Kevin's Watch Forum Index
 HomeHome   MemberlistMemberlist   RegisterRegister   SearchSearch   ProfileProfile   FAQFAQ   StatisticsStatistics  SudokuSudoku   Phoogle MapPhoogle Map 
 AlbumAlbum StoresStores   StoresItems Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

How have Chrons 1 and 2 altered for you over the years.

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> The First and Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
peter
the spider from Mars


Joined: 25 Aug 2009
Posts: 7302

Thanks: 38
Thanked 49 Times in 48 Posts


27353 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 2:05 pm    Post subject: How have Chrons 1 and 2 altered for you over the years. Reply with quote

Nearly all of us will have read and re-read the Chrons many times over many years. In my case I go back to their earliest publication in the UK some 34 years ago. I've just finished a full re-read of C1 and am half way through C2 as I post. I've not read the Chrons that many times [four or five in total I guess] but my readings have been spread out over this full period of time [pretty much]. I last read C1 [prior to this time] about 8 or 9 years ago and C2 a little after that. And now it's all over. This will be my last reading, but will encompass C1, C2 and TLC's as well. What has changed?

Well I remember reading C1 in about ten days [all 3 books] as a young man, and being 'open mouthed' from start to finish. It was the first fantasy I had ever read and started me on a love-affair with the genre that lasted for twenty years. I lost interest with it latterly chiefly because I wasn't finding the books as gripping in later years; they just didn't seem to be as good - or indeed I had changed and grown away from them. But every time I re-read Donaldson I knew I still had it in me to love them. The Chrons had changed for me - now I saw the events as they unfolded as old friends rather than jaw dropping cataclysms. This last time I have discovered how much I actually like the C2. I've always liked them, and very much - but now I'm not sure I don't actually think that they might even better than C1! This has never happened before and my God! - if it happens when I read TLC I'm going to have some humble pie to eat in another place!

One thing; I've never got beyond the surface story of the Chrons to involve myself with the deeper meaning of the Chrons, because I've never had to. it never jumped out at me that there was a deeper meaning and alas it still doesn't. I know many of you guys see this in every turn of every page - I've read your observations on this with great interest; but still when I read C1 and C2, I just get whirled along with the story and before I know it I arrive, breathless at the end, none the wiser about what it was all meant to mean. Funny, I kind of like it that way though, by now. Guess I'm just used to it.
_________________
http://jhfv.blogspot.co.uk/

....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

We are the Bloodguard
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ussusimiel
Ghurning

Male
Joined: 31 May 2011
Posts: 5346

Thanks: 69
Thanked 66 Times in 63 Posts

Location: Waterford (milking cows), and sometimes still Dublin, Ireland
7863 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Unfettered1 Member of THOOLAH1 2011 Watchies


PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The biggest difference for me is that ability to read the deeper meaning of the Chrons. When I first read (and reread, and reread) the Chrons I was just gripped by the great story and incredible characters. The first time I was tipped off (by Stephen King in On Writing or Danse Macabre) to the possible Christian allegory of LOTR and the 2nd Chrons it was like a light bulb went on in my head. It opened up the books' symbols and themes so that when I came on to the Watch I was well ready for posts like this by wayfriend (****Last Chrons Spoilers****):

And then to the more existential themes put forward by others.

Now when I reread, the thing I enjoy most is the quality of SRD's writing in books like TIW (still my favourite) and WGW. When he weaves the themes seamlessly into the plot and thus faultlessly into the development of the characters he has no equal in the genre. Covenant is a powerful character but it is the people that surround him that steal the show: Foamfollower, Mhoram, Sunder, Pitchwife. It is SRD's ability to create secondary characters that we come to love and admire which enriches the Land so that it shines long in our memories.

