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AATE, part 1, chapter 2: Unfinished Needs
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 5:23 am    Post subject: AATE, part 1, chapter 2: Unfinished Needs Reply with quote

Against All Things Ending
Part 1 "to achieve the ruin of the Earth"
Chapter 2 Unfinished Needs

For two books, we waited for a chapter from Covenant’s point of view. These are, after all, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Finally, we got one in the opening chapter of AATE!

Well, I hope you’re sated, because chapter two is back to being from Linden’s POV…including that dimly-lit inner monologue for which she is known.

Make no mistake; I am not of the THOOLAH persuasion…but don’t count me as a Linden fan-boy either. Thomas Covenant was pretty hard to like and accept throughout the First Chronicles. So it is with Linden at times. I trust SRD has a plan for Linden. I do not know what SRD’s plan will turn out to be, so I remain OPAL – Opinion Pending About Linden.

A lot takes place in this chapter. Get comfortable, because this is going to take a while. Here we go…

Realizing what she has wrought by resurrecting TC (and how broken he is, now that she has him back), Linden is horrified and paralyzed. In many ways, we see much of the personal progress she had appeared to make in the ten years of in her “real world” and the events of the last two volumes has melted away. She is back in the stasis of self-doubt she occupied for so much of the Second Chronicles. Before we get out of the first paragraph of the chapter, we have been reminded of her role in the death of her parents, as well as her Second Chrons struggle to deal with Covenant’s fatal “real world” stabbing, her encounters with Ravers, and Covenant’s death in the confrontation with Lord Foul. Again…all in the first paragraph!

After that intensive glance into the narrative rear-view mirror, we see that she is, at best, emotionally distant from the reaction of her companions and the others present in the clearing of Andelain. Her entire attention is on the twin results of her decision to bring Covenant out of the Arch of Time and back into Life.
Quote:
She had left any ordinary loss of hope or faith behind as soon as she had realized Covenant was not whole.
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She has roused the Worm of the World’s End.

Let’s take a moment to look more closely at that last point. Way back in the “I Am Content” chapter of ROTE, Linden experienced a series of visions during her summoning to the Land. One of these places her back in the cavern of the One Tree, where Covenant nearly woke the Worm.
Quote:
Oh, this time it was not Covenant who raved with white fire, disturbing the Worm of the World’s End in its slumbers, threatening to rouse the destruction of the Earth. Now it was Linden herself. In her hands she held more power than she could comprehend or control, and with it she lashed out in a fury of desperation, seeking to reclaim her son, and achieving only cataclysm.

Unchecked, her needs goaded the Worm to wakefulness. It lifted its vast head, seeking havoc. For a moment as terrible as eternity, it looked into her eyes with recognition.

No! She cried in protest No! This was more of Joan’s madness, more of Lord Foul’s malice. But it was not; it was prophecy. She had regained her health-sense and knew the truth.

No question that SRD was foreshadowing this moment. Further, deponent sayeth naught.

What the Dead Said

What reaches through Linden’s self-absorbed tail-chasing over “what have I done?” is not the plight of the rest of her living companions, whose distance from her thoughts render them little more than narrative set-dressing at this point. No, her reverie of auto-flagellation is broken by what now transpires between the specters of the dead High Lords of old.
Quote:
At that moment, there was no part of her still capable of attending to the distress of her friends. Liand and Stave, Mahrtiir, Pahni and Bhapa, the Ranyhyn: she had nothing left for them. If the Humbled or the Law Breakers, Infelice or the Harrow had spoken to her, she would not have been able to hear them.

Nevertheless, there were powers abroad in the night that could reach her. When the great voice of Berek Halfhand announced, “The time has come to speak of the Ritual of Desecration,” she staggered as though she had been struck.

She believed that he meant to excoriate her.

Linden still has not quite learned that it is not all about her. The Desecration that Berek is referring to is the one perpetrated nearly 7,000 years earlier by his great-grandson, High Lord Kevin.

Essentially, Berek, with the concurrence of Damelon and Loric, expresses that none of Kevin’s sires blame him for what he did, that it sprang from his passion for the Land and that they might well have done the same in his place. This ends up in a four-generation group hug, but not before Berek utters the following, which (knowing SRD) may have further significance as the story unfolds:
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Doubtless, such passion may cause immeasurable harm. But it has not released the Despiser. It cannot. Mistaken though it may be, no act of love and horror – or indeed of self-repudiation – is potent to grant the Despiser his desires. He may be freed only by one who is compelled by rage and contemptuous of consequence.

