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TLD Part 1 chapter 9..The Impoverished Temple

 
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:12 am    Post subject: TLD Part 1 chapter 9..The Impoverished Temple Reply with quote

To start off, Frosty had volunteered to dissect this chapter. With no word from her , I have volunteered to get things rolling on ,,Chapter 9, An Impoverished Temple. I think its important to know that " Impoverished" means ..to make poor, or to use up, exhaust the strength or vitality. So, yea, the Giants become exhausted, as does Stave in the build of this " temple." Is the author making reference to a Temple that Impoverishes?..Perhaps , yet Stave and the Giants are not the only characters involved with this Temple in this chapter. Felice is central to an,,impoverishment as well and of course, by end Kastenessen is certainly drained of his fierce strength and vitality. So there is clue of whats going on here in the Title.

It begins with the company gathered around the two victims of unsafe practices, Cabledarm and Stave. Rather opposite in their condition; Stave stares blindly with just some quite trembling as he seeps blood, and Cable cusses and swears with a dislocated shoulder and deep cuts flowing red. Lots of help demonstrating ,,we are never alone. And of course, wet behind the ears Jerry, states the obvious, that doesn't change a thing, " We need Mom"..This may be the first mention of the unseen character of this chapter,,the Great Impoverisher,,GUILT. Fascinating it is, never by name mentioned, but how stealthy its used ( not always successful ) in this chapter by a certain young man learning rather quickly on how to grow up…Jeremiah. If Mom was here,,there would be healing and balm instead of pain and suffering.

But Kindwind brings water and healing begins regardless of any transference of guilt. As Stave goes catatonic, she pulls Jerry aside and guides him thru ..a way out of the guilt building up inside Jerry…If every living thing eventually dies,,how can there be guilt?.." The larger truth is merely that all things end. By that measure, our fancies cannot be distinguished from dust." Leading to.." For this reason, Giants love tales. Our iteration of past deeds and desires and discoveries provides the only form or permanence to which mortal life can aspire. That such permanence is a chimera ( illusion) does not lessen its power to console. Joy is in the ears that hear."…Aspire to being happy, with Joy in your life.

From there, its a step to.." We do what we must so that we may find worth in ourselves. We do not hope vainly that we will put an end to pain or to loss or to death."..Failure isn't something you are. Its something you do….With the hard reality of , Its not that easy..countered and blocked by, .." We were not promised ease. The purpose of life- if it may be said to have purpose- is not ease. It is to choose, and to act upon the choice. In that task, we are not measured by outcomes. WE ARE MEASURED ONLY BY DARING AND EFFORT AND RESOLVE."…Then the section is capped off with.." Somethings were too easy. Accepting failure was one of them." There is no guilt in pushing yourself to and or beyond your limits…It seems to me to be a perspective on Life that the author is going on about.

More water is called for by Stave…ahh the metaphor for change is poured again . And Coldspray tosses a bit of guilt around reminding all of the consumption of Elohim with every passing second. Annd back to building the fane they go.

Jerry delicately prods the Giants to action and they reject his " guilt trip" with bawdy humor of the sword made too long for easy use. This scene has already been much discussed for its ribald humor, but consider it thru the prism of guilt. The Giants do not have guilt about their sex lives as they talk about it openly, so don't try to guilt them into the hard work ahead of them. They make a joke out of Jerry's attempt. I'm reminded of Frosty's illustration with Jerry's pj 's bedecked with " my little pony figures. Coldspray has a plan, be glad for it.

On to Stave Jerry goes. In an attempt to plea for Staves help, Jerry is overcome by guilt. " Its all terrible. I don't know how to make it better." ..Stave,,as the Giants did also,,requests some time but commits. Doubts of the Giants is rebuffed by Stave;" Yet the choice is mine. The strength is mine. The life is mine." ..take it or leave it is answered with, we need you..Point being, Stave is not having any of this guilt trip either.. As physically trashed as they are,,Stave, the Giants,,maintain a clear, unimpoverished attitude of what it is to be done..and thus are successful..How you see …perspective…brings success.