The only downside to reading the Chrons is that nothing else matches its intensity or richness. I stopped expecting it many years ago and can read fantasy now much less critically.

u.
_________________
Tho' all the maps of blood and flesh
Are posted on the door,
There's no one who has told us yet
What Boogie Street is for.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DrPaul
Giantfriend


Joined: 18 Jun 2009
Posts: 442

Thanks: 3
Thanked 12 Times in 10 Posts


2395 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is plenty of scope for interesting discussion on this thread, so thanks to peter for starting it up.

One difference between my first readings of the 1st and 2nd Chronicles (in 1981-83) and more recent ones is that my reading of other authors and on other topics has widened so I can see similarities and possible influences that I wasn't as well aware of when I first read them. One is the influence of existentialism, which I didn't really make a proper study of until 2004. I think a lot of people would have had experiences like this.

Another is that as a young man I had a young man's impatience with Covenant, especially in the 1st Chronicles. I think I've posted about this on another thread, but I believe now that this was a consequence of my having a young man's confidence in my own independent strength and agency, thinking that was the norm, and unconsciously being influenced by this in judging Covenant's (apparent) wussiness through most of the 1st Chronicles. As I've grown older, and more conscious of my limitations (cue arthritic right knee still creaking after climbing to the Cape Byron Lighthouse on Sunday) and interdependence with others, I've developed a better understanding of the import of Covenant's statement that "I'm a coward! Lepers have to be". I don't know how typical this would be for other readers.

A third issue is that in re-reading, even after only a brief gap between reads, one picks up subtleties and sub-themes that one is probably less likely to notice on a first reading when the main priority is to follow the central narrative.

I'm very interested to read what others have to say on this thread.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peter
the spider from Mars


Joined: 25 Aug 2009
Posts: 7302

Thanks: 38
Thanked 49 Times in 48 Posts


27353 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's an interesting point DrPaul - I've often wondered if my inability to winkle out the deeper themes of the Chrons is as much due to lack of education [in the requisite areas {you mention your knowledge/reading of existentialism as an example}] as anything else. And equally interesting - and this must be due in no small part to Donaldsons supreme skill as a writer - is the fact that I am blisfully unaware of even the existence of the deeper levels that I'm missing as I read; it's not like I'm confused and feeling 'I'm not getting this'. In the hands of a less skilled artist the deeper levels would perhaps intrude into the story such that much of the 'story level' enjoyment could be compromised.

One thing I have found to my suprise [and this is going to sound bad I know] is that I like TC less now than I did as a younger man. I absolutely agree U. that one of the chief joys of the Chrons has always been the 'supporting cast', but Covenant himself was always for me, the main draw. I was always patient with his refusal to acknowledge his role as 'savior of the Land', and could even see past his dark side as revealed in the shocking ravaging of Lena. Now [and I don't know why] I find I can no longer do so. I'm still understanding of his not wanting to capitulate in respect of his demand that the Land cannot be real - but the taint of the rape hangs much more pervasively round him as the works progress than ever it did in the past. This must reflect a change in me somewhere down the line. But strangely, this lessening of my hero-worship of TC has not reduced my love for the works; I no longer want to be TC - I want to be Brinn instead! Wink
_________________
http://jhfv.blogspot.co.uk/

....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

We are the Bloodguard
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wayfriend
whilom witling

Male
Joined: 21 Apr 2004
Posts: 18833

Thanks: 11
Thanked 215 Times in 198 Posts

Location: The world of the Bowling Green Massacre
43102 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
3 Member of Linden's Army


PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I first read the Chronicles, I was a college freshman. The Chronicles immediately spoke to me. (At this time, TWL was the last book published.) I recognized a form of perseverance in Covenant that, without going into details, I really needed. It also caught my mind's fancy because I saw immediately that this series had what LOTR lacked. Which was amazing, because until then, LOTR was the pinnacle of stories to me.

But other books spoke to me at that time, too.

By the time WGW hit, I was a young urban professional. Perseverance still mattered, but now I also found in the Chronicles so much about Love. That spoke to me too.

