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The Absence of The Creator in The Last Chrons
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peter
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:45 am    Post subject: The Absence of The Creator in The Last Chrons Reply with quote

I know this subject has been discussed in other threads and my appologies if there is a dedicated thread to it - I did try to find one, honestly, - but I'm doing my final re-read of the entire TC Chrons and the question is slapping me about the face with increasing severity as each day passes.

I'm into LFB [nearly finished in fact] and up to this point the Creator is an absolutely central plank of what is occuring. He is the Counterpoint to the Despiser, the one who chose Covenant to effect influence on Foul's/Drools summoning, the hope of the Land's inhabitants that Covenant will 'save' rather than 'damn' the world. He recieves numerous mentions and is central to even TC's attempting to grasp what is happening to him.

Then in the 2nd Chrons it is he who brings Linden into the field of play. He tells her 'There is also Love in the World' presageing TC and Lindens growing love for each other and giving her the strength to continue when all else seems lost.

Then in the 3rd Chrons - he is no more. There are some brief sentances that he may have 'abandoned his creation' [IIRC] and little more. And even at the end in the epilogue he recieves no mention. Whyfore this dissapearance? If I'm correct, the last time we encounter the Creator is infact the meeting between him and Linden at the beginning of 2C. The charachters of 3C do not refer to him [as do the charachters of 1C repeatedly]. TC and Linden do question his absence but there is no overt explanation to his dissapearance given in the text. This must mean that we have the information to work this out for ourselves, beyond the throwaway explanation that 'he has abbandoned his creation'. SRD clearly intends the story of the Third Chrons to shift our earlier [presumed] conceptions of what the Creator was, and his relation to TC, and come up with a new understanding that would negate any need for 'explanation' at the culmination of the story. There is a seismic shift in our understanding of the Creators earlier prominence needed - and I'm currently not getting it.

{Was TC the Creator as well as Foul all the time? Was the Insequent figure at the end related to the Creators absence or was it the Creator? }

[This is not intended to be a 'Last Chrons is Crap' thread unless this is the real thrust of your argument to explain the above conundrum. I'd like to actually investigate the TC/Creator relationship in a way I have not seen before - but having said that 'all replies welcome' (nobody likes to see their thread consigned to the dustbin of 'zero replys' if they can help it - I've had a few Embarassed }]
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm rather partial to the notion that the Creator had let Covenant inherit his duties by that time.

The Land of the Second Chronicles, Sunbane et al, was created as much by Covenant as anyone else. Or, at least, he was responsible through his actions, destroying the Staff, etc. At the end, it was he who spoke to Linden in the aether as she returned to the real world, whereas the job had formerly been the Creator's, which symbolically demonstrates that Covenant had that job now. In the Last Chronicles, this was even more palpably true, but I want to express that this was signaled before the Last Chronicles.

This is why we never heard from the Creator again since TWL.

So, in a way, the Creator wasn't necessarilly abandoning his world. But he was staying hands-off, to let his chosen successor take the reigns. It's still a form of intentional withdrawal, but without the overtones of uncaring.

I'm not saying that's THE reason. But it's the one I like.

Other things you could point out: If the Creator had warned Linden, she would have fled with Jeremiah, leaving the Land to die. The Creator only speaks to his candidates once, no matter how many times they go to the Land, and so he would not have spoken to Linden anyway. He didn't speak to Jeremiah because Jeremiah had already been to the Land.

Jeremiah had already been to the Land. And who spoke to him there? Covenant! I rest my case.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could be wrong...but it seems to me people way overestimate the presence of the creator, even in the First. But anyway, this:
wayfriend wrote:

So, in a way, the Creator wasn't necessarilly abandoning his world. But he was staying hands-off, to let his chosen successor take the reigns. It's still a form of intentional withdrawal, but without the overtones of uncaring.

Pretty much. Somewhere, I think I said something like "the creator picked his team, and he's sticking with it."

He didn't "abandon" them...he set them free, because they are ready
AND speaking to them again, IMO, would have weakened them not strengthened them
AND the world not his,
it if for living/breathing/growing...
it is not his,
it is their lives/meaning/purpose.
AND: at a fundamental level, [I've talked about this before, maybe] an essential problem with LF isn't ONLY that he is "Evil," it is that he doesn't "belong" there.
He will always need to be separated/walled off/controlled...or the world dies an "unnatural" death.
The same is true of the Creator...his very presence/influence would eventually break the world no matter his intentions or goodness.
Since he IS "good," he kept himself outside.
If/when TC, Linden, and all the folk of the world "pass on," they might find that Creator "out there." Probably sitting before a fire in a comfy chair with some fine brandy and looking very pleased with himself.