As the shades of Kevin, Loric and Damelon fade in the aftermath of Kevin being shriven by his three forefathers, Berek turns his attention to Linden…but she is no longer hearing him. He tries to convey to her the contrast he sees in her, that while she has fundamentally changed since he met her in his proper time, she still retains at her core the healer that worked wonders in his war camp. She needs, he tells her, to reach deep inside herself for that core; for it is from there that her purpose and service must spring.

Berek is wasting his ghostly breath. Linden is not listening, her focus is now on the only other dead High Lord still present: Elena. As the ignored Lord-Fatherer fades from the scene, Linden now confronts the specter of Covenant’s daughter.

Like Kevin, and like Linden herself, Elena bears the knowledge of the ill that resulted from her actions. Having witnessed the absolution Kevin had just received, perhaps Elena dares to hope for similar. If so, Linden is not on the same wavelength.
Quote:
In a low voice, taut and bitter, she demanded, “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.” She was speaking to herself as much as to Elena’s woe. “It doesn’t accomplish anything. You’ve suffered enough. Tell me what to do now.”

Tell me how to bear what I’ve done.

She needed an answer. But apparently she – like Elena herself – had misjudged the Dead. In a different form, Elena may have once aided Covenant; she had no aid to offer now. Instead an echo of Linden’s dismay twisted her features. Raising her face to the doomed stars, she uttered a wail of desolation; the stark cry of a woman whose wracked heart had been denied.

Then she flared briefly in the krill’s light and vanished, following the distant ancestors of her High Lordship out of the vale; out of the night

Linden calls out to her, seeking her return and her response, but Elena is gone.

Of the Dead, only one remains. Even though he spent millenia as Caer-Caveral, there is still much of Hile Troy in this ghost. His unrequited love for the High Lord he had served may add to the sharpness of his tone as he castigates Linden for offering no comfort to Elena. Not that it matters. Linden dismisses his criticism and wants only for someone to tell her what she should do. She even goes as far as to complain that Covenant had been given answers by his Dead in the distant past…why was she getting no help now?

There are many ways that Linden’s situation differs from what Covenant faced when he met his Dead, and Caer-Caveral tells her many of them, but the one piece of useful advice he gives her is the one thing she has yet to do all chapter: turn to her friends and companions. With that, he too departs to wherever the Dead reside when not appearing to the Living.

As The Worm Turns…

So, surely now Linden does as Berek and Caer-Caveral have suggested? She turns away from her dark and barren purposes, re-embraces her healing essence, and turns to her faithful companions for aid and counsel?

Yeah, right. Linden’s next move is to seek the help of probably the next-most-hostile party present, Infelice of the Elohim. But first….

Nobody in the clearing seems eager to look her in the eye, but Liand at least is willing to ask her to try to heal Covenant. While Liand has no idea what is physically wrong with the man Linden has just resurrected out of the Arch of Time, has no concept of leprosy, his health sense still recognizes both the presence of illness and the wrongness of the massive jumble of memories that is Covenant’s mind.

Linden, at least, knows her limitations in this matter, having learned the perils of possession in her earlier experiences in the Land.
Quote:
”Don’t you think,” she asked Liand precisely, “that I’ve done enough harm already?”

With that, she stalks up to Infelice and basically demands to be told how to find Jeremiah. Surprise! Infelice refuses to tell her, wants nothing to do with Linden’s son, whom she calls “an abomination.” So Linden asks how to stop the Worm. This fares no better; Infelice disdainfully tells her it cannot be done. Why not? Well, all life must die somehow, and stopping the Worm of the World’s End would upset the balance of that cycle and only hasten and worsen the impending doom of all things.

Stave, being Stave, chooses this moment to point out that if all life supposedly dies, then why do the Elohim transcend death and seem to be immortal? (He is really developing a gift for getting under Infelice’s skin) Her haughty demeanor slips into anger briefly before she masters herself and explains the timeless role of the Elohim in placating the Worm so that it will slumber and not destroy the Earth. Now that it has been roused beyond their ability to soothe, they will be the first to be consumed. They can run, but they can’t hide. As the Worm feeds on them, its puissance will grow and while it is already supposedly unstoppable, it will become even more so. It won’t happen instantly, but scant days remain.

