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TLD. Fusing the psychological alloy - an allegory unravelled
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Where did he learn the trick of accepting Lord Foul into himself?

It's an interesting question, WF. You've emphasized the issue of "devouring" in the LC. Perhaps that's the answer? Like the 2nd Chrons, there are probably multiple examples. TC didn't have to be there personally to witness them while he was in the Arch. He'd know about the SheWho devouring tortured women, and the Harrow's tendency to absorb/devour. Possibly even Honniscrave's example could be viewed as one of those "nuggets" SRD mined, or seeds he planted in the 2nd.

I do wish he'd made it more explicit that TC had noticed these things, kind of how he made it explicit that TC had learned his traveling trick from the Insequent. That would make it feel more planned rather than us simply forcing a translation upon the text. I'm not saying I doubt your interpretation. It makes sense. It just seems another lost opportunity to enrich the reading experience.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

V. you misunderstand [I think] what I meant. I absolutely believe that SRD concieved the idea for the Last Chrons at the same time as 2C as he said he did - I just don't think that as he was writing 2C he ever intended to put TLC onto paper. He has said in interviews that at the end of 2C he was absolutely 'Covenanted out'. He needed to do other things. Also, I think the time gap between TLC and 2C has to indicate that it was a long [and undoubtedly painfull] process, my guess first involving denial, then a slow reversal to pssible, then slowly to actualising before any real realisation occured on SRD's part that he was going to do it.

Yes - of course the correspondances of the type you point out are there Wayfriend, and clear for all to see - but the deeper, more subtle ones are perhaps more open to interpretation - and foreshadowings we see in retrospect were not necessarily written as such in the first instance [in this sense a 'foreshadowing' can be artificially constructed retrospectively].
You ask whether it was Clymes actions that gave TC the clue as to how to defeat Foul. What [I was going to ask] alternative did he have? He had tried everything else. But then I realised there was one thing - actually - that he had never done. Simple I know, but would things have actually been any worse if TC had just - well - killed Foul in the old fashioned way. The first two methods didn't seem to have much lasting sucess; perhaps [a bit like Woody Allen] Foul actually prefered to have his immortality in the form of 'not being killed'.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
I absolutely believe that SRD concieved the idea for the Last Chrons at the same time as 2C as he said he did - I just don't think that as he was writing 2C he ever intended to put TLC onto paper.

I don't think that's a fair assessment. His comments indicate that he put them off due to not feeling sufficiently skilled. So he may have allowed that they might never be written. But I cannot see how someone can conceive of a next stage, plant hooks for the next stage, and then undertake new projects designed to make one ready for the next stage, all the while being certain the next stage won't happen.

peter wrote:
Also, I think the time gap between TLC and 2C has to indicate that it was a long [and undoubtedly painfull] process, my guess first involving denial, then a slow reversal to pssible, then slowly to actualising before any real realisation occured on SRD's part that he was going to do it.

I'm not quite sure that that's what he has said.

On StephenRDonaldson.com was wrote:
But if you've known the story for so many years, why did you wait until now to begin writing it?
    That's complicated. One perfectly valid reason is that I wanted to prove to my readers--and to myself--that I could write other types of stories, and write them well. Another is that a significant number of other stories (in fact, twelve books' worth) came to me to be written. But perhaps the deepest, most personal reason is that I was afraid. At my first glimpse of "The Last Chronicles," I knew that it would be astonishingly difficult to write; that as a narrative exercise it would make the previous "Covenant" stories look like a stroll in the park. If this last story is done right, if it fulfills my intentions, it will complete and unify the entire saga. But in order to accomplish that goal I'll have to go far beyond my known abilities, both as a story-teller and as a writer. The prospect terrified me. It still does. The argument could be made that everything I've written since I first conceived "The Last Chronicles" has been an attempt to expand my abilities and resources; to make myself ready for the story I'm writing now.


peter wrote:
You ask whether it was Clymes actions that gave TC the clue as to how to defeat Foul. What [I was going to ask] alternative did he have? He had tried everything else.

In hindsight, that's valid. But, still, the author will often try to provide a plausible reason for a character stumbling upon such an important, successful idea. I feel that Clyme, like Hamako, are two examples of such. (And, like Hamako, Clyme was not necessarilly the sole example, just the one that triggered the idea at the right time.)

Now, Covenant (perhaps unlike House) doesn't come right out and say, "Hamako gave me the idea that I could sacrifice myself to accomplish one important thing and have no regrets for doing so". It's left for the reader to enjoyably discover.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
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.