That section ends with a great Guilt question.." " How much more would his companions have to suffer because he had suggested building a sanctuary for the Elohim?".. Its quickly yet subtly answered…But then his fears were thrust aside by a summons which he could not refuse….Eloquent as a paean, IT SPOKE THE LANGUAGE OF HIS TALENTS, HIS DEEPEST NEEDS. HE HAD TO FINISH IT."…Jerry finds the way to deal with guilt. His Talent, who he Is..is of no guilt.

There is a nice build up of suspense by the author here as the sentences get shorter and shorter , choppier, culminating to a one worder..If…and then the.." entire realities rested on one small word."..So, this chapter is also a parable of all artistic expression,,all efforts of Talent?..including,,this book? Just returning to the thought of the Story reaching out beyond the pages and turning around looking at itself. . Stave gives it more than his all..Time is made to slow for him and Jerry, The author once again invokes the other reality of sightless eye,..dreams..gasps that no one heard, a heart restored to beating..Of course, the capstone is positioned perfectly. Jerry passes out. ..

The idea of being more than the sum of your parts,,when made whole anyway, is reviewed at the beginning of the next section." Do the Elohim come?" asks the exhausted Ironhand. Malachite and structure serve a bigger need….More Water….and to climax of this parable of Guilt. Enter InFelice. a rather unharmonious InFelice…in contradiction of her narcissistic perception of herself as the crown of Creation…while I'm there,an interesting aside; The Story Teller repeats the…." Infelice believed that Lord Foul would use Jeremiah's gifts to form a prison for the Creator. The eternal end of Creation is shadow enough to darken the heart of any being.." I'm thinking the author is using the word, " Creation" in that passage as Verb as much as Noun. I actually like " Creation" as a verb there more than a noun. But the author did put a cap on it. Anyway, it works either as a verb or a noun.

Jeremiah, anchored by the success of his and company's talent is secure enough in himself to face Infelice..No guilt there. See how that works as Guilt being a instrument of Impoverishment? And its about to be flipped on our clamoring clattering , ruin of gongs InFelice NaviMomma. I've got to remember that.." ruin of gongs"..matter of fact, ruin of anything..Joy is in the ears thang.

Abomination!….Better had you never been given birth ..is just beginning of the litany of InFelices rant against Jerry. Her " rage" like a Bond villain, serves to give Jerry a chance of Life . Her attempt to guilt Jerry and thus free herself from any guilt about what she has done or is about to do..is of course..wrong. And when Jerry simply asks her to take a look…she sees how terribly wrong she is and has been,,A delicious moment.." Like an antiphony, her bells chimed relief. They implied awe.."..Her bells went from clatter to chiming..a great example of the reverse inside out use of " antiphony" and of the nature of the Land as well. What a hoot.

Felice sees quite a bit but can't get beyond Foul havin his way with Jerry eventually. And for that she decides Jerry and his talent gotta go. Reminiscent of the Masters reason for their Rule of the Land. In here begins the flip of guilt on to Felice. The Giant remind Felice of her error in judgement of Jerry from the beginning,,then proceed to remind Felice that Jerry has supporters, namely, TC and Linden..who mite not be too pleased if anything should happen to Jerry during their absence,,and most importantly,,,as much as the Elohim deem themselves,,perfection..the cost of that ." perfection"..is that they do not know what Love is..they have no friends..therefore ,like their disesteemed perception of Jerry,,they ain't so Perfect after all….as the story teller puts it…a conundrum which she appeared unable to resolve. ..she was diminished, Indeed. She sees the error of her pretense and acquiesces her and the Elohim's fate to Jerry and the company. She accepts the Guilt of being wrong and redeems it soon. This..by InFelice,,is immediately tested. Heck, the author even reminds us of symbols..metaphor,,as he sets the stage for Kastenessen's entrance.

From the soaring heights of success Jerry and Company are shaken to their roots by the reigning Champ of The Bring Down as he answers the summons of the Fane.. Just the opposite of Jerry the Loved One, Kastenessen Love Denied, Punished FOR Loving,,arrives ready to schitt on the entire parade of Fane Bound Elohim. Sweet revenge for Love Denied..This is getting really inside out upside down with Guilt , when ..how fitting..Longwrath jumps out of the woodwork and off goes Kassy's Air to Surface Missile delivery device. The double edge sword,,Save or Damn…Save AND Damn , Felice explains as a face saving, see we're not all that bad , development.And Long dude dies a Iraqii tank death. Kassy is really P.O'd now , about to go Black Hole , Thomas arrives on his low horse and dares the Upset One with his spirit and venue, The Krill. Thomas states he has had it with restraint. …Love Denied,,or even worse,,Love Punished..takes unrestrained Hope to reduce it to a controllable entity . And,,as if to redeem herself..Felice , by accepting her guilt,,tries to be a friend,,offer what little Love she can…to Kassy and off into the fane they go.