[[before you say, if you are going to, "But he DID talk to/influence/choose them before," keep in mind that it wasn't him alone...it was both he and LF together, in balance,
and those they chose were people "in balance," in a way...that particular balance being "on a tightrope, where they could fall either way."]]

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

..Along those same lines of thought about the Creator; the Creator is of the Land, the Creator of the Land that existed before Covenant got leprosy. His creation was of the successful popular writer happily married with son out in the countryside with a few horses; quite the ideal, bucolic, yet mundane. The Creator with rags for clothing, rotten teeth, etc etc, indicates problems in " paradise".
So, the arc of Thomas Covenant, the From To, can be perceived in metaphor that has the Creator as the " From". The Land of having it made, yet , at its core, something is wrong. There is rot in the center of it. As the Tale progresses, the Creator becomes non sequitor because the Tale is about the " To", Thomas Covenant's Future, Forward. By that , its about anybody's future. As already observed, the Tale is about the changes required to keep the Land going forward, into the future, rather than repeating the Past...imho.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to disagree V. [dangerous I know Wink], I think, having just re-read LFB I found the Creators presence greater than I had previousely assumed. Sure - he's not there in the flesh, but he is behind everything; a presence that is felt, if not seen [much like Foul himself actually].

I buy Wayfriends explanation re his handing over the reins to TC [although this in itself begs 100 more questions], this feels right, but I'm less sure about the 'only once' part. At the conclusion of TPTP [when to all intents and purpouses, prior to LDR getting to work on SRD, the story was wrapped up, the Creator did return to TC to speak to him for a second time, and it is this abcense of communication at the very end that troubles me.

Possibly V. has hit a salient point with the observation that LF is not 'of' the Land. This very need for him to be 'walled off', to be emprisoned [and the absence of the Creator at the end] leads me to thinking [and I'm sure it has been expressed elsewhere] that this story is not over [in fact did the Epilogue not almost hint as much]. Sure - the team is in place, the pieces are set on the board - but I think the main act is perhaps yet to come. Now we will never see this act to be sure - but are we not inexorably led to the conclusion that the story of The Unbeliever is not meant to be seen as completed., that there is more to follow to which we will not be party - and this is not a problem because we have been given the tools to complete the job for ourselves.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice guy peter wrote:
but are we not inexorably led to the conclusion that the story of The Unbeliever is not meant to be seen as completed., that there is more to follow to which we will not be party - and this is not a problem because we have been given the tools to complete the job for ourselves.


On this, I agree without the tiniest quibble. I'd go even a step futher: we aren't merely led to that conclusion, I'm almost positive...without going to the book right now...that it flat out SAYS it, in black and white.
They have "solved" one essential, existential "problem" of life...but does anyone think that is the only problem there IS?
And, even if there were only the one, the "solution" itself isn't a goal/destination reached...it's just a method of walking. [well, apparently some can run and/or fly...but still. Smile ]
Or, perhaps less, cliche [or not] and more "high-brow" [or not]...variation on theme of your last sentence...they know the language, they've got the techniques...now they have to write the poem [and it is an epic: the life and times of all, the entire future of the world]

Heh...edited to add, cuz I hit submit and forgot the last sentence: and what is true for them CAN be true for us.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was *convinced* that just as the Arch broke and Foul was on his way out, the Creator would smack his ass down somehow. The Arch works two ways, after all. So, since it would no longer be working as a barrier, that meant the Creator was then "free" to interfere by bringing the pain to Foul.

But ... that didn't happen.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting point GF ... er ... I mean Gilden-Fire!

In the first two Chronicles, that certainly seemed to be the case. However, in the Last Cs, somehow there is the notion that if Foul gets out, the Creator is in a world of hurt. Possibly because of Jeremiah. Or maybe just because things have changed.

Otherwise, letting Foul free along with SWMNBN would have been possible, which would have obviated much of the premise.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are lots of possibilities. What bugs me the most is not his absence, but rather that his absence was supposed to be the "Mother of All Spoilers." But then it wasn't.

