Kevin's Watch Forum Index
 HomeHome   MemberlistMemberlist   RegisterRegister   SearchSearch   ProfileProfile   FAQFAQ   StatisticsStatistics  SudokuSudoku   Phoogle MapPhoogle Map 
 AlbumAlbum StoresStores   StoresItems Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Bakker's The Prince of Nothing series
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 8, 9, 10, 11  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> General Fantasy/Sci-Fi Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 16248

Thanks: 35
Thanked 163 Times in 156 Posts


10118 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2016 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha, what a coincidence. Brinn, I was just praising one of your old posts in the Tank about Katrina (which has become relevant again with the Louisiana flooding and the issue of Presidential response or lack thereof).

Thanks a lot for the compliment--and for introducing me to this author. I'm in awe of Bakker's writing. He has moved to the top of my list, above Donaldson in terms of writing ability (especially after the disappointing novellas). If my books ever get published--yes, I'm still working on them--I'll have to thank Bakker for blazing the trail that I'm on. My project has always been deeply philosophical, but I held myself back in my prose, worrying that I had to make it accessible. Since reading Bakker, I've let that worry go, and doing so has transformed my writing. I've rewritten virtually my entire book.

Knowing that he worked on his first novel for 20 years before his career took off has also been an inspiration for someone like me, who has been plugging away for much too long. I'm also finding myself in a similar position of possibly needing to split my work into more books than I originally thought. My page count has seriously gotten out of hand.
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do–back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Holsety
Full of Hot Air

MaleRanyhyn
Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 3393

Thanks: 93
Thanked 22 Times in 21 Posts

Location: Principality of Sealand
1282 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Member of Linden's Army1 Captains Fancy1 Lord Mhoram's Victory


PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
To me the differences are minor, and IIRC, manage to meld together. For example, the K'rul issue...once the "new" sex is defined, I seem to remember that it then becomes standard for both authors. K'rul is an elder god afterall, if he/she decides to change gender, it can... Very Happy

--A

I know it's not a malazan topic, but just to quickly talk about continuity in malazan: one of the other big potential issues comes up between GotM and the rest of the series, because Erikson had to shop around for some time after writing GotM before getting it published. I mean, I'm not sure when he started writing Deadhouse Gates, but he started trying to get GotM published around '91, got it published in 99 and Deadhouse Gates was published in 2000. I can't help but suspect that the fast pace of publishing the malazan books after GotM was assisted by the long hiatus.

Anyway, there's some definite contradictions between gotm and the later books. One that comes to mind is that orfantal - not an elder god, just a tiste andii - is korlat's sister in gotm (she calls him her sister in like, the one scene they appear), and brother in memories of ice when he reappears. Orfantal's gender in gotm seems to be completely forgotten, and never addressed or considered again. Orfantal is pretty important in the kharkhanas trilogy, but in the book of the fallen, he does nearly nothing, so it's kind of hard to care.

K'rul was probably intended to be able to change genders - it's even talked about explicitly in forge of darkness. Since it really makes sense for k'rul to be of variable identity, and elder gods in general vary their identity a lot, it's not much of a retcon in his case, and may have been planned from the start.

There's a great deal more that can be said. Erikson obviously tries to play with the idea of a variety of different conflicting myths depicting his backstory, none of which get at the whole truth. No one knows everything. I also think he is a bit careless with consistency from time to time. So even putting potential contradictions with esslemont aside, I think you'll spot some potential timeline and consistency issues if you pay attention to erikson (I think there's a rather glaring issue about dragnipur's age relative to k'rul between gotm and forge of darkness).

There's a lot more that could be said, but I'll stop there. I'm sorry to invade the topic, but I thought it might be of interest to those who were discussing it earlier if they come back in here.
_________________
Thomas Covenant: be true. Your bro, Mhoram, will probably help you with this.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
Madness
Stonedownor

Male
Joined: 30 Jun 2016
Posts: 31

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

Location: The Great White North
122 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
LOL Yeah, I'm generally pretty quick...it has it's drawbacks...TGO will be a perfect example...after waiting months for it, I'll finish it in a couple of days, so it's usually a little anti-climatic. Ah well...It has its benefits too. Very Happy

--A


Well, I mean... everyone waited five years and still devoured it in no more than a few day's time. Foolish readers Wink.

Brinn wrote:

This is as good of a critical explanation of Bakker's prose as I have seen. I've often felt that his prose "connects" with me on a deeper level than just about any other author I've read and this has given me some insight, insight that resonates, into why. Thanks for this Z.