Something to consider here. Beside the great parable about the many different aspects of Guilt and how we are shaped and persuaded by guilt,,that this chapter seems to me to be, there is the fact that this is the last we see of InFelice until the epilogue. This chapter is an " END" for the Elohim as much as the crumble and rubble of the Land is some 300 pages later. Again, I'm made amazed on how the author reinvents how a story is told. He disregards the lock step logic of Time with the proximity of malachite and takes the theurgy to even ending the story here for the Elohim. He makes them feel Guilt. Their End….Why didn't they do anything with the Worm? Because it was more important that the author brought them to feeling guilt, thats why.

Anyway..I liked this chapter for its subtlety..Even a second read wasn't enough to catch the author's play of words. This one wasn't as easy as it perhaps seemed. Maybe i wasn't focused. In any case, like solving any mystery, or puzzle, I have Joy in my ears from the read Now. I thought the tandem bring down of Felice and Kassy,,holding hand as they went off into the fane, was a great upside down inside out reflection on the power of guilt and its ability to change behavior. In this chapter I think Jerry learns a lot about himself and how much he is His Talent. ,,which there should be no guilt about. And..we , not being alone,,should be guilty for only the Love we hold back. We Impoverish ourselves when we don't Love.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for stepping in to do this dissection, lurch (and I hope Frosty feels better soon)! This chapter contains one of the most unexpected and entertaining passages of TLD, For me.

Quote:
But Kastenessen had spent long ages in his Durance. He had made choices which exacerbated his fury. Infelice's appeal could not reach him. For him, it may have been the final affront.

He gathered flames until they burst from his eyes and his mouth, from every limb and line of his towering form. He was becoming a holocaust, devastation personified: a bonfire high and hot enough to ravage the plain. His reply was one word: "Never!"
Yet he was not given time to release his accumulated hate.

From the northeast, a burst of extravagant argent opened the twilight. It cast back the darkness, dismissed the sunless gloom. It was as bright as Kastenessen, and as complex, but immeasurably cleaner. And it was brief, little more than a blink. Nevertheless it was long enough.
Out of it came riding Thomas Covenant and Branl Haruchai of the Humbled. Covenant held Loric's krill.
The shock of their arrival snatched Kastenessen away from his victims.

Covenant rode a shovel-headed horse as ungainly and muscular as a mule. Branl was mounted on a Ranyhyn that Jeremiah had never seen before. And they were in a desperate hurry. Froth snorted from the nostrils of Covenant's horse, the muzzle of Branl's palomino stallion. Sweat reflected brimstone on their coats. They looked like they had galloped for leagues or days. Covenant lurched in his seat as if he were falling.

As soon as his mount's hooves struck the dirt, he pitched from his saddle. But he did not sprawl. Staggering like a holed ship in a storm, he managed to stay on his feet. Awkward and urgent, he confronted Kastenessen as if he had forgotten that the Elohim could reduce his bones to ash.
In his maimed hands, the gem of the krill shown like a kept promise in an abandoned world.

"You--!" Kastenessen began: a strangled howl. Rage clenched his throat, choked off his protest.
"Try me," Covenant panted as if he were on the verge of prostration. "Do your worst." He looked too weak to withstand a slap. Streaked by conflicting illuminations, his face had the pallor of a wasting disease. Still he was Thomas Covenant. He did not falter. "See what happens.
"I killed my ex-wife. I helped destroy a Raver. And I've seen the Worm of the World's End. I am done with restraint!" His teeth gnashed. "I used to care how much you've suffered. I don't anymore. If you think you can beat me, go ahead. I'm wild magic, you crazy bastard. I'll cut you apart where you stand."

