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 

Fatal Musings: Epic Vision
Goto page Previous  1, 2
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant -> Fatal Revenant
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
wayfriend
whilom witling

Male
Joined: 21 Apr 2004
Posts: 18359

Thanks: 11
Thanked 192 Times in 177 Posts

Location: The world of the Bowling Green Massacre
41126 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm glad to hear you liked it. I'm also glad to hear it's interesting, because like anyone I do fear laying an egg. So thanks.

One of the reasons I write these kinds of posts is to encourage people to know that they can discuss these things. If I can, anyone can. Let loose with the ideas, barnetto!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
ninjaboy
Son of Insequent

Male
Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Posts: 526

Thanks: 1
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

Location: Melbourne, Australia
1896 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sun Jul 18, 2010 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought that was a really well-written essay. Very thought out and it really does emphasise what is so special about the Chronicles.. Well not the *only* thing that is special about the Chronicles..

This 'epic vision' is one of the reasons I am irritated by those who just put it down after the rape scene.. Because they really are missing out on something truly remarkable. And reading 'Twilight' instead. *shudd
_________________
Forgive my death.
It was my flesh that failed you, not my love.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
wayfriend
whilom witling

Male
Joined: 21 Apr 2004
Posts: 18359

Thanks: 11
Thanked 192 Times in 177 Posts

Location: The world of the Bowling Green Massacre
41126 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been thinking, I could have written a whole subsection in Epic Vision about the jheherrin.

For what purpose did Covenant encounter these beings shortly before his confrontation with the Despiser? The help that Covenant and the giant needed in order to penetrate Foul's Creche could have taken any form. So, why creatures of mud?

The jheherrin are pitiful, and weak, and cowardly, and impotent. Their nature is such that they cannot tolerate something as innocuous as sunlight. They fear the Maker, under whose very nose they eak out a futile, childless existence. They live as if any day they will all be wiped out, and only by remaining craven can they hope to survive.

They are, by any and all accounts, beings fully living in the Ironic Mode.

In fact, they are so Ironic Mode, they make lepers seem like superheroes.

It is plausible that this is why Covenant meets them.

On the path of his story arc, Covenant is just about to confront the Despiser. Whatever character transformations he needed to make in order to be ready for that, he has made them. He has epic vision. Latent, unknown to himself, and untested. He has come a long way since he was a scared, self-protecting leper daring to go into town to pay his phone bill.

When he meets the jheherrin, he is meeting himself, as he used to be.

The result is tears. He feels concern and pity for the jheherrin, and sadness at their state. He is appalled that he may have distressed them by interfering with their sole dream of a Perfect One.

It is interesting the the jheherrin cannot abide the sun. They seem to be the precursors of the people of the Land in the Second Chronicles, who suffer under the Sunbane. Like those people, the jheherrin live in the Ironic Mode, and lack epic vision.

In the Second Chronicles, Covenent gives back to the people of the Land the epic vision that they have lost. Similarly, in the Second Chronicles, we find that has also given it to the jheherrin. They are now the sur-jheherrin.

In The Wounded Land was wrote:
From cave to mud pit, quagmire to swamp, underground spring to riverbed, they moved northward across the years, seeking terrain in which they could flourish. And they found what they needed in the Sarangrave. For them, it was a place of safety: their clay flesh and mobility, their ability to live in the bottoms of quicksands and streams, suited them perfectly to the Flat. And in safety they healed their old terror, became creatures who could face pain and risk, if need arose.

Thus their gratitude toward the Pure One grew rather than diminished through the generations. When they saw Giants in peril, their decision of aid was made without hesitation for all the sur-jheherrin throughout the Sarangrave.

Certainly, the sur-jheherrin have some amount of epic vision that their ancestors lacked. Creatures who could face pain and risk. They flourish in their environment, rather than suffer within it. They made momentous decisions without hesitation. They are far from being strong beings as we know strong, but in their own way, they strive and dare and are not afraid to tackle the world and stand up for what they believe in.

How were they transformed so?