+1 that deeper level.

Zarathustra wrote:
Thanks a lot for the compliment--and for introducing me to this author. I'm in awe of Bakker's writing. He has moved to the top of my list, above Donaldson in terms of writing ability (especially after the disappointing novellas). If my books ever get published--yes, I'm still working on them--I'll have to thank Bakker for blazing the trail that I'm on. My project has always been deeply philosophical, but I held myself back in my prose, worrying that I had to make it accessible. Since reading Bakker, I've let that worry go, and doing so has transformed my writing. I've rewritten virtually my entire book.


As am I in awe of his writing and will owe a debt to his writing in my own writerly ambitions.

Holsety wrote:

I know it's not a malazan topic, but just to quickly talk about continuity in malazan: one of the other big potential issues comes up between GotM and the rest of the series, because Erikson had to shop around for some time after writing GotM before getting it published. I mean, I'm not sure when he started writing Deadhouse Gates, but he started trying to get GotM published around '91, got it published in 99 and Deadhouse Gates was published in 2000. I can't help but suspect that the fast pace of publishing the malazan books after GotM was assisted by the long hiatus.


There's actually really interesting insight into this by Erikson on the Grim Tidings podcast: he lucked into this random situation where a competitor to his publisher wanted to pay him in advance for all ten books in his series - his publisher was under the impression that he was writing like three books or something - and his publisher matched the competitor's offer!

So with a couple road-bumps over the publishing schedule, Erikson was paid IN-ADVANCE (!!) a quarterly salary over nine years for the volumes following GOTM.

If only Bakker could land himself in that pile!
_________________
Strength on the Journey - Journey Well
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Holsety
Full of Hot Air

MaleRanyhyn
Joined: 21 May 2006
Posts: 3393

Thanks: 93
Thanked 22 Times in 21 Posts

Location: Principality of Sealand
1282 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Member of Linden's Army1 Captains Fancy1 Lord Mhoram's Victory


PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

There's actually really interesting insight into this by Erikson on the Grim Tidings podcast: he lucked into this random situation where a competitor to his publisher wanted to pay him in advance for all ten books in his series - his publisher was under the impression that he was writing like three books or something - and his publisher matched the competitor's offer!

So with a couple road-bumps over the publishing schedule, Erikson was paid IN-ADVANCE (!!) a quarterly salary over nine years for the volumes following GOTM.

That's hilarious.

It felt like Erikson banged out the malazan books pretty quickly. Bakker also mostly got these books out pretty fast, though there was a big space before great ordeal. I'm guessing part of the reason for that is that he was originally planning on Aspect Emperor being a trilogy, right?
_________________
Thomas Covenant: be true. Your bro, Mhoram, will probably help you with this.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
Avatar
Immanentizing The Eschaton


Joined: 02 Aug 2004
Posts: 52025

Thanks: 70
Thanked 140 Times in 137 Posts

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
13430 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Pantheon Veteran


PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holsety wrote:
Anyway, there's some definite contradictions between gotm and the later books. One that comes to mind is that orfantal - not an elder god, just a tiste andii - is korlat's sister in gotm (she calls him her sister in like, the one scene they appear), and brother in memories of ice when he reappears. Orfantal's gender in gotm seems to be completely forgotten, and never addressed or considered again. Orfantal is pretty important in the kharkhanas trilogy, but in the book of the fallen, he does nearly nothing, so it's kind of hard to care.


Didn't remember him being a sister. Very Happy

Quote:
K'rul was probably intended to be able to change genders - it's even talked about explicitly in forge of darkness. Since it really makes sense for k'rul to be of variable identity, and elder gods in general vary their identity a lot, it's not much of a retcon in his case, and may have been planned from the start.


Yeah, just read that in Forge/Fall. Very Happy

Quote:
(I think there's a rather glaring issue about dragnipur's age relative to k'rul between gotm and forge of darkness).


Really? Don't recall that either.

--A
_________________
Don't believe everything you think.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Phoogle Map
Madness
Stonedownor

Male
Joined: 30 Jun 2016
Posts: 31

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

Location: The Great White North
122 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holsety wrote:
Quote:

There's actually really interesting insight into this by Erikson on the Grim Tidings podcast: he lucked into this random situation where a competitor to his publisher wanted to pay him in advance for all ten books in his series - his publisher was under the impression that he was writing like three books or something - and his publisher matched the competitor's offer!