This get through to Linden; she realizes that it is time to do something.
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I need to face this. I can’t put it off any longer.

Ah, but she ends up deferring action further. Liand comes to her again, this time with the Ramen. Manethrall Mahrtiir take the lead this time in imploring her to do something to succor Covenant. Instead of the terse and self-critical refusal she gave Liand last time, she tells her friends more about why she will not use her power to reach into him and mend his mental and physical hurts.

When Liand muses that surely it is not so wrong for her to extend her care in this way for a man she once loved, Galt steps into the conversation, forcefully asserting that yes, it would be wrong. It would result in further evil. With echos of Haruchai of a different age saying “We do not trust this Linden Avery”, he implies that he and the other Humbled intend to prevent her from any such action.

Didn’t Covenant just command them to “…choose her. She’s the only one who can do this” at the end of the last chapter? Yes, but it apparently did not make much of an impression on them, Stave remembers, though...
Quote:
”Nevertheless,” Stave remarked without inflection, “you will not raise your hand against her. The Unbeliever has instructed your forebearance. The Ranyhyn have declared their devoir against you. And I will not stand aside. No friend of the Chosen will stand aside. Mayhap even the Giants, who have named her Giantfriend, will abide by their allegiance. If you intend to impose your will on the Chosen, you must oppose all who have gathered here in her name. And you must defy the given command of the ur-lord, Thomas Covenant.”

As she has been doing all chapter, Linden is tuning out both the Humbled’s censure of her and Stave’s defense. Now that she realizes she needs to do something, her attention is on the Harrow.

Return of the Giants

Linden still does not get a chance to speak or act on that intention. Right on the heels of Stave’s reference to them, Rime Coldspray and the rest of the Giants return to the vale after their encounter with the spector of Honniscrave. With only a minimal acknowledgement of Covenant’s unconscious form or of anyone else present, they go straight to Infelice, and it is clear from their grim demeanor that there is unpleasant business on their minds.

Boy is there ever! Coldspray confronts Infelice with the knowledge they got from Honniscrave that she was the instigator of the long-ago bargain between the Giants and Elohim that granted the Giants their ability to understand all the languages of Earth…which Esmer has blocked. They now know what the price for that was: Longwrath’s madness and bloodlust, which was apparently the result of the Elohim foreseeing the current crisis way back then, claiming the life of an unnamed future Giant as their price for the gift of tongues, then setting their geas in motion with the intent of Longwrath stopping Linden before she could do what she has now done.

This certainly has made Infelice unpopular with the Giants. Linden doesn’t much appreciate it either, and says so:
Quote:
”That’s unconscionable.” She found herself saying, although she had not intended to speak. “Lord Foul would be proud of you. If you wanted me dead, you could have killed me yourselves. You’ve had plenty of chances. Tricking other people into doing your dirty work isn’t just shortsighted. It’s suicidal. You could have had allies. Now all you’ve got are people who won’t be sorry to see you die first.”

The Harrow applauds this bitter little speech, but Galt, on behalf of the Humbled, finds it an occasion to condemn Linden further. This prompts Coldspray to basically tell the Haruchai to stuff their judgemental attitude, that Honniscrave told them enough of both Covenant and Linden that the Giants (while they may still harbor some doubt of the eventual outcome of matters) are steadfastly casting their lot with the Unbeliever and the Chosen – and want the Humbled to keep their criticisms to themselves.

Of course, since the primary communication mode of the Haruchai is their telepathy, the Giant’s “Hush with the negativity, already!” restrictions won’t slow them down much…

Finally, Paying Some Attention to TC!

While Linden is recovering her focus on the urgency of doing something and getting around to taking action on that, Mahrtiir comes to the realization that Covenant (still unconscious on the grass) might benefit from some sustenance. He send his Cords, Bhapa and Pahni in search of aliantha. Since we are in the heart of Andelain, this is not hard to find. Both return quickly and the Manethrall sits with the resurrected ur-Lord’s head cradled in his lap and proceeds to feed him one pulped berry at a time.

Having left the Staff of Law and Covenant’s Ring lying on the ground since they were dropped in the aftermath of bringing Covenant back out of the Arch of Time, at long last Linden picks them up and goes to negotiate with the Harrow.

The Worm is coming and there is nothing to be done to stop it. Does he still want what he has been seeking from her since they met, the Staff and the Ring? Yes, of course he does. Nor is he apparently much concern about the Worm, confident that he can deal with it, even though Infelice has asserted that nothing can stop its advance.

