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TLD Part I Chapter 8: The Right Materials

 
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:42 pm    Post subject: TLD Part I Chapter 8: The Right Materials Reply with quote

Had to write this analysis in greater haste than the previous, but luckily the chapter did not wallow up to its neck in the tub of profound philosophical questions as did #4.



The gloom of Götterdämmerung compounds. A caesure has just gobbled Linden and Mahrtiir, deserting the newly awoken Jeremiah, Stave, and a band of bleary ten-ton belles by the blasted ridge. The chapter is titled “The Right Materials”, referring to the crucial substance, malachite, which in its correct configuration might deliver, or at least reprieve, the Land’s Immortals. Ere we consider further happenings, let us take a peek at its significance from cultural history’s point of view.

Whether or not the author admits to a profound knowledge of world mythology, or has stumbled upon various similarities by chance alone, the reader has nonetheless beheld that substance oft bears some significance when Jeremiah unleashes his architectural theurgies. In quite a few cultures, bone symbolizes rebirth, and this he indeed accomplished via the Quellvisk carcass contrivance. I cannot be certain about racecar tracks, as plastic as a material has not yet become revered in neomythos. Granted, a fane piled together from lego blocks might serve as a shrine for the corruption and greed of technological capitalism. However, malachite is already surrounded by a wealth of intriguing meanings…

In ye olden yoredays, in the mysterious desertbound confines of Egypt, the inhabitants associated the mineral with Hathor. This popular deity provided matronage over many an earthy affair, including joy and fertility, yet she was also kenned as the personification of the Milky Way, “Lady of Stars”, and the protector of women. Another legend tells that the sky goddess cast down stars towards the lands of mortals in the form of malachite nuggets. In the Norse culture, the dís Freyja, linked to love, lusciousness, and everything to which such notions might lead, had her own connection to this substance, as did the analogous goddesses of other Indo-European civilizations. Folklore sources educate us further about its importance in warding off evil. A popular Mesopotamian concept of sacred trees producing malachite fruits--which raises some questions about divine dental and digestive systems, should any ethereal being wish to consume such...rocky delicacies--further contributes to the mineral’s numinous nature.

The narrative presents the reader with a kettleful of similitudes. The Elohim embody the stars of this other-realm, and “the Lady of the Stars”, Infelice, could rival Freyja with her aloof, fey lushness. Women strive to erect the hearg, and later,

Spoiler:
When the stars have indeed been coaxed to enter the protection of malachite, the new Forestal Caerwood ur-Mahrtiir plants the parallel of a holy tree next to the construction, turning the ensemble into a hiis of an ilk, a sacred grove suited to the consummation of Linden and Covenant’s love.


Which, in a fashion, proves that all solemn allegories boil down to gathering nuts and petting garden snakes.


Now, let us return to the grim tale…

Quote:
Jeremiah was only a boy, but in some ways he knew too much. In others, he knew too little.


Together with this succinct depiction of the teenager’s condition, the reader plummets into the mind of a new point-of-view character. A fascinating turn of events, as such a shift has not occurred since Linden’s thunderstruck tottering into the Land some thirty years back. Yet, wherefore introduce an additional beacon of self-doubt and angst well past the first kilometers of the final volume? Ah, but one could sniff Jeremiah’s nature from afar: In the Covenant tomes, merry and confident individuals from the world outside crop up as frequently as penguins in the middle of Sahara. The author must have had his reasons for this third wheel, though. Throughout the first three volumes, he has dumped eldritch powers upon the boy, underlined his significance as something other than a mere Foul-pawn. He must be able to provide something that both Covenant and Linden fail to offer.

Returning to the quote: the prodigy is an immature, ham-fisted puddle of mess. He may ooze Earthpower, not suffer from hunger or tiredness, and withstand the elements akin to some miniature wannabe-Giant. As a contrast, however, he lacks social skills, has never immersed into the fascinating activity of placing a spoon into his mouth, never buttoned up his own pajamas, and before some Quellvisk sculpting, had never even scurried alone into the bushes for an ickle tinkle-wee-wee. Some other young men of his age would have already smoked weed, gotten sloshed every weekend for a few years in row, practiced horizontal humppa with every female classmate, perhaps stolen something, or even become a juvenile convict. Jeremiah? On one hand, an innocent, caged songbird; on the other, a disturbed victim whom the Despiser and other eldritch, blasphemous abominations from the elder-reaches of the Earth have abused for years.

Matters murk even hence: The boy had constructed graves, unfathomable sepulchers of the psyche, where his awareness could curl up and conceal itself from the horrors of the nefarious bonfire. If only this form of dissociation had not subjected him to the possession of said vicious wights, and lead, for one, to the betrayal of Linden… Ah, and he scarcely feels akin to a roly-poly pink pony prancing on sun-kissed meadows after such experiences…

Quote:
Hating what was done to him both aided and harmed him. It gave him the desire to fight back--and yet it also convinced him that he would not have been so hurt if he did not deserve it. If he had not been such a coward, [. . .] Foul and the croyel would not have been able to use him. [. . .] Nevertheless he yearned to pay back what had happened to him. At the same time, he hated what he felt. [. . .] The result was a conflicting moil of emotions which he did not know how to manage.