So with a couple road-bumps over the publishing schedule, Erikson was paid IN-ADVANCE (!!) a quarterly salary over nine years for the volumes following GOTM.

That's hilarious.

It felt like Erikson banged out the malazan books pretty quickly.


Right?!

Holsety wrote:

Bakker also mostly got these books out pretty fast, though there was a big space before great ordeal. I'm guessing part of the reason for that is that he was originally planning on Aspect Emperor being a trilogy, right?


Yeah, the gap between WLW and TGO is a messy storm of circumstances (which have ultimately led to this largely lackluster TGO release).

Early on in writing "TUC," Bakker decided to gamble and write two books simultaneously - which he only made clear(er) semi-recently. This is borne of his tendency to write all over the place as it were, non-linearly. Near end of year 2014, he submits all the material for both "TGO" and "TUC" (over a year or two past a deadline, I believe) and asks to renegotiate his contract so that TAE becomes a tetralogy with the Expanded Glossary appearing in TUC-proper.

Contemporarily, early 2015, though Bakker himself doesn't seem to have found out until months later, the long-time Overlook editor assigned to Bakker - and the only one at Overlook familiar with the series - leaves abruptly. Despite that, Overlook remains "committed" to the series and spends the next yearish privately renegotiating TAE as trilogy cum tetralogy with Orbit UK. After that (Sep/Oct 2015, I think) Overlook put out TGO fairly fast (basically like an eight or seven month turn around) - however, the problems with the book are clear in terms an editor unfamiliar with the series and the botch-up copy-edit job that was done in that quick turnaround.

Added to all that, the publicist assigned to Bakker (among other Overlook authors) quit the week of TGO's revised US release date and to my knowledge has not been replaced.

Hopefully Fortuna favours Bakker more in the future.
_________________
Strength on the Journey - Journey Well
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Avatar
Immanentizing The Eschaton


Joined: 02 Aug 2004
Posts: 52025

Thanks: 70
Thanked 140 Times in 137 Posts

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
13430 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Pantheon Veteran


PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah...because I hate waiting so long for the next book. Very Happy

--A
_________________
Don't believe everything you think.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Phoogle Map
Madness
Stonedownor

Male
Joined: 30 Jun 2016
Posts: 31

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

Location: The Great White North
122 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lol - well, technically, you're waiting for the most recent book right now but... Wink
_________________
Strength on the Journey - Journey Well
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Avatar
Immanentizing The Eschaton


Joined: 02 Aug 2004
Posts: 52025

Thanks: 70
Thanked 140 Times in 137 Posts

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
13430 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Pantheon Veteran


PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, true enough. Very Happy It still feels like the next one though. Wink

--A
_________________
Don't believe everything you think.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Phoogle Map
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 16248

Thanks: 35
Thanked 163 Times in 156 Posts


10118 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm about halfway through TGO. I think the book is great so far, even though very little has actually happened. People are having conversations, basically. Making decisions. But the revelations are fascinating.

The best chapters by far are the ones with Akka and Mimara, and what they find at Ishual. Their journey wasn't quite the dead end or waste of time that the end of the last book has us believe. Learning how it was destroyed was interesting.

Okay, now to spoiler territory:
Spoiler:

The Survivor claims that the Singers showed him that everything he thought was wrong, that what comes before doesn't always determine what comes after. From this he concludes that there is meaning and purpose in the world. I get that--what comes after determining what comes before is another way to describe teleological beliefs. But how does the existence of magic (which the Survivor didn't think existed) show this? Granted, magic is kind of like a contradiction in logic, where the presence allows you to "prove" anything (which is why showing the presence of contradiction is a way to disprove an argument). Magic in our universe would contradict the laws of science.

But is this the case in their world? Magic seems very lawful and orderly, just another layer of their universe's laws.


If someone can help me out here without spoiling the rest of the book, that would be great! Thanks.

Spoiler:
I also like how Bakker is keeping the issue of whether Khellus is good or bad in question. One would think that Sorweel's story proves that Khellus is false, but then the Nonmen claim that the gods themselves are misled on this issue.

_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do–back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Avatar
Immanentizing The Eschaton


Joined: 02 Aug 2004
Posts: 52025

Thanks: 70
Thanked 140 Times in 137 Posts

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
13430 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Pantheon Veteran


PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will. Not. Read. Spoilers. Very Happy

--A
_________________
Don't believe everything you think.

