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TLD. Fusing the psychological alloy - an allegory unravelled
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:14 am    Post subject: TLD. Fusing the psychological alloy - an allegory unravelle Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:

However, TC then goes on to fight Foul in TPTP ... as if he doesn't already recognize that they are one. [That's probably the first symbol/plot misalignment: the 1st Chrons resolution.]


I'm not sure I agree with this; Covenant makes a few comments throughout 1C alluding to his connection to Foul - so he does recognize this, but after enacting his initial, hate-fuelled solution/answer in trying to extirpate Foul, he comes to the realisation that there's no point in even trying to destroy Foul;
Quote:
I'm not going to kill him. He'll just come back.
- so his answer is to laugh in the face of Despite, which of course severely reduces Foul.

So I'm not sure that this counts as a plot misalignment; power/violence/force affects Foul but Covenant quickly realizes this is inadequate and instead tries simple laughter in an effort to stymie Despite - a good answer imo, but clearly SRD thought there were better solutions to be had.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Maybe this psychological theory is the point, but I guess I'm stuck on the details of how it was achieved. How does embracing your destructive side (or a Raver, or hurt women) give you the knowledge to remake the universe?

Is there really any difference between, "I am yours" and "you are mine" (i.e. the psychological endings of WGW and LD)? Did we really need 4 more books to make that "clear?" Is the additional nuance really worthy of an entire Chronicles, or couldn't it have been said in a single sentence at the end of WGW?

How is this the enduring solution to the problem of evil, and entropy? Sure, if you give your characters the inexplicable power to remake worlds, it sure looks like an answer to entropy, but that's magic. It's fantasy. It has no relevance to the real world, to us. What's the real world counterpart to this magical power?


I apologize for responding to a comment from a while back, but this thread was bumped and I read it from the beginning Smile And I have some thoughts on that specific issue.

I think that one way to look at the first chronicles is a man coming to terms with himself, being ok with himself, and stopping his self-hatred. In that mode of thought, the second chronicles expand from one man into two people forming a connection between them. And the third chronicles continue in natural progression to those two people having a child, a new generation. 1 person, 2 people, 3 people.

I think that recreating the world piece by piece as it collapses is, in analogy, how life persists in the world. Each individual dies, but individuals come together and create offspring, who are in a sense created from scratch, but also in a sense created from what is left of the previous generation. Despite all things necessarily ending, there is also continuation of life by replacement.

(This is also literally true in a single human body - cells die all the time and are replaced by new ones, so the individual persists to exist, even though he or she is constantly being recreated, in a sense.)

Entropy always increases in a closed system, so we can say that every closed system is doomed to fail and die. But Jeremiah is the next generation, something outside the closed system of Covenant or Covenant+Linden. The solution to the problem of death is, as we of course already knew, to create new life.

(Of course this entropy stuff is not literally true in modern physics, yes I know Smile )

I do think 4 more books were necessary. The entire arc was about a man with a wife and child who loses them both as well as himself. He regains himself in the first chronicles, he regains a meaningful personal connection in the second, and he regains a child in the last. Only now is the entire arc complete.

This is all somewhat separate from the problem of evil, though, I feel. I'm not sure that problem was resolved - moksha is still out there, and Covenant merging with the Despiser has basically brought things full circle: The story began with evil happening to Covenant and taking root in him as self-hatred, being externalized as the Despiser in the Land, and now being re-internalized in Covenant in the Land.

Not sure about this, but I think it can be taken in two ways: Either there is no solution to evil, it must be a constant struggle, both internally and externally. Or, the solution or partial solution is through the process of internalization and externalization - Covenant solved his self-despite through the externalized Despiser in the Land, and solved the Land's direct problem by internalizing the Despiser once more. Perhaps the point is that you can't eliminate evil, but by recognizing it both inside and outside, it can be faced and countered.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good post, Thoughtcube!
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr.Land wrote:
It would have been interesting to have one of the main Three (TC, L or J) make it back to the normal world, and by so doing, better preserve the idea that Donaldson has long advanced, namely that the Chronicles are rooted in the real world, and feature main characters that have to survive there (compared to Frodo who isn't). In Campbell terms, it would be the Return With the Elixir.


It would have been really interesting if Sheriff Lytton had somehow been translated to the Land, then had to go back at the end!
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally got around to reading this thread, as it is oft recommended. (Pointing at you, u.) I think I got rickrolled, though - somehow I ended up listening to "Never Gonna Like The Ending" again. Smile

Nevertheless.

