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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:56 am    Post subject: Re: Part 2 - chapter 9: Great Need Reply with quote

Hey Zarathustra. Have you finished the books yet?

Zarathustra wrote:
[Carefully stepping to avoid the minefield of spoilers, I can now respond to a few points here ...]

shadowbinding shoe wrote:
Part 2 - chapter 9: Great Need

Stave goes out of his way to prove to us how little Linden had to do with Jeremiah's recovery. Instead it's just various people and being from the Land that he only knew a couple of days and him mechanically building something that means nothing to us that does the trick. OK, I accept that maybe Linden couldn't free him from the croyel but since then his problem was merely not feeling safe (and loved and needed) enough yet to come out of his shell. Why would a show of fireworks be a fitting answer to this need? The scenes Linden had with the Mahdoubt after Melenkurion Abatha would have been much more fitting and would be far more moving.
I thought Jeremiah freeing himself was perfect. I don't think the problem after the croyel is as simple as you say--merely not feeling safe and loved and needed enough to come out of his shell. The croyel was an active force that could completely take over Jeremiah's soul, if he hadn't hidden himself in his "graves." And once the croyel was killed, Jeremiah's self-imposed prison required a self-made key. He put himself there, so he had to get himself out. And he needed the right material to build the right structure, not merely safety and security. So this "mechanically building something that means nothing to us," as you say, is much more in my opinion: it is his particular gift, his talent for spatial relations--a counterpart to the temporal relations manipulated by others like Joan, Linden, Esmer, ranyhyn, etc.. He is able to work with the bare building blocks of reality, spatiality itself. And he does so with materials that find their expression in that spatiality. Like Linden, he is working with the essential Laws of this world, its basic structures, but his is unique for its focus upon spatiality.

Shadowbindingshoe wrote:
And the racecar is Jeremiah birthright?? That's going too far. It only gained significance a few hours before everyone entered the Land when he picked it up for the first time. And if it became a symbol of the love between Jeremiah and Linden, throwing it to him in the midst of an action scene exemplifies what is wrong with this scene for me.
It's more than a symbol of the love between J and L. In fact, I'm not sure it ever was a symbol of love (like say, a ring). Go back to Runes and see what Donaldson says about the issue of racecars. Racecars weren't brought up as a subject in themselves, but rather as a side issue to the racetrack:

On page 45 of Runes, SRD wrote:
Now towers festooned with curlicues of track reached up on either side of his bedroom door to meet in an arch at the height of the lintel. Raceways in airy spans linked those structures to the ones which he had already finished. Yet the design would have been useless to its cars. The track through all of its loops and turns and dives formed an elaborate Mobius strip, reversing itself as it traveled so that in time a finger drawn along its route would touch every inch of its surface on both sides.

She had never asked him to take it down. Surely it was special to him? Why else had he only worked on it late at night, when he was alone? In some sense, it was more uniquely his than anything else he had built.


This is the most important structure Jeremiah built, because it is more uniquely his. Some have suggested it's a symbol of the Arch of Time (because it forms an arch), but I think maybe the structure is "more uniquely his" simply because it's a model for himself, a symbol of the recursive "space" of his own self-conciousness, looping back upon itself.

The car is important in its contrast to the track. SRD goes out of his way to point out--3 times--that Jeremiah has no interest in the cars. He is interested in essential structures. However, while being kidnapped, Jeremiah finally becomes interested in one car, so much that he actually takes one with him to the Land. That act of taking a car with him is a willful act, perhaps his only willful act that didn't involve "mindless" construction of spatial structures. That car was Jeremiah's birthright because it was a symbol of his freewill, his consciousness. It's his personhood, his ability to live a life within this spatial/temporal structure that is our reality. And the racetrack was "useless" to cars because of its shape, a symbol of how Jeremiah's freewill could not work properly on the recursive space of his mental prison. He was trapped in himself much like a Mobius strip curves back upon itself.

Reclaiming the car in AATE was like reclaiming his will, an act that was simultaneously "straightening out the track," by building the right shape (the bone structure) so that the space of his consciousness was no longer recursive.


You make some interesting points about this scene. It's fitting I guess that Jeremiah solves his own problems from within. That's how our protagonists deal with their problems in these books.

About the Racecar, to me what it represented was normal childhood. Something ordinary boys play with. Are you saying this normal life and his mobius-like life until now are incompatible? I haven't thought about it like that.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I finished months ago. My review can be found in the My Review thread.