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Phoogle Map
Hiro
Elohim


Joined: 20 Oct 2007
Posts: 199

Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Times in 1 Posts


784 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
I'm about halfway through TGO. I think the book is great so far, even though very little has actually happened. People are having conversations, basically. Making decisions. But the revelations are fascinating.

The best chapters by far are the ones with Akka and Mimara, and what they find at Ishual. Their journey wasn't quite the dead end or waste of time that the end of the last book has us believe. Learning how it was destroyed was interesting.

Okay, now to spoiler territory:
Spoiler:

The Survivor claims that the Singers showed him that everything he thought was wrong, that what comes before doesn't always determine what comes after. From this he concludes that there is meaning and purpose in the world. I get that--what comes after determining what comes before is another way to describe teleological beliefs. But how does the existence of magic (which the Survivor didn't think existed) show this? Granted, magic is kind of like a contradiction in logic, where the presence allows you to "prove" anything (which is why showing the presence of contradiction is a way to disprove an argument). Magic in our universe would contradict the laws of science.

But is this the case in their world? Magic seems very lawful and orderly, just another layer of their universe's laws.


If someone can help me out here without spoiling the rest of the book, that would be great! Thanks.

Spoiler:
I also like how Bakker is keeping the issue of whether Khellus is good or bad in question. One would think that Sorweel's story proves that Khellus is false, but then the Nonmen claim that the gods themselves are misled on this issue.


Right, regarding your first question, I'll give it a shot...

Spoiler:
My point is view on this is perhaps overly simple, given the often indeterminable web of meanings Bakker weaves. I don't think the existence of magic per se is the point. The Dunyain succeed in vanquishing the horde of Sranc, so I guess they assume that victory will follow from this. As what has come before must determine what comes after. Cue the Quya attack that devastates them. It shows the Survivor a few things:
- The Dunyain, being isolated, are ignorant. (Ignorance is a recurring motif.)
- Ignorance has serious consequences;
- The logic of before and after is faulty. In fact the lack of control over their circumstances demonstrates the folly of the Dunyain, certainly in this instance.

I could have missed something, but in this case, I don't feel a deeper explanation is required. Although I could be wrong though.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 16248

Thanks: 35
Thanked 163 Times in 156 Posts


10118 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Hiro. I don't think you're wrong, I just think there's more to it (as you admit might be the case). Here's the relevant text, bold is my emphasis:

Spoiler:


"The World was wild with Cause, true, but it could be overcome. How could so few [Dunyain] exact such a toll otherwise? The ferocity of the inexplicable attack waned, then faded. The Shriekers relented, slunk howling back into the forests. And despite everything, the Survivor had thought the Dunyain confirmed: in their discipline, in their training and their doctrine--even in their fanatical solitude ....

Then the Singers had come, shouting in voices of light and fire, and the extent of their delusion had been made clear.


That which comes before determines that which comes after ... This had been the sacred rule of rules, the all-embracing dictum, the foundation upon which the whole of their society--their flesh as much as their doctrine--had been raised.

Demolished in the space of a heartbeat.

The Survivor had watched, not so much stupefied as numbed. <snip> No miracle could be more violent. Words--words had called forth death and energy from emptiness. He had watched that which comes after determine what comes before. He had witnessed the rank impossibility that the Manuscripts called sorcery, the overthrow of his every assumption. "



So ...

Spoiler:
It does seem that the discovery of sorcery was the turning point, both in the battle itself and in his assumptions. Until that moment, he still believed that which comes before determines that which comes after. That dogma was overthrown in a heartbeat upon seeing sorcery. And in seeing sorcery, he explicitly states that he saw that which comes after determine what comes before. Something about the impossibility of magic was that revelation.

It seems to me Bakker is talking about more than merely the temporal order of events. He's talking about causation. Causes lead to effects. The reverse of that is effects leading to causes, or perhaps effects being causes in themselves. So magic is an "uncaused effect." It comes from nothingness, rather than a natural cause.

Maybe that's it. It's not that the arrow of time is reversed, or that causation can run backwards, it's simply that magic is uncaused effects.

But that still doesn't get you to purpose and meaning. And it seems to be contradicted on the next page in the following quote:


More text, page 227:
Spoiler:

The Siege and Fall of Ishual ...

The loss: a mere place. What was this compared to the revelation that accompanied it?