Or we're missing something extremely important.

Passing the torch to TC (WF's interpretation) doesn't really spoil anything. It's certainly not the Mother of anything. In fact, it seems the opposite of a spoiler: it was the Creator's first act in LFB, to hand off the torch to Covenant by sending him to the Land as his own representative, since he couldn't go there himself.

Maybe the obvious is right in front of us: the Creator wasn't there because TC = Creator, and he was dead.

Or perhaps TC's journey in the 2nd Chrons did for the Creator what the Last Chrons did for Foul: TC internalized him. Maybe that's what his Apotheosis was all about.

This is the only thing I can think of that would count as "MoAS" because it mirrors the final confrontation w/Foul in the LC, and gives away the ending of the entire saga. If we knew that TC had simply absorbed the Creator, we'd realize he could do the same thing for Foul, and have the ending.

So that's my guess.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The answer to this has always seemed so obvious to me that it constantly annoys me that Linden keeps whining about it.

He appeared once to TC at the beginning of the first chrons.

Not when he went in the 2nd. Not even when he went the other 2 times in the first.

He appeared once to Linden when she went at the beginning of the 2nd.

She knew he hadn't appeared to TC again. Why should she be special?

He also appears to have appeared to J at some point...at least, I think the Croyel said so.

Everybody clearly only gets one apparition.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
He also appears to have appeared to J at some point...at least, I think the Croyel said so.


I don't recall this.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't swear to it, but think it's in FR when J is telling Linden about him coming to the land and meeting TC etc. Maybe I'm wrong.

Either way though, once to TC and once to Linden. Why did she expect another visit?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a thought...maybe the Grass Stains on Linden's jeans since Runes..are the Creator. The Land, made by the Creator, communicating in the only way it can to Linden of its inherent beauty: a reminder from The Creator,,?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:


Either way though, once to TC and once to Linden. Why did she expect another visit?

--A


I agree, she did expect a visit. Remember Covenant's surprise when Linden asked who the old man in the driveway was? He was just as angry and surprised that he didn't get a 2nd visit. This is part of the reason why I thought that Jeremiah would reveal that the Creator came to see him.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:08 pm    Post subject: Creator Reply with quote

I was disappointed that he did not appear to anyone at the beginning of the LC. But once the Arch was broken, he could have made an appearance even briefly without doing any damage. SRD's choice to simply suggest that the Creator had abandoned his creation was a disappointment. Why not use the chance to appear to Jeremiah and at least provide some closure with that 'thread' of the story?
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 4:28 am    Post subject: Re: Creator Reply with quote

SkurjMaster wrote:
SRD's choice to simply suggest that the Creator had abandoned his creation was a disappointment.


Holy crap I never thought of it in that light.

Extending this line of thought, with SRD as the actual 'creator' of the Landů.
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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought TC was the creator and so was in the series. If TC is Foul, then shouldn't it follow that he is the creator, too? And, following that thought, he must also be all of the characters in all of the series as well.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra's argument has struck me a lot, so I'm hesitant to pose my own answer when his seems possibly better/simpler. But, here goes...

In a poem in the First Chronicles, I think the first book even, maybe the first poem from the Land!, uh, there's some line that goes something like "the Law is the Creator's self-command." This fits in a lot with the role of the morality of self-command throughout the ethos of the series. (It also reflects something from some modern Presbyterian/Reformed theology about the laws of physics being "God's regular ways of acting in the world.") Basically, the order of Life and Death in Time results in a state where the Creator maintains the creation in a different way than he caused it, namely originally it was sort of from prime-matter/ex-nihiloish but now he has to maintain his self-command, his moral and not power status, or the world will end.

So we are told later (have no idea when exactly but I'm sure the saying will ring familiar) that even though Law is not the opposite of Despite per se or whatever, even so, prior to the advent of white gold in the Land (this part's from FR), the Despiser's favored means of attempting to break the Arch was to commit massive, hideous atrocities to try to provoke his brother/shadow into intervening. Now nothing he ever did was quite hideous enough, it seems. So the Arch never broke.

Later, though, by the end of the series, the Arch does break, Covenant's resurrection being the context, and moreover the final violation of the Laws of Life and Death.

So...

