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Terribly disappointed by the ending :-( *spoiler*
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:

There are successful examples in the Chronicles where the contrivance doesn't feel contrived. Hile Troy's plan to save his army was both unexpected and yet earned. TC's defeat of Foul in TPTP was also well earned, and arose naturally in conjunction with the themes embodied by Foamfollower. The "philosophy" of the necessity of choice was used to great effect, limiting what Foul could do in a realistic way (i.e. requiring Covenant to give it up, instead of taking it). Also, the philosophical issues of reality vs dream were handled in a way that seemed to arise directly from Covenant's character.

Those are great examples of doing it right. But that doesn't mean Donaldson always hits the mark ... only that he's capable of hitting the mark, which makes his failures more apparent and disappointing.


Wow, great way to put things. I completely agree.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's easy to get hung up on particular words in discussions such as these and I take responsibility for using the word 'contrived' when what I meant was probably something [slightly] other. This business of extrications to situations being 'plucked out of thin air' rather than being evolved by the participants themselves [the appearence of Longwrath as cited above cf'd to say Liand's use of 'orcrest' to call in the rain] was more easily to swallow in the earlier series where the level of 'emotional involvement' [thanks to Fnortner over on page 8 of 'TLD First impressions' - great post!] was kept at a much higher pitch. In the more 'examinatory' [perhaps more thoughtfull] environment of TLC, the problems of the continual use of this ploy become more apparent.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BP..Yet thats the point..its a matter of perception. I perceive no " contrived" deux ex machina, out o f thin air because what happens is organic, and necessary to get to the final climax.



If ones sees " contrived", DeM, out of thin air,,then the end makes no sense either, and thus the whole makes no sense . So,with a complete failure at ones hands or mind..then just perhaps,,another way of perceiving is required in order not to come to the complete failure at end? Maybe the failure is in the reader, not in the author. No, I'm sorry, its not maybe. The failure is in the reader.

Basically, the nay sayers haven't changed one bit from the verbiage being spouted back in the fall. There was no vocabulary indicating any knowledge of what makes literature, Art. There was no mention of basic craft of writing .Basic tools like alliteration, simili, metaphor, theme etc.were not part of the " critical" dialogue. ..Now you all are trying to get fancy with concepts you don't understand. Talk about " cheap" !!..Will you all ever stop blowin hot air up each others skirts?

So the help offered here to understand the work, hasn't been taken. It looks like attendance here is for a whole other reason.

Its there and its so there that by end it is complete and total. Plot slowly evaporates to become complete and total metaphor. TLC begins in metaphor and ends with metaphor. Why is it so difficult to say..".this one is beyond me.." ?

I use to make small change diggin and pushing cars spinning their wheels in deep snow when I was a kid. You nay sayers are all over the place but you haven't moved forward one bit. Sorry, you may think you are getting some where but you all remain just spinning your wheels., stuck in a ever deeper rut.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hear hear, Lurch! Personally, I loved the introspective nature of TLC, the redemptions, the human realizations, etc. Contrived plot? Bah! The Chronicles has never been an overly clear and linear plot lo follow. SRD takes some license here and there, but the connections are there (i.e., many complain about the Insequent insertion, but I think there is enough there to justify the origins; and WF gave the answer for Longwrath's purpose...arguably unsatisfying but there nonetheless). And the grander purpose served, the lessons conveyed by the main characters, is what matters most, IMHO. Even from The First Chronicles, I always felt the plot was missing something, logically speaking. But the greater message and my love for these characters overrode all of that for me, and for this reason I think SRD has written a masterpiece once again.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:39 am    Post subject: Re: Terribly disappointed by the ending :-( *spoiler* Reply with quote

IrrationalSanity wrote:
Condign wrote:
joques wrote:
I've never known Donaldson to bring any narrative to such a cheap end before. Everything always has consequences, and it always makes sense within the narrative. That the Elohim now suddenly are able to put the worm to sleep goes against *everything* that has gone before. I get the image of Donaldson disgustedly saying: "Here's your happy ending. Enjoy. I wash my hands of the whole mess."


Beautifully put.

This was my main problem with the book. It was finished in a way that said to me as a reader 'I don't care anymore. We're done.'