Linden then asks him what he offers in exchange, but she doesn’t really get an answer. As we should have come to expect by now, no conversation goes uninterrupted in this chapter. From every direction, wraiths come streaming brightly into the clearing. At the same time, Infelice and Stave (who, you will recall, seldom agree on anything) both speak to Linden, advocating against making any bargains with the Harrow.

Before responding to either of them, Linden observes what the wraiths are doing. They are gathering on Covenant and imparting their vitality to him. Like the aliantha that Mahrtiir is feeding him, the gift of the wraiths does not heal his mind nor roll back his leprosy…but it restores some measure of strength to him. This reassures her and she replies to Infelice and Stave’s concerns about the Harrow:
Quote:
I’m not worried about that. If he’s wrong – if he can’t stop the Worm – he’ll die like the rest of us. But he may not be wrong. He did not work so long and hard for this just so he could enjoy a few days of empty superiority. And I am going to free my son. I can’t do anything else, but I can try to do that. I’m going to stop his suffering. I’m going to hold him in my arms at least one more time before the Worm gets us. If he and I have to die, his last memory is going to be that I love him.

Stave is content with this…Infelice not so much. She and the Harrow bicker more. Linden wants to tell them to put a sock in it, but a different voice is now heard. Thomas Covenant speaks.
Quote:
Do any of you have a better idea?

He has not risen from the grass. He is still fundamentally weak, but he is conscious, alert, and communicating coherently. Nobody replies to indicates they have an alternative to offer.
Quote:
”In that case” – he sounded sure in spite of his frailty – “I think we should do this Linden’s way. She can make this kind of decision. The rest of us can’t.” After a moment, he found the strength to add, “Mhoram would approve.”

Predictably, Infelice doesn’t like this. She vanishes. The Harrow, equally predictably, is pleased and his complacent expression very much shows it. How Linden would like to wipe that grin off his face!
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very well done, SD. I especially liked the wry humour you narrated the scene with.

I'll be back with some more in depth comments, once I've had a chance to ruminate.
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A really good dissection! I love the way you separated it with titles. It really focuses the attention on the parts your are working on.

Im not sure what I expected in this chapter. TC is back! But I had not expected that he would come back so damaged. It reminds me of the theme of the 2nd Chronicles "How do you hurt someone who has lost everything" Give them back something broken. I wonder if she indeed caused him to be broken in the form he is in now. Not because she brought him back but because she only had one point of reference for him. Mortal and with leprosy. Perhaps him having leprosy was just because she never considered him as not having leprosy.

I also wonder about why she was treating Elena so poorly. Jealousy? I remember she reacted poorly to Elena in the Second Chrons as well.

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You. Do you still think you love him? Are you that arrogant? What good have you ever done him? None of this would've happened if you hadn't been so eager to rule the dead as well as the living?



Pot meet Kettle. Sometimes looking in the mirror is scary and causes people to react poorly. I think maybe she sees too much of herself in Elena but doesnt want to admit it to herself. Perhaps she is worried she will become a spirit tortured by the decisions that they made in life.
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SD..Excellent write up!..I think you got the feel of this chapter. Faced with the utter failure,,what needs to change? As you point out,,nobody really has a good direct answer. Fascinating it is how her choices are whittled down..to dealing with the Harrow. This chapter is more about " feeling the way" to a decision than an exercise in logical deduction or at least Linden beginning to discern the difference.,imho, I think the quote of Linden's that you cut and pasted,, her reply to Infelice and Stave about the Harrow..is central to this chapter and to Part 1.

There has been a fair amount of criticism leveled at the author for this book being too slow,,too much sitting around ,,not enuf movement. Imho, there is movement, there is change, time is so subjective...Chapter 2 is the first of these " sitting around and doing nothing ",chapters. Yet..its so full of change and reveal and as you point out., it has connections to the past and hints of the future.

Chapter 1 ended with TC referencing the Wraiths. Chapter 2 ends with the Wraiths physical...The Unfinished Needs was perhaps change in not the What,,but in the How. The blind guy sees clearly.
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lurch wrote:


There has been a fair amount of criticism leveled at the author for this book being too slow,,too much sitting around ,,not enuf movement. Imho, there is movement, there is change, time is so subjective...Chapter 2 is the first of these " sitting around and doing nothing ",chapters. Yet..its so full of change and reveal and as you point out., it has connections to the past and hints of the future.



