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Begin: Dissecting Lord Foul's Bane, Chapters 1 & 2
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pitch - I absolutely agree .. when reading this criticism of TC being like wise shallow .. I thought immediately of those quotes you included .. TC I think believed he and Joan had a very intimate relationship .. a relationship he seemed entirely content with .. until .. well you know Wink [Roger or the leperosy take your pick]

I think he was happy to let Joan make the decisions contenting himself with her love. I think he regarded their marriage as seriously as he regarded anything of great worth in his life. A promise of fidelity that he would not break .. a covenant of love that would endure time .. I think he loved Joan deeply and fully .. and had it been she who contracted leprosy and not him .. I dont believe he would leave her .. and definitely dont believe he would even consider divorcing her because of it!!!!

You are right about the townsfolk he describes in terms as friends .. but still we dont hear about TC's family once.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found this:

Quote:
For many of us, the fundamental question of ethics is, "What should I do?" or "How should I act?" Ethics is supposed to provide us with "moral principles" or universal rules that tell us what to do. Many people, for example, re passionate adherents of the moral principle of utilitarianism: "Everyone is obligated to do whatever will achieve the greatest good for the greatest number>" Others are just as devoted to the basic principle of Immanuel Kant: "Everyone is obligated to act only in ways that respect the human dignity and moral rights of all persons."

Moral principles like these focus primarily on people's actions and doings. We "apply" them by asking what these principles require of us in particular circumstances, e.g., when considering whether to lie or to commit suicide. We also apply them when we ask what they require of us as professionals, e.g., lawyers, doctors, or business people, or what they require of our social policies and institutions. In the last decade, dozens of ethics centers and programs devoted to "business ethics", "legal ethics", "medical ethics", and "ethics in public policy" have sprung up. These centers are designed to examine the implications moral principles have for our lives.

But are moral principles all that ethics consists of? Critics have rightly claimed that this emphasis on moral principles smacks of a thoughtless and slavish worship of rules, as if the moral life was a matter of scrupulously checking our every action against a table of do's and don'ts. Fortunately, this obsession with principles and rules has been recently challenged by several ethicists who argue that the emphasis on principles ignores a fundamental component of ethics--virtue. These ethicists point our that by focusing on what people should do or how people should act, the "moral principles approach" neglects the more important issue--what people should be. In other words, the fundamental question of ethics is not "What should I do?" but "What kind of person should I be?"


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm drawn back to a previous poll when we rated characters according to wisdom, incessance(sp?), complacency, etc....If TC isn't the picture of complacency, I'm not sure I know what is. Sure, he's writing a book, which takes time & concentration, but he seems completely happy to just roll along, let Joan support him and follow her lead in what ever. I do believe he was enfatuated with her, so that may be part of it. I mean, there was not even discussion about what the child's name would be! So he just accepted it & kept moving along....

I dunno - maybe he was just afraid to rock the boat & end up all alone.... Confused
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before you read this, please forgive me! I got my quotes mixed up with my non-quotes! Embarassed


Sky - I agree with you in that I don't think that TC would have left Joan. I think he would have delved into studying leprosy to help her and certainly never would have taken Roger away from her. She was his life. It seems to me that Roger was almost an afterthough to TC. Joan was the center of his universe.

Foamy - what is ITA?

To go off on another subject (could you expect anything else from me? Wink ) I wanted to bring up SRD's beautiful writing.

[/quote]Even its front steps were polished to guard against the stain of human need which prowled up and down them, seeking restitution.
Quote:
...as SRD writes of the courthouse.

In rage at his outcasting, he sought to defy it, to assert the rights of his common mortal blood.
Quote:
...as TC walks through the town.

It was the pure act of creation which ignited his imagination; and the warm spell of her pride and eagerness kept him burning like a bolt of lightning, not for second or fractions of seconds, but for five months in one long wild discharge of energy that seemed to create the landscapes of the earth out of nothingness by the sheer force of its brilliance - hills and crags, trees bent by the passionate wind, night-ridden people, all rendered into being by that white bolt striking into the heavens from the lightning rod of his writing.
Quote:
...about TC's writing, of course.

In the direction of Haven Farm, the small businesses stood close together like teeth poised on either side of the road.
Quote:
...as TC leaves Bell Telephone.

Never have I read a book so vividly written. I love the way he writes!

Also - I never quite understood why the Beggars' sign read "Beware". It would seem too obvious for it to mean that TC should beware of LF or Drool.

AND - How is it that theCreator chose TC. Drool was the one that summoned him. I believe that Sky has established in other that the Creator was fallible and not omni-present nor perfect. The sign "Beware" turned into eyes "like fangs" to TC.