This may be somewhat off topic, but I feel like you're supporting an idea I had as to the meaning of Liand's death. The obvious answer of, "He needed to die so that Pahni could throw his death in the faces of the Masters," isn't satisfying. For one thing, the main charge that got the Masters to Mt. Thunder was that the Humbled had failed to stop Linden from the ultimate act of Desecration, the rousing of the Worm. She didn't need Liand's death for that.

What I've been thinking is, Liand's death showed Anele what he needed to do. After that, it was a matter of mustering the courage to do it. Anele knows his life will end if he succeeds, but that's not the courage I mean. I mean the courage of facing the possibility that he might fail and be judged by others as he has judged himself his whole life, as unworthy, as not living up to the standards set by his parents. But when he sees the way Liand is honored, even in his failure, for the attempt, and for the courage, love, and loyalty that lay behind it, that enables the "Cannot!" to recede to a "cannot", and the "Must!" to become a MUST!.

Now that may be contradicted by Anele's statement before he reaches Jeremiah, "It was for this .... I have always been conscious of my fate." But I maintain he didn't know how he was going to do it until Liand's failed attempt gave him the idea. And of course, he was the right person to do it, bringing not only the power of the orcrest but also his own innate Earthpower to destroy the croyel and eventually empower Jeremiah. Oh well, it may be grasping at straws, but I've felt a disquiet in my gut over the seeming pointlessness of Liand's death ever since I read of it.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Le Pétermane wrote:
Simple I know, but would things have actually been any worse if TC had just - well - killed Foul in the old fashioned way.


Well, quite a lot worse. I've just re-read the relevant section of TLD (p.522 of the Putnam hardback edition). Lord Foul has just been flattened by She, but the entire earth is about to be destroyed by the Worm, and Covenant and Foul are now both trapped within the Arch of Time and will perish when it crumbles. Covenant says to Foul:

Quote:
"Do you understand?" he asked like a man bidding farewell. "If I'm yours, you're mine. We're part of each other. We're too much alike. We want each other dead. But you're finished. You can't escape now. And I'm too weak to save myself. If we want to live, we have to do it together."

The Despiser met Covenant's gaze. "You will not." The voice of the world's iniquty sounded hollow as a forsaken tomb. His eyes were not fangs. They were wounds, gnashed and raw. "You fear me. You will not suffer me to live."

Yes," Covenant answered, "I will".

He was blinded now, not by fires and fury, but by tears as he closed his arms around his foe. Opening his heart, he accepted Lord Foul the Despiser into himself.


Covenant then turns to Linden and Jeremiah, and when the three of them begin their attempt to restore the earth, Covenant assures the other two that as a result of absorbing Lord Foul he is now intimately familiar with all the details of Creation and can use this knowledge to restore it.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So in effect it is Foul as much as TC that saves the World. Are we to read into this that Foul is 'redeemed' by this act. Is he a prisoner within TC, is he actually TC, or do the two form a new 'composite being'. can Foul still work his deadly machinations from 'inside' TC; will he bocome like a Raver within TC. There are too many questions about this solution aren't there?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Le Pétermane wrote:
Are we to read into this that Foul is 'redeemed' by this act.

Well, yes and no.

On the one hand, Foul didn't do anything redemptive. Foul's potentials were subsumed by Covenant, and Covenant did something redemptive.

On the other hand, you can say that Foul had a role to play in the the final resolution of the Earth's fate. In fact, he was necessary. Necessary all along.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perkeleen perkeleet. I did not consider I might discover yet another layer in these onion books, but here I sit gawking at this novel insight like a baffled frog petrified in mid-croak. I have read a medley of texts from both Freud and Jung during the past few weeks, and in the latter's materials spotted striking similarities to TCTC. Suspicions confirmed now.

I have priorly approached the archetypes and externalizations from the point of view of Finnic heathenism, which shares some of its concepts with Siberian shamanism. Prevalent here is the notion of a multipart soul, which doesn't clash much against Jung's teachings. It consists of löyly (life-force), itse (the conscious self), and varjominä luonto/haltija (a shadow-self/mirror-self). This, if strong enough, may manifest itself in a physical form. Garth Nix has explored the concept widely in his YA fantasy. Deemed SRD might have had something similar afoot (or afoul and abane and aswordmainnir...). However, hearing as he had never met our heroic sea-faring Giants from Estonia either, one must conclude that the Chrons are the lovechildren of Der Ring des Nibelungen and Jungian psychology.