Precisely! I personally couldn't stop reading the first few chapters... breezed through them and 'forgot' that I ought to be studying for an exam instead Razz
A definition of literature I've heard is that it reflects life. This is kinda hard if not nigh impossible with fantasy and science fiction. I think Donaldson managed it though with this chapter.
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another oddity..that really isn't new with SRD,,but to me seems a bit more ...obvious: the title to these chapters. Chap 1 isn't too bad..but for only its kinda reverse of what we would normally say. We usually don't have enough Time..its the lack of Time that is a burden. Chapter'2 's title is just plain awkward. I mean..Unfinished Needs..again unfinished Tasks..unfinished chores..unfinished work..etc..but " needs"..Kinda like what Needs To Be Done..uuhmmm.. I have needs,,and they are unfinished..??? Like,,the needs ain't changing..ain't going anywhere..but they are unfinished..Perhaps the fulfilling of the Needs is what is unfinished..Why and what is going to be done about it,, being the body of the chapter...Change, not in the Needs,,but in the how of the fulfilling of the Needs..? The author's word play is a bit somewhere else in this book.
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice, SD, interpretively and the unpacking in little titled sections.
Lurch, I took the title a couple ways together...one pretty much one of the ones you described...things/goals that need doing/fulfillment in the future [many of those present have them, though Linden is central here].
But another sorta like in carpentry, rough-cut, rough-hewn. TC is particularly so, not finished/whole...and absolutely needed, especially from Linden's perspective.
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

V...Yes! I was thinking of a piece of rock sculpture being chiseled then sanded..its needs. There is another similar/ related sort of read of it..a list of needs..the " list " being unfinished. Her need to change ,,in order to get positive ends/results..is an unfinished list..
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SD I like the way you broke this chapter down also!!!

I was puzzled too about Linden's sudden change or sudden lack of confidence. All through the first two books she took action, took control and made decisions that spoke of determination and courage if not confidence. Seeking the staff of law and controlling 'falls'. charging into Berek's camp and working wonders with the Staff, nevermind the trek with Roger and the croyel and the ensuing battle under Skyweir. Then suddenly she can't do anything without Covenant and when she puts forth incredible power to resurrect him and he comes back 'fragmented' she completely gives up and more or less returns to her old indecisive self. Yes, very much a throwback to the old Linden of the second chronicles; I found it quite confusing. Not to mention I was disappointed in her after coming so far to just kind of fall apart.

Sigh. . . . . people can be so, well. . human.
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your kind feedback!

I was a little worried that the tone might be perceived as flippant. I am gratified that the humor was received well. It is humbling to be a first-timer standing on the shoulders of dissectors that we will not hear from this time around (Wayfriend, Furls, Fist, etc.) as well as the experienced ones that are participating in the AATE dissections. Rather than do a pale imitation of some of the giants of this forum, I took the example of Old Blue Eyes and "did it my way."

Chapter-by-chapter dissection that is intended to be read in parallel with the book and therefore cannot spoil ahead is very different than a more literary analysis of a work of fiction. Suffice to say that Spoiler:
there is plenty in this chapter that is foreshadowing / hint-dropping of where SRD is going.

Of course, he is not above putting a few false trails in there as well, but as this book plays out (and probably in the next one as well), there is much in this chapter that has new light cast upon it.

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Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

..Ahh..to be human..I think you have a great perception their F&F..and to tie it to the " Unfinished Needs" discussion..Yes, exactly..we do try and we do fail,,and perhaps failing is a form of " unfinished Needs"..We aren't everything ( back to 1st chapter)..but we can be " whole', complete, in being Who We Are,,in being unified in our existence.

Everything I post on the subject is just words. Lindens " vacillations" are perhaps more reflective of the actual trials and tribulations of " staying true" to one self in the real world than any words I can post.