That which comes after could determine that which come before ... The impossible made manifest. The world was an arrow with one and only one direction, or so they had believed. Only the Logos, only reason and reflection could bend the world's inexorable course. Thus the Dunyain and their hallowed mission: to perfect the Logos, to grasp the origins of thought, bend the arrow into a perfect circle, and so attain the Absolute ...

Become a self-moving soul.

Free.


So ...

Spoiler:
A self-moving soul would also be like an effect that was its own cause, or like magic. And bending the arrow into a circle sure sounds like reversing the arrow so that which comes after determines that which comes before. So I'm not sure why--if the Dunyain already thought bending the arrow back upon itself was possible--they didn't already believe in a sort of "magic." They wanted to do something very similar through logic and reason.

One conclusion is that freewill is like magic. Or put another way: freewill is impossible, since magic is also impossible (in our world). Bakker is using fantasy tropes to show us our own ignorance, not merely the Dunyain's.

But that point has already been obvious for a long time. The Dunyain have been playing upon this ignorance since book 1. That's what makes them so powerful, that people don't realize that they're not free.

So he has to be saying more, I think. And that seems clear in this final quote, below.


More text, page 230:
Spoiler:

That which comes after, he now knew, determined that which comes before. Purpose was no illusion. Meaning was real.


So ...
Spoiler:

How does he get purpose and meaning from all of this? Purpose and meaning can only come through violating causation? They're incompatible with determinism? Seeing the impossible made manifest means that there is purpose in the world? I don't get it. Purpose and meaning are miracles?

_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do–back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Hiro
Elohim


Joined: 20 Oct 2007
Posts: 199

Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Times in 1 Posts


784 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Thanks, Hiro. I don't think you're wrong, I just think there's more to it (as you admit might be the case). Here's the relevant text, bold is my emphasis:

Spoiler:


"The World was wild with Cause, true, but it could be overcome. How could so few [Dunyain] exact such a toll otherwise? The ferocity of the inexplicable attack waned, then faded. The Shriekers relented, slunk howling back into the forests. And despite everything, the Survivor had thought the Dunyain confirmed: in their discipline, in their training and their doctrine--even in their fanatical solitude ....

Then the Singers had come, shouting in voices of light and fire, and the extent of their delusion had been made clear.


That which comes before determines that which comes after ... This had been the sacred rule of rules, the all-embracing dictum, the foundation upon which the whole of their society--their flesh as much as their doctrine--had been raised.

Demolished in the space of a heartbeat.

The Survivor had watched, not so much stupefied as numbed. <snip> No miracle could be more violent. Words--words had called forth death and energy from emptiness. He had watched that which comes after determine what comes before. He had witnessed the rank impossibility that the Manuscripts called sorcery, the overthrow of his every assumption. "



So ...

Spoiler:
It does seem that the discovery of sorcery was the turning point, both in the battle itself and in his assumptions. Until that moment, he still believed that which comes before determines that which comes after. That dogma was overthrown in a heartbeat upon seeing sorcery. And in seeing sorcery, he explicitly states that he saw that which comes after determine what comes before. Something about the impossibility of magic was that revelation.

It seems to me Bakker is talking about more than merely the temporal order of events. He's talking about causation. Causes lead to effects. The reverse of that is effects leading to causes, or perhaps effects being causes in themselves. So magic is an "uncaused effect." It comes from nothingness, rather than a natural cause.

Maybe that's it. It's not that the arrow of time is reversed, or that causation can run backwards, it's simply that magic is uncaused effects.

But that still doesn't get you to purpose and meaning. And it seems to be contradicted on the next page in the following quote:


More text, page 227:
Spoiler:

The Siege and Fall of Ishual ...

The loss: a mere place. What was this compared to the revelation that accompanied it?

That which comes after could determine that which come before ... The impossible made manifest. The world was an arrow with one and only one direction, or so they had believed. Only the Logos, only reason and reflection could bend the world's inexorable course. Thus the Dunyain and their hallowed mission: to perfect the Logos, to grasp the origins of thought, bend the arrow into a perfect circle, and so attain the Absolute ...

Become a self-moving soul.

Free.


So ...

Spoiler:
A self-moving soul would also be like an effect that was its own cause, or like magic. And bending the arrow into a circle sure sounds like reversing the arrow so that which comes after determines that which comes before. So I'm not sure why--if the Dunyain already thought bending the arrow back upon itself was possible--they didn't already believe in a sort of "magic." They wanted to do something very similar through logic and reason.