And

Quote:
[Anele] had given him inarticulate scraps of knowledge and horrific vulnerabilities, and an instinct for moral dread. Much as he treasured Anele’s gifts, their implications appalled him.


We will witness how such attributes affect the unfolding events… Now, however, in spite of fretting over Linden’s abandonment of him--what a misinterpretation conceived by his maladjustment--he bubbles with eagerness to foil Foul’s vile wiles and prove his allegiance with the Forces of Good™.

As a side note: the obsession to tittle-tattle about the soilure of Linden’s jeans and Jeremiah’s pyjamas in every second paragraph begins to annoy at this point. Have the readers been tossed in the middle of an elaborate detergent commercial, or do these habiliments indeed incorporate some mystic mumbo-jumbo and mucklore that will aid the anti-heroes on their respective quests?

Now, the pipsqueak strides over to the resting Swordmainnir, on the outside as cocksure as an aristocratic peacock wearing crown jewels, yet on the inside a puling fledgling yearning for the safety of mommy hen’s wings. But lo and behold, what befalls! The Giantesses ignore his demands to get started with the fane-building, and remain as mute as the boulders they lean against, and but stare at the spot where the Chosen has vanished. What is the matter? Did some aspirant half-Elohim again remove their gift of tongues together with their wits?

No.

Quote:
His health-sense was precise: he could see that he had offended the Swordmainnir. There was anxiety in the slump of their shoulders, worries aggravated by a great weight of weariness. And they carried griefs which Jeremiah did not recognize. But there was also anger. They refusal to acknowledge his call was deliberate.


Oho, what an accomplishment after mere hours of sustained sentience! Even Covenant could not fash Foamfollower with his constant grousing. What misdeed of his could have dragged such thunderclouds upon them? As he approaches the tenebrous titans through the barrenness, the despondency of the situation seems to solidify into a corporeal demon ready to bounce upon him from the crater-mottled misery. Anew, the author waxes rhapsodic about gloom and doom and other matters ending in oom, while jabbing Jeremiah’s sore places with a clawed finger about the shortage of provisions, proper shut-eye, and, most importantly, mommy.

Quote:
Troubled gusts stirred up dust, carried it away. Clad in twilight, the Giants resembled shadows or stones. Like shadows or stones, they looked deaf to persuasion. [. . .] Even seated, the Ironhand was taller than he was. She seemed to glare down at him in the gloom.


The reader may oft perceive the Swordmainnir as ribald quipsters ready to detonate into earth-shaking fits of laughter even on the brink of the utmost destruction. Let us not forget, however, that Jeremiah faces a troop of veritable slaughtering machines, beginning from eight times the mass of a regular mortal, belike much more, as standard human anatomy measurements would not succeed to support such bulk. This would for instance lead to disproportionately long and broad feet, and much sturdier leg-bones. Such a creature would be able to pulverize Covenant’s skull with a single fistblow, or, had not Grueburn worn the sturdy bucket cataphract as a proper support while leaping hither and thither with the Sun-Sage in her arms, she would have knocked the frailer companion unconscious with her set of wild-jouncing charms. An infuriated, glowering Giant would thus be an imposing, intimidating sight. Add an umpteen centuries of warcraft-cunning, daunting battle-scars, and the stark charisma of the females to this, and one must perhaps laud Jeremiah for not incrementing the pyjama patina with a few yellow stains at this point. Moreover, the origin of their ire soon becomes manifest.

Quote:
The Ironhand said sternly, “By the measure of your kind, you are not a child. Much has been given to you. Therefore much is expected in return. [. . .] Do you indeed comprehend what Linden Giantfriend has done for love of you?” Her tone was a bared blade. “Your manner suggests that you do not. [. . .] I do not speak of her search for you across many centuries and uncounted leagues, or her many efforts to relieve your absent mind. We ourselves have done much in Lostson Longwrath’s name, and we are not his mothers. Now, however, Linden Giantfriend has exceeded our conceptions of love and fidelity. Knowing that you have need of her, she yet prizes your worth so highly that she has hazarded more than her own extinction. This she has done for the Land’s sake, aye, but also for yours, that your endeavors here may accomplish their intended purpose.”

“Does her attempt not express her devotion? Does it not merit your esteem?”


So...his whiny dismissal of his mother’s strivings had inspired the unburying of the tomahawk. The pup does attempt to yap back at this point, yet the weepy mini-Linden within makes him acquiesce to softer emotions. What a maelstrom of mental conflicts.

Quote:
He understood what his mother was trying to do--and yet he had treated her courage like a betrayal.


In essence, Jeremiah must hunt down and snare a means to mature quickly. Occasional prods to the right direction, such as the abovementioned conclusion, do drift up to the surface, yet not often enough. In a very Giantish manner, the Ironhand suggests that he ought to learn patience.

With that, we are flung anew into a scene where Giants serve as the main characters’ voices of wisdom. Whether it is Covenant and Foamfollower, Linden and Pitchwife or Linden and Coldspray, they always have conveyed their itty-bitty comrades over physical and psychical barriers. And, the solution to the bumbling cub’s dilemma might just lie therein. Hark and heed, hothead...

In due course, a pact is formed. While the rest of the femmes fatales snore, two aid the architect in turn. Grueburn, scarcely for the first time, snatches the harnesses of the situation and promises to both bear boulders and blather about Longwrath, whom Jeremiah has not hitherto met. To the Giants, he represents a raw wound with salt poured in, yet the boy may merit from such knowledge in the end...