I don't know about the normal life vs mobius life angle. The car certainly is a very mundane object from the real world, and so I can see how you'd derive the connotation of "normal." But I think J's actions relative to the car are more significant than the object itself. The fact that he purposely took it with him seems to imply a level of consciousness beyond the mechanical structure building activity ... in other words, the consciousness which is encased in these structures, the consciousness that rides or travels these constructs--in particular the construct which Donaldson says is most uniquely his own.

It's worth noting that besides the rings and the characters' clothing, the car is the only object that has been translated into the Land from the outside. While rings and clothing can easily be overlooked as simply part of a person's wardrobe, the car sticks out as an object from another world. A catalyst similar to the ones TC used in LFB to engage his wild magic (though obviously different because it's mundane rather than magical).

"Racecar" is also a palindrome--a word that reads both backwards and forwards. I just realized that. A word that loops back upon itself. Like a mobius strip. Like self-consciousness. Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Yes, I finished months ago. My review can be found in the My Review thread.

I don't know about the normal life vs mobius life angle. The car certainly is a very mundane object from the real world, and so I can see how you'd derive the connotation of "normal." But I think J's actions relative to the car are more significant than the object itself. The fact that he purposely took it with him seems to imply a level of consciousness beyond the mechanical structure building activity ... in other words, the consciousness which is encased in these structures, the consciousness that rides or travels these constructs--in particular the construct which Donaldson says is most uniquely his own.

It's worth noting that besides the rings and the characters' clothing, the car is the only object that has been translated into the Land from the outside. While rings and clothing can easily be overlooked as simply part of a person's wardrobe, the car sticks out as an object from another world. A catalyst similar to the ones TC used in LFB to engage his wild magic (though obviously different because it's mundane rather than magical).

"Racecar" is also a palindrome--a word that reads both backwards and forwards. I just realized that. A word that loops back upon itself. Like a mobius strip. Like self-consciousness. Smile


Damn...
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:

"Racecar" is also a palindrome--a word that reads both backwards and forwards. I just realized that. A word that loops back upon itself. Like a mobius strip. Like self-consciousness. Smile


NICE Catch! I wonder if it was on purpose, or just fortuitous? You should go ask on the G.I.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:

"Racecar" is also a palindrome--a word that reads both backwards and forwards. I just realized that. A word that loops back upon itself. Like a mobius strip. Like self-consciousness. Smile


NICE Catch! I wonder if it was on purpose, or just fortuitous? You should go ask on the G.I.


How much you want to bet SRD doesn't answer this one publically? Shocked
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:

"Racecar" is also a palindrome--a word that reads both backwards and forwards. I just realized that. A word that loops back upon itself. Like a mobius strip. Like self-consciousness. Smile


NICE Catch! I wonder if it was on purpose, or just fortuitous? You should go ask on the G.I.


R.A.F.O., no doubt. SRD won't reveal anything. I would explore the connection between palindromes, self-consciousness, and a mobius strip. Circle of life?
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheWormoftheWorld'sEnd wrote:
Vraith wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:

"Racecar" is also a palindrome--a word that reads both backwards and forwards. I just realized that. A word that loops back upon itself. Like a mobius strip. Like self-consciousness. Smile


NICE Catch! I wonder if it was on purpose, or just fortuitous? You should go ask on the G.I.


R.A.F.O., no doubt. SRD won't reveal anything. I would explore the connection between palindromes, self-consciousness, and a mobius strip. Circle of life?


Unless it's just another case of the unconscious mind working again (like Anele being Elena spelled backwards, or forgetting Galt was used by Ayn Rand). The interesting thing is that it could very well be either one... and we wouldn't know...
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orlion wrote:
TheWormoftheWorld'sEnd wrote:
Vraith wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:

"Racecar" is also a palindrome--a word that reads both backwards and forwards. I just realized that. A word that loops back upon itself. Like a mobius strip. Like self-consciousness. Smile


NICE Catch! I wonder if it was on purpose, or just fortuitous? You should go ask on the G.I.


R.A.F.O., no doubt. SRD won't reveal anything. I would explore the connection between palindromes, self-consciousness, and a mobius strip. Circle of life?


Unless it's just another case of the unconscious mind working again (like Anele being Elena spelled backwards, or forgetting Galt was used by Ayn Rand). The interesting thing is that it could very well be either one... and we wouldn't know...


