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 

AATE, Part 1, Chapter 8: Caverns Ornate and Majestic

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> Group Readings -> Last Chronicles
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
earthbrah
Proponent of Gylany


Joined: 29 Oct 2007
Posts: 548

Thanks: 1
Thanked 7 Times in 6 Posts

Location: Menlo Park, CA
1638 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:05 am    Post subject: AATE, Part 1, Chapter 8: Caverns Ornate and Majestic Reply with quote

Donaldson does some fascinating stuff in this chapter! He first of all takes us on a wondrous but frantic trek through a region of the Land that we’ve never before encountered. Along the way the characters experience entrancing magic and scenery created by the Viles. And most awesomely, he plays with language in specific ways that allow the reader to taste some of the same magic that the characters are faced with.

The loveliness and profundity of the Viles’ creations in the Lost Deep are felt by the reader from the very outset of the chapter. “But the slight impact of metal on stone made no sound that she could hear. Instead his tapping gave off evanescent puffs of moonshine and pearl like wisps of incandescence.” (pg. 138) Much of the chapter has Linden (and presumably the rest of the company) experiencing some intense synesthesia. This is when your senses get crossed, so to speak. Like the example above, you would experience sound as something visual.

At the top of pg. 142 SRD states that “She [Linden] was falling into paresthesia again, the neural confusion caused by the intangible essence of the Viles.” Paresthesia is basically when a limb falls asleep, or experiences numbness, tingling or pricking on the skin. (Sounds like formication to me!) So the two –esthesias are not the same, but the crossing or blurring of the senses is quite evident throughout the chapter.

On pg. 140 Linden catches “a whiff of Mahrtiir’s voice. … The words smelled querulous.” Here she is experiencing sound as olfaction. At the bottom of pg. 141 SRD pulls out an obscure word that, for me, sort of sums up this chapter. He writes: “This hall was straight, featureless, and long: long enough for Linden to realize that her perceptions were suffering a kind of delinition. The glow of the stone became less a matter of sight and more a flowing series of sensations on her skin; brief caresses as loving as kisses; small scrapes that caused no pain; the tickling of feathers; warm breaths. The colors were the multitudinous susurrus of her companions.” He’s really blurring the lines here for all involved, characters and readers.

Delinition, a smearing. Or, to de-line something, to render what was a clear distinction between two things now unclear and blurry. The word comes from the Latin delinere. The basic root of the concept is the line; from there it’s not a far leap to the limit, or even to the liminal space between two processes or states or attractors. However you slice it, the gang is going through some inner chaos caused by the ancient magic left behind by the lofty Viles; they are traveling that uncertain space that comes before experiencing something completely novel, or that time preceding a transition or shift. And then…

“As though she had crossed a threshold into an altogether different definition of reality, she entered a space as open, ornate, and majestic as a palace.” (pg. 142) SRD then takes the ethereal haze of perceptions that the company has experienced thus far beyond the Hazard and congeals it into a castle made of water! And some of the descriptions are marvelous: “Lakes as calm as Glimmermere had made the walls. Brooks giggling over their rocks in springtime had become the rugs; the vociferous mosaics. The fountain was a captured geyser.” (pg. 144) But more generally: “The palace was a sculpture, a work of the most sublime art: an eldritch and enduring triumph of ability and will over the fluid inconstancy of time.” (bottom of 143)

For me, this palace of water is one of the true gems of TLCs so far. Donaldson creates an amazing wonder in the castle itself; in a transition/traveling chapter he manages to present us with something lofty and admirable; but also, he manages to include a wealth of potential meaning for what has come before and what may come later.

I believe the key to the potential meaning in this chapter is the fact that Linden figures out that the key to the majestic castle is it being made of water. We’ve known since early in Runes that her fate is written in water. Foul told her that “Men commonly find their fates graven within the rock, but yours is written in water.” (Runes, pg. 163) Stone and Sea. Permanence at rest and permanence in motion. Donaldson is having fun with the juxtaposition of these two elements here, it seems. And just like Linden proved to have learned something crucial from the Viles in the deep past when she encountered them, I believe she has learned something equally crucial from this experience. Like some form of direct reception of truth, she feels the import of her discovery but can’t yet name the specifics of it. The application or imparting of the truth exist only as a latency which will unfold when the conditions are right.

After taking in the castle, Linden is approached by Anele. His presence and touch are enough to draw her out of her trance. When she realizes that earthpower will enable her to continue after the Harrow, who has left the cavern by now, she seeks out Liand and his orcrest. Linden rouses Liand, he activates the orcrest, and they ditch their companions to run catch up with the Harrow. They emerge from the cavern and their trance into an open space that is more definite to their senses. Linden’s health sense returns. She observes a chamber that is too symmetrical to be naturally occurring. She also sees a structure that was made more recently, and that she surmises is the construct used to block Jeremiah’s presence from the Elohim. And then she sees the Harrow unsuccessfully facing down the croyel who is still very much attached to, controlling and sucking the very blood from Jeremiah.