Is the Beggar the Creator or is the Beggar Lord Foul?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry folks, I got my quotes mixed up with my non-quotes! Embarassed
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I guess you all are right...I forgot about those parts you quoted. I don't think Covenant is shallow (and I didn't really believe it when I wrote that, either). Joan, on the other hand, I'm not so sure about. But we really don't know enough about her to be able to judge her.

caamora wrote:
Foamy - what is ITA?


ITA = I Totally Agree.

~Foamy~
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Foamy! Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy I think that I's be scared, too, if my wife "seduced" horses!!! LOL Twisted Evil
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

only someone with no power at all in a relationship wouldn't have any part of the decision to have a child or name the child when it is born. That's Taliban stuff, man. Joan is Taliban!
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2002 12:15 am    Post subject: Well that being said... Reply with quote

I've been raving all day! Saying "dam that Thomas Covenant is a madman" or "he really infuriates the bloody hellfire out of me" and "god it bloody infuriates me when people on other websites say 'Oh Covenant is an aquired taste...and...I really couldn't stand, or get through, the 1st book'". Well, yes it's aquired taste and it's insanely good taste..if u've got the bloody guts 4 it. If u can understand what real loneliness is, if u can understand what a completely bereft-bedraggled outcast anti-hero feels (or doesn't feel), If u're not 2 lazy 2 look up some of the words now and then, If u are open-minded and have @least an iota of heart and compassion 4 the human condition! Sorry it's 2 much work! Oh u liked the rest of the books? But LFB didn't open ur head up and pour it out--u didn't feel it in ur soul!? Then u never had any business reading the rest of the series!!! **wow, u kno the soundtrack 2 the The Wall would go great w/whatever I just said... Mr. Green TC SRD Rocks BABY!!!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2002 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crying or Very sad Where are this man's parents?? If my kid got sick, and I don't care WHAT disease he got, I would be there! Even if, and especialyy if his wife left him, and he was all alone in the world! Is something wrong with them or are they dead? What's the deal with his family?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2002 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with that other guy that TC always thinks of his wife in physical terms. Even when he thinks of her job, he says that she "seduces" horses. There are so many other terms that can be used -- breaks, trains, tames, whispers -- but he chooses a word with strong sensual/sexual overtones. And when he finds out about being sick he's all upset because he can't sleep with her one last time-I'd miss that about my wife, too, but I would also miss laughing with her, talking with her, dancing with her, well, you get the general idea. A wife is a best, or at least very good friend, not only a sexual partner.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2002 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always assumed his parents are dead and he has no family. As 2 it only being a sensual relationship--I think we readers know better than that...Joan may have been a tad superficial, but TC's much more complex than that.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2002 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caamora I love those quotes you included .. SRD is a really brilliant amazing wordsmith isnt he?

His words are poetry .. especially the way he describes Joan and the inspiration she is to him ..

Quote:
It was the pure act of creation which ignited his imagination; and the warm spell of her pride and eagerness kept him burning like a bolt of lightning, not for second or fractions of seconds, but for five months in one long wild discharge of energy that seemed to create the landscapes of the earth out of nothingness by the sheer force of its brilliance - hills and crags, trees bent by the passionate wind, night-ridden people, all rendered into being by that white bolt striking into the heavens from the lightning rod of his writing.


just pure poetry .. food for a hurgry soul ..

you know if I lost my partner .. I would remember the power of the love we shared .. the potency of our intimacy .. I would feel deeply bereft of my lovers touch .. their breath .. the form and warmth of their body .. I would long for touch .. to look into those eyes .. that face ..

each and every night my bed would remind me of that loss .. its emptiness .. coldness ..

.. because TC bemoans the loss of his beloved betimes via sensual imagery .. describe the very depths of that loss to him

.. To me this isnt an indictment against him.

Apart from that because of his leperosy .. TC lost all sexual function .. Even if Joan remained he is not able to satisfy their love .. he is not even able to satisfy himself in the midst of that loss .. the only thing that remains is pure frustration ..

Love and sex are not seperate and distinct concepts .. they are intrinsically interwoven .. and through them the height of ones love is realised.

TC loved Joan .. even idolised her .. He loved her soft and gentle ways ..
Quote:
the warm spell of her pride
.. he loved that she spoke more with the movements of her body than she did with words .. he surrendered himself entirely to her .. as one does when one has found real love.

And as for him being disempowered in that relationship .. maybe but his absolute love instigated this surrender .. to someone he believed he could trust with his entire self .. he never suspected betrayal or abandonment .. nor leperosy .. I mean who would?

