyone about.
Does the story oppose current conservative agenda? See, that's kind of what I was asking. How can it not be about our culture but simultaneously oppose half of it? If that's true, then I probably won't like it--which shouldn't surprise anyone. It will probably be too distracting for me, the desire to correct his larger points than simply enjoying the story.

But I hope I'm wrong! I don't have an agenda, just a worldview. I'm not laying any groundwork, I'm just asking questions and voicing my opinion based on the posts here. I'd appreciate for others not to "lay the groundwork" for challenging my motives. My motives shouldn't be part of the discussion.

One final point that confuses me: if you expect the book to be polarizing, why is it a bad thing when this polarization starts to manifest? Why "warn people?" If that's part of Donaldson's intention, what's wrong with it?
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:28 am    Post subject: Timelessness Reply with quote

Savor,,Of course the Larger theme of Knowledge Vs ..Not Knowledge makes any specific time applied..small, yet still applicable. I mean try to imagine when " alchemists" were considered Satan worshipers ,when in their mind, they were just trying to figure things out. Today the theory of diseased rice or barley was it,,as the cause of the deaths leading to the Salem Witch Trials reflects to the Time element , imho anyway, that Donaldson has already used just in 7th Decimate. Perhaps he shows use the eternal struggle of Knowledge.

At a Time ,Knowledge was/is considered " sorcery" as it is in 7th Decimate. So the Last Library brings me to a moment of question. The " Last" doesn't strike me well since I see the pursuit of Knowledge as infinite..(back to Elgart's " I chose Life") Yes the narrator explains that the Last is used to say There will be no more retreating..The Library as it is will last forever...some thing we don't know about the Library being suggested perhaps,,but I still do not like a line drawn in Time..oh well..The mere threat of a return to " Dark Ages" has scared the Sorcerers..I can't help being scared today as well.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Timelessness Reply with quote

lurch wrote:
..The mere threat of a return to " Dark Ages" has scared the Sorcerers..I can't help being scared today as well.
In an era of unprecedented access to the sum total of human knowledge--literally at our fingertips--this strikes me as a bizarre fear. Far from any threat of returning to the Dark Ages, we're in a golden age of scientific discovery and knowledge. It would be like worrying that we're going to return to a time of starvation when we're all getting fat. Sure, there might be problems with a society becoming too technological and information so plentiful that we're "drowning in a sea of information," but those are different issues from a return to the Dark Ages.

From what I can gather from Donaldson's own words, he's concerned about our society being anti-intellectual, and in this instance he's defining it as not accepting facts. So it's not a lack of knowledge, it's an attitude about knowledge not being important. Social media, political polarization, a superficial pop culture, technological escapism (e.g. video games) and consumerism have undermined our perceived value in intellectual pursuits.

Or so the arguement goes. I don't really think this is true. I think that every society in human history has had intellectuals and then lots of other people who weren't so intellectual. I think that Donaldson's perspective is perhaps skewed by the fact that he's a writer by profession in a time when fewer people are buying books. So he's taking a personal problem and expanding that to a "crisis" in society as a whole. But I'm not sure this is an accurate metric for judging a society's willingness to accept facts. What does reading fiction for entertainment have to do with one's willingness to accept facts? If there is any correlation at all, one would expect it to be in the opposite direction.
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:27 pm    Post subject: Intuition Reply with quote

Magisters Avail and Rummage..one is deaf,one is mute. Its not what they lack, but its what they have done with what they have ,that makes them talented and when unified,,of special value.
As one, they strike me as a great metaphor for..intuition..Rummage is defined as a unsystematic search (a Systematic search being "logic" perhaps) and avail relates to available, help, utilize, benefit etc.. Rummage seems to see into circumstances and situations and perhaps Time deeper than others, and Avail, heck, talks directly to folk's brains, ears not required. And it is these two as One, who guide, referee, are heavily present at least, at Prince Bifalt's "surrender."...Both Bellegian and Amikan discover the Right Thing To Do.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that sounds interesting. That's the first thing I've read that makes me want to read the book now instead of waiting for the the second to come out.
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found Seventh Decimate to be satisfyingly apolitical.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well sure HC, there is a clear picture of "knowledge" being without one political persuasion or another in the tale. There seems a more caring eye put to ,,what one does with Knowledge imho. The author goes to a bit of length detailing out the Bellegian want to use sorcery(Knowledge) to defeat the Amikan because the Amikan are believed to have a upper hand in sorcery.Imho a classic arms race mentality.