Jeremiah stared and stared, and could not name his astonishment, when Kastenessen flinched--
--and took an alarmed step backward.
Covenant advanced, holding up the krill. It blazed like havoc, unmitigated and unanswerable. Its argent covered him with majesty. The silver of his hair resembled a crown.
Branl came up behind him, but did not intrude.
Kastenessen retreated another step, and another. Another. The passion in Covenant's eyes drove him. He must have realized that he was being forced toward Infelice and the fane; but he did not stop. Perhaps he could not. Perhaps he saw something in Covenant, or in Loric's numinous dagger, that cowed him.

With every step, he dwindled. Retreating, he became smaller. Lava seemed to leak out of him and fade, denatured like water by his own thwarted heat.
Covenant stumbled and wavered, and kept coming. Kastenessen shrank away from him.
Giants let him pass. They watched as if they were as stricken as Jeremiah; as transfixed.
Then Infelice spoke Kastenessen's name like a command, and Kastenessen turned from Covenant to face her.
Terror and loathing contorted his features. He conveyed the impression that he wanted to scream and could not because he feared he might sob. Through his teeth, he spat words like fragments of torment.
"You have earned my abhorrence."

Infelice's calm had become irrefusable. Placid as Glimmermere, she answered, "We have. We will not ask you to set it aside. We ask only that you allow us to soothe your pain."
Her response appeared to horrify himl. "It is what I am."
"It is not," she countered, undismayed. "When it is gone, you will remember that you and you alone among the Elohim have both loved and been loved."
To that assertion, he had no reply.

She did not repeat her invitation. Instead she reached out one hand to clasp his severed wrist. With chiming and mercy, she staunched his bleeding. If the pollution of the skurj him, caused her any hurt, she accepted it.
His eyes bled anguish. He made no attempt to pull away.
Briefly Infelice glanced at the Giants, at the Ironhand. "Be warned," she told them. "Moksha Jehannum now rules the skurj. He will wield them with cunning and malice. And do not forget that the Chosen-son is precious to a-Jeroth."
Then she surrendered at last to the imperative of Jeremiah's construct. Drawing Kastenessen with her, she entered the fane. In an instant, they were gone as if they had stepped out of the world altogether.

"Damnation," Covenant gasped. "I wasn't sure I could do that."
Lowering his arms as if he had been beaten, he tried to approach the Swordmainnir. But his legs failed, and he dropped to his knees.


This reminds me: I remember having a conversation with Romeo in the Flying Star Café on Albuquerque's Central Avenue while we were waiting for other Watchers to show up for breakfast. We talked about his choosing to use the quote, "I killed my ex-wife. I helped destroy a Raver. And I've seen the Worm of the World's End. I am done with restraint!" as the trailer for TLD, and what a clever choice of a trailer quote it was. He was quite modest, telling me, "I really didn't write that, you know!" (I knew.) But I had to thank him again for his astute choice of an awesome attention-getting quote. And he graciously said, "Thank you." One of many cool memories I have of Elohimfest '14.

I also like Cirrus Kindwind's words to Jeremiah about the purpose of life not being ease, but to choose and act on the choice; that we are measured only by daring and effort and resolve, not by outcomes. I found that enjoyable.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree Cord a Great and Moving scene. Quite the move from taking the whole deal out..to ..hiding out. There has been complaint about this scene as being dues ex machina..gods coming out of the sky and saving the hero..literally,,actors on a rope and pulley system ( Machine) were swung out and over the scene on stage where the hero was about to be dead,,and then the 'god" on the rope,,was lowered to save the day..Oh those crafty Greeks..anyway..TC is not a god..and Kassy does have a hand already chopped off,,and the scene is more about Infelice redeeming herself and her guilt...which none of the machina complainers mentioned...

The scene is full of suspense, and actually, the first dues ex machina fails..Longwrath dies from a perforated lung..which says something about Infelice and the Elohim's duality for Longwrath role in the future they saw..A subtle failure by the Elohim again.