It wasn't until years and years after that, that I began to realize how special the Chronicles were. Because it stayed in my head, where nothing else did. And over time other things, and yet other things, spoke to me from them, too complex perhaps to state easily. But, in the realm of a young man's - and then middle aged man's - philosophical/spiritual thought, the Chronicles had a staying power, it kept feeding me, with newly uncovered gems of insight. It was now the pinnacle to me.

I guess you could say that, because of the Chronicles, I discovered something in myself, something that loved to think.

When I discovered Kevin's Watch, I knew right away what I wanted to do. Discuss those insights. And then I set out to figure out how to do that.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
amanibhavam
subterranean homesick jheherrin

Male
Joined: 12 Mar 2002
Posts: 1497

Thanks: 3
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts

Location: United Kingdom
393 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Diamondraught


PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i must agree with DrPaul, the biggest alteration for me over the years was my attitude towards Covenant. No, not because of the rape - I belong to that (small?) group who don't consider it a show-stopper, but because of the constant 'How could he?' and indeed 'How could he NOT?' questions whirling around in my head as I was reading the chronicles for the first couple of times. It took me a few years to gradually appreciate his stance and realize how much I wouldn't have done any better, or even much-much worse in his stead.
Hellfire, I wouldn't have survived even that first journey to Revelstone with Atiaran. Worse, I'd have probably dies of fright in the first minute listening to Lord Foul talking to me about messages I need to take to some Lords:)
_________________
------------------------------------------------------------------------
love is the shadow that ripens the wine

Languages of Middle-Earth community on Google Plus
Pink Floyd community on Google Plus
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Phoogle Map
peter
the spider from Mars


Joined: 25 Aug 2009
Posts: 7302

Thanks: 38
Thanked 49 Times in 48 Posts


27353 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always got that re his stance; How could it ever have been different other than by him going completely off his trolley nuts bonkers.

By the time the second Chrons came out I had probably read the first about three times so my estimate of four or five complete readings may be a bit short. I think my first reading of the second was a shoch [TWL at least] and it took a lttle time to reconcile what I was seeing with the Land of health and beauthy whose loss I grieved so badly for. I have overcome this now and do see the Land of the 2nd Chrons as having a stark and dangerous beauty of its own. [Perhaps beauty is the wrong word, but it is very definitely a presence in the book to match any of the protagonists].

One more thing; I can't really say this is a 'change' in my thoughts on the Chrons, because I only learned of it's reputed existance in these pages - but I have heard that in his original writting of TIW, TC and Elena consumate their relationship, but this was left out as a consequence of LDR's feeling it was 'a crime to far' even for Covenant. In re-reading the Illearth War recently, I think I can see that this was indeed where Donaldson was going and that inclusion of this scene would possibly have lent a strengthening layer of meaning to the guilt which TC carries re Elena, down through the series from that moment on.
_________________
http://jhfv.blogspot.co.uk/

....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

We are the Bloodguard
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
amanibhavam
subterranean homesick jheherrin

Male
Joined: 12 Mar 2002
Posts: 1497

Thanks: 3
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts

Location: United Kingdom
393 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Diamondraught


PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When one thinks of it, it is quite amazing how little time 'we' actually spend in the Land in its full glory and beauty over the ten massive volumes, and how little Covenant spends in it being conscious or without being riddles with some problem, having saddle sickness, being envenomed (if there is no such word I have just invented it), put in a stasis by the Elohim, slipping into his memories etc.
_________________
------------------------------------------------------------------------
love is the shadow that ripens the wine

Languages of Middle-Earth community on Google Plus
Pink Floyd community on Google Plus
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Phoogle Map
peter
the spider from Mars


Joined: 25 Aug 2009
Posts: 7302

Thanks: 38
Thanked 49 Times in 48 Posts


27353 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Covenant is in many ways more of a plot driver than a main protagonist when looked at in this light.
_________________
http://jhfv.blogspot.co.uk/

....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

We are the Bloodguard
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Vraith
LibTard, Mr. Reliable.


Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 10165

Thanks: 17
Thanked 94 Times in 91 Posts

Location: everywhere, all the time
28011 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Raver1 Wraith1 Caesure


PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
Covenant is in many ways more of a plot driver than a main protagonist when looked at in this light.


Yea...The first time I read them, I didn't see that...but I was, what? 15-16ish?
I've never thought about the work precisely in that way...but close/similar ways.

One way was him as the question made flesh. Like the subject/theme split. TC is the subject [that ethical question] the theme/answers are all the people and environment and events.

Which led me [cuz of this thread, and a few other comments in other threads recently] to start on a new trail. I haven't started looking at details/implications yet, it's just rolling about in my head.
And it's this: There's all the stuff about dreams, reality, externalizations...what if we are doing it backwards. Of the two main worlds in the works, only one of them is "magical," only one essentially living itself [it even has its own Blood]...
That world isn't the "real" one.
What if we're thinking backwards.
What if it's all in the Lands mind?
TC [and other outsiders] are the externalization of IT's problems?
Just a thought. Just some potentials and implications.

_________________
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.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peter
the spider from Mars


Joined: 25 Aug 2009
Posts: 7302

Thanks: 38
Thanked 49 Times in 48 Posts


27353 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow V. - check out the post I just made over on Wayfriends TC version 2 thread! [over in TLD forum]. Laughing
_________________
http://jhfv.blogspot.co.uk/

....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

We are the Bloodguard
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Vraith
LibTard, Mr. Reliable.


Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 10165

Thanks: 17
Thanked 94 Times in 91 Posts

Location: everywhere, all the time
28011 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Raver1 Wraith1 Caesure


PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
Wow V. - check out the post I just made over on Wayfriends TC version 2 thread! [over in TLD forum]. Laughing

Heh...that's funny.
Synchronicity, man.
Or maybe great minds...
I'm trying to decide if the thought is worth a re-read with the reversal in mind.

_________________
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.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peter
the spider from Mars


Joined: 25 Aug 2009
Posts: 7302

Thanks: 38
Thanked 49 Times in 48 Posts


27353 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love your expression '..all in the Land's mind..' V. - that really hits the spot for me. I think once the above posibility is entertained it would be difficult not to at least give it consideration in subsequent re-reads. It is difficult to judge to what degree it might illuminate a different side of meaning in some of the writtings of TLC. These areas may be ambiguous patches appearing here and there - or they may build into a coherent edifice that becomes hard to ignore. Or the idea might quickly be rendered stillborn and have to be discarded as not more than an interesting sideline leading to......nowhere. Given that I'm now halfway through TOT on my re-read, which I'll be taking through to the very end, perhaps the idea will come into focus more [or dissipate] as I progress.
_________________
http://jhfv.blogspot.co.uk/

....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

We are the Bloodguard
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
duke
Giantfriend


Joined: 18 Mar 2004
Posts: 351

Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

Location: Melbourne, Australia
391 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The two biggest changes I noticed on my recent re-read of the first and second chrons were
- The pain I felt on reading about Joan abandoning Covenant. Having been through a similar personal experience recently, I know pretty well how that feels, and that brought a very raw sense of pain to reading the First Chrons for me.
- The Sunbane this time around reminded me of global warming and our abuse of the planet. Seeing droughts and intense bushfires in Australia over the last 10 years, the melting of the ice in Antarctica while reading about the Sunbane, made me see that they aren't really that different, and the scary implication from the Second Chrons is that it is us humans doing the damage to the Earth, so that makes us evil.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peter
the spider from Mars


Joined: 25 Aug 2009
Posts: 7302

Thanks: 38
Thanked 49 Times in 48 Posts


27353 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed Duke; not nice when you start seeing your own kind as a 'disease' of the planet rather than a force for advancement of Life throughout the Cosmos.
_________________
http://jhfv.blogspot.co.uk/

....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

We are the Bloodguard
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> The First and Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by Earthpower © Kevin's Watch