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The Leprosarium and Foul's Creche
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:33 pm    Post subject: The Leprosarium and Foul's Creche Reply with quote

I was thinking about the settings of LFB, and how there are many seemingly intentional similarities between Covenant's fears and the physical manifestation of these in the Secondary World.

Is Foul's Creche supposed to represent the Leprosarium? It is described as sterile and white (like a hospital). It is far removed (and to the South; I've always taken Covenant for having lived in the Northeast, by description of the surrounding farm and town) from the Land, and Covenant has to build his resolve to go there, as he does the Leprosarium.

Lord Foul for me will always be a double metaphor, at once Covenant's own self-hatred manifest, and at the same time, a personification of his leprosy. In this regard, I think that Covenant's having to go to the Creche would make sense: he has to go and face himself, and his disease.

A creche, some of you may know, is defined as " A hospital where foundlings (infant children of unknown parents) are taken in and cared for ".

A hospital. And Covenant is an alien to the Land: a foundling: "A child who has been abandoned and whose parents are unknown".
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:03 am    Post subject: Re: The Leprosarium and Foul's Creche Reply with quote

Black Asgard wrote:
I was thinking about the settings of LFB, and how there are many seemingly intentional similarities between Covenant's fears and the physical manifestation of these in the Secondary World.

Is Foul's Creche supposed to represent the Leprosarium? It is described as sterile and white (like a hospital). It is far removed (and to the South; I've always taken Covenant for having lived in the Northeast, by description of the surrounding farm and town) from the Land, and Covenant has to build his resolve to go there, as he does the Leprosarium.

Lord Foul for me will always be a double metaphor, at once Covenant's own self-hatred manifest, and at the same time, a personification of his leprosy. In this regard, I think that Covenant's having to go to the Creche would make sense: he has to go and face himself, and his disease.

A creche, some of you may know, is defined as " A hospital where foundlings (infant children of unknown parents) are taken in and cared for ".

A hospital. And Covenant is an alien to the Land: a foundling: "A child who has been abandoned and whose parents are unknown".


I'll have to ponder, but my first reaction is...what a cool idea, precision in the structure, disease at the heart. I like it.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:16 am    Post subject: Re: The Leprosarium and Foul's Creche Reply with quote

Black Asgard wrote:
"A child who has been abandoned and whose parents are unknown".


The creator?

Cool idea. I didn't know about a creche either.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting.

I think it would also be interesting to ponder if Foul was dumped into the Land about the same time that Covenant contracted leprosy. Covenant equals the Land; Foul equals leprosy.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I vaguely remember SDR commenting the idea of the RoD in the land happening when he TC's leprosy broke out in the real world "I wish I had come up with that idea". It might be the same with this leprosarium/Foul's Creche analogy.

However since the days of "New Criticism" we all know that the author never has full control over his text and thus isn't the yardstick by which interpretation of his text has to be done.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for saying that! I don't post in Tolkien boards any more because some nitwit always says, "But in Letters..." Man, I hate that.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:30 pm    Post subject: Re: The Leprosarium and Foul's Creche Reply with quote

Excellent post, and excellent point. Never thought of that before! Never thought Hile Troy was black or that TC was young during LFB either, but I can see it now after reading here for a time. These boards are an education.

Black Asgard wrote:

Is Foul's Creche supposed to represent the Leprosarium? It is described as sterile and white (like a hospital).


I always thought Foul's Creche was sterile and an icy pallid green (at least, on the smooth parts of the interior) but the similarities are still there - there is often that pale olive green in hospitals too. I'm sure I remember the leprosarium as being green as well in places.

Mmm... just read the leprosarium part in LFB back, and there is no mention of green. Not sure where i got that from. Seepage from the Illearth Stone?

Black Asgard wrote:

Lord Foul for me will always be a double metaphor, at once Covenant's own self-hatred manifest, and at the same time, a personification of his leprosy. In this regard, I think that Covenant's having to go to the Creche would make sense: he has to go and face himself, and his disease.

A creche, some of you may know, is defined as " A hospital where foundlings (infant children of unknown parents) are taken in and cared for ".


It is also mentioned many times that Covenant's leprosy is only ever a possible threat to children - they being more vulnerable to transmission through prolonged exposure to him than adults. The first note he ever gets from the Creator (as the old blind man) - saying simply "Beware!" - is handed to him by a little boy, who he tells to go away. "Don't touch me. I'm a leper."

A creche is associated with childhood, with beginnings - so in a way, by going to Foul's Creche, Covenant is going back to where he started, to the time when he still hated himself and his leprosy and could not accept it - when he was Lord Foul, who hates and judges imperfection and weakness rather than accepting it as human, as Covenant often hates and judges himself and treats himself inhumanly. Until the end, anyway, when he finds a truer understanding of what it is to be human.

Eh, I'm just repeating what you already said now.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTC,

Does TPTP describe it as green? I always remembered it being white. If not; well, good call.

You summed up what I said and put it simpler. I like that.