One of the things that Donaldson has said, which I take to heart more than most things he says, is: "Every weakness is a strength misapplied, and every strength is a weakness that has found it's proper use." Being a bit non-linear, I find that this sentiment applies equally to the concept of "becoming whole" by accepting one's "dark side".

The reason that becoming whole makes you stronger is that, yes, your dark side has strengths. But it's more complicated than that. Unlike Kirk, you can't just merge them in the transporter and be whole. There is a process. And that process is discovering "the proper use" for the dark powers you have acquired. You can't just unleash it, and hijynx ensue.

So, yes, it does take three Chronicles for this to play out. It's a process.

In the first Chronicles, Covenant recognizes what Lord Foul is. This is a significant step. It takes a whole reality/dream paradox to deliver this notion: if the Land is merely real, there's no reason to consider it, but if the Land is merely a dream, there's no reason to act upon it. A "final confrontation" delivers a conclusion, but not one where Covenant has accepted Lord Foul as something of value in himself - Donaldson didn't even dream of this possibility until he envisioned how the story could be continued.

In the Second Chronicles, Covenant takes another step. "Acceptance," as it has been described -- worthless without describing what is accepted. And Covenant is not yet "accepting" Foul into himself ... no, what Covenant accepts is that Lord Foul is a person like himself, with his own desires and strengths and weaknesses. Lord Foul was cursed to be Covenant's negative doppleganger, locked into his evil nature because he is ordained to challenge Covenant, fated to do so and fail over and over. And so Foul is deserving of pity, and compassion, and even of empathy. Covenant accepts that his inner Despiser has a role to play in things.

In the Last Chronicles, we can finally move from recognition to acceptance to incorporation. Covenant not only recognizes Foul's role in his life, but takes charge of that role. When Covenant consumes Foul, he has mastered him. Now he can finally harness those dark strengths, they are his to control. To use them only when it is a proper use, and to suppress them when it would be misapplied. For other strengths, he still has himself as well -- he is still the white gold. And where that is not enough, he has his love, Linden, who completes him in other ways.

With wild magic, and an inner Despiser, and a living love, Covenant is now truly and finally whole. And he is now finally capable of acting like a Creator, rebuilding the world in an image that is his. The triumvirate -- Covenant, Creator, Despiser -- has been unified.

What I hope to understand, in the coming days, is why Covenant could not achieve this unification until all else that happened happened. That is always the crux of any Donaldson story. The things that happen need to happen, and no one gets a victory until they've earned it in some way.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't much disagree with the above at all, WF - unsurprising, since your deconstruct of the message of TCoTC pretty much mirrors mine.

Re the 1st Chrons, your summation is spot-on, IMHO. A confrontation with the dark side of one's psyche, a conflict is never going to work. There's no point trying to destroy one's appetite for destruction - such an attempt would clearly and ironically be futilely self-defeating.

Re the 2nd Chrons, you use the word "acceptance" re the conclusion, which I'm not sure is entirely right. I - and SRD himself somewhere, from memory - used the word "surrender", but I don't think that's entirely without problems either. TC chooses the polarised opposite end of the strategy he used in TPTP - namely, in WGW, he chooses complete passivity, or inaction if you'd rather, as contrasted with the pure aggression and action that he tried - equally ineffectively, as it turned out over the longterm - in TPTP. This isn't "surrender" in the sense that TC gives up and gives himself over to his dark side, ceding control, which is why I'm uneasy with potential confusion within the term. It is however true that at the end of the 2nd Chrons, TC has "accepted" that he cannot beat LF in a head-to-head.

As to the Last Chrons, IMHO, you're back to being spot-on - your usage of the term "incorporation" is well-made, as is the term "consume" (though I think it's a little more "subsume", but anyway). This to me - and again from somewhere, I seem to remember SRD using the term with reference to the Last Chrons, but I may be mistaken - is more of an "acceptance", in that TC has finally come to the realisation that neither confrontation nor passivity can provide any permanent solution. I don't think TC's "mastered" LF as such - it's clearly going to be an ongoing and eternal battle, but a purely internal one - however, he has achieved the only possible resolution. Only an acceptance and a subsequent incorporation will succeed - it's the mid-point resolution between conflict and passivity and harks back to the importance of balance, the "eye of the paradox", which is something that has always fascinated SRD and that he has felt is highly significant. Shades of the desirability of balance as mentioned in my Taoist yin-yang musings elsewhere.