I went with everything, even the changes in character that I thought were unearned, or out-of-character.

But the end was a real kick in the face for me.

I felt cheated too.


I didn't feel "cheated", though maybe s bit underwhelmed.

There are really only three ways this could have ended:
1. World ends. As the souls of TC & Co. Float, our old friend, the Creator, shows up to thank/congratulate them, impart some transformative Aesop wisdom, and returns them to the real world circa 2nd Chronicles, but in time for Linden to save TC. They all live happily ever after in the "real" world.
2. World ends. As the souls float in the resulting chaos, we end up with some variant of "In the beginning, there was nothing, and the Earth was without form and Void..." They're the new godhead, and live happily ever after in the new Land they created.
3. World ends. We dissolve to the police analyzing the scene of everyone's deaths. Everyone is really dead. No moral, no Aesop. End of story.

Spoiler:
Frankly, the only one which would have frosted me was #3. Fortunately,
We essentially got a variant of #2.


I could have used a little more detail, or maybe some more surprise twists, Spoiler:
The fate of the ur-Viles and SWMNBN victims was a good effort there
, but most of the steps and final conflicts were pretty much inevitable, and fairly well told.


The thing about scenario 1 is that it could result in time paradoxes, and possibly recursive, ramifying time paradoxes, in both the "real" world and the world of the Chronicles. That would be very messy.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lurch wrote:
If ones sees " contrived", DeM, out of thin air,,then the end makes no sense either, and thus the whole makes no sense . So,with a complete failure at ones hands or mind..then just perhaps,,another way of perceiving is required in order not to come to the complete failure at end? Maybe the failure is in the reader, not in the author. No, I'm sorry, its not maybe. The failure is in the reader.
The sole failure here is a failure to share your opinion. And that's no failure. To suggest otherwise is supercilious in the extreme.

I tend to find it healthier to respect the rights of others to their opinions, rather than to heap insult upon those who do not concur. On that basis...

lurch wrote:
Why is it so difficult to say..".this one is beyond me.." ?
...why it is so demonstrably difficult for some to say "Vive la différence" is far further beyond me.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:20 am    Post subject: Re: Terribly disappointed by the ending :-( *spoiler* Reply with quote

DrPaul wrote:
IrrationalSanity wrote:

There are really only three ways this could have ended:
1. World ends. As the souls of TC & Co. Float, our old friend, the Creator, shows up to thank/congratulate them, impart some transformative Aesop wisdom, and returns them to the real world circa 2nd Chronicles, but in time for Linden to save TC. They all live happily ever after in the "real" world.
2. World ends. As the souls float in the resulting chaos, we end up with some variant of "In the beginning, there was nothing, and the Earth was without form and Void..." They're the new godhead, and live happily ever after in the new Land they created.
3. World ends. We dissolve to the police analyzing the scene of everyone's deaths. Everyone is really dead. No moral, no Aesop. End of story.


The thing about scenario 1 is that it could result in time paradoxes, and possibly recursive, ramifying time paradoxes, in both the "real" world and the world of the Chronicles. That would be very messy.


You have a point, though I'm thinking that with the arch destroyed, and presumably rebuilt, that the internal and external continuities have been de-linked. Since the Creator clearly had sufficient power in our world to influence whether TC lived or died in 1st Chron, I'm also giving him the power to bring them back at any point along the timeline. Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lurch wrote:
Basically, the nay sayers haven't changed one bit from the verbiage being spouted back in the fall. There was no vocabulary indicating any knowledge of what makes literature, Art. There was no mention of basic craft of writing .Basic tools like alliteration, simili, metaphor, theme etc.were not part of the " critical" dialogue. ..Now you all are trying to get fancy with concepts you don't understand. Talk about " cheap" !!..Will you all ever stop blowin hot air up each others skirts?
...all of which might be faintly relevant if the topic under discussion in this thread (or indeed in other less than sycophantic ones from late last year) were Donaldson's stylistic method, his authorial voice if you like. Then one could justifiably bandy around simple terms such as simile (sic) and metaphor when it came to examining semiotics, or alliteration and parachesis when it came to dissecting prose formation. However, this thread is again about narrative construction, not novelistic style or thematic content. To put it even more simply for you, it's about how well Donaldson chose and shaped the planks of his narrative and plot, not the way he nailed them together. The subject of this particular thread could not make this any clearer.