Choosing the name "Galt" was entirely unconscious, we know that. But there are conscious literary influences on the Chrons, and this could be one of them.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheWormoftheWorld'sEnd wrote:
Vraith wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:

"Racecar" is also a palindrome--a word that reads both backwards and forwards. I just realized that. A word that loops back upon itself. Like a mobius strip. Like self-consciousness. Smile


NICE Catch! I wonder if it was on purpose, or just fortuitous? You should go ask on the G.I.


R.A.F.O., no doubt. SRD won't reveal anything. I would explore the connection between palindromes, self-consciousness, and a mobius strip. Circle of life?


Hmmm...I think he might answer it, if not phrased in spoiler-esque fashion.
I mean, not asking for meaning/purpose in TLD, more like "racecar is a palindrome, and Jerry's tracks loop back, too...did you notice this and use "racecar" on purpose, or that subconscious thing again?" He does answer those kinds of questions. [cuz that's really not about the future, it's about stuff we already know/someone noticed].
It's still a cool thing even if subconscious/fortuitous, and a nifty snag by Z to see it.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Yes, I finished months ago. My review can be found in the My Review thread.


Yep, I've browsed my way up the other threads from my point of departure since posting here. So congratulations Very Happy

Zarathustra wrote:
I don't know about the normal life vs mobius life angle. The car certainly is a very mundane object from the real world, and so I can see how you'd derive the connotation of "normal." But I think J's actions relative to the car are more significant than the object itself. The fact that he purposely took it with him seems to imply a level of consciousness beyond the mechanical structure building activity ... in other words, the consciousness which is encased in these structures, the consciousness that rides or travels these constructs--in particular the construct which Donaldson says is most uniquely his own.

It's worth noting that besides the rings and the characters' clothing, the car is the only object that has been translated into the Land from the outside. While rings and clothing can easily be overlooked as simply part of a person's wardrobe, the car sticks out as an object from another world. A catalyst similar to the ones TC used in LFB to engage his wild magic (though obviously different because it's mundane rather than magical).


Well, it's not just my viewpoint about what a racecar is that made me think about it like that, it was what it symbolized to Linden and her hopes on the effect it would have on her son. The racecar is after all a (significant) gift she gave Jeremiah. The meaning she imbued into it is the meaning it should hold similarly to how Covenant's ring is imbued with its meaning because it's a gift that signifies love and fidelity.

The fact that Jeremiah showed initiative and took the car is still a mystery but I thought we were supposed to conclude that he wasn't a total mobius automaton, perhaps because the two worlds were coming closer together and if his consciousness was locked in the Land's world this would enable him to show more initiative in Linden's world.

Maybe the croyel takeover of his body and powers was achieved through a deal. All the other croyels had to do it that way after all. The croyel got his body and powers in exchange for Jeremiah getting the chance to perform one non-mobius normal human-being act before he gave himself up.

Can the racecar mean something different to him than to Linden? That's counter-intuitive and even if it was it would still be strongly connected to hers. Perhaps for him it symbolized his connection to the 'real', ordinary world, the thing Linden kept offering and encouraging him into with her love and familial trappings.

Zarathustra wrote:

"Racecar" is also a palindrome--a word that reads both backwards and forwards. I just realized that. A word that loops back upon itself. Like a mobius strip. Like self-consciousness. Smile


That's a great catch Shocked I'd guess it's coincidence but who knows.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shadowbinding shoe wrote:

Well, it's not just my viewpoint about what a racecar is that made me think about it like that, it was what it symbolized to Linden and her hopes on the effect it would have on her son. The racecar is after all a (significant) gift she gave Jeremiah. The meaning she imbued into it is the meaning it should hold similarly to how Covenant's ring is imbued with its meaning because it's a gift that signifies love and fidelity.

The fact that Jeremiah showed initiative and took the car is still a mystery but I thought we were supposed to conclude that he wasn't a total mobius automaton, perhaps because the two worlds were coming closer together and if his consciousness was locked in the Land's world this would enable him to show more initiative in Linden's world.

Maybe the croyel takeover of his body and powers was achieved through a deal. All the other croyels had to do it that way after all. The croyel got his body and powers in exchange for Jeremiah getting the chance to perform one non-mobius normal human-being act before he gave himself up.

Can the racecar mean something different to him than to Linden? That's counter-intuitive and even if it was it would still be strongly connected to hers. Perhaps for him it symbolized his connection to the 'real', ordinary world, the thing Linden kept offering and encouraging him into with her love and familial trappings.