The Creator does intervene in the Last Chronicles, and his doing so is what breaks the Arch in the end, but from the in-world POV it "looks like" the Worm waking up. Basically, Linden "prays too hard" and forces the Creator's hand, forcing his power, the wild magic graven in every rock and stone, for the metal of that power to unleash or control: forces it to resurrect Covenant while invoking the Staff of Law, which embodies the Creator's self-command itself(!).

At least, this is what I think. The Creator never "appears" not because he's "not there" but because the way he was present to the Land's Earth anyway was mystical more than directly physical. The point about the Despiser was that he was imprisoned in the creation. Since on SRD's "theology" God is two divine persons (the Creator and the Despiser), the casting-down of the evil one is akin to the Fall of Satan, on the one hand, and the Incarnation of the Son of God on the other. The presence of the Despiser in the world itself, though, did not of itself break the Arch, which means that Despite is not the opposite of, is not what automatically-intrinsically cancels out, the Law, not on this or whatever relevant level. (Obviously there are individual acts for the sake of the Law that oppose individual acts for the sake of Despite, and we can also go on to say that there are no acts of Despite that support or promote the Law but perhaps are only somehow slightly consistent with it. In fact, the nature of the Vile-sequence "unLawfulness" and the very possibility of breaking the Laws of Life and Death themselves in the world, might depend on such distinctions.) Or, put another way, the "banes" represent evil laws of physics, symbolically concentrated in certain ways, some irredeemable (the Illearth Stone) while others reconcilable all the way ("Diassomer Mininderain").

But so anyway, it follows that Covenant's resurrection amounted to an in-world representation of the Creator entering his creation. The old man in "our" world didn't have to show up for the Creator per se to show up, since as far as the Law-as-divine-self-discipline concept goes, he is present to the Land as the Law itself to a great extent. Or, rather, his power is, from which he might be elsewise inferred (does anyone else recall the atheist Lord from LFB? or am I misremembering the passage?). But he is not directly intuitively present, so to speak, except that in Covenant, in that world, he has become so by virtue of Covenant's dual nature (as a human from the reality in which the Creator manifested as a beggar, and as the future Timewarden). So just as the Despiser can be said to be somehow "Incarnate" as Covenant, then, so the Despiser, to fulfill his plan, would implicitly seek to make the Creator Incarnate, through Covenant, also, which is, again, what really does, maybe, seem to happen...
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a whole other level...

We make a lot out of the fact that the beggar appears to Covenant and Linden variously, but do we take note of the fact that in the Second Chronicles he only appears to Linden--who herself is then the one who appears to Covenant?

Covenant tries to give his ring to guy, is turned aside, but then gets a note from the fellow. I think Covenant does smell his breath or something (forgive me but I only have a tattered copy of WGW and then an intact copy of TLD to my name!) but he most certainly does not inhale the guy's seeming dying breath itself, which on the Christian imagery at play somewhere deep in the archetypes of the text is rather like an image of God the Father breathing the God the Holy Spirit into someone.

It is not in Covenant himself, then, at first, that the Creator's inheritance has been placed. Though he is said to be the Creator's son in some way in TPTP (IIRC), he is not yet so much like Christ the crucified as Christ the triumphant in the Harrowing of Hell. Perhaps the latter event really ought to be acknowledged for its soteriological importance (if you believe in this sort of thing...) but anyway, again, Linden retains the memory of the beggar and of Covenant after Covenant dies, and relates this through her subconscious mannerisms to her savant adopted child, who incorporates her love for Covenant into his subconscious world as Covenant coming to him in the ethereal plane of the Land and its Earth. But anyway, the point is, as the bearer of the real white gold ring in the real world--by being the one who, when she dies, actually is holding the thing, or whatever--and given all the other circumstances listed above, it seems as if Linden is, so to speak, the Creator (too?).

This might sound absurd but recall that when she is in the past, reality has been so transfigured by her presence that her very mind is indistinguishable from the Arch of Time (which, again, is merged with Covenant!). Linden and Covenant are united as importantly as the two divine persons in the Land's God are, and as importantly as Covenant is united with the Despiser. In fact the entire image of their marriage can be seen as a transfiguration of the antithesis that obtains between the Brothers of God (so to speak--brothers of each other, though, haha!), one in which the divine nature's disharmony is mystically brought into equilibrium (where the inner Creators and inner Despisers for both Covenant and Linden are reconciled...). Ultimately, this has to play out "externally" (in the even so rather internalized realm of the Land) in a physically tangible internalization of the Despiser in Covenant, why I can't say, but I'm fairly confident this kind of idea was on SRD's mind when he decided to "solve" the problem of Despite by sealing the Despiser not in the creation but in Covenant (which here means, what? that the Despiser is imprisoned inside the Creator?!).