Of course there are also clear connotations back to the nature of white gold, which has such overweening power and which can create "perfect works", solely (and paradoxically) because it is an imperfect alloy. Mhoram may have told TC that "you are the white gold", but the final melding - and yes, incorporation - of imperfections surely only happens when TC and LF are unified. As we've both said, it's that ultimate alloying which gives TC the power to rebuild the world. TC has become far more than a sacrificial lamb (which he kind of was at the end of WGW... more on this later) - he both loses and gains in his final individuation (thanks again, Herr Jung). As stated above, in becoming whole, in melding himself finally with his negative aspect, he is ever-fated to be in internal conflict - but importantly with full foreknowledge of this. After all, forewarned is of course forearmed. However, he's gained knowledge and thus efficacious power, a power that is now capable of remaking all things.

(As a brief side-note, the Last Chrons actually are IMHO an obviously far more profound examination of the central tenet to be found within my only partly tongue-in-cheek referenced Star Trek episode... Wink )

wayfriend wrote:
Now he can finally harness those dark strengths, they are his to control. To use them only when it is a proper use, and to suppress them when it would be misapplied. For other strengths, he still has himself as well -- he is still the white gold. And where that is not enough, he has his love, Linden, who completes him in other ways.

With wild magic, and an inner Despiser, and a living love, Covenant is now truly and finally whole. And he is now finally capable of acting like a Creator, rebuilding the world in an image that is his.
Very nicely and appropriately put - I completely concur. Though on reflection, I might add that I'm not sure that TC rebuilds the world "in an image that is his" - unless of course one has decided that the whole world is a backdrop entirely springing from TC's inner subconscious. Anyhow, that's a minor quibble.

wayfriend wrote:
. The triumvirate -- Covenant, Creator, Despiser -- has been unified.
Again, largely yes, agreed. I'd take this point on a little further. There are obviously quasi-religious overtones perceivable, looking at TCoTC as a whole - your reference to "triumvirate" could equally have been described as "trinity". But I think SRD's message is far more humanist than Christian... it's not vehemently anti-Christian as such, it's just that it goes beyond Christianity. Here's how I view it.

It's possible to see the resolution to the 1st Chrons as smacking of the Old Testament a bit - like the wrathful and vengeful God of the Old Testament, TC's attempted solution is to rain fire down on LF like God did on Sodom and Gomorrah. It's even more possible to see the resolution to the 2nd Chrons as mirroring the New Testament more closely, in that, much like Jesus, by remaining passive at the dénouement, TC sacrifices himself to save the world. However, SRD clearly shows us that this isn't the final solution either.

And so we reach the Last Chrons, where in stark contrast to core messages of Christianity, TC absolutely doesn't "renounce sin". He absolutely doesn't say "Get thee behind me, Satan" and absolutely doesn't "let the Lord Jesus into his heart" - in fact in many ways, he does the exact reverse, in that he also accepts "Satan" and incorporates him into his "heart". BUT CRUCIALLY the control and responsibility for such remain entirely TC's... he absolutely does NOT surrender to his negative side, nor in any way gives into his darker impulses. This is a very humanist message - in walking the tightrope, finding the balancing point between the Divine and the Diabolic, arriving at the eye of the paradox between the Creator and the Despiser, TC becomes truly whole and achieves his full potential. In so doing, he comes to exemplify all the polarised facets, all the conflicting drives that are what it is to be quintessentially human. That's his "apotheosis", except that's entirely the wrong word - TC doesn't become a god at all... he becomes completely human. At this point, I am strongly reminded of the SRD quote in Z's signature which reads:
SRD wrote:
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story)
And that surely points the way to the over-riding message of the entirety of TCoTC... there are no external solutions. The entire 10 book work ends in a victory for humanity and it's only there, within each one of us, with an acknowledgement and integration of all that we are, for good and for ill, that a true resolution can be found. When faced with the ever-growing entropy of the cosmos, with the randomness of existence, we don't need gods - because they don't exist. The very concept of an external deity, an external "superstructure" is in fact meaningless to our existence. We just need ourselves - because that's all that there is. And that's enough... it suffices.

wayfriend wrote:
I finally got around to reading this thread, as it is oft recommended. (Pointing at you, u.) I think I got rickrolled, though - somehow I ended up listening to "Never Gonna Like The Ending" again. Smile
Hey! Just because I can (hopefully intellectually) appreciate and discuss SRD's metaphysical philosophy doesn't mean that I am duty-bound to love the way that he constructed the narrative vehicle for his message.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheFallen wrote:
As to the Last Chrons, IMHO, you're back to being spot-on - your usage of the term "incorporation" is well-made, as is the term "consume" (though I think it's a little more "subsume", but anyway).