Thence, the bleak harshness dissolves into banter, as the Giantesses yet retain a morsel of good cheer and an impish edge. Oh Linden, Linden Timelady, wherefore did you not spare two minutes to explain to your poor, clueless sod of a son about bees and flowers ere you decided to lunge into the local variant of a TARDIS? Then again, shame on the raunchy Amazons for thus ill-treating Jeremiah’s naivety.

Quote:
Grueburn nodded her approval; and Latebirth said, “That is well thought, young Jeremiah. In the absence of plain commands, we would doubtless cause ourselves much unnecessary labor.”
“And we would moan,” Grueburn stated, feigning pride, “Even among GIants, I am prized for the purity and pathos of my moans.”
“I don’t believe you,” snorted Jeremiah. Carried on a rise of anticipation, he tried to emulate his companions. With gibes, the Swordmainnir refreshed their spirits: he saw that. Now he wanted to participate. “You’ve probably never moaned in your whole life.”
“Latebirth has not,” Grueburn asserted, “She is entirely dour. But I am capable, I do assure you, of the most extravagant moans.”


‘Tis a fine hour to recycle some Wiki cartoons. Jeremiah, Jeremiah...you do not pronounce something like that to a curvy lady of war sporting centuries of earthy experiences.



This and the following chapter do provide some interesting peeks into the individuality of the scantily depicted Swordmainnir, however. For one, it appears that apart from exhibiting a more aggressive nature than the males, promiscuity belongs to Giantess-ish traits as well. Did fluffy ol’ Foamy or the hottie Honninscrave ever brag about their 1337 luvskillz in the hammock? Nope.

Thereafter, the inherent glumness of the hour re-conquers all hearts. While the dainty damoiselles grunt and sweat and, biceps bulging, heave up humongous rocks, Jeremiah doodles in the dirt and receives a dreary bedtime tale about a bewitched Giant.

Quote:
Jeremiah tried not to listen. Grueburn raised too many echoes. They were as insistent as the erratic buffeting of the wind. But unlike the wind, they did not hurry past him. Instead they squirmed like crimes in the background of his mind.


Jeremiah’s possession does parallel that of Exalt, yet the latter’s plight intermingled with Joan’s as well. A curious admixture, this, in particular if one wishes to pursue all those meandering theories about externalizations or Landish doppelgängers. In the meanwhile, downhill speeds the rollercoaster of the lad’s excitability again, the narrative having deeply disturbed him. Snappity snap. One almost wants to spank him for his rude “What’s your point?” reply to Grueburn while she laments Longwrath’s unsung fate. The Giantesses strain to ladle some common sense into the boy’s obstinate ears, even if their own fury blinded them afore Infelice, thus preventing the gaining of further enlightenment about Exalt’s geas.

Quote:
“My point, young Jeremiah, is that Longwrath’s madness and pain do not foretell your doom. There is this difference between you. You were taken. He was bartered in a witless exchange.”
Jeremiah flinched. Before he could stop himself, he retorted, “It’s the same thing. [. . .] My [natural] mother gave us away. ” He remembered it vividly. The croyel had delighted in raising such spectres from their graves. “She must have thought she was getting something. She sacrificed my sisters and me when she handed herself to Lord Foul.”
Grueburn’s shoulders slumped. “Then I will grieve for you. And I will hold out hope for Lostson Longwrath, that he may evade his geas as you have foiled your imprisonment.”


Alas, if only Hope had not teetered on the verge of extinction ever since the World Serpent was roused…

Later, Stave joins the rock-collection gang, while the gosling grouses and the Giantesses deplete their strength. Grueburn’s enervation begins to affect her wits: a boulder-y misjudgement nigh-on causes a rockfall. Having just experienced my worst jet-lag ever, I can attest that stars and moons begin to erupt in one’s vision during high noon as a consequence of extreme exhaustion. In the wormeaten, star-forsaken Land, this of course would have demonstrated a positive turn of events… During one of his fleeting instances of compassion, Jeremiah wishes to aid the lumbering she-colossus, the desire to prove himself worthy furthermore poking him in the ribs.

Quote:
His flames were more than light and warmth. They were Earthpower. He wanted to believe that their uses were not limited to fusing marrowmeld structures and cooking sour tubers. But he had no one to teach him. He could only learn by trying.


Alas, he cannot restore the Swordmain with earthfire. In spite of her reassurances, he stumbles, and plummets into one of his abysses of incertitude.

Quote:
His inability to help Grueburn felt like just another demonstration that he was not good enough to deserve success. Without warning, he saw Lord Foul’s eyes in the bonfire that had maimed him. Unbidden and compulsory, that memory cut him like the flick of a lash. It cut deep enough to draw blood.
In that instant, he wanted to hit back. He saw the croyel’s neck gripped in his strangling hands; saw himself pounding the Despiser’s head to pulp with a stone. His eagerness to hurt them was so swift that it snatched a snarl past his teeth before he could restrain himself.