On the car...I think you had an interesting idea, then veered off from it.
There isn't any reason that it can't be both a meaningful gift that Linden and Jerry value in similar ways, AND a physical necessity for the construct to meet Jerry's goal/need. What I mean is, thinking of constructing things, we know things have to be the right "shape" [or something analogous to shape] for Jerry's constructs to work. But, there are two different aspects of building that can infiltrate/cooperate with each other: If I know what I want to build, what things do I need to do it? But ALSO If I have a beautiful/meaningful thing, what/how can I build with/around/from it?
In a funny way, it's like that commercial that was on for a while: Normally, you choose the fixtures/plumbing for your house based on what the house decor/color/design is...but in the commercial, a person takes a faucet and basically tells the contractor "design my house to work with this."
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
TheWormoftheWorld'sEnd wrote:
Vraith wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:

"Racecar" is also a palindrome--a word that reads both backwards and forwards. I just realized that. A word that loops back upon itself. Like a mobius strip. Like self-consciousness. Smile


NICE Catch! I wonder if it was on purpose, or just fortuitous? You should go ask on the G.I.


R.A.F.O., no doubt. SRD won't reveal anything. I would explore the connection between palindromes, self-consciousness, and a mobius strip. Circle of life?


Hmmm...I think he might answer it, if not phrased in spoiler-esque fashion.
I mean, not asking for meaning/purpose in TLD, more like "racecar is a palindrome, and Jerry's tracks loop back, too...did you notice this and use "racecar" on purpose, or that subconscious thing again?" He does answer those kinds of questions. [cuz that's really not about the future, it's about stuff we already know/someone noticed].
It's still a cool thing even if subconscious/fortuitous, and a nifty snag by Z to see it.



I am 99% certain that the palindrome Z found is no coincidence. The snake is always eating its own tail in the Chrons (and in the Gap too). For example, Covenant was stabbed in the heart indirectly due to his wife, then a few books later he stabs his own wife in the heart. That's karma. Linden retrieves the racecar dropped by Jeremiah/croyel, and in the next book she tosses it back to him. As the wheel of time turns, the "racecar" moves from front to back, and then returns, renewing itself over and over again.

The significance is in the word "racecar" itself, this is also prevalent in the Chrons with a master wordsmith such as Donaldson. Very often, names themselves have meaning. The completion of the Jeremiah box also completed a cycle within a cycle, the widest cycle being that of life and time itself.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is another reason for why I think Z is right on the money. There is no other significance in a red metal toy from the "real" world. There may be some mother-son bonding significance in the fact that Linden gave it to him in the first place, as was the case with the white gold wedding rings exchanged by Thomas and Joan.

The car represents Linden's hope that someday Jeremiah will snap out of his mental state and become a normal boy again. If the racecar had been tossed to Jeremiah by anyone other than Linden, then it would lose its magical power to complete the box. The final structure had to be a joint effort, even if Linden only contributed that one very important piece. And it was the only element containing emotional meaning, the bones had no impact whatsoever on their relationship.

So the racecar turned out to be an interesting and unique variation on the theme of white gold rings. White gold is the keystone of the Arch, whereas the racecar was the "keystone" to the Jeremiah construct, being placed right over the doorway, and the key to healing his mind.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheWormoftheWorld'sEnd wrote:
The car represents Linden's hope that someday Jeremiah will snap out of his mental state and become a normal boy again. If the racecar had been tossed to Jeremiah by anyone other than Linden, then it would lose its magical power to complete the box. The final structure had to be a joint effort, even if Linden only contributed that one very important piece. And it was the only element containing emotional meaning, the bones had no impact whatsoever on their relationship.

So the racecar turned out to be an interesting and unique variation on the theme of white gold rings. White gold is the keystone of the Arch, whereas the racecar was the "keystone" to the Jeremiah construct, being placed right over the doorway, and the key to healing his mind.
<Rereading old threads as I tread this path one more time ... > I must have missed this post. Those were some insightful points. I really like the idea of Linden's participation in her son's renewal/actualization, even in this small though important part, as you say. It's a recognition that her love was not in vain, even if J's act must be acknowledged primarily as his own--which was the focus of my initial reading. I was really impressed by how much he freed himself, instead of this mother doing it. But this time I'm glad her love was acknolwedged. Thanks for pointing that out.
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