Other Things of Interest from the Chapter

Another little aspect of language use that I enjoyed is in the last paragraph on page 138. The use of verbs such as composed, expressed, articulated and explained in order to describe the physical appearance of a structure. Other words that struck me in the description were outlines, strokes, drawn, and sketch. All these words have something to do with writing (and other things, yes). But it’s the writing connection that struck me as a cool way to describe a construct of the Viles. Then later at the top of pg. 141 SRD writes that “the text of the castle was indecipherable.”

While later in the chapter we have stone and water being juxtaposed, in the middle of pg. 141 we have wood and stone being juxtaposed. Almost as a continuation of what Anele spoke of in chapter 6, the stone is here being measured by the kinds of trees or wooden poles that could fit in the chamber. Also, this is the paragraph that has the replica of Foul’s seat in Foul’s Creche described. The need for the truths of stone and wood, orcrest and refusal seem to resonate in this passage.

And lastly, I love the way the Giants react to the wonder of beholding the loveliness of the Lost Deep. I love how the Ironhand tells the impatient Harrow to chill out…briefly, briefly… The Lost Deep being a domain of stone, I am slightly disappointed that Donaldson didn’t give us more of a reaction from the Giants. However, we did get two spots where the Ardent’s reaction is mentioned. On pg. 143, the text describes the Ardent as having sunk to the floor, rocking himself back and forth “like a child in need of comfort.” Then later on pg. 147, the text states that “The Ardent lay swaddled as if he clad himself for burial.” Strange considering his purpose of witnessing that which is novel; seems he would have become enraptured like the rest of them, but instead it seems as if he’s whimpering and scared.

I shall end here. There are other smaller details about this chapter that I noticed, but will let things begin with this initial post…
_________________
"Verily, wisdom is like hunger. Perhaps it is a very fine thing--but who would willingly partake of it."
--Saltheart Foamfollower

"Latency--what is concealed--is the demonstrable presence of the future."
--Jean Gebser
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
danlo
Lord of Neverness


Joined: 06 Mar 2002
Posts: 20839

Thanks: 43
Thanked 55 Times in 55 Posts

Location: Albuquerque NM
2113 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 2005 Watcher of the Year1 Sandgorgon1 Skyweir


PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, earthbrah! Great dissection! I love the way you really got into and point out all the various usage, vocabulary, definitions, "writing" words and juxtapositions. Amazing what the Viles accomplished, and then connecting Linden's fate to that. I agree that this is an extremely well written, "lynchpin" chapter that captures the essence of the Chronicles, in general. Thingsgot a little "blurry" there, for awhile! Razz
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Phoogle Map
Orlion
Clairvoyant

MaleRanyhyn
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 6492

Thanks: 17
Thanked 57 Times in 56 Posts

Location: Getting there...
7172 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Dalek1 Member of Linden's Army1 SRD's Green Rock


PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I need to keep up with these Razz
Linden's fate is writ in water, heh? What would be the consequences of that fate writ being like the palace? It seems that without some grounding force (Earthpower, maybe even the Staff) there's a stasis imposed on her progress.

Could also be an externalization of the relationship between wild magic and Earthpower. Wild magic is able to hold the fluidity of time in an Arch much like the Vile's lore holds water into place, but by merely trying to control this or consider it, you are stopped... by fear or awe, made immobile. With Earthpower, though, one can move through this, maybe even pick and choose what they will.

It seems, from this, that it is very important that Linden has both white gold and the Staff.
_________________
'Tis dream to think that Reason can
Govern the reasoning creature, man.
- Herman Melville

I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all!

"All creation is a huge, ornate, imaginary, and unintended fiction; if it could be deciphered it would yield a single shocking word."
-John Crowley
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
earthbrah
Proponent of Gylany


Joined: 29 Oct 2007
Posts: 548

Thanks: 1
Thanked 7 Times in 6 Posts

Location: Menlo Park, CA
1638 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, interesting thoughts, Orlion. I do believe that Linden's realization of the magic of that water castle is going to be significant for her in the last installment; she'll need that intuitive understanding to help her in some way. And then, there's the whole connection with her fate being writ in water. I think it may also be significant that SRD uses the word write to describe how Linden's fate is connected to water, considering how he used all those writing words in this chapter to describe the Viles' construct.
_________________
"Verily, wisdom is like hunger. Perhaps it is a very fine thing--but who would willingly partake of it."
--Saltheart Foamfollower

"Latency--what is concealed--is the demonstrable presence of the future."
--Jean Gebser
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wayfriend
whilom witling

Male
Joined: 21 Apr 2004
Posts: 18419

Thanks: 11
Thanked 198 Times in 181 Posts

Location: The world of the Bowling Green Massacre
41399 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done, earthbrah. You see things in dimensions that I had not even considered.

earthbrah wrote:
And lastly, I love the way the Giants react to the wonder of beholding the loveliness of the Lost Deep.

It never struck me, until I re-read this chapter for this dissection, that there's something more significant to this other than Giantish antics.