Afore this uncanny display, Grueburn expresses something bordering on dread. One must recall that albeit boasting formidable strength and resilience, Giants do not wield sorceries. Against Kasreyn’s restraining hoopie-loopies, even the mighty Glowlimn could not contrive a counter-attack. Still, Grueburn attempts to soothe that jangling bundle of nerves, and even offers shrink services.

Quote:
“Heed me, young Jeremiah. Linden Giantfriend fears for you. She fears that both the croyel and the Despiser have wrought untold harm. [. . .] But I do not perceive the form or substance of your distress. Will you not reveal yourself to me? There is much to be gained by the setting aside of such concealments. And I remind you that I am a Giant. The burden of joy is mine. It belongs to the ears that hear, not to the mouth that speaks.”


One must wonder if she has adopted one of those blatantly misleading names à lá Bluff Stoutgirth, or if she indeed practices snow worship in a sanctum of elder-ice back Home. Grueburn radiates far softer emotions than the Ironhand--and bucketfuls more than the self-proclaimed epitome of empathy, Kindwind--what with for instance later confessing to Linden that she feels more than plain friendship towards her, not to mention the flesh-and-blood pennant scene in the previous chapter. Apart from Linden herself, she is the first one to show genuine concern towards the boy, who, regrettably, has chosen to espouse some of mommy’s harsh world-views. At least he does not snap aloud his worst disbelief, but even so, the impolite dismissal of her gentleness tells many a sad tale.

Quote:
People judge. The croyel taught me that. Mom taught me that. She judges herself all the time.


Alas, that is what people do, but not always, not everywhere. Selective trust represents another form of maturity he must acquire, or risk becoming the all-despising Foul-ling.

The building continues, and in due course the Giantesses crawl off to bed. Jeremiah still seeks for an essential element to finalize the fane: a capstone of pure malachite. A desperate fever to accomplish something, to prove his worth, burns in his veins, and at the same time, he must flee, flee, flee, stay half a step ahead of the hydra of memories, the rank, venomous breath of which he can smell wherever he might scuttle. Then, his feckless skedaddle almost causes a fatal falling injury; the Haruchai manages to prevent this on the last heartbeat. Perhaps providential in all its grimness, this slip, as it helps hammer some much-needed reason into the lad’s stubborn skull.

Quote:
But now he understood that being overtaken by his fears was not the worst possible outcome. Even a retreat to his graves was not the worst. Anything could be destroyed, anything at all, by a senseless, childish accident.


Thus, in spite of the atrocious pun, he does succumb to some of Stave’s support, who further reminds him that the Magic of Friendship does not solely belong to pastel-hued squeaky ponies, and that requesting aid would not dishonor him either. Even if the cub cannot weave all his worries into words, he at least gains an additional pair of eyes and a health-sense that might uncover the capstone. After much probing, Stave sights a promising, monolithic candidate further up the cliffside, in a location operose to attain. Jeremiah huffs and puffs about the impossibility, but the Haruchai stands firm and stresses the necessity of patience, just as the Giantesses have done.

Quote:
“Chosen-son.” Now Stave’s tone was unmistakably a reprimand. “You judge in haste. Therefore you judge falsely. Have you come so far in Linden Avery’s care and failed to learn that despair gives poor counsel?”


Then, the ex-Master takes advantage of his amazing gecko abilities and presumes a perilous climb up a sheer rock face in order to fetch the missing puzzle piece. Sometime after Jeremiah has bitten all his nails off in trepidation while gaping at the audacious display, Rime shuffles onto the stage to scrutinize the severity of the situation. At this point, it appears that the author has re-re-re-re-listened to his precious Wagners a soupcon too much. The Ironhand begins hailing her sisters-in-arms for aid in a very Valkyrja-esque manner. Slam a winged helmet onto her graying curls, and ware of bringing glass objects to the proximity; she most certainly possesses enough bust and loudness of voice to assume the role.

Quote:
“Ho, Swordmainnir! Bestir yourselves! [. . .] Hear me! Hear and come!”


At the beginning of scene III of Die Valküre, Gerhilde, Waltraute, Helmwige et al face a high precipice and basically greet and call to one another by name to descend, accompanied by the whole “Hojotoho! Heiaha!” rigmarole. Their numbers almost correspond to the Swordmainnir as well, particularly when Brünnhilde keeps tarrying somewhere off-screen with Wälsung.

Quote:
Acht sind we erst: eine noch fehlt.


The Rimehilde scene cries for another cartoon (click the thumbnail for a larger image):



Anyhow, Grueburn and the rest of the ladies seem less inclined to burst into sopranino “Ha ha ha ha ha ha heiaha!”’s, but nevertheless assemble into a catchball team sans specific instructions from the Valkyrja matron. The reader has descried the same behavior erenow; even if not equipped with telepathic abilities, centuries upon centuries of campaigns must have honed certain combat formations and maneuvers into the tantamounts of instincts. As Coldspray has gauged, Stave cannot retain his balance when he finally unfetters the monolith supposed to manifest malachite within. The ridge shudders, baneful splinters sharp enough to impale Giants tumble down along with the hapless Haruchai, whom the Swordmainnir attempt to rescue… He strikes the hands of one, two, rolls…

What about the star-stone, the sole hope of the Elohim?

Quote:
The monolith was broken. Its burden of malachite may have been shattered, made useless. Everything may have been wasted. Even Linden’s ride into the chaos of a caesure--
In the east, a dull dawn announced the third sunless day.