Thats why I keep saying ,to me, there is a larger point being made with Great God's War, so far, that really makes anything of the last few years of American politics look small. Language , the Word, is but a reflection of how we think, is but a reflection of how we perceive the world around us and ourselves..So..maybe if we changed the way we see the world and our selves, changed how we think,(the repeated question of, Are You Ready? is asking if one is ready to change the way they think and perceive, yes?) we mite not be prolonging mankinds seemingly endless cycles of war. I mean, if we go there, the next World War will last only half an hour or so...and nobody wins.

But the book literally begins in darkness and goes forward into light. So, It appears the author has an optimism that even if forced, keeps a balance for the reader. Politics may be too small of glass to see this tale thru. There are hints of that when Amandis and Prince Bifalt confront in the Library.

Its like, I've always had my hands,,just because a pair of gloves come along and fit doesn't mean they were made explicitly for me tho.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:04 pm    Post subject: Or.. Reply with quote

Another way to put it is..

What is a Decimate or what is it to Decimate?

What are the first 6 Decimates?

What Is The 7th Decimate?

Does Prince Bifalt's Quest for the 7th Decimate Succeed?..literally and figuratively? Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I avoided this thread a lot, till it got this close to the next book...

Being one of the few who thought the Last Chron's were among the best and getting pummeled for it, I didn't want to experience the flip-side because of:

The ONLY hope for this series is that it IS like the Gap books, only even more so...
Because 7D is bad. Just boring. Simple. Shallow.
Not that Lurch and a couple others aren't right about some of the "deeper layers"---it's just that they aren't deep layers, they're thin and obvious tissue.
If it DOESn't explode/surge extravagantly equal to or beyond the Gap, it will be worse than bad. It will be dull and uninteresting.
And I will be sad.

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the difference between evidence and sources: whether they come from the horse's mouth or a horse's ass.
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
the hyperbole is a beauty...for we are then allowed to say a little more than the truth...and language is more efficient when it goes beyond reality than when it stops short of it.
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lurch
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:03 am    Post subject: Austere Reply with quote

Im a little confused Vraith. Your shift of tense makes me think you have read the book then maybe you haven't read the book.

Austere seems like a word that describes The 7th Decimate. It fits the writing style the author uses in the book (in comparison to his other works if thats fair)AND it also fits the place and people populating his tale. More than interesting is the character of opulence who so little is made known,Set Ungabway, Master of the Caravan. ..Ive heard the author say that he was trying something different in this series. He also said that nearing the completion of the 2nd in series, the 2nd already had twice as many words as the 1st...So..I can't fault the author for expressing his Art in dimensions I hadn't considered previously.

The author still makes me feel ..in this book. Its the type of feel that isn't the most engaging tho. Prince Bifalt is one frustrated and thus frustrating character. The more the wake up call is obvious the more he digs his heels in. But the author keeps moving along allowing the frustration to grow as an "understood". There is something more important I believe, and I've already hinted at it in previous posts.

The " good side" of the 7th Decimate is achieved with strong manipulation by the Sorcerers. The Prince promises to avenge the Good with a Bad Faith oath at end. This polarized perspective is..imho..what the author is aiming at. Seems to me..changing how the Prince and the people populating this work , think and perceive, thus how the reader perhaps thinks and perceives ,,calls for new dimensions in both thinking and perceiving. The emphasis isn't just finding redemption as flawed characters Thermopyle ,or TC did..but goes further to hint at expanding redemption into a whole new dimension of understanding,,abandoning a 2 dimensional. polarized good vs Bad habit for a multi dimensional existence that makes any habit difficult to set in. PS..the wagon leaving ruts in the ground so as to be easily traced struck me as an good metaphor of " habits"
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Austere Reply with quote

lurch wrote:
Im a little confused Vraith. Your shift of tense makes me think you have read the book then maybe you haven't read the book.


I have. A while ago and again just this past week.

Like I said, I don't much disagree with things said here by you and others about the larger content/points of interest.
I even agree that austere is a decent word for it, and fits the purpose...
.....
.....
But I find it dull in several ways, [[most of the writing itself, and the characters, could have been written by ANYONE. No word, look, or facet is original except for about two, slightly, and those very near the end]] and predictable, and so far shallow treatment of the deeper themes/conflicts.
It's not dead yet...it could cross the Gap into Gapness...
But even if it does, it will always be "The book you had to read to get to the good stuff."

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Sig-man, Libtard, Stupid piece of shit. change your text color to brown. Mr. Reliable, bullshit-slinging liarFucker-user.

the difference between evidence and sources: whether they come from the horse's mouth or a horse's ass.
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
the hyperbole is a beauty...for we are then allowed to say a little more than the truth...and language is more efficient when it goes beyond reality than when it stops short of it.
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