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The logic of Appointment

 
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Mighara Sovmadhi
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:43 pm    Post subject: The logic of Appointment Reply with quote

I was writing some Covenant fan fiction and had the Auriference in the story, and I was wondering why she was hanging out near SWMNBN. The Insequent like trying to supersede the Elohim, so the motive I gave the Auriference was that she was trying to act like the Guardian of the One Tree, only instead of protecting the One Tree, she protected the Lost Deep.

Then I wondered why there wasn't already an Elohim protector Appointed thereof. And while I was at it, I asked myself why no one was Appointed to the Blood of the Earth's defense, either.

If SRD ever posed this question to himself, I think this would've been his logical answer: Appointment seals an Elohim to a specific location. Since the Worm is drawn directly to the Elohim, if one were guarding either Her or the EarthBlood, the Worm would be drawn indirectly to Her or the EarthBlood. But if the Worm fought Her, Time would end. And if the Worm got to the EarthBlood, ditto. So to draw out the Time it would take the Worm to conclude its awakening, the Elohim only Appointed a guard for the One Tree.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why do you apply Logic to a work that has so little regard and respect for Logic and reason?
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why do any of us try to apply Logic to our reality, when the overwhelming evidence is that none of it really pertains? Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might not be using "logic" in a non-academic sense. At any rate, I don't feel that the Covenant story is irrational, or a-rational if such is possible. I feel the same about Lost. But again, maybe it's a peculiar sense of logic I'm invoking.

I've made it a habit, daily, to read every new update to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, for the last five plus years. If you knew the true power of reason, you might conceive of a way for someone to be, let's call them a "mystical rationalist." Now a rational mystic is someone who would start out from mystical visions as premises, and infer relevant conclusions. But the inverse is someone who would see rationality itself as a mystic force. Which is pretty much how I see it.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donaldson uses many examples of logic and reason in the Chronicles. We see Covenant rationalizing, making plans, thinking things out in a stepwise fashion. For instance, why do ravers not possess Covenant? Turns out the answer isn't, "Ask Lurch and get his approval before asking." It actually has an answer in terms of Covenant's disease ... a physical fact. Even a raver's motivations can be explicable, apparently.

Sure, there's lots of intuition and feeling in the books. But that doesn't invalidate reason as a legitimate way to deal with problems. That's part of being human, too. To deny *any* part of our humanity is inauthentic. That doesn't mean we're logic machines, but neither does asking questions with the expectation that definitive, reasonable answers exist. Sometimes that expectation turns out wrong, but the times it turns out right transforms humanity's path in many positive (and sometimes negative) ways.

Can this type of thinking answer all questions? No, of course not. But I don't believe anyone here has suggested that is the case.

Lurch, why do you turn so many discussions about the text into discussions about the people here? Have you read how many times in the GI Donaldson claimed not to be proselytizing with his books? And yet, you've somehow twisted his message into, "Go forth and proselytize. Tell others how they must or must not interpret these books, and then tell them to apply that to their own lives."

If the author himself insists that he's not doing this, why are you insisting that this is his message? He actually has spoken for himself on these issues and doesn't need you to do it for him.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well Z..at least you admit to starting to see it..the last time you were still in complete denial...keep it up and some day you just might get the whole deal.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MS..Thanks for the insight in to your perspective..Yet..i do not agree with the idea that Donaldson would have gone for a logical answer..much less,,even ask himself that question..because they are founded in logic and reason..TCoTc is a work in Fantasy..If ya want to kill a fantasy, just load it with logic and reason..I mean..a leper goes for a walk to town , falls down and bumps his head,,and wakes up in The Land..Fantasy..if you take your line of reasoning further..the question becomes..why isn't there a Elohim protecting The Land? which of course..ends the story before it starts.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:04 am    Post subject: Lock down Reply with quote

Uh oh. I see an escalating exchange. Arbiters unite! Razz Mad Big Grin Shocked
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lurch, I don't want to see another thread locked. I don't want to make this about you and me. But Mighara didn't make this about logic. He didn't say that the book itself was based on logic, he merely tried to imagine SRD's reasoning. And then you implied his way of thinking about the book as if it was illegitimate. Don't you think this authoritarian approach to a discussion breeds unnecessary personal contention? There's no need to be so patronizing. I've never been in denial about the fact that Donaldson has a-rational goals and elements with this story. I've been reading these books for 30 years; I'm not just now "getting it."