EDIT: To make this more compatible with the other train of thought...

Linden is, of course, the one who resurrects Covenant. I said that she "prays too hard" but then again if she is in some way the Creator (after all, did she herself not recreate the Law of the Land, to some degree, in WGW?--so is this not her "self-command" on some level too?), so perhaps she's praying to herself, who knows, but anyway if she inherited the Spirit of the Creator in TWL, then maybe the thing really just is that, since she's the one who's breaking the Law of Life and Death to the ultimate degree, and since she's also from "the real world" and has the ring and survives in WGW in the "real world," and since she's the one who is raising Jeremiah, and since she's the one who Covenant loves and is united with like the Creator is with the Despiser on some primordial level...

... then the Creator was there all along, not just in the Law or in Covenant or in the Despiser, but in--as--Linden Avery.

EDIT 2: On another level... Linden basically resurrects the Creator in TWL when she saves him from a heart attack or whatever. Symbolically, this has got to mean a lot, especially with respect to the whole question of resurrecting Covenant with Covenant-as-the-Creator-somehow.

Also, the resurrection of Christ is advanced in the religion as the ultimate miracle. Well, in the Land, a miracle would threaten to break the Arch, so resurrecting someone, if the ultimate miracle, would break the Arch at a glance (so to speak). Now the resurrection of Covenant is not a miracle directly, so to speak, since the logic of the ring's power, plus the logic of the Staff and the sword's powers, equals the logic of bringing Covenant back from the dead (though it is interesting that he is explained as in some sense having been "formed from" Linden's memory of him IIRC), perhaps, but at the same time, wild magic's logic is such as is given to breaking the Arch in the end, so it is not to be thought that there is only a distinctive direct way for wild magic to end the world. That is, yes, too much at once, so to speak, too much channeled with no sufficient barrier, would rive the Arch "directly," but there is a more than sufficient barrier in place during the resurrection sequence and yet without the contribution of this might's quantum of value to the equation, the solution to the equation would not have been such as resulted in something ending the world, even if the manner of that ending lies in the Worm.
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Wosbald
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+JMJ+

Thanx for resurrecting this, Mig.

I would say (and have said) that the Creator was there purely as Providence (i.e. in a wholly normative manner). This is the way in which he was always there, even from 1st Chrons, but in the LCs, this providential presence comes without the baggage of any extra-worldly narrative.

A while back, this was my take on the subject beginning HERE.


This seems, pretty much, to have been the meat of my contribution ...

Wosbald wrote:
wayfriend wrote:
Wosbald wrote:
Her mistake was in thinking that she could do evil to accomplish good. Cocksure and reckless, she spends the entire series making mistakes (on the main). That good comes about from them points toward the other pole of the mystery (which stands in contrast to SDR's earlier treatment of Free Will): Providence.

Now that's a pretty interesting take on the situation. I'd like to explore that. (And not to say 'you're wrong'.) IIUC, you seem to think that Linden had hubris, but was constantly rescued from it's logical result by something like divine intervention. Is that the essence of it?

Basically.

I was about a 100 pages or so through AATE, when I was thinking, "gee this seems like Providence may well be an overarching theme of the LCs". And sho'nuff, a few chapters later, the word "providence" (or "providential") is used. It's used at least 3 or 4 times in the last 2 books of the LCs.

This would explain why is the Creator is "not there", as a character, in the LCs. He's not there because he's been there the whole time -- been there working (normatively) through natural causes, as opposed to miraculous ones, as is his wont.

Providence brings good from evil (the Mahdoubt marvels how such a thing can be). Providence always weaves the plans of the evildoer back into the tapestry of good. (Other than willing cooperation of the Free Being which can never be compelled,) God always gets what he wants; only the Free Being suffers loss.

It seems to me that this theme echos Tolkien's treatment of Illuvatar and Melkor: And thou, Melkor, shalt see that no theme may be played that hath not its uttermost source in me, nor can any alter the music in my despite. For he that attempteth this shall prove but mine instrument in the devising of things more wonderful, which he himself hath not imagined.

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