As a complete side note, I happen to appreciate SRD's authorial voice. I think, to pick out just one technique as an example, his frequent usage of deliberately rarefied and hermetic vocabulary is absolutely condign to his subject matter, helping subliminally to build both atmosphere and mood. But that's equally beside the point and off-topic as far as this thread is concerned.

I'd also politely suggest that it's never a good idea to presume that you simply must know what "concepts" people do or do not understand, or what "crafts" they may or may not have experience of or what "knowledge" they may or may not possess, solely on the basis that they happen to view things rather differently to yourself. IMO, it's both a little disparaging and dismissive to toss out entirely unsupported slights of ignorance, "cheap"-ness and "blowing hot air" at others just for their temerity in holding an opinion at odds with your own. It hardly adds the slightest whit of credibility to your own point of view (quite the reverse, in fact) - and what's more, it might just be worth becoming aware that down that particular path of arrant non sequitur potential embarrassment might lie.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a bizarre rant, Lurch. We've talked plenty about the craft of writing. Theme and metaphor have certainly been part of the discussion. TheFallen and I have each created our own threads to discuss the thematic resolution of this story.

If the "nay-sayers" haven't changed their tune, so what? Are they supposed to? Perhaps it's just evidence of a consensus forming.

It would be so cool if we could just talk about the book, instead of insulting each other. That tune is getting pretty old, too.
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's absolutely no doubt about SRD's technical skill with words - a wonderful command of both modern and archaic vocabulary, and the ability to conjure imaginary locations to the mind's eye.

I think mostly we are concerned with the resolution of the various plot threads and thematic crescendos which seemed to happen with such thoughtfulness, subtlety and sophistication in previous Chronicles.

One day I may go back and re-read this book, but this day is not that day. Instead I'll mourn here, with others of my ilk, of lost opportunities, and the end to a marvellously entertaining - yet completely frustrating - journey of decades.
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm halfway through the Second Chrons doing a start to finish re-read of every word of the Chrons [including GildenFire, which I included in place in TIW]. 35 whatever years from my first read I'm staggered at just how good.....how good..... these books were. If I've changed in the intervening years it can't be much - because I still love them, am held by them, 'fill-up' repeatedly while reading them. I'm not going to pretend otherwise - I'm afraid of what the effect of reading the Last Chrons is going to be. It's the first time I've done the complete series like this and I've known many films start brilliantly and die in the last third. Is this how it will be - or will the 3rd Chrons finally sit in there place, a fitting and complete summation of Donaldsons masterwork.

I've read it in these pages that SRD's aim was to lift fantasy into the realm of serious 'high literature'. I don't know enough about high literature [or yes, undestand enough about concepts and metaphors] to know if he has suceeded or not. But I am willing to 'go the extra mile' to see it if it is there.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OhYeah wrote:
The ending was fine. Actually, what could have made it better would have been for the Creator to show up, hit a 'pause' button, and then 're-set' The Land. I think that it takes a lot of believability that Thomas Covenant, Linden Avery, and Jeremiah, can put the whole 'thing' back together -- unless they have become semi-divine.

Well now, Covenant had all of Foul's memory ("I think I know everything that Foul knows."), and Foul was an adversary of the Creator, with similar abilities, if not the intent. Plus they had 2 white gold rings, the Staff of Law and the knowledge of forbidding.

That could qualify as divine.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And also Jeremiah's gifts with structures.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there anybody body out there who has only read only the third chronicles?
Without prior knowledge of what went before what would be their take on the last books?

With no references to the past I would presume that their view would be very different than those who have read what has gone on before.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2014 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even those who have not read the First and Second Chrons are likely to have perused the What Has Gone Before section at the beginning of ROTE. Somehow, I can't see the LCs being comprehensible without knowledge of the backstory.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:08 am    Post subject: I'm glad Reply with quote

...that someone agrees! I've been waiting, wondering how in the world the problem of the Worm would be resolved, since it was roused at the end of FR. Turns out the Elohim are able to master the Worm?