I'd like to think that, in daring to help Foamfollower and Covenant, they took the first steps on a journey of self-discovery. They found what was always within themselves. When children came to them, it was not because of a miracle manifested by the Pure One, but because they had managed to transform themselves, harness their own destinies. When they believed in themselves, they became potent, and potent, they became prolific.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
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
7686 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Unfettered1 Member of THOOLAH1 2011 Watchies


PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 1:34 am    Post subject: What a post! Reply with quote

Hi Wayfriend,

I know that this post is up here a while but I am new to the forum and I just wanted to say that your post made me register so I could express my gratitude for the generosity of your offering. It is exactly what I would hope to read in a scholarly yet vibrant book about the Chronicles. The kind of book that I would buy immediately if I saw it. A book by a scholar and a lover of Covenant and the Land.

This site is a beacon of light on the net. A necessary corrective to Ironic Mode. You do credit to yourself and all the rest who make this site what it is.

Hail Earthfriend!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cambo
Jack's Complete Lack of Surprise

Ranyhyn
Joined: 26 Oct 2010
Posts: 2022

Thanks: 0
Thanked 28 Times in 26 Posts

Location: New Zealand
2052 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 5:24 am    Post subject: Re: What a post! Reply with quote

ussusimiel wrote:
Hi Wayfriend,

I know that this post is up here a while but I am new to the forum and I just wanted to say that your post made me register so I could express my gratitude for the generosity of your offering. It is exactly what I would hope to read in a scholarly yet vibrant book about the Chronicles. The kind of book that I would buy immediately if I saw it. A book by a scholar and a lover of Covenant and the Land.

This site is a beacon of light on the net. A necessary corrective to Ironic Mode. You do credit to yourself and all the rest who make this site what it is.

Hail Earthfriend!


And thank you, ussusimiel, for posting and bringing this thread to my attention!

all credit to Wayfriend for his essay. It's easily one of the best Covenant posts I've read on the Watch so far. Wayfriend, I believe I joined shortly after you went on hiatus. Come back, I want to meet you and discuss!
_________________
^"Amusing, worth talking to, completely insane...pick your favourite." - Avatar

http://variousglimpses.wordpress.com
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
7686 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Unfettered1 Member of THOOLAH1 2011 Watchies


PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome, Cambo, glad to be of service!

I'm new on the Watch and I hope to meet you on the plains of the threads and the slopes of the forum!
_________________
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
Cambo
Jack's Complete Lack of Surprise

Ranyhyn
Joined: 26 Oct 2010
Posts: 2022

Thanks: 0
Thanked 28 Times in 26 Posts

Location: New Zealand
2052 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ussusimiel wrote:
You're welcome, Cambo, glad to be of service!

I'm new on the Watch and I hope to meet you on the plains of the threads and the slopes of the forum!


Yea, we there we shall meet, and exchange tales and laugh like Giants, and our thoughts shall run like the Ranyhyn, and we shall frolic like Wraiths, and become wise like Lords!

Big Grin Welcome, see you around.
_________________
^"Amusing, worth talking to, completely insane...pick your favourite." - Avatar

http://variousglimpses.wordpress.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Iolanthe
Proudly wearing Purple

FemaleRanyhyn
Joined: 05 Feb 2012
Posts: 3213

Thanks: 2
Thanked 31 Times in 29 Posts

Location: Lincolnshire, England
6421 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Member of Linden's Army1 Glimmermere1 Plains of Ra


PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A marathon post, but I read it in one go, must go back and read it again in a few days - memory not so retentive these days. Now I feel the need to read the books all over again. Trouble is, once I begin I can't put them down. Thank you so much for recording your thoughts.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Phoogle Map
wayfriend
whilom witling

Male
Joined: 21 Apr 2004
Posts: 18359

Thanks: 11
Thanked 192 Times in 177 Posts

Location: The world of the Bowling Green Massacre
41126 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(I wasn't sure which topic best served this post. Rape thread? Re-read thread? I chose to stick it here.)

If you have Epic Vision on your mind, as I do, when you reread the Chronicles, as I am now, there are lots of things small details that pop out at you in and shine in a new way.

And the rape of Lena now seems quite different to me now.

I came across these lines when it struck me.

In The One Tree was wrote:
"Can you believe it? I used to be impotent. Back when I thought leprosy was the whole story."