And yet, SRD does actually think about these books logically at times, even if logic isn't a theme of the story. For instance, look at these quotes from the Gradual Interview:


Quote:
1) The process was sequential. After the first trilogy, I realized that the story could *only* go to the conclusion of "The Second Chronicles"--and if it went *there*, then it would logically have to go where it's going now, toward the end of "The Last Dark". In other words, the ideas came in the order in which I'm using them.

This type of reasoning seems very close to the type Mighara was engaging in himself ... since Donaldson seems to think about his own stories logically, why is it wrong for us to guess his reasoning?

Quote:
That crime is all Covenant. If it weren't--if he could escape any portion of his responsibility for it--everything that follows would shift. Eventually the moral logic of the story would collapse.

(10/26/2005)
Even his moral points have a logic to them.

Quote:
First, fantasy is inherently a-rational. It must abide by its own internal logic; but it doesn't have to play by the same rules as our "normal" reality. Second, "The Chronicles" are all about paradox. And third (a point which makes perfect sense to me), the rules for "reaching out" from inside a closed system in order to connect to another closed system are fundamentally and inevitably different than the rules for "reaching into" a closed system from an unlimited, effectively infinite system in order to change the closed system. (09/12/2006)
More rational and rule-oriented reasoning about his work. This also contains interesting connections between the rational and the a-rational.

Quote:
... when I came up the original idea [of Healthsense], I was simply trying to imagine the opposite of suffering from leprosy. Leprosy kills nerves, produces numbness and often blindness: ergo life in the Land should have the opposite quality.

Of course, the concept and uses of--and the emphasis upon--health-sense modulate as the story of the �Chronicles� develops through its various phases. But the original notion felt to me more like an exercise in logic than a leap of imagination (or intuition).

(04/04/2007)
Even the process of creation feels logical to him.

Quote:
Yes, I'm very eager to see how "Fatal Revenant" will be received. I gave it my all (to coin a phrase). And I defy anyone to predict the "arc" of the story--or to fault the logic of the arc once it has been revealed. (What, hubris? Me? Surely you jest!) Plus it's always very gratifying to see my work appear as a book; a tangible object independent of my imagination (and typing). Publication makes my work "real" in a whole new way.
The arc of his plots contain their own internal logic, just as Mighara was trying to deduce. And he was *daring* us to challenge or find fault with that logic! Which we've done a lot of lately!

Quote:
In "Covenant," preserving the physical continuity of the "real world" has always been an important dimension of what I'm trying to do. Hence the difference in the rate at which time passes in the two worlds. Hence also the fact that no one gets to *stay* in the Land without dying in the "real world" (although I suppose that some form of permanent coma might be a viable alternative).

(04/05/2007)
If continuity of the "real world" is an important dimension of his goals, this would seem to belie your denials of that very point.


Quote:
Third, when I'm doing original writing (my first draft), I pretty much "feel" my way through the story. I trust my instincts, my intution, my unconscious mind, and I just forge ahead. But when I'm rewriting (second draft onward), I become very analytical. That's when I try consciously to draw on everything I've ever learned. And I've discovered that there's a kind of synergy between these two facets of my creative process. The harder I work when I'm rewriting, the better my original writing later becomes.

(04/16/2007)
If SRD becomes very analytical during the process of his writing, it's not out of the question for us to also consider his process analytically.

Quote:
As far as I know, "The Fundamental Question of Ethics" was something that I just made up. It seemed to me to be a) a logical extension or expression of the story's inherent themes, and b) a necessary introduction to those themes (a way to get the ball rolling, in a manner of speaking).

(02/27/2008)
Themes have logical extensions.

Quote:
Yes, Anele's heritage of Earthpower does extend his life--as it did that of his parents. I haven't tried to assign him an exact age; but the logic of the story suggests that he must be over 100. Perhaps well over.

(03/24/2008)
The story has a logic which necessitates certain facts.

Quote:
My point is simply that I didn't set out to write a story about systems of belief. Instead I created characters--and then tried to follow the "logic" of their personal realities to their natural conclusions. The fact that the story clearly *is* about systems of belief is a symptom of who I am rather than a statement about my intentions.


(04/02/2008)
Characters have a logic to them, which Mighara was trying to apply to Appointment and Auriference.

Quote:
The Sunbane (and its mechanics), like the Land itself, never *felt* like an "inspiration" to me. From my entirely subjective perspective, I was simply following the logic of my original conception. If Lord Foul decides to attack the natural order (the structure of Law) instead of the defenders of that order, what form--I asked myself--would or could the attack take? As I say, my answer to that question felt like an exercise in logic rather than a burst of inspiration.