WTF?

Then why did they need to hide from the Worm in the first place? To me this disintegrates the integrity of the entire story. It's beyond a plot hole, it's a gaping glaring contradiction!

So I just assumed I must have missed something obvious. Because when has SRD ever been that sloppy? There are little things like Mhoram's staff that are minor oversights, but I have never in my life read anything this -- insane. Please somebody tell me what I'm missing. Evil or Very Mad
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Lurch - I am baffled by your post - don't get it at all. Sure, it began and ends in metaphor; but that doesn't mean the story gets to suffer extreme plot holes. Ever since the Worm was roused, I wondered "how in the world are they going to solve this problem?"

Problems have to have solutions, whether or not they're secondary to metaphor. You don't just get to make the central conflict a non-issue.

Has SRD addressed this? Anybody know?
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:17 am    Post subject: What happened to the worm? Reply with quote

When I finished reading the last chapter of TLD I thought I must have skipped a chapter in my haste to finish. Where did I miss the overcoming of the worm? I thought the entire narrative implied that if the worm succeeded in drinking the earth blood all would be destroyed, including TC, LA and Jeremiah and LF would be freed to wreck havoc in the heavens. This clearly does not happen.

The worm is overcome by TCs's FREE CHOICE to take LF within himself.

That is the culmination of the last chapter.

How about this for a suggestion to understanding the sudden stilling of the worm: The unification of TC and LF creates a recreates the essential balance in the world. It is unbalance and the breaking of essential laws that arouses the worm and it is only the recreation of balance and law that can still it again. The worm is to powerful to be stopped by any being by force, everyone tries and fails. The role of the elohim comes after the stilling of the worm has occurred, they escort the quiescent worm back to its recreated resting place.

The role of free choice in the entire chronicles, and especially in the last chronicles, cannot be underestimated. Each of the characters can only achieve their ultimate goals through free choice, not be coercion or subterfuge. This is why LF is doomed to failure as long as the protagonists remain true. Free choice for hope, in the face of apparently insurmountable odds, brings TC to the final confrontation with LR AND the epiphany that he cannot defeat him but must assume him as an essential part of the balance of the Land.

I have not done nearly the amount of research and re-reading as some in this bulletin board but I haven't seen these thoughts presented so I hope that they are a helpful and productive contribution.

With this assessment, I am not disappointed by the end and suggest that is the only logical end other than despair (also a very real possibility).
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:48 am    Post subject: Re: What happened to the worm? Reply with quote

jkalmijn wrote:


The worm is overcome by TCs's FREE CHOICE to take LF within himself.

That is the culmination of the last chapter.

How about this for a suggestion to understanding the sudden stilling of the worm: The unification of TC and LF creates a recreates the essential balance in the world. It is unbalance and the breaking of essential laws that arouses the worm and it is only the recreation of balance and law that can still it again. The worm is to powerful to be stopped by any being by force, everyone tries and fails. The role of the elohim comes after the stilling of the worm has occurred, they escort the quiescent worm back to its recreated resting place.


Not quite, I don't think. LF is overcome by TC's choice.
But the Worm is NOT overcome.
Didn't anyone notice that? The Worm was never stopped.
It successfully feeds. The feeding tears and rends time, disintegrating/de-cohering the world...as foretold.
Only AFTER do Our Heroes reassemble/recreate [[though losing much, many wonders, tens of millions of lives...]]
And ONLY THEN are the Elohim able to return the Worm to its rest...for the same reason it went to rest the very first time---because it was FULL.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:00 pm    Post subject: Re: What happened to the worm? Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:
And ONLY THEN are the Elohim able to return the Worm to its rest...for the same reason it went to rest the very first time---because it was FULL.

^ Upvote

although I do find merit in the notion of symbolic resonance. The worm is the world's demi-urge for destruction that is necessary to it's life. Qwelling that urge is part and parcel with restoring the world. I just don't know how much I equate the state of the covenant/foul relationship with the state of the world. Covenant and Foul were the least unified early in the story, and the worm was resting sweetly. They have become more unified each Chronicles, with the Last Chronicles being the last step. Or so I take it.
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