Last edited by Frostheart Grueburn on Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My goodness Frosty, your talent on display in these dissects allows my ears to hear much joy. Another fascinating read with artwork!,, you have created in your " haste".

I am also fascinated by the opening line of this chapter : " Jeremiah was only a boy, but in some ways he knew too much. In other, he knew too little."..That could be said about any person at any time.

With that observation I am directed to a general sense of ..this chapter goes to the heart of the question proposed by Andre Breton in the opening line of his classic surreal piece,," Nadja".." Who am I?".

.All of the many attributes of being a Human Being begin to be addressed by this Jeremiah . His maturing is an compressed experience for obvious reasons. He is given ample opportunity to see the world thru other's eyes. The arc of this Jeremiah, in this chapter, is from ..knowing too much and knowing too little..to...running as if his heart might burst to find out if Stave and Cabledarm were all right…Fascinating!.

There is another part of the Self Identity chapter and that is of..Stave....Both he and Jeremiah,," suffer" from Linden's absence. Both go thru an identity crisis so to speak...The haruchai, former Master, I don't need no weapons cuz I Am A Weapon..offers help to this Jeremiah. I can't help seeing a ..swords to plowshares parable in Staves arc. He is a weapon tasked to turn in to a tool..a knife asked to be a screwdriver..The Identity issue is carried to the next chapter ,,just as Jeremiah's learning about all his inner contradictions and conflicts and how to deal with all that, continues to test Our Patience for much of the rest of the book...even tho in Land time..its only for a few more days. In any case,,the author gives us plenty of hints of Staves physical damage to himself for offering to be a plowshare instead of a sword.

The author suggests..this switch or change of identity is very costly to ones well being. There is another nuance to Staves traverse..its in the military slogan .." Power For Peace" that comes to mind. The contradiction is easy to see with a little thought. He is successful in being a wedge that brings down the monolith ..Staves Talent is of being a Weapon tho. Power is Power. A " peaceful" application of his Talent..backfires on Stave. The twists, flips and turns he makes , with the help of the humorous Giants,in order to land back on his feet ,seem like great metaphor. His identity ,along with everything else, is almost destroyed.

Jeremiah knows his talent. Even the Giants ,,can't resist their own talent for a story and for listening.The author suggests that our Talent..talents..define who we are. In our talents we find who we are,,we find our humanity.Our Talents,,are the Right Material. Its that realization that has Jeremiah running,out of care ,to Stave and Cabledarm. ..and which gives Stave something to think about for a long while after.

I think we see Jeremiah learning quickly…getting the right materials together..How expeditious maturing would be for all of us if we had and used health sense, earth power, etc etc.?.But Jeremiah has to learn How to deal with the contradictions and the ensuing. conflictions I almost heard Grueburn 's offer to this Jeremiah as.." and how does that make you feel?" Point being ..that which drives us to despair..is always around. Learning to take a train to another destination is... maturing..is growing up. .

I like how the wind is metaphorically used in this chapter. Its not of gale force as when the Worm is close by..but it is mixed into this " maturing" parable at the right delicate moments. Its presence helps create the unsure , unknown, unseen nature of not having " learned real knowledge " that Jeremiah has to gain.

Again, the author offers intimacies. An " inside" joke by the Giants bonds us to them while demonstrating Jerry's naivete' . As you note Frosty..Jerry's total lack of experience in this area..also helps or contributes to..his Talent..defines Who He is.

Its interesting to me..in how Jeremiah suffers no physical pain in this chapter. The author makes a point about Jerry walking around bare foot amongst the splintered rock. Every one of the other characters does suffer physical pain. Jeremiah only suffers..mental pain and anguish..His " pain" is self induced. Such is the case of living the conflicted Life.
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If she withdrew from exaltation, she would be forced to think- And every thought led to fear and contradictions; to dilemmas for which she was unprepared.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeremiah's lack of patience combined with his insensitive farewell to his mother manages to annoy even the ears of joy-seeking Giants. Both a Giant and a Haruchai have to remind him of the value of patience in this chapter, and Jerry's internal reaction to the first admonition concerning this reveals he has a ways to go in his journey towards wisdom.

Quote:
Attempt patience? That seemed impossible to Jeremiah. Patience was for people who were incapable of anything else. He had spent ten passive years exhausting his ability to wait.


But this revelation of Jeremiah's thinking serves to make him that much more believeable as an adolescent character, doesn't it?

Frostheart wrote:
However, malachite is already surrounded by a wealth of intriguing meanings…

In ye olden yoredays, in the mysterious desertbound confines of Egypt, the inhabitants associated the mineral with Hathor. This popular deity provided matronage over many an earthy affair, including joy and fertility, yet she was also kenned as the personification of the Milky Way, “Lady of Stars”, and the protector of women. Another legend tells that the sky goddess cast down stars towards the lands of mortals in the form of malachite nuggets. In the Norse culture, the dís Freyja, linked to love, lusciousness, and everything to which such notions might lead, had her own connection to this substance, as did the analogous goddesses of other Indo-European civilizations. Folklore sources educate us further about its importance in warding off evil. A popular Mesopotamian concept of sacred trees producing malachite fruits--which raises some questions about divine dental and digestive systems, should any ethereal being wish to consume such...rocky delicacies--further contributes to the mineral’s numinous nature.


lurch wrote:
My goodness Frosty, your talent on display in these dissects allows my ears to hear much joy. Another fascinating read with artwork!,, you have created in your " haste".