07/16/2008)


Quote:
I do try hard to impose �reasonable� constraints. Part of my, well, philosophy of world-building is that within the general framework of my imaginative constructs I need to be as rational, practical, logical, and even mundane as I possibly can. (Not to mention consistent, about which I�ve already commented at length.) Hence my smatterings of personal research. I don�t really want or need to know everything a real geologist knows; but I would like to know enough to be *reasonable* in my creative efforts.

(10/27/2008)


Quote:
As I think I've said before: when I'm actually writing, I don't think about What It All Means. I think about the internal logic and necessities of the characters, and about how those things interact with events. Only in retrospect (e.g. while rewriting) do I attend to the thematic implications of what I've done.

(08/17/2011)


Quote:
In the context of your question, I'm pretty sure that the answer is No. I've always believed that in the writing of fantasy, there are things that are much more effective if they are *not* explained (e.g. "How does magic work?"). To enter a fantasy story requires a particular kind of "suspension of disbelief". Internal consistency (the rational relationship between non- or a-rational elements) eases--and helps preserve--that suspension of disbelief. But any attempt to account for what is within the story that is based on ideas, perceptions, realities, or rationales which exist *outside* the story tends to undermine that suspension of disbelief. To pick a crude example: if I started talking about Earthpower in terms of the flow of electrons in a magnetic field, something profound would be lost. So: I have no intention of trying to justify what is within the story by *attaching* it to "external" ideas ("it's all a dream," "it's a microverse," etc.).

Or putting the whole thing another way: I'm not going to go anywhere that my characters don't go. Their integrity is too important to me. Covenant and Linden don't think in terms of "microverses," so why would I? Covenant has moved beyond his whole it's-all-a-dream hangup, so why would I go back there?

Meanwhile: much earlier in the GI, *I* had to ask what RAFO means; so I'm happy to be able to tell you that it means "read and find out".

(01/21/2008)
Yet another interesting take on the interplay between the rational and the a-rational. These can't be trivial issues for readers, because they're not trivial issues for writers.

Do I need to go on? Or can you please allow the rest of us to think about this book--and the reasoning behind it--in terms of logic or reason, without telling us that we just don't get it?? I believe that we are more than justified by the author's own example here to think about the construction this work in terms other than what you define for us.

Now, feel free to bring up his quotes about a-rational. There are a lot of those, too. It's actually quite an interesting topic of discussion.
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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). -SRD

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: Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

..yes..yes you do want to get this thread locked..your post proves it..You always go on to say what you originally say you won't.

You don't understand my posts. You haven't taken the time to get knowledgeable of the perspective I post about,,yet you feel free to put words in my mouth and " interpret " what I say... You are not qualified to do that .
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here we go again... anyone else seeing a common denominating factor here?

Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, to be fair (not sure to who, maybe everyone--myself included), the thing with the Auriference I thought of as a "revelation" scene in my fan fiction. Like the Theomach/Kenaustin Ardenol story in FR or something.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wasn't it stated in AATE that the Auriference went to the Lost Deep because she was greedy to possess some power, be it She's, the Banes' or the Viles'?

As for the Blood and maybe She, I'm pretty sure the Elohim that was appointed to help the One Forest was appointed preciesly for that reason. The One Forest was a forbidding against the Worm entering the Land.

The Viles seemed to have a similar role in regards to She which the demondim spawn fulfilled at the end of the series.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:38 pm    Post subject: Re: The logic of Appointment Reply with quote

Mighara Sovmadhi wrote:

If SRD ever posed this question to himself, I think this would've been his logical answer: Appointment seals an Elohim to a specific location. Since the Worm is drawn directly to the Elohim, if one were guarding either Her or the EarthBlood, the Worm would be drawn indirectly to Her or the EarthBlood. But if the Worm fought Her, Time would end. And if the Worm got to the EarthBlood, ditto. So to draw out the Time it would take the Worm to conclude its awakening, the Elohim only Appointed a guard for the One Tree.


My impression was that the Elohim Appointed one of their to deal with a specific crisis that had the potential to wake the Worm or otherwise end the world, rather than to guard against the Worm's actions should it be awakened.

And the form of the Appointment is variable. Remember that Findail was Appointed not specifically to become part of a new Staff of Law, but to meet the crisis of the Sunbane. One possible outcome is for him to convince TC to give him the ring; and also, as he notes, Vain has the power to send him away. So it's not a foregone conclusion that he had to be bound within the Staff.