One conclusion is that freewill is like magic. Or put another way: freewill is impossible, since magic is also impossible (in our world). Bakker is using fantasy tropes to show us our own ignorance, not merely the Dunyain's.

But that point has already been obvious for a long time. The Dunyain have been playing upon this ignorance since book 1. That's what makes them so powerful, that people don't realize that they're not free.

So he has to be saying more, I think. And that seems clear in this final quote, below.


More text, page 230:
Spoiler:

That which comes after, he now knew, determined that which comes before. Purpose was no illusion. Meaning was real.


So ...
Spoiler:

How does he get purpose and meaning from all of this? Purpose and meaning can only come through violating causation? They're incompatible with determinism? Seeing the impossible made manifest means that there is purpose in the world? I don't get it. Purpose and meaning are miracles?


Well Zarathustra, this is part of what intrigues and confuses me about this series. These possible contradictory interpretations and meaning do serve to make this world more 'real'. The thing is though, some of these contradictions, or possible contradictions as Bakker's endgame is far from clear yet, undermine the story's logic.

Now, there may be a plan here, as these contradictions seem to occur because of dropping in these philosophical Dunyain into this magical universe. Plan in a thematic way, I mean or I gather.

But I am not sure whether all of this will make sense finally.

Spoiler:
I might be mistaken here, but I thought that the Dunyain had tried to isolate themselves from magic/sorcerers. Cannot find the textual evidence, after only reading the series once, I wouldn't know where to look, so I could be wrong.

However, I don't get the Dunyain anymore. They isolate themselves to survive the Apocalypse, alright. Then start this breeding program, ok. Some years later Moenghus leaves Ishual and starts his reign of domination and learns magic. Calls Kellhus to join him, while the Dunyain order Moenghus killed.

But, what did the Dunyain expect would happen?

They isolate themselves so they cannot see what happens in the outside world. Do they expect they can just stick with their program unaffected by anything happening anywhere? Does that strike you as an insight worthy of a Dunyain? It seems bloody unlikely. Sure enough, things go awry.

Apparently, as you quoted, I didn't remember, they *do* have some manuscripts detailing sorcery, but still they are surprised the Singers/Quya come to wreck Ishual?

And even with the manuscript already there, only when confirmed the Survivor starts to doubt their path? When such a possibility is raised in their books, won't (some) Dunyain question the merits of either or both of the outside world and their own path?


Before even understanding the implications that throw the Survivor, I'm distracted by these contradictions. And like you, I don't understand the possible implications either.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Madness
Stonedownor

Male
Joined: 30 Jun 2016
Posts: 31

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

Location: The Great White North
122 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watch those spoilers, friends.

In other news, The Unholy Consult exists!
_________________
Strength on the Journey - Journey Well
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Madness
Stonedownor

Male
Joined: 30 Jun 2016
Posts: 31

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

Location: The Great White North
122 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar, Orbit UK release is tomorrow! Have you got your book yet?!
_________________
Strength on the Journey - Journey Well
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 16248

Thanks: 35
Thanked 163 Times in 156 Posts


10118 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The book is starting to drag a bit. The Sorweel chapter with the boatman went on too long, but ended well. The Dagliash chapter is a great description of battle, but also feels too long. I wish there was more character development. Overall very little has yet to happen. The writing is still great, but almost too good. The detail and density is staggering.
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do–back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Madness
Stonedownor

Male
Joined: 30 Jun 2016
Posts: 31

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

Location: The Great White North
122 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lol, Zarathustra.

I'm excited to hear what you think of the end.
_________________
Strength on the Journey - Journey Well
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Brinn
SPOW


Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 3096

Thanks: 7
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

Location: Worcester, MA
438 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bump
_________________
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. John Stuart Mill
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Phoogle Map
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 16248

Thanks: 35
Thanked 163 Times in 156 Posts


10118 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm getting there ... hold your bumps. Laughing

Spoiler:
Was that a nuclear explosion at the end of the Dagliash? I can't imagine anything else that would produce such sickness in people. My god. Horrific.

The earthquake just happened, and Khellus returned. I just read the part where he supposedly died, but I don't buy it just yet. It's about time Esmi found out about Kelmo. I've been waiting for that storyline to go somewhere.


So far, pretty brutal and epic.
I'll get back to you all after I've finished.
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do–back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> General Fantasy/Sci-Fi Discussion All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3 ... 8, 9, 10, 11  Next
Page 9 of 11

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by Earthpower © Kevin's Watch