I'm glad this got some people thinking.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Black Asgard wrote:
BTC,

Does TPTP describe it as green? I always remembered it being white. If not; well, good call.


Yay! I didn't just imagine something for once!

Quote:
Side by side, they penetrated the gloom of Foul's Creche. To their surprise, the darkness vanished as if they had passed through a vale of obscurity. Beyond it, they found themselves in the narrow end of an egg-shaped hall. It was coldly lit from end to end as if green sea-ice were aflame in it's walls; the whole place seemed on the verge of bursting into frigid fire.


I always imagined the perfectly smooth interior of Ridjeck Thome, other than the craggy old-rock throne hall, as being made out of jade-like material, like this:



You see that colour in lots of hospitals as well as white.

One thing I've noticed on these boards, though, is that everybody visualizes things very differently (and these are intensely visual books). I mean, there are folk who think Russell Crowe should play TC in the film... Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If Ridjeck Thome is the Leprosaium, would that make Revelstone the Hospital were Dr.Berensford works.
Covenant had a dream while in the boat with Foamfollower something about being lifted into the ambulance.

The Courthouse might be Mt.Thunder.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm reluctant to believe that every major place in the Primary World has to have an allegory in the Secondary World. However, there might be some point to that about the hospital.

It could bear looking into.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Black Asgard wrote:
I'm reluctant to believe that every major place in the Primary World has to have an allegory in the Secondary World. However, there might be some point to that about the hospital.

It could bear looking into.


I was actually anticipating someone saying - 'well, DAW! isn't that obvious!'

I'm sure it was mentioned by someone that Haven Farm could have been south-east of town. I'm not sure I couldn't find the quote. This puts Manhome and the horses into place.

Skywier...WOW! Now where would that fit in!
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Krazy Kat wrote:
If Ridjeck Thome is the Leprosaium, would that make Revelstone the Hospital were Dr.Berensford works.
Covenant had a dream while in the boat with Foamfollower something about being lifted into the ambulance.

The Courthouse might be Mt.Thunder.


Everyone forgets about the offices of the Bell Telephone Company and the Electric Company - surely the most significant locations in the entire Chronicles! Laughing

I think their equivalent in The Land is the whole of The Land itself. It is a place where Covenant knows he owes a debt that he can never repay, because the people there refuse to acknowledge the debt, and refuse to punish him for his transgressions, all the time handing him more and more unlimited power - and the cost of that power is always paid by others...

Seriously, though, that was a good point you made about Manhome and the horses in relation to the stables and Haven Farm... SRD definitely intended a link between Joan's horses and the Raynnyhyn.

I wonder where Sarangrave Flat would be in the real world, if everything really was related. Was the place where TC got bit by the snake swampy? I just remember it as a gully with (I think) a stream.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so.. What would be the location of the One Tree? the home of the Elohim? What about Andelain? or Revelstone? Garrotting Deep?
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this is a very interesting topic, but one in which great care must be taken that you do not get drawn into making deeper and deeper associations ad infinitum until you are lost like a sailor in a foggy sea - ever seeing faint coastlines through the mist only to find them evaporating as you approach; never being able to find your way home (shades of the Unhomed there) yet never able to turn back........ [Well OK - perhaps i do get a bit carried away at times!]
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Along these lines, this has always stood out for me:

"Ridjeck Thome" = "Reject Home."

...which is what a leprosarium is.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Ridjeck Thome" = "Reject Home" = "Reject Cure"

which would represent the illearth stone acting as the snake venom reaching Covenant's heart. an important concept in uncovering foul's nefarious designs maybe, but strip mining the chronicles may prove this to be the most reviled thread on the Watch.

i've always shied away from how the despiser was able to corrupt the birds in lfb. a case of what came first, the chicken or the egg *shudders*
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the Reject thing is stretching it a little. Maybe there's something to it, but I personally think that's stretching it.

I agree that overdoing it on the analysis of physical relation between the primary and secondary worlds is a bad idea. I see some interesting connections, but I'm concerned that if we overanalyze those connections, we lose the essence of the land and only gain a lazy belief in, I suppose, a fictional allegory.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree with you Black Asgard, 100%.
Maybe there is something underlining the structure of the story, like a skeleton in anatomy, or girders in a building, but yes, I'm inclined to see no treasure in this hunt.

I've often thought that the illearth stone was a tool of deception and delusion. Lord Foul could use this tool to make his victim see just exactly whatever it was that he wanted them to see.
So perhaps the lower land - with Foul's Creche - is merely the Despiser's POV. This is how he turns hope to despair, love to hate, victory to defeat.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, it can go too far. The original thought has a lot of merit at least symbolically...it simply cannot be irrelevant that Corruption lives in a structurally perfect environment, an parallels sickness/health/structure in the "real" world.
That doesn't mean everything ties to everything.
Reminds me of an actor being interviewed about working with Hitchcock [long funny story made short] "People analyzing the meaning of sticks crossed in the road, and the car running over them and the liscence plate numbers. Cars have plates, sticks end up in roads, don't you people drive?"
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