I chose "consume" because, throughout the Last Chronicles, and even going back to the Second Chronicles, there are a number of examples of beings "consuming" other beings. It's not always termed such, although the Harrow uses that term. Nom consumed a Raver. The Harrow discusses consuming Demondim, as well as Linden. It's She's primary function. Even the ur-viles, at the end. Certainly this is all groundwork for the final final confrontation. Anyway, I was just trying to use an allusion to these other things.
    The Harrow, speaking of the Demondim: Were I able to consume them, I would have taken their power into myself and become stronger.

    And of Linden: And last, I covet the unfettered wrath at the center of your heart. It will nourish me as the Demondim did not.
So, we establish a principal of unification through consumption. It's part of that world's mechanics. Consume and become stronger; the center of your heart will nourish me.

TheFallen wrote:
There are obviously quasi-religious overtones perceivable, looking at TCoTC as a whole - your reference to "triumvirate" could equally have been described as "trinity".

Again, I used that term as an allusion, but I botched it. "Trinity" is the correct term. I should check these things first.

In the Gradual Interview, Stephen R Donaldson wrote:
If anything, the tradition I was drawing on was Christian (because of my background in fundamentalist Christianity, not because I am in any useful sense a believer): the Trinity, God in Three Persons. Except I obviously wasn't thinking of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. More like Creator, Destroyer, and Holy Ghost (wild magic). Or Creator, Destroyer, and--what shall we call Covenant as the protagonist of the drama?--Acolyte. But you're quite right about the "shared identity" theme. I was explicitly thinking of the Creator, the Despiser, and wild magic as aspects of Covenant himself. And the part of himself which he denies--wild magic, his own personal power to assign meaning to his life and experiences--is the part which must mediate his internal conflicts (the struggle between the creative and destructive sides of his nature). Hence the thematic development from the first to the second "Chronicles." In the first, Covenant opposes his--dare I say it?--Dark Side and wins (an expensive--and temporary--victory). In the second, he surrenders to his Dark Side, and thereby gains the power to contain it (another expensive--and temporary--victory). "The Last Chronicles" will explore this theme further as Covenant's quest to become whole continues. (Linden Avery is also on a quest to become whole, but hers takes an entirely different form.)

(04/27/2004)

Retrospectively, there's a lot to digest there. "Acolyte" implies someone who both learns and serves, rises through ranks, and ultimately becomes that which he serves.

Anyway, incorporating the Creator is equally as important as incorporating the Despiser, and we can't leave that out. But it seems to me that Covenant approaches these in entirely different ways. On the one side, we have subsume. On the other, it's more of a fulfill. I must think on that.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent and highly revealing quote from the GI, WF - and one I hadn't seen before (damn, but I really must take the time one day to do more than speed-read that).

Many thanks for posting it. It'd seem to strongly support your and my take on SRD's metaphysical stance. It's all about becoming whole - individuation yet again.

Now if only I'd known of that authorial quote when I first advanced a Jungian interpretation, I'd have felt on even more solid ground...
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with everything you guys are saying, and I believe it mirrors a trajectory I'd mapped out in my Yoga thread.

I wrote:
So this brings us to the Last Chronicles. The next logical step in this stepwise progression through the union of opposites is a union of both surrender and resistance.
As in yoga, we must find a "spiritual" balance ... "that every-shifting edge between these two counterproductive extremes." Covenant's incorporating LF is also a surrender to the idea that LF is his destructive side. But containing LF in such a way that his destructive nature isn't externalized is also a form of resistance. So it's a combination of both of the previous solutions in the only possible way that such opposites can be combined: within oneself. Only within TC can LF be simultaneously resisted and accepted.

But this leaves me with a narrative gripe. In the 2nd Chrons, we saw a vivid demonstration of how the previous 1st Chrons solution couldn't work: TC's power became progressively uncontrollable, such that if he tried to fight Foul this time, it would break the Arch and set him free. This plot tension created the necessity for a new solution. That's why he couldn't simply repeat the TPTP ending and fight Foul. The solution in WGW wasn't merely to fulfill some Jungian progression, but a natural development arising from the plot and the character development.