I second what lurch said, Frostheart. You often take time and trouble to give us great background information in your dissections and other posts, as you do here concerning the historical mystique of malachite. Thank you for doing so! That a construct of malachite must be used to save the Elohim, and thus the stars associated with them, now seems quite logical and natural in the magical Land--where we already know stones possess great power.

Frostheart wrote:
Anyhow, Grueburn and the rest of the ladies seem less inclined to burst into sopranino “Ha ha ha ha ha ha heiaha!”’s, but nevertheless assemble into a catchball team sans specific instructions from the Valkyrja matron. The reader has descried the same behavior erenow; even if not equipped with telepathic abilities, centuries upon centuries of campaigns must have honed certain combat formations and maneuvers into the tantamounts of instincts.


This makes perfect sense. Otherwise, I just don't see how they could have organized such a complicated team effort.

Quote:
Above them, Stave also struck the cliff. But he twisted as he dropped so that he hit with his feet. Somehow he planted himself long enough to flex his legs and spring away. His great strength transformed his plummet into an outward leap.

Arms spread like wings, he cast himself soaring into the mad roil of the winds.

Cabledarm was there when he came down.

In spite of his splayed posture, he was falling too hard, plunging like a chunk of the slab. Even a Giant could not hope to catch him safely. aHis weight and momentum would shatter bones, Cabledarm's as well as his.

But she did not try to catch him. She had other intentions. During the quick instants of his descent, she crouched low. Then she sprang to meet him, arching away as she did so; already pitching herself backward.

Her huge hands found his hips. Her arms bent to absorb the collision. Then she gave him a prodigious heave.

His force and hers flung her, helpless, down the side of the slope. She tumbled like a piece of the ridge.

But she had redirected his fall. He was soaring again.

Toward Onyx Stonemage--

--who caught him in both arms.

Like Cabledarm, she did not try to hold him. Instead she swung him in an arc and released him so that she seemed to throw him in the direction of open ground beyond the rockfall.

He landed on his feet; dove and rolled to dissipate the last of his momentum. Then he rose to stand upright in the thick dusk.

Jeremiah began running before the Haruchai came to a halt.

The monolith was broken. Its burden of malachite may have been shattered, made useless. Everything may have been wasted. Even Linden's ride into the chaos of a caesure--

But Jeremiah was not racing to locate the outcome of his only hope. he was running as if his heart might burst to find out if Stave and Cabledarm were all right.


I'm not really good at imaging complicated scenes of kinetic energy, but I find them an exciting read all the same, perhaps partly because of the challenges they present to my imagination. Jeremiah's response at the end is heartening, because he's becoming more outward-centered and sensitive to the pains of others. He does a lot of growing up in this one chapter alone.
Noting that accelerated increase in empathy and concern from Jeremiah is, I suppose, yet another way of echoing lurch:
lurch wrote:
All of the many attributes of being a Human Being begin to be addressed by this Jeremiah . His maturing is an compressed experience for obvious reasons. He is given ample opportunity to see the world thru other's eyes. The arc of this Jeremiah, in this chapter, is from ..knowing too much and knowing too little..to...running as if his heart might burst to find out if Stave and Cabledarm were all right…Fascinating!.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks lurchy/Hurn. Alas, as it says, that picture's recycled art from the Wiki and drawn around April. I haven't gotten further than this with Rimehilde and her fair, bright valkyrjur, and that got started after my worst jetlag had dissipated. Just not enough hours in the day. D: And it still requires clean inking, a fair round of fixes, not to mention color.

Yes, the ever-intriguing Stave has his own character arc unfolding in these chapters; will return to that in a bit.

Now where's everyone else? Did the interest to the dissections already die with the e-fest?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The " hits" this chapter dissect and the others have gotten tell a story that gives hope , Frosty. The dissects are being read at least. Give'em time.

Its interesting, with this property of malachite being .." of no time"..well, thats one way to put it..anyway, Jeremiah's maturing happens with out the logic lock step of time,,and,,changes from knowing and not knowing things to ,,not caring,,to Caring..As you put it,,the Giants made him feel pain, but again, not physical pain. Interior pain they accomplished by some..tough Love, is one way to put it.

And poor Stave,,free of Linden responsibilities and free of time with its logical restraints..looses it and almost gets himself killed...I really tried to see this chapter another way, but as long as we are in the close vicinity of malachite, strange and wonderful stuff keeps happening.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frostheart wrote:
In the Norse culture, the dís Freyja, linked to love, lusciousness, and everything to which such notions might lead, had her own connection to this substance, as did the analogous goddesses of other Indo-European civilizations.


This is somewhat fitting, because even if the Elohim are forbidden to love, they are never inhibited about reveling in the lusciousness of their transmutative and transforming powers.

Frostheart wrote:
One almost wants to spank him for his rude “What’s your point?” reply to Grueburn while she laments Longwrath’s unsung fate.