Throughout the Chronicles, power is equated to effectiveness, and both are the antithesis of futility. When I read those lines, what struck me was this: what's more futile than impotence?

Covenent was impotent when he first contracted his leprosy. Leprosy doesn't imply impotence. But as a leper, Donaldson considered him was the epitome of futility. Impotence is a reasonable symbol of this. A manifestation of the Ironic Mode.

However, in the Second Chronicles, we have a man who has mastered the lessons of the first Chronicles, a man who is effective in his own life, who has escaped the Ironic Mode. A man who is potent. Potent in spite of weakness by the intensity of his heart.

So, he is no longer impotent, even though his leprosy remains. His leprosy isn't his whole story. He was not a leper - not just a leper. Covenant has found a vision that has made him effective in his own life. Sexual potency is [again] a symbol of this. A "concrete manifestation" of this (if you would allow).

All well and good.

But now, let's go all the way back to Lord Foul's Bane, to the chapter entitled "Lena", where we find a Covenant who suddenly has lost his impotency.

The in-story explanation is that he was cured of his leprosy. But leprosy didn't cause his impotence directly. So we must also consider the semiotics. If impotency is the symbol of futility, then restoring potency is the symbol of escaping futility, of becoming powerful or at least effective.

But if that's the symbol, what is the denotatum?

At this early stage of the first Chronicles, Covenant hasn't yet learned anything, hasn't yet changed any course of his life. Despite Foul's monologuing, he believes he must be unimportant and powerless. (In fact, he thinks his dream is trying to destroy him by leading him to believe otherwise.)

On the other hand, he has come to the Land, and he has wild magic. He doesn't know it yet, but he has it. In fact, he has everything he needs to defeat Lord Foul quite literally at hand. He just needs to recognize that this is so.

So the lapse of his impotency must be a symbol or manifestation of wild magic, a power he is unaware he has, and which will take him a long time to learn how to use. He is, in fact, as Donaldson says, "bloody dangerous". Without experience or even awareness, he might do anything with his power. He's bound to hurt someone.

Lena.

Donaldson has spoken in the Gradual Interview about some of the reasons for Lena's rape. One of the reasons is to show Covenant's conflicted nature. "Covenant is demonstrably a man who "could go either way." And when the story begins, he is far more likely to go in Lord Foul's direction than in the Creator's."

But now I also see that there is another level to think about. His sudden potency is a symbol of wild magic. His lack of control over his lust is a symbol of his inability to control wild magic. And the rape of Lena is a symbol of how dangerous wild magic is without control. Without a moral compass, wild magic can be a great cause of harm. Like a man who is suddenly no longer impotent, Covenant needs to figure out how to responsibly weild his power, because if he heedlessly follows his passions, people will be hurt.

In Lord Foul's Bane was wrote:
A moment later, he dropped the burden of his weight on her chest, and her loins were stabbed with a wild, white fire that broke her silence, made her scream.

Wild, white fire. An obvious allusion to wild magic. That makes sense to me now. Covenant is weilding his newly found power. In this case, destructively.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Savor Dam
Will Be Herd!

MaleRanyhyn
Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 4839

Thanks: 50
Thanked 71 Times in 68 Posts

Location: Pacific NorthWet
1370 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 2009 Watchies1 Furls Fire1 Love


PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that this is the proper thread for these insights, weaved as they are into the fabric of your Epic Vision interpretation of the Chrons.

Nicely done. Not sure how the "wild, white fire" phrasing escaped all of us for these many decades. Like an optical illusion, it is so clear once it is pointed out...
_________________
Love prevails.
~ Tracie Mckinney-Hammon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
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
7686 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Unfettered1 Member of THOOLAH1 2011 Watchies


PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting insight, wayfriend.

u.

P.S. It's also cool to get a notification from the thread that inspired me to join the Watch*. Many thanks again to wayfriend for that!

*DISCLAIMER: wayfriend is on no way responsible for any perfidities that I have subsequently perpetrated on the Watch. Those have been all my own doing Laughing
_________________
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
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant -> Fatal Revenant All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2
Page 2 of 2

 
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