Whats cool here is,,the author asks us to experience two emotions..Infelice realizing how wrong she and the Elohim had been about Jerry..the public , " oh schitt!" moment by Infelice..and the other,,her majesty when dealing with Kassy's rage..admitting to being wrong and still find a way to sooth and deflect whats rightfully coming at her..
"It is what I am."
" It is not," she countered, undismayed. " When it is gone, you will remember that you and you alone among the Elohim have both loved and been loved"
To that assertion, he had no reply.
Quite the change for the bejeweled one. From a hateful rage filled screaming banshee at her entrance in this chapter...to telling Kassy,,the he just might be better than all of the other Elohim,,cuz he has known Love..and..on her way out,,one last bon mot..Moksha has the skurj, and Foul remains hinky for Jeremiah. ..I get the feeling that Infelice was reaching out from the pages and saying that for the reader's benefit as much as for the Company's benefit. Such a nice act of Love.

Yes Cord..One heck of a scene..Thanks for surfacing it and pointing to its greatness.Its Incredible swings of emotion and perspective leaves one drained,,impoverished.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The whole fight scene at the end of this was really WTF when I read it. Longwrath and Covenant appearing out of no where... Like you said, dues ex machina.

But I agree with you that this scene is more about Infelice.

However, one other thing I wanted to point out, is I think it was just about this point when I was starting to get a little overwhelmed by the usefulness of the krill... I mean, this bloody dagger seems to be the solution for everything! Did High Lord Loric know the power of this blade!? How the heck did he forge this thing??? I mean, just to name a few things that the krill does:

-Purifies anything that it sits around for thousands of years (glimmermere, andelain)
-Slays forestals and Law of Life (whatever that means, I never figured it out)
-Resolves the differences between white gold and law so that Linden can resurrect her smoochie-bear
-Slashes ravers to tiny bits (tiny bits of gobbets)
-Lets Covenant teleport through time and space like on Stargate

And NOW we are to believe that the Elohim are afraid of the krill too??? Is there anything that the krill CAN'T do???

Seriously, how the heck did Loric create this puissant thing???

-jay
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seriously??..you may have left a few things out..but I get the question...Since I see " The Land" as interior-scape,,or..interior dialogue...then lets begin with the author's definition..The Krill is a knife of power. Says alot huh?..A knife is easy enough to grasp but we get into the unknown with Power. What kind of power? well, as you point out Jay..all kinds of power. Opens up Ur-viles and Sand Gorgons as easy as a can of peas. Forms magic structure for time traveling..on and on.. What kind of power can do so many unrelated things..I betcha..it could make a raver eat over cooked liver..with no ketchup..Yea, that kind of power,,other wise known as Will Power...Again..I'm in the interior dialogue mode. So, as Will Power, It enables, makes possible..anything. It provides the means, the energy, the Will. Is there anything it can't do? It can't do anything that TC doesn't want to do..The Gem Stone in the hilt seems to indicate the energy level of the Will it is ,," focusing"..shining britely and all that..,,

Whether Any previous Lord knew of the Power seems to be off target..That they didn't have the " spark" or energy of Will Power,, access to the Krill, is the point , I think. And yes,,perhaps Loric,, created something that was beyond him...or not understood by him. Forge?..good question,,how does anyone forge Will Power?..I suspect, like most things involving energy,,start small and make it big..Thru use, it gets stronger...like a muscle,.yea, will power. Maybe Loric just didn't use it enough. a despair?

It works for me..The Krill, the Great Enabler, Will Power!!

So..by that..that scene of TC threatening Kassy with the Krill..takes on nuances sublime. Kassy, the only Elohim who Loved and was Loved..had more value alive so to speak,,than departed. TC only threatened him. Much Hope in that scene..imho..and the Krill is central to it all.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I'll only say here that I really really really wanted Kasty to get his in this scene. instead he gets his redemption. I guess it makes sense to believe he was driven to his madness by outside elements (Elohim, Durance, SWMNBN, etc, etc). But didn't he also make his own choices along the way? And didn't he do some really awful stuff? And so Infelice gets to welcome him in to the fane and be safe and secure and receive kisses for all his boo boos, and without so much as a glance back at TC and company with any sort of remorse. These Elohim are friekin' amazing, right? I guess I wouldn't want TC to have just lit him up with the Krill without provocation, but maybe Kasty could have drawn first or something, anything. I mean Longwrath bites it and that's somehow okay. What did he really do to actually affect anything?? Kasty was the instigator for so much dread and woe (not to mention his crappy parenting skills on poor Esmer), but he gets to cozy up with the Elohim Queeen in her new quarters. Not a bad prison sentence if you ask me.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don..True observation of kassy there..Yet,,I am more taken by Infelice's first attempt at exercising Love..She nails It..She turns the other cheek.Not too shabby. .She heals the one who just said he hated her and wants to kill her and all like her..and who the heck knows what else happens inside the fane.. This moment is reminiscent of Thermopyles redemption in the Gap series. A slim opportunity is made available to a "worse case"..and somehow they are brought to seeing a hope,,that changes everything.