However, I still behold the Landian characters as real, even if TC's subconscious spawned the universe-ling. I am myself.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Gosh, Siberean Shamanism is a topic I'd like to hear more about Frosty. I have this idea that myth and shamanism are two of the doors we have back into the massive 'undiscovered country' of pre-written human history, cave painting being the third.]
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Afraid you'll have to wait. Razz My mythology reading is on break due to psychology studies which are huddling inert upon the corner of the living-room table at least for a while thanks to the entire mess becoming too overwhelming to master in a couple of weeks, and now I'm attempting to catch up on Malazan so as not to become atrociously spoiled in the December fan-meeting.

All shamanistic practices share common features, such as the trance state and the spirit journey into the nether- or overworlds through a tunnel/root/hollow dark wossname, as well as a three-level cosmos. Cross-culturally similar portions of the experience may be hardwired into the human brain or subconsciousness just as Jung's archetypes. You might have a glance at these.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mind-Cave-Consciousness-Origins-Art/dp/0500284652/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416516948&sr=8-1&keywords=mind+in+the+cave
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Inside-Neolithic-Mind-Consciousness-Cosmos/dp/0500288275/ref=pd_sim_b_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0A7D0DNB7JRAPVQTDKPF
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
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?

I have been thinking a bit more about this recently, and I wanted to share some thoughts.

Initially, I had latched on to the part of this scene that was Clyme's sacrifice. Clyme and Branl had determined that the best way to address the evil of the turiya was to contain it. This seemed to me to be a precursor for Covenant and Lord Foul.

But then I thought of Branl. And violence. Violence which had simmered beneath the impassivity of the Haruchai for millennia exploded in the last of the Humbled. Later, Covenant would ponder this. It stood out for me immediately, as it touched on strength, weakness, and proper use.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
Covenant considered that rigidity a weakness, not a strength. He believed that forgiveness began with sorrow. But perhaps he was wrong. Perhaps a man who grieved would have spared Clyme. Then turiya Herem would have lived. Eventually Horrim Carabal would have been lost — and the Worm might have made its way, unresisted, to Mount Thunder.

Branl, as well, foreshadows and presages Covenant's final victory. Because Branl demonstrates that an inner despiser - in this case a repressed desire for violence - has a proper and necessary use. (And, later, we come to understand that Branl's violence was a significant catharsis, unlocking grief, and a step on the path to Haruchai redemption.)

And if you look a little more, there is the lurker itself. Possessed by turiya, it's only thought was to excise the part of itself that was evil. The lurker, then, is a foil for Clyme, and by extension Covenant. And this foil demonstrates that such an approach to the evil we carry within cannot succeed. The lurker fights ... only itself.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
But it could not preserve itself by that means. The truth was plain. The Raver’s viciousness moved too easily. Even if the lurker contrived to stop turiya in one place, Lord Foul’s servant would simply shift his possession to another tentacle.

Upon closer examination, this whole scene is replete with significant themes and principles that bear closely on the final Covenant/Foul confrontation. The fact that the acts of the Humbled here affect Covenant so profoundly is not mere sympathy for the dead. Covenant is inspired here. And, coming to see this, I have a greater respect for the intricacies Donaldson masterfully juggles here.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the links Frosty; will do.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I added some Jungian claptrap into my last dissection. People could have a glance. Not sure if that particular Linden/Sunbane connection has been suggested before.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hallo???
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So this is just a random connection that I made.

I had posted this above.
wayfriend wrote:
And if you look a little more, there is the lurker itself. Possessed by turiya, it's only thought was to excise the part of itself that was evil. The lurker, then, is a foil for Clyme, and by extension Covenant. And this foil demonstrates that such an approach to the evil we carry within cannot succeed. The lurker fights ... only itself.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
But it could not preserve itself by that means. The truth was plain. The Raver’s viciousness moved too easily. Even if the lurker contrived to stop turiya in one place, Lord Foul’s servant would simply shift his possession to another tentacle.

This seems connected to another passage, which SoulBiter mentioned in another thread. It begins by saying something similar about fighting only yourself.

In White Gold Wielder was wrote:
That's his paradox. He's one side of us. We're one side of him. When he killed me, he was really trying to kill the other half of himself. He just made me stronger. As long as I accepted him—or accepted myself, my own power, didn't try to do to him what he wanted to do to me—he couldn't get past me.

The passage ends by talking about the better alternative, which is the choice of acceptance, and that connects back to what I said about Clyme above.

wayfriend wrote:
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.

So there are echoes here in the lurker scene that go all the way back to the Second Chronicles. The actions of Clyme and the lurker are as important here as the actions of Branl.

There is a difference, though, which if you payed attention you spotted it.

In the case of the Second Chronicles, "acceptance" was the admission and the allowance that the dark half existed, and that it had a relationship with you. In the case of this lurker scene, "acceptance" is choosing to take something into yourself. Which is, I guess, doing things in stages.
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