Lindens turning to the Harrow for the answer to her big question, is the first example of the polarized black/ white view being driven to a " gray"... This motif repeats and perhaps culminates at end. Just saying,,this chapter begins the change in the " how,,"

Yes..an Unfinished Need is perhaps Linden finally realizing that she IS human..and rather than get all despondent and conflicted about it..embrace it,,seek and explore her Humanity.
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fernhold wrote:
Quote:

Then suddenly she can't do anything without Covenant and when she puts forth incredible power to resurrect him and he comes back 'fragmented' she completely gives up and more or less returns to her old indecisive self. Yes, very much a throwback to the old Linden of the second chronicles;


I remember having this same experience/thoughts about Linden while reading this chapter. I believe that this is exactly what she wanted--to return to that old self of hers that felt impotent to do anything without the presence of TC. She had already developed that emotion pretty strongly under the Skyweir.
For Linden, the unfinished need is her unconsciously known need to return to something fundamental about herself--i.e that she's a healer and not a killer.
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

.....yes,,a healer. Related to that and a bit of a side note; There is a bit of humor in the first page and a half or so of this chapter. ..imho. The author goes on relentlessly about Linden's woe and bringing the end to all things inevitably, " She was Not"..I mean,,he just heeps the abhorrent on us..then..like a comical, oh, by the way..the author starts a paragraph.." In addition, Covenant was rife with renewed leprosy."...just in case ,,just in case the reader hadn't quite got their fill of dread and woe...Covenant was rife with renewed leprosy....I wonder..if there is a connection between alliteration and leprosy in the author's mind. But I digress. The reader doesn't even have to go to page 18 for these " Marx Bros " type quips. Again...after a litany of surreal nightmarish recollections ending with the Krill illuminated vision of Covenants remaining 3 fingers reaching toward her...what does the author say?..answer..." He was only unconscious:"...???...Any LOST fans remember the great Minkowski moment? .." I was on a ferris wheel"...Yea..same type of juxtaposed dark humor..Makes for good Surreal.

The play of extremes ,,back and forth within the extremes,,sets us up for the boost to outside or above the extremes. ..Healing.
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

earthbrah wrote:
fernhold wrote:
Quote:

Then suddenly she can't do anything without Covenant and when she puts forth incredible power to resurrect him and he comes back 'fragmented' she completely gives up and more or less returns to her old indecisive self. Yes, very much a throwback to the old Linden of the second chronicles;


I remember having this same experience/thoughts about Linden while reading this chapter. I believe that this is exactly what she wanted--to return to that old self of hers that felt impotent to do anything without the presence of TC. She had already developed that emotion pretty strongly under the Skyweir.
For Linden, the unfinished need is her unconsciously known need to return to something fundamental about herself--i.e that she's a healer and not a killer.

I agree with the "i.e." wholeheartedly. But I completely disagree that Linden is regressing...I've gone on about this at length in other places, so won't belabor it here, but it is not so...it is a serious mistake to read moments of weakness and her internal conflicts as her old self, because it ignores what she actually does, time after time, over and over, since the beginning of the last chron's...and in this chapter.
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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
earthbrah wrote:
fernhold wrote:
Quote:

Then suddenly she can't do anything without Covenant and when she puts forth incredible power to resurrect him and he comes back 'fragmented' she completely gives up and more or less returns to her old indecisive self. Yes, very much a throwback to the old Linden of the second chronicles;


I remember having this same experience/thoughts about Linden while reading this chapter. I believe that this is exactly what she wanted--to return to that old self of hers that felt impotent to do anything without the presence of TC. She had already developed that emotion pretty strongly under the Skyweir.
For Linden, the unfinished need is her unconsciously known need to return to something fundamental about herself--i.e that she's a healer and not a killer.

I agree with the "i.e." wholeheartedly. But I completely disagree that Linden is regressing...I've gone on about this at length in other places, so won't belabor it here, but it is not so...it is a serious mistake to read moments of weakness and her internal conflicts as her old self, because it ignores what she actually does, time after time, over and over, since the beginning of the last chron's...and in this chapter.
You're right of course!! She does act!! And actually quite decisively after all her internal debate and self-debasement. No spoilers here but I guess it's no secret that she does find enough inner strength to continue on with her driving need to find her son.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've done such a thorough and excellent job of presenting the chapter, Savor, that I really don't know what to add. When I first read this I thought it was really the beginning of the end of Andelian and most things good, like they'd never find aliantha again...or that they were only preparing to enter some wasteland. If Linden doesn't follow the Harrow they all seem to have no idea where they're going.