Quote:
Even when he thinks of her job, he says that she "seduces" horses.


Personally I thought that is simply yet another evidence of SRD's poetic prowess .. TC described Joan's .. breaking horses .. in the most delicate of ways .. that perfectly/astutely defines the gentleness in Joan's approach to horse taming .. and her approach to her job .. which would seem to be .. for her .. a labour of love. An enviable thing to be sure.

Also the word 'seduce' has a variety of uses .. allure .. entice .. to win away .. to win over .. there are a number of other meanings .. more along the line you are using them .. A poet will take words and give them feeling .. and to me this is central to Donaldson's art ..
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2002 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a reader and I honestly think that TC is sexually obsessed with Joanie. There doesn't seem to be much else there on his part . He doesn't have a mature realtionship until he meets LA. Confused
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2002 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think Donaldson wants to get us into the story as fast as possible, he gives us the minimum information we need to understand what Covenant had gone through. Maybe he didn't have any relatives, maybe his close freinds abandoned him as Joan did, Donaldson just didn't think it was worth mentioning.



Pitch, I agree with what you are saying. I don't think SRD felt there was any need to flesh out TC past. He gave us what we needed to know about the effects of the leprosy on TC, and let us know that those effects would color every decision he made in the real world as well as in the Land.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2002 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm a reader and I honestly think that TC is sexually obsessed with Joanie. There doesn't seem to be much else there on his part . He doesn't have a mature realtionship until he meets LA.


Well I dont think his love for 'Joanie' was just physical .. I believe he loved her deeply .. but I agree it is not a 'mature' relationship' .. if that is a good word .. because it is one sided ..

Joan doesnt reciprocate the depth of love that TC feels for her .. LA does .. hence the defining difference between the 2 relationships.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2002 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks Fred!
more along this line of thought -
In the afterword of "The Real Story" SRD explains that his best stories arise from two ideas:
Quote:
For Example: The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant is squarely - and solely - founded on two ideas: unbelief and leprosy. The notion of writing a fantasy about an "unbeliever", a man who rejects the whole concept of fantasy, first came to me near the end of 1969. But the germ was dormant: no matter how I labored over it, I couldn't make it grow. Until I realized, in May of 1972, that my "unbeliever" should be a leper. As soon as those two ideas came together, my brain took fire. I spent the next three months feverishly taking notes, drawing maps, envisioning characters; studying the implications of unbelief and leprosy. Then I began writing.


The second chapter is supposed to introduce us to these two ideas.
The introduction to leprosy is very lengthy... The only mention of the second idea - unbelief - is in the beggar's note.

The beggar's note serves a double purpose, it introduces the reader to the idea of unbelief, and at the same time warns the protagonist of what is in store for him.

But what does unbelief have to do with ethics?

Vain, thanks for bringing that quote on the fundamental question of ethics:
Quote:
In other words, the fundamental question of ethics is not "What should I do?" but "What kind of person should I be?"

I'm wondering isn't a person just the 'sum' of everything that person does? well at least when viewed from the outside, I mean all the thoughts and beliefs a person holds are a part of that person, but an outside spectator can't see those, he can only judge a person by his actions.

Obviously a person's beliefs are going to influence their actions, but when we judge whether these actions were ethical, should we take those beliefs into account?

-pitch
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2002 1:02 pm    Post subject: Covenant and Joan Reply with quote

Fascinating insights, guys.

It seems to me that Covenant is made out to be something of a wistful dreamer in the years before his Leprosy hits. Perhaps he doesn't have a family - maybe he lost his parents at an early age and escaped into a world of his own imagination to escape the pain. Either way, he probably finds his imaginative world to be a better place than the real world he lives in, and his writing is a way of making that world come to life.
And then there is Joan, a woman deeply entrenched in the reality of the world, so much so that her very job manipulates nature (taming the wild nature of mustangs). Covenant and Joan are a classic case of bi-polar attraction. In Joan, TC finds the fundamental reality he has been avoiding all his life, while Joan finds in TC the beautiful imaginative creativity she has suppressed all her life. They complement each other without actually intruding on each other's territory.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2002 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man..can Skywier put up a post or what? & Pitchwife too! This is an excellent 'dissection'.

I don't doubt TC's love for Joan...that seems obvious. It's his own personal character flaw (the aforementioned complacency) that gets him in trouble (IMO).
Hellfire! (to spout a Danlo curse) - He didn't even act when he saw his original infection beginning! Even if I didn't know I had leprosy, I usually will put a band-aid on a cut or sore when I see it!! I guess he just thought it would get better by itself?????
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