But we got no such vivid example in the text this time around to depict why the 2nd Chrons solution was insufficient. It wasn't part of the plot at all. That's another reason why TC's solution seems to "come out of nowhere." There was no driving force throughout the plot that proved over and over how surrender was insufficient and merely a temporary solution. Therefore, the need to incorporate Foul into Covenant just seemed like an afterthought, rather than the solution to an underlying problem.

Maybe that's the real reason so many people had an issue with the ending. It's actually an issue with the entire LC. The plot should have been geared toward the dangers of TC's previous solution being insufficient, just as the 2nd Chrons developed and surpassed the previous solution to the 1st.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:

But we got no such vivid example in the text this time around to depict why the 2nd Chrons solution was insufficient. It wasn't part of the plot at all. That's another reason why TC's solution seems to "come out of nowhere." There was no driving force throughout the plot that proved over and over how surrender was insufficient and merely a temporary solution. Therefore, the need to incorporate Foul into Covenant just seemed like an afterthought, rather than the solution to an underlying problem.

But...didn't we?
We get several smaller/supporting ones...such as the Elo saying TC could maybe have kept up the defense...without LAW. [[heh, though the Elo surely hadn't thought through all the implications of a world without Law, or very weak ones].
But the big one [which also points at the errors of the Elo...I love the errors of the Elo] is Joan/Ceasura. Surrender doesn't work permanently cuz LF will just go AROUND TC instead of THROUGH him.
Maybe, [probably] LF can't escape/break the Arch that way, but he can certainly wipe every living thing from the face of the earth that way, and make all those deaths as terrible/torturous as possible. Surrender could save the world's physical existence...but it would eventually be just a world-corpse lying in state.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith, you might as well just say that surrender wasn't effective because LF came back. Sure, he had Joan create some caesures, but the fact that LF had some minor way to threaten the Land (minor compared to the Sunbane) is not a vivid, on-going, character-driven example of the dangers of surrender. The only way this could have risen to that level is if there was some way to link it back to TC surrendering at the bonfire to save Joan. If his surrender was directly responsible for her state, where's she's basically a vegetable smashing her head to create caesures, then you might have a point. But I see no connection between TC surrendering to LF and surrendering at the bonfire, except the thinnest of thematic similarity. Sacrificing yourself to save someone else isn't accepting your own dark side.

And it was the Sheriff who made Joan the way she is in the LC, not Covenant.

The counterpart to the Sunbane this time was either Kevin's Dirt or the Worm. I didn't think KD was LF's doing (that was Kass and SHE), but maybe he pushed Kass that way with his "whispered advice." But KD is still neither vivid nor a reason why surrender can't work. Hmm ... maybe there is something about surrender there ... surrendering one's heritage of Earthpower. But again, that's not Covenant-centric.

The last candidate, the Worm, was certainly a dire peril, and a vivid narrative obstacle at one or two points. But it has nothing to do with surrendering to Foul. In fact, it was awoken by Linden not respecting the consequences of TC's surrender, which killed him and put him in the Arch.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
I agree with everything you guys are saying, and I believe it mirrors a trajectory I'd mapped out in my Yoga thread.

I wrote:
So this brings us to the Last Chronicles. The next logical step in this stepwise progression through the union of opposites is a union of both surrender and resistance.
As in yoga, we must find a "spiritual" balance ... "that every-shifting edge between these two counterproductive extremes." Covenant's incorporating LF is also a surrender to the idea that LF is his destructive side. But containing LF in such a way that his destructive nature isn't externalized is also a form of resistance. So it's a combination of both of the previous solutions in the only possible way that such opposites can be combined: within oneself. Only within TC can LF be simultaneously resisted and accepted.
That yoga thread is a fine piece of thinking, Z - made even moreso, given the fact that it was written back in March 2013. It's full of quite frankly startlingly prescient comments from both yourself and WF, given the way that TLD turned out. It's perceptive and insightful enough to make it in many ways a shame that it's stuck near the bottom of the first page of the AATE forum.

Zarathustra wrote:
But this leaves me with a narrative gripe. In the 2nd Chrons, we saw a vivid demonstration of how the previous 1st Chrons solution couldn't work: TC's power became progressively uncontrollable, such that if he tried to fight Foul this time, it would break the Arch and set him free. This plot tension created the necessity for a new solution. That's why he couldn't simply repeat the TPTP ending and fight Foul. The solution in WGW wasn't merely to fulfill some Jungian progression, but a natural development arising from the plot and the character development.