I believe you are representative of a lot of readers..There was an expectation of kassy getting his due.So, the author again, does his own advise,,does something unexpected....Yet..I've also had a disdain for the Elohim and their belief of being above everything..Perfect.So, I was thinking something Tragic,,but now I realize,,He had already suffered the Tragic..He had already served time for crime that should never been a crime...He Loved. And now Infelice knows..has real knowledge of..Love. Kassy as Jesus dealing with the Pharisees?

Again..I'm back to the upside down inside out nature of the Land,,and what happened to Kassy. It gets even more Tragic,,when his off-spring , Esmer, is thrown into the mix. In a quid pro quo world, Kassy should have ripped Infelice apart and thrown the bits of her to the kresh....but its not the quid pro quo world here in the Land..Its about finding other choices,,and Infelice finds a bit of Love and tries out her choice. It possibly saves her existence.

So, that is how I see thru this scene. There have been complaints that Kassy just wimped out..with no clear sense of justice ..TC shows up out of nowhere and its over...Well,,seems to me..Kassy paid extravagantly already. Infelice brought to seeing how wrong She and the Elohim had been about Jerry and thus,,possibly about everything...a public oh schitt moment..embarrassed to humility by the ribald Giants of all things...gives me more satisfaction .
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lurch wrote:
Quite the change for the bejeweled one. From a hateful rage filled screaming banshee at her entrance in this chapter...to telling Kassy,,the he just might be better than all of the other Elohim,,cuz he has known Love..and..on her way out,,one last bon mot..Moksha has the skurj, and Foul remains hinky for Jeremiah. ..I get the feeling that Infelice was reaching out from the pages and saying that for the reader's benefit as much as for the Company's benefit. Such a nice act of Love.


Really, Infelice seemed to get a lot out of the Giantesses' affirming their friendship for Jeremiah. Wow, the Elohim can really be quick learners when they have to be.

kevinswatch wrote:
Did High Lord Loric know the power of this blade!?


Judging by the confident way Loric saunters up towards Linden and company towards the end of Fatal Revenant, I'd say he did.

kevinswatch wrote:
Is there anything that the krill CAN'T do???


Apparently it can even dice melons, as Branl proved. Alas, it doesn't seem to be a good de-Wormer--such a shame! And I sure as heck wouldn't want to shave with the danged thing; that probably wouldn't end well.
Spoiler:
And we know from Roger's experience in the upcoming "You Are Mine" chapter that it's no good as a Despiser-slayer, either.


Dondarion wrote:
And didn't he do some really awful stuff?


Yup, and the slaying of Liand especially comes to mind. But lurch is right that Kastenessen has suffered plenty already, for centuries. I guess you might say he is "not guilty by reason of insanity".
(Still, Dondarion, I must admit I'm not being consistent, here. Joan could cop the insanity plea as easily as Kasty, and she's certainly suffered aplenty as well. I guess I like the scene with Kastenessen in this chapter because it was unexpected, because it wasn't resolved with yet another protracted battle.)
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Beckoning for Jeremiah to accompany her, Kindwind stepped away. When they had withdrawn a few paces, she said, "We must trust, Chosen-son, that his [Stave's] folk restore themselves in this manner. It appears that his spirit has turned inward. But I believe that a man who has performed his feats must soon heal himself and return to us."

Jeremiah swallowed against the dryness in his throat. "I hope so. He doesn't deserve this."

"Ah, deserve," sighed Kindwind. "The notion of deserved and undeserved is a fancy. Knowing both life and death, we endeavor to impose worth and meaning upon our deeds, and thereby to comfort our fear of impermanence. We choose to imagine that our lives merit continuance. Mayhap all sentience shares a similar fancy. Mayhap the Earth itself, being sentient in its fashion, shares it. Nonetheless it is a fancy. A wider gaze does not regard us in that wise. The stars do not. Perhaps the Creator does not. The larger truth is merely that all things end. By that measure, our fancies cannot be distinguished from dust.
"For this reason, Giants love tales. Our iteration of past deeds and desires and discoveries provides the only form of permanence to which mortal life can aspire. That such permanence is chimera does not lessen its power to console. Joy is in the ears that hear."