This go-round I notice that Linden's self absorption doesn't get on my nerves so much Spoiler:
like it did for about the next 4 chapters
I guess I've developed a way of "rolling with the Linden" that I didn't have the last time. Gotta let a good chunk of it go-might be important for someone reading the Final Chrons for the first time, but there's a ton of stuff we've processed before. So, I guess my advice is: don't read it slowly and mull over everything-take what you need quickly and hurry on. Razz (that way you won't feel like you're sitting around so much)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a first read, I agree with danlo's "don't read it slowly and mull over everything-take what you need quickly and hurry on" advice -- not just for this book or Donaldson in general, but for almost anything. If the story is compelling and has not been read before, who can resist being pulled along?

That's the way I read AATE in the days after it was released last fall. It was not until the dissection sign-up thread was posted that I started a re-read...and I have to say that taking a more leisurely pace has made a big difference. There is so much more I got out of the book on a second slower read!

While my dissection mentions that there is a lot of talking going on, and that the discussions are frequently interrupted by yet more conversation, confrontation and cogitation, that is not necessarily a negative. While there may seem to be little action, there is a lot going on...and I trust that SRD will get to some action when the story calls for it. Spoiler:
Oh, will he ever! Wow...

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Savor Dam wrote:
If the story is compelling and has not been read before, who can resist being pulled along?
True, but my problem the first time was I was probably too excited about TC returning so my reading hinged on every word Spoiler:
for about the first 6 chapters Linden's constant gloom doom and indecision drove me bonkers-once I forced myself to skim all that and let it go I enjoyed AATE immensely. I'm not a Linden hater but originally the beginning of this book almost turned me.
Of course I usually do hang on every word SRD writes but he's a different writer now (and was also constructing the Final Chrons for new readers-I know that seems weird but I ran into 3 people at his release/booksigning for AATE who had never read the original Chrons and they were really enjoying them (the Final), and needed all Linden's history and self-searching-and I've already heard enough people on the Watch analyze, hate, poo-poo etc... Linden ad naseum. What I have to constantly remind myself is that this is a story about the Land not Linden and things seem to go much smoother...

And, not that I really want to right now, even though The One Tree is one of my favorite books of the series I feel a need to go back to those books and try once again to figure out the Elohim-it's like WHAT!? They throw TC in a stupor-coma and fete Linden. meanwhile they're plotting her death!!?? Crazy...maybe there really is no need to go back to that book the Elohim are just weird-ass and of course you can't trust them, but knowing Donaldson there are probably some clues hidden back there as well...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

God damn it, apparently I really love TC because just reading "Do any of you have a better idea?" makes my heart soar, like a starving man that was just given a plate of food. lol

Also, TC has a few moments like that.
Where his spoken word cuts through everything I've been reading about and focused on up until that point.
He takes the wheel and jerks everything in a another direction (not the storyline, but the focus).

"Big deal. I could do the same thing—if I were as crazy as you."

"Linden, what happened to your arm?"

And of course, "Nom"
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to say great dissection - really well written.

Re the revelation regarding Longwrath and the geas put on him by the Elohim - I did find this gloss on the story of the Giants gift of tongues a bit contrived. Most of SRD's reworking of the earlier books into future elements of later Chronicles has worked really well, but this one left me a bit cold.

Firstly, the interpretation of the bargain by the Elohim was really rather too far from the obvious for my liking. It was pretty much downright fraudulent.

Secondly, we are being asked to believe that the Elohim set in place this arrangement so that they could have a Giant in place to kill Linden at a future time - even though at the time of the Second Chronicles (ie later than time of the gift of tongues) they were all out to empower Linden at the expense of Covenant. Now I'm not saying that the two are necessarily inconsistent (different time, different place, different threats) but it doesn't sit particularly well to my mind.

And thirdly, it is a highly convoluted and roundabout way for a profoundly powerful people to try and get rid of Linden. As she herself points out, there must have been easier ways - OK it may have been beneath the Elohim to dirty their own hands with her death, but still....

(Not that its remotely relevant, but someone (?) in the discussions on FR suggested a resolution of the Longwrath situation that I much preferred to SRD's own resolution ie that Longwrath had indeed had an incident of "earthsight" and had "seen" the need to kill a woman wielding white gold in the Land but his interpretation had failed and that he was now tracking down Linden when he should have been tracking down Joan.)
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“But if you are slain….!” Pahni moaned.
“If I am slain,” he replied so tenderly that Linden’s heart lurched, “you will remain to serve the Land, and the Ranyhyn, and the Ringwielder as you must. My love will abide with you. Grief is strength. The use that you will make of it vindicates me.”
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