But we got no such vivid example in the text this time around to depict why the 2nd Chrons solution was insufficient. It wasn't part of the plot at all. That's another reason why TC's solution seems to "come out of nowhere." There was no driving force throughout the plot that proved over and over how surrender was insufficient and merely a temporary solution. Therefore, the need to incorporate Foul into Covenant just seemed like an afterthought, rather than the solution to an underlying problem.

Maybe that's the real reason so many people had an issue with the ending. It's actually an issue with the entire LC. The plot should have been geared toward the dangers of TC's previous solution being insufficient, just as the 2nd Chrons developed and surpassed the previous solution to the 1st.
As is more than well-known by now, I'm with you foursquare on having a narrative problem with the LCs.

Philosophically/metaphysically speaking, TC's finding of a permanent solution to the "problem of evil" as SRD has put it in the GI makes complete and seamless sense - as we've talked about, TC has tried the two polarised extremes of action and inaction, or aggression and passivity, or "power and surrender" as SRD puts it, or however you want to term them, and both delivered only temporary respite. It's both appropriate and condign thematically speaking - again as has been discussed - that the final resolution lies in the absolute necessity of finding the balancing point, of the melding of resistance and surrender, as exemplified by TC's incorporation of LF. Donaldson does love his fulcrum points, doesn't he?

However, I also don't see this being appropriately led up to, narratively speaking and IMO you're right again when you say that this pervades the entire LCs. It's not so much that the narrative logic fails - it's more that it's apparently become unimportant as far as SRD is concerned. Hence why I believe there are real issues with superficial - yet I'd say still really important - narrative essentials such as empathic characterisation, engrossing dramatic pacing, overall plot credibility etc etc within the entirety of the LCs.

It's as if the LCs have as a whole moved on from allegory - and I'm using the term to denote a work where the audience is fully emotionally involved at the simplistic narrative level, while still intellectually perceiving the more complex representational level - to nigh-on pure symbolism, where narrative structure and logic is largely irrelevant. Given what's gone before - and I believe that both the 1st and moreso the 2nd Chrons represent some of the finest and most skilfully crafted allegorical writing that I've come across - I find that somewhat disappointing.

Again, before I am strung up by the more fervent of fans, I am duty-bound to say that on a purely intellectual basis, I do indeed appreciate SRD's metaphysical thematic treatments within the LCs.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words, TF. I didn't want to toot my own horn too much, but I was also pleased with this bit of prescience:

I wrote:
Repetition is the only kind of permanence we can hope to achieve in a world where All Things End. Cycles. Returning full circle. The oscillation of life and death and rebirth. Maybe somewhere in all this is a clue to the end.
We certainly got an end that was a "repetition," in the sense of recreating the Land's world. Life-death-rebirth happened not only for Covenant, but also for the Land.

Of course, there were also many others who were thinking along these lines.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
I finally got around to reading this thread, as it is oft recommended. (Pointing at you, u.) I think I got rickrolled, though - somehow I ended up listening to "Never Gonna Like The Ending" again. Smile

No disingenuity (rickrolling) intended, wayfriend. And, even if you were lured in here under false pretenses your excellent responses would have made a little bit of moral twisting worth it. 'That which appears....'

TheFallen wrote:
Excellent and highly revealing quote from the GI, WF - and one I hadn't seen before (damn, but I really must take the time one day to do more than speed-read that).

Many thanks for posting it. It'd seem to strongly support your and my take on SRD's metaphysical stance. It's all about becoming whole - individuation yet again.

It was also worth it for this. My favourite Watch 2014 Watch moment so far, a kind of TLD rapprochement Laughing

u.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wanted to post a thought I have had. This seems like the best place to post it.

Consider:

In WGW, Hamako's final fate, and the way he chose to accept that fate, showed Covenant how to deal with Lord Foul. Namely: self-sacrifice to enable victory, coupled with trust that your friends/allies will succeed without you. Although Covenant's sacrifice did not play out exactly the same way, we can still see that Hamako's part was an inspiration to Covenant, and/or a foreshadowing of the ending, and/or a precedent to establish the principle in the readers eye.