Her assertion startled Jeremiah. It seemed to question his foundations. If he closed his eyes, he could still see the extremity of Stave's fall. the hard throb of Cabledarm's bleeding and the excruciation of her shoulder cried out to his senses. Awkwardly he reached for Kindwind's last waterskin. When she released it, he drank as if his thirst--his dismay--had the force of a moral convulsion.
"So you're saying," he protested or pleaded, "what Stave did is worthless? What Cabledarm did is worthless? It's all dust?"

"Aye," Cirrus Kindwind assented, "if that is how you choose to hear the tale." Her tone was mild. "For myself, I will honor the effort and the intent. Doing so, I will be comforted."

Jeremiah wanted to shout. Instead he fumed, "You sound like the croyel." Was joy in the ears that heaar? Then so were agony and horror. So was despair. "It was forever telling me everything Mom did was useless. Nothing matters. It's all dust. That's why Lord Foul laughs--and Roger--and those Ravers. They agree with you. In the end, they're the only ones who get what they want."

Kindwind looked at him sharply. Like the flick of a blade, she retorted, "Then hear me, Chosen-son. Hear me well. There is another truth which you must grasp.
"Mortal lives are not stones. They are not seas. For impermanence to judge itself by the standards of permanence is folly. Or it is arrogance. Life merely is what it is, neither more or less. To deem it less because it is not more is to heed the counsels of the Despiser.
"We do what we must so that we may find worth in ourselves. We do not hope vainly that we will put an end to pain, or to loss, or to death."

Failure isn't something you are. It's something you do.

Without warning, Jeremiah found that he ached to share Kindwind's beliefs, and Linden's. Perhaps the monolith had never contained enough malachite. Perhaps the deposit had shattered. Perhaps Stave and even Cabledarm would die. Perhaps Mom would never come back. Perhaps futility was the only truth. Still Jeremiah would have to find a way to live with it.
To himself, he muttered, "It's not that easy."

Cirrus Kindwind had never been possessed.

Her response was a snort. "We were not promised ease. The purpose of life--if it may be said to have a purpose--is not ease. It is to choose, and to act upon the choice. In that task, we are not measured by outcomes. We are measured only by daring and effort and resolve."


The Giants cease to be such a frustrating puzzle for Jeremiah after this discussion with Kindwind, it seems. They still mystify him at times, but it no longer bothers him, as evidenced by the following quote later in the chapter, after they make some innuendoes about each other:

Quote:
"I don't get it," Jeremiah protested; but the women went on laughing.
Joy is in the ears that hear. Clearly the Swordmainnir lived by that creed. Jeremiah did not understand at all. They sounded hysterical. Yet when they subsided, they were stronger. Somehow laughter had restored them.
That was enough for him: he could accept it. When he was able to believe that the Giants were ready, he moved away toward the scant beginnings of his construct, beckoning as he went.


I like that this is one of the less painful maturing moments for Jer.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for starting this, lurch. It seems like a very straightforward chapter, packed with some exciting action and some revelations. But there are a few subtle things packed into it as well.

First, I thought Kindwind's discussion of worth with Jeremiah was very significant.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
“We were not promised ease. The purpose of life—if it may be said to have purpose—is not ease. It is to choose, and to act upon the choice. In that task, we are not measured by outcomes. We are measured only by daring and effort and resolve.”

We are not measured by outcomes. This ties into many threads in this story. Particularly Linden's admonitions about Failure.. Failure is not what you are. Surely this is one of Donaldson's major themes.

Kindwind's words are immediately followed by news of Stave's success. "You did it!". The lesson can only be that Stave's worth was not in having found the malachite, but in the effort he made on Jeremiah's behalf. We are measured only by daring and effort and resolve.

You can't get a better combination of daring and effort and resolve then Stave's feats on the cliff.

lurch wrote:
As physically trashed as they are,,Stave, the Giants,,maintain a clear, unimpoverished attitude of what it is to be done..and thus are successful..How you see …perspective…brings success.