It seemed to me that the reactions of everyone in the castle chamber, Giant or not, were a reduced version of the effects of the ballroom. Here, they get caught up in wonder, and want nothing else but to hang around and gawk ... but it's not quite enough to trap them. Rational thought wins out in the end.

The spell is here, as it is in the ballroom. It's just weaker.

The implication is this: the ballroom isn't unique. And that implies that it is not intended to be a trap. It may only be a dire interaction between Vile construction and mortal senses.

earthbrah wrote:
Delinition, a smearing.

Thanks. My kindle didn't know that word; I was going to look that up myself.

Here are some other thoughts:

Question What's this?

In Against All Things Ending was wrote:
The Harrow was too sure that he had beaten his enemies: the only foes that mattered. He would not be ready -

Linden was counting on that.

Linden has a plan. A plan involving surprising the Harrow.

Once again, Donaldson is leaving sparse, easy-to-miss hints that something Linden is about to do is, at least partly, planned.

And if she's planning something, then she's no longer operating in the I'm-useless whats-the-point mode. She's thinking about what needs to be done after they find Jeremiah. And how it crosses the Harrow.

(I think the people that see Linden as passive must miss this stuff. This is not the first occasion we find Linden quietly plotting.)

Question On Jeremiah's chamber:

In Against All Things Ending was wrote:
The use that Roger and the croyel had made of Jeremiah's talents protected her son from every eldritch perception except the Harrow's more oblique and mortal knowledge [...]

So Jeremiah was used to form the travertine wall ornaments that warded this chamber. That's irony.

Question It's always this kind of thing that occurs to me: why did the Viles build a ballroom, or an underground castle for that matter?

I don't think it's unfair. I think it's natural to wonder what the Viles' abode says about the Viles.

But this stuff seems too, well, human. Were they emulating things other peoples have done? Were they building for guests? I really can't imagine an answer. Maybe it was a way to explore issues of self-worth?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
shadowbinding shoe
The Gap Into Spam


Joined: 15 Mar 2008
Posts: 1380

Thanks: 1
Thanked 28 Times in 27 Posts


1982 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Kresh1 Diamondraught1 Mind Meld


PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

earthbrah wrote:
The loveliness and profundity of the Viles’ creations in the Lost Deep are felt by the reader from the very outset of the chapter. “But the slight impact of metal on stone made no sound that she could hear. Instead his tapping gave off evanescent puffs of moonshine and pearl like wisps of incandescence.” (pg. 138) Much of the chapter has Linden (and presumably the rest of the company) experiencing some intense synesthesia. This is when your senses get crossed, so to speak. Like the example above, you would experience sound as something visual.

At the top of pg. 142 SRD states that “She [Linden] was falling into paresthesia again, the neural confusion caused by the intangible essence of the Viles.” Paresthesia is basically when a limb falls asleep, or experiences numbness, tingling or pricking on the skin. (Sounds like formication to me!) So the two –esthesias are not the same, but the crossing or blurring of the senses is quite evident throughout the chapter.


I think this is a simple case of typo. Donaldson meant to write Synesthesia and wrote Parestehsia by mistake.

wayfriend wrote:

Question It's always this kind of thing that occurs to me: why did the Viles build a ballroom, or an underground castle for that matter?

I don't think it's unfair. I think it's natural to wonder what the Viles' abode says about the Viles.

But this stuff seems too, well, human. Were they emulating things other peoples have done? Were they building for guests? I really can't imagine an answer. Maybe it was a way to explore issues of self-worth?


The castle hall bothered me especially. These are immaterial beings after all. What would thy have with castles?! But maybe the placement of this structure is indicative. It is located in the outermost chamber of their demesne. If they created it just before they built the Hazard maybe we should read it as a statement of intent. They wanted to understand other types of beings, material mortals who built such structures. The water palace on the other hand seem to fit well with them. It's resemblance to an ordinary palace room is limited. There are no chairs for example in it. It was a perfect construct to give them something to contemplate and hold their interest.

I doubt they entertained many guests in their demesne. (Though I do wonder who entered the Lost Deep during the Land's long history. Where did the Ur viles lived and bred? Until now it always seemed it was above in normal Mount Thunder. The fiery pit Findail tried to throw Vain into wasn't in the Deep but also above in Mount Thunder. I have troubles figuring these things. And did others ventures into these places? Didn't it say Drool went there? The Ravers in WGW went to some deep place in mount Thunder to get their bodies. The Old Lords? The New Lords after the war was over? Did all those creatures know how to undo the Viles' warding?)

The piece that interested me the most was Foul's ?replica? throne. I think it will become important somewhere in the future. It said somewhere in the First Chronicle that as long as it remained Foul could not be truly defeated. Did he tie his life-force to it somehow?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tefazipipo
'twas a cat

Female
Joined: 13 Jun 2012
Posts: 109

Thanks: 13
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

Location: Japan
473 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thought in reading this was that the Viles created a prison for Lord Foul. Muahah and where else would Jeremiah, the creator of doors and traps, be kept?
_________________
On the internet, no one can see your evil smirk.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> Group Readings -> Last Chronicles All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

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


Powered by Earthpower © Kevin's Watch