There are lots of correspondences between Chronicles. So I wonder: does Clyme's final fate (accepting the Raver into himself and then letting Branl slay him) and the way he chose to accept that fate, show Covenant something about how to deal with Lord Foul? Namely: accepting darkness into one-self so that it can be controlled and dealt with? Of course, Covenant's version doesn't play out exactly the same way, but does Clyme's part inspire Covenant, or foreshadow the ending, or [re]establish a precedent of a principle?

In The Last Dark was wrote:
“This Raver lies.” Clyme’s voice was torment—but it was Clyme’s. “He does not hold me. I hold him. I contain him as Grimmand Honninscrave once contained his brother. His mockery and struggles I disdain. He cannot flee. I will hold him while his ruin is achieved.”

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about the paralells with Brinn's actions in fighting 'The Guardian' on the Isle of the One Tree. Almost a mirror image reversal of your description of Hamako's actions Wayfriend, in that Brinn was also self-sacrificing in the belief of his friends capabilities, but in his case he was taking 'the good' into himself.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There were several examples of self-sacrifice in the 2nd Chron, Brinn being one of them. I don't think he's a mirror image of Hamako, but another instance like him. Perhaps you meant a mirror image of Clyme, since he's the one who took "evil" within himself?
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Z., Clyme and Brinn make for a better 'left hand/right hand' image - but I'm not sure to what extent this was what SRD had in mind. I don't follow the GI and so am often in the dark as to the comments he may have made re his thinking as the years and works progressed. I'm still of the [perhaps mistaken] belief that in all likelyhood SRD never intended to write TLC - even though he has stated that the ideas for series two and three were concieved pretty much at the same time. I see little evidence in 2C to indicate there were further works in the pipeline. This would make all the 'mirrorings and correspondances we speak off retrospective.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
I'm still of the [perhaps mistaken] belief that in all likelyhood SRD never intended to write TLC

I see little evidence in 2C to indicate there were further works in the pipeline. This would make all the 'mirrorings and correspondances we speak off retrospective.


On the first...yea, I believe you are mistaken. Primarily cuz of the words of the man, and I take him at his word. Which isn't proof, of course. But there are some other reasons...leading to...

On the second:
Perhaps someone should undertake a thread to explore the foreshadowings, openings, gaps, implications in the 2nd. Folk have occasionally, here and on the GI, touched on moments/instants/questions about this...but I don't recall a thread dedicated to it? It might exist in some form and I've missed it or simply forgotten it.
One that I spotted...and I got confirmation from SRD...was related to the consumption of the Raver by Nom.
One that many folk spotted led to SHE.
I know my Sandies one preceded any hint of an LC's coming [though the question asked and confirmed was after they started, of course].
And I'm pretty sure gap to SHE was noted by folk before they began, too...though my memory of timing could be mistaken.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Correspondences? They are plentiful. The simplest one is that they all end with a confrontation between Covenant and Foul. Possibly that's so inherent in the stories that you discount that. But consider that Foul is always in a cave, and Covenant always fights his way in to get to him. Prior to this, there is always something that restores/heals Covenant, readying him for the final confrontation - The Unfettered Healer, the Banefire, the Lake o' Hurtloam. Etc. etc.

But just as the Final Confrontation is essential, and so is repeated in some form in each Chronicles, so to does Covenant need have a light-bulb moment. It's like how every episode of House ends with someone saying something that gives House the clue he needs. Covenant, too, needs a clue before he knows he is ready. He needs that one trick up his sleeve. In the first Chronicles, the clue is learning that contact with other artifacts of power can trigger his might. In the second, he learns from Hamako, as I said, that he can make of himself something pure and single-purposed, and have no regrets from doing so.

(I'm not saying that there aren't other things that Covenant learns. Most particular, there is a spiritual journey. I'm just pointing out patterns of plot in the Chronicles.)

So I was wondering what happened to Covenant that he knew the right trick to use when he faced Foul. Where did he learn the trick of accepting Lord Foul into himself? I don't speak of the spiritual aspect, I speak of the notion that a being can accept another being into oneself in a very physical, literal way.

Well, it occurred to me that Clyme provided that clue. He accepted the Raver into himself, and Mastered it. Clyme became effective against Despite by accepting Despite into himself.

Look at it this way .... why did Donaldson want Covenant to dispose of a Raver before he faced Foul? What purpose did that serve to the story?

It's the same reason that Hamako was added to the story, I think. To teach Covenant by example something he needs to know in order to be victorious.
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