Yes, I had that reaction towards him as well. Whip
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, that " whats your point? quip elicited a ,,boy is he asking for it..thought in response from me..But..there is some humor in it . Maybe I am straining here, but,,this new to the .. two way conversation world, Jeremiah seems to be trying to be grown up with the kinda adult ask,,Whats Your Point?...a kid would say..Idontgetit.. or..so what..but the author has Jeremiah say,,Whats Your Point?..The humor is..Jerry is using adult words but totally misses that he is being insensitive..or child like . The author is good at keeping that..knows too much and knows too little balance going . I can see Jerry trying, but not even knowing how ..petulant..he is coming across. Hes trying to Act like an adult. By end of chapter,,the connection between his heart,,and his actions is made, showing a grasp of at least being sincere.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, Frosty, I especially like your depiction of Jeremiah's running-horse pajamas.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lurch wrote:
But..there is some humor in it . Maybe I am straining here, but,,this new to the .. two way conversation world, Jeremiah seems to be trying to be grown up with the kinda adult ask,,Whats Your Point?...a kid would say..Idontgetit.. or..so what..but the author has Jeremiah say,,Whats Your Point?..The humor is..Jerry is using adult words but totally misses that he is being insensitive..or child like .


For some it might be a stretch as humor, but I can see the humor in it. I don't have to ask, "What's your point?", lurch, because I can see you've made a good one. Ahh!
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

..whether intended or not..that ilLUSTration of Frosty's is pretty darn good visual metaphor...My Little Pony juxtaposed against the back drop of Female Giants..two of 'em , both detailed explicitly,,, says it all about Jerry's " real knowledge" and experience. ...btw..where has Frosty been?
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frostheart wrote:
Alas, if only Hope had not teetered on the verge of extinction ever since the World Serpent was roused…


That was the lurking worry within me when I first read this chapter: "This saving the stars/Elohim is all well and good as far as it goes...but will it really make any difference in stopping Fangthane?" Such was my concern at the time.

Spoiler:
I now know that the saving of the Elohim wasn't necessary for defeating Lord Foul, but was integral to putting the Worm back to sleep once it was satiated with EarthBlood.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The flames of Lord Foul's bonfire had taught him that some pains were unendurable. And the moral rape of possesion--the manner in which he had been used by the croyel to betray Linden's trust--had shown him that hating what was done to him both aided and harmed him. It gave him the desire to fight back--and yet it also convinced him that he would not have been so hurt if he did not deserve it. Hate cut both ways. If he had not been such a coward--if he had not hidden himself away to escape his wounds--Lord Foul and the croyel would not have been able to possess him, use him.

He did not understand why that was true. Nevertheless he yearned to pay back what had happened to him. At the same time, he hated what he felt. He hated himself for feeling it.

But there had been other forces at work in him as well. His mother's love and devotion had kept him alive. With Tinkertoys and Legos, Lincoln logs and racetrack sections, he had constructed a sense of possibility and worth that might have eluded a less abused youth. And during his visits to the Land, Covenant's spirit in the Arch had offered him a one-sided friendship, compassionate and respectful.

The result was a conflicting moil of emotions which he did not know how to manage.


I guess I'm being too hard on Jeremiah in this thread, for SRD did a really good job at explaining Jeremiah's inner obstacles to expressing himself without risk of offense. It's just that I hate to see anybody being curt with the wonderful Giants, that's all.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lurch wrote:
There is another part of the Self Identity chapter and that is of..Stave....Both he and Jeremiah,," suffer" from Linden's absence.


Quite true. Yet Stave continues to heal emotionally in this chapter, I think, despite the fact that before the chapter finishes he suffers serious damage physically.

Quote:
While Stave waited impassively, Jeremiah wrestled his demons into their familiar shapes.

"I'm afraid this is all wasted." He gestured awkwardly around him. "There's a piece I need, and I can't find it. Without it, nothing else counts."

Stave lifted an eyebrow, "What is it you require, Chosen-son?"

Jeremiah swallowed a groan. "A lump of malachite. About this big." He put his fists together. "And it pretty much has to be pure. But all I've got are traces. That whole ridge probably doesn't have any pure malachite big enough to save the Elohim."

Stave scanned the slope as though it did not interest him. "Perchance it does not," he remarked. "We cannot be certain until we have searched with greater care. Also it may be that the surface of the rockfall conceals its depths. I will accompany you until you are confident of your perceptions. If no hope is found, then mayhap we would do well to delve into the rubble.

"I see no cause for concern"--he may have meant despair--"until we have done our utmost. And even then, the lore of our companions may devise possibilities which elude us."


Quote:
"Chosen-son." Now Stave's tone was unmistakably a reprimand. He regarded Jeremiah as if the tugging of the fractured gale did not touch him. "You judge in haste. Therefore you judge falsely. Have you come so far in Linden Avery's care and failed to learn that despair gives poor counsel? If the needed stone lies beyond your grasp, withdraw. Retreat to the foot of the rockfall. Acknowledge this truth, that you are not alone."


He remains as rock-solid as any of his people, but also shows a compassion and insight beyond what we have yet seen in any others of his people.
What a great character. And this chapter just supplies further evidence of that.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was a very well done leading post, Frostheart. Sorry I am so late in appreciating it. I will ditto what everyone else has said about the above-and-beyond that you add.

And, have I not affirmed and averred to all who would hear that Dissection-Art is awesome?

But do I have anything interesting to add?