But oh, the pain. This chapter reminds me of the march of the Warward in TIW. Donaldson makes you feel the weariness of the characters so completely that you can't help cringing. It is, in short, painful to read.

And yes, I am sure that the transition to brief, short sentences is one way that Donaldson sets the tone for unrelieved exhaustion. Long, complex sentences are the hallmark of intellect. Brief simple ones are the result of effort.

In The Last Dark was wrote:
The mad Elohim struck the plain like a fireball flung by a titan. At the impact, the very ground under his feet seemed to ripple and clench like water, liquefied by ferocity.

Again, that's one of those pure drama moments that I have been loving in this series. All that's missing is the crouched-one-fist-on-the-ground pose when he lands. It's cliche ... and yet exciting, they way it's deployed here.

kevinswatch wrote:
I mean, this bloody dagger seems to be the solution for everything!

The krill is great. The krill is good. All hail the krill!

But, seriously ... Covenant has clearly discovered a "means of articulation" with this blade that allows him to do things he could not otherwise do. Which is similar to how the krill allowed Linden to do more than she could otherwise do (weild wild magic and the Staff simultaneously).

The krill we already know was created as, basically, the perfect tool for channeling power. (There's a passage to that effect somewhere.) So in terms of usefulness, it's not what it does, it's what it helps the wielder do.

I like the krill having new uses. They are consistent. The alternative is bringing new things into the story to serve that purpose.

Dondarion wrote:
I guess I'll only say here that I really really really wanted Kasty to get his in this scene. instead he gets his redemption.

But it was a good surprise, no? As Infelice says, he has known love, and has been loved ... and that led to everything else.

Dondarion wrote:
I mean Longwrath bites it and that's somehow okay. What did he really do to actually affect anything??

I won't dwell on the lack of satisfaction in Longwrath's resolution. But he did have a part to play. Infelice admits, "He has not redeemed us, but he has weakened our lost brother."

In The Last Dark was wrote:
It was not an Elohim’s fist. It was Roger’s, human and fatal. With it, Kastenessen could deliver devastations that no other being of his race might attempt or condone.

As Roger gained power from Kastenessen's hand, Kastenessen had gained power from Roger's. So Longwrath's amputation made him weaker. And bought a critical bit of time.

Cord Hurn wrote:
Really, Infelice seemed to get a lot out of the Giantesses' affirming their friendship for Jeremiah.

Indeed. Those lines, We are Elohim. We have no knowledge of friends. That explains, I think, quite a lot about them. They underestimate everyone, and this is the biggest reason why.

Cord Hurn wrote:
I like that this is one of the less painful maturing moments for Jer.

Well, then it's odd that this is coupled with double-entendre's that go over his head because of his youth. : )

- - - - -

Is anyone noticing that the power of love is a common theme in these last few chapters? Love (as friendship) will protect Jeremiah. Love was the key to Kastenessen's redemption. Love is what the Elohim underestimate everyone. Love is why Stave and Jeremiah are set aback by Linden's departure. And we even reference to love as physical act.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That Kasty found love and mercy is no doubt. Mercy is in the hands that give it, and Infelice and TC had a right to gave it. Mercy usually comes to the contrite, however, and alrhough Kasty wasnt that, to let go of it anyway was a hard thing, commendable, and one can't fault Infelice and TC for that. Nevertheless, IMHO he should still be held accountable, temporally at least, for his crimes. I guess it would have served no purpose to the quest to have just ended him, and what else was the company to do with him? Perhaps Lurch is right, who knows what might occur inside the Fane? Now that would have been a great scene. Are the Elohim all in there cowering like in some bomb shelter, or are they hangin out playing bridge and drinking tea...no worries now that they can't get eaten?
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dondarion, do you think it would have been possible to "just end" an Elohim? I cannot think of any examples of this ever happening, except involving the Worm. But that doesn't mean it can't be done.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True that, WF. I suppose it coud be possible for an Elohim to be 'off'd'. Didn't Kasty show fear and dred when TC was threatening him? If so, there must be some means to an ending. Esmer was a half Elohim, so that doesn't help, The Harrow is not an Elohim, so no go on that one. It's a great question.
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