Similarly, the Elohim who became the Colossus of the Fall - that was due to an act of the Forest, making use of the knowledge the Elohim gave it. It's easy to imagine that occuring differently; the Forest coming to a different solution to the problem of defending itself against the Ravers.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:00 am    Post subject: Re: The logic of Appointment Reply with quote

starkllr wrote:
Mighara Sovmadhi wrote:

If SRD ever posed this question to himself, I think this would've been his logical answer: Appointment seals an Elohim to a specific location. Since the Worm is drawn directly to the Elohim, if one were guarding either Her or the EarthBlood, the Worm would be drawn indirectly to Her or the EarthBlood. But if the Worm fought Her, Time would end. And if the Worm got to the EarthBlood, ditto. So to draw out the Time it would take the Worm to conclude its awakening, the Elohim only Appointed a guard for the One Tree.


My impression was that the Elohim Appointed one of their to deal with a specific crisis that had the potential to wake the Worm or otherwise end the world, rather than to guard against the Worm's actions should it be awakened.

And the form of the Appointment is variable. Remember that Findail was Appointed not specifically to become part of a new Staff of Law, but to meet the crisis of the Sunbane. One possible outcome is for him to convince TC to give him the ring; and also, as he notes, Vain has the power to send him away. So it's not a foregone conclusion that he had to be bound within the Staff.

Similarly, the Elohim who became the Colossus of the Fall - that was due to an act of the Forest, making use of the knowledge the Elohim gave it. It's easy to imagine that occuring differently; the Forest coming to a different solution to the problem of defending itself against the Ravers.


Yes. All of this is pretty much right.

It's also important to remember that the Elohim's interpretation of their Wurd changed over time, and we can gather from the dialogues with Findail in TOT and WGW that this also affected the reasons for their Appointments. Notably, the Colossus and the Forestals were created following the Appointment of an Elohim to meet a threat to life (the Ravers and their destruction of the One Forest) that wasn't necessarily a threat to the existence of the world. As Findail explains, over time the Elohim became more reluctant to Appoint and accept Appointment, except in the face of world-threatening dangers. This growing reluctance and the reasons for it was probably also why Findail tried to escape the final consequence of his Appointment.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:45 am    Post subject: Re: The logic of Appointment Reply with quote

DrPaul wrote:
starkllr wrote:
Mighara Sovmadhi wrote:

If SRD ever posed this question to himself, I think this would've been his logical answer: Appointment seals an Elohim to a specific location. Since the Worm is drawn directly to the Elohim, if one were guarding either Her or the EarthBlood, the Worm would be drawn indirectly to Her or the EarthBlood. But if the Worm fought Her, Time would end. And if the Worm got to the EarthBlood, ditto. So to draw out the Time it would take the Worm to conclude its awakening, the Elohim only Appointed a guard for the One Tree.


My impression was that the Elohim Appointed one of their to deal with a specific crisis that had the potential to wake the Worm or otherwise end the world, rather than to guard against the Worm's actions should it be awakened.

And the form of the Appointment is variable. Remember that Findail was Appointed not specifically to become part of a new Staff of Law, but to meet the crisis of the Sunbane. One possible outcome is for him to convince TC to give him the ring; and also, as he notes, Vain has the power to send him away. So it's not a foregone conclusion that he had to be bound within the Staff.

Similarly, the Elohim who became the Colossus of the Fall - that was due to an act of the Forest, making use of the knowledge the Elohim gave it. It's easy to imagine that occuring differently; the Forest coming to a different solution to the problem of defending itself against the Ravers.


Yes. All of this is pretty much right.

It's also important to remember that the Elohim's interpretation of their Wurd changed over time, and we can gather from the dialogues with Findail in TOT and WGW that this also affected the reasons for their Appointments. Notably, the Colossus and the Forestals were created following the Appointment of an Elohim to meet a threat to life (the Ravers and their destruction of the One Forest) that wasn't necessarily a threat to the existence of the world. As Findail explains, over time the Elohim became more reluctant to Appoint and accept Appointment, except in the face of world-threatening dangers. This growing reluctance and the reasons for it was probably also why Findail tried to escape the final consequence of his Appointment.



In the Last Chrons thisexplanation for the Colossus' appointment was changed. The Blood in Melenkurion was pointed as vital for the Worm's task and the One Forest the only Forbidding against it. Findail presumably from Last Chrons perspective tried to paint himself and his race more favorably by revealing partial truths in his stories.
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