Frostheart wrote:
Together with this succinct depiction of the teenager’s condition, the reader plummets into the mind of a new point-of-view character. A fascinating turn of events, as such a shift has not occurred since Linden’s thunderstruck tottering into the Land some thirty years back.

I agree, Jeremiah's POV has several angles of signficance. First, it becomes impossible to maintain the pretense that Jeremiah is under Foul's influence. So Donaldson has abandoned this tension. As we can only discover that Jeremiah is rescuing the Elohim, and not trapping them, this pretense has lost value anyway.

Instead, we are given new tensions. Jeremiah totters between childish error and noble sentiment like a drunken unicyclist. Will he be rash and unthinking, or will he be patient and learn from the grownups around him?

Both.

Jeremiah's insensitivity, while surely arising from a lack of experience in relationships, can't help but remind me of Covenant's insensitivity in his early Land days. Covenant's callousness arose from his being so over his head he had little thought to spare for others. One can see that Jeremiah has similar issues. The pressure to "prove his worth" (hint hint) is making him brattish.

Fortunately, Jeremiah is taught some very valuable lessons in this chapter. By the Giants, and by Stave most particularly.

In the end,

In The Last Dark was wrote:
But Jeremiah was not racing to locate the outcome of his only hope. He was running as if his heart might burst to find out if Stave and Cabledarm were all right.

... we are vouchsafed this evidence that Jeremiah has responded to his teachers, and is in a somewhat more sensitive frame of mind. (Yes, Cord, you have noticed this as well.)

lurch wrote:
Both he and Jeremiah,," suffer" from Linden's absence.

Indeed. A point I had not considered until you revealed it to me. And, yes, both of them tangle their feelings for Linden with a quest for discovering self-worth.

And now, Stephen R Donaldson Ate My Dictionary presents!
In The Last Dark was wrote:
In the name of a foolish and unheeding bargain with the Elohim, he is ruled by a geas both cruel and minatory.

minatory: threatening.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
He [Longwrath] failed in his first compulsion. Has he now been released? Is some new atrocity required of him?

I like how Donaldson here provides a foreshadowing of something to come.

- - - - - - - - - -

So what do we make of Stave's prowess and valor in this chapter? His climb, and his descent?

A fair question is, why is this in the story? Is it for the pure spectacle of adventure? Or is it freighted with meaning?

Stave himself imbues his task with meaning when he teaches Jeremiah that it's not over until the fat lady sings. Keep hope while time and chance and strength remain. Then he puts his money where his mouth is.

A cynic could point out that, Oh, of course he finds the capstone. But I think it's fairer to say that this is an example of where there is a bit of luck, but also plenty of sweat, which go into producing a good outcome. And so no one, I think, can claim that the capstone was not earned.

Is a valuable lesson for Jeremiah, who needs such lessons fervently, sufficient cause for this passage? Or is there something deeper being conveyed by the author?
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got some drawing backlog done this weekend and added the missing Rimehilde dissection toon. Sizable, so a thumbnail can be found at the end of the first post. Still have to catch up with the replies!
Can you name all the "girls"? Razz Should be guessable based on the TLD cartoon even if I've begun using anatomically correct proportions in these later representations.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frostheart Grueburn wrote:
Can you name all the "girls"?


My guesses, from left to right: Cirrus Kindwind, Onyx Stonemage, Frostheart Grueburn, Latebirth (because she has the image of Scend Wavegift's death in her head), and Rime Coldspray.

[Edited to remove signature---and then to edit the editing Embarassed ]


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
Frostheart Grueburn wrote:
Can you name all the "girls"?


My guesses, from left to right: Cirrus Kindwind, Onyx Stonemage, Frostheart Grueburn, Latebirth (because she has the image of Scend Wavegift's death in her head), and Rime Coldspray.


Two out of five, but as SRD tells almost nothing about their physical features, they may not be that easy to pin down. (Have you seen this?) Left to right: Bluntfist, Cabledarm (notice why), Grueburn's of course from my avatar and that's actually her grating some mental teeth at Rime in the thought bubble, Onyx Stonemage (leaving it to the judgement of the viewer as to what she has been up to...), the Ironhand. One can meet Latebirth elsewhere in this thread. Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frostheart Grueburn wrote:
One can meet Latebirth elsewhere in this thread. Laughing


Oh, I see, Latebirth's the one with the eye patch! I just figured that the thought balloons referred to the minds of different Giantesses in the picture. And yes, I have seen your wonderfully detailed drawing of all the TLD characters together in one picture, Frosty, but I erroneously decided to guess identities based on the part I chapter 8 text. Anyway, I always enjoy your work!
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haa! You're correct, I've made a mistake there (unintentional)! Bluntfist was supposed to lag behind and appear by the ridge only a wee bit later. Well, can't fix that anymore; I have merged too many layers. However, Grueburn did not feel particularly elated over Rimehilde's foghorn of a voice.
Anyhow, thanks. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frostheart wrote:
Now, the pipsqueak strides over to the resting Swordmainnir, on the outside as cocksure as an aristocratic peacock wearing crown jewels, yet on the inside a puling fledgling yearning for the safety of mommy hen’s wings.


Just wanted to call attention to this analogy. I think it's quite a fit description of Jeremiah at this moment.
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