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 

Unworthy of the Angel
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> General SRD Discussion and Other Works
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
kastenessen
Giantfriend

Male
Joined: 01 Apr 2003
Posts: 304

Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

Location: Stockholm, Sweden
160 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2003 12:11 am    Post subject: Unworthy of the Angel Reply with quote

I just re-read some of the stories in DOR and when I read "Unworthy..." it struck me that here SRD discusses, or at least comments, his work, his art, his writing.

SRD writes
Quote:
...but his sculptures held no emotion at all. They gave me an unexpected lift of hope. Not because they were static, but because he was capable of so much restraint


Ther is always a large amount of restraint in his writing. More in his stories than in his style.

and later on

Quote:
What you've been doing is too controlled. Impersonal.You've got all the skill in the world but haven't put your heart into it...You need a balance. Control and passion. Control alone has been destroying you. Passion alone...


I believe SRD describes how the two fundamental basics of his writing,
control and passion, creates the third, the paradox, which is greater than the sum of it's parts. And of course paradox is what permeates the Chrons more than anything else.

SRD even has something to say about evil. (I was thinking of the great and amazing thread What is Evil) In the story Reese has sold his soul to the Devil and will be made famous...

Quote:
Now I'm alive. Here. If you want to take that away from me you're evil.


The paradox of the twisted mind. From someone who doesn't know his own good comes those words. Or maybe Reese understands but feels compelled to continue.

There are more"discussions " about art in "Unworthy..."

I think I was slightly incoherent here...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Phoogle Map
dukkha
Ramen


Joined: 02 Apr 2003
Posts: 77

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts


20 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2003 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see all that you're saying - there's a lot in the story. But I have several problems with it.

1) Rather than having the discussions of morality and philosophy arise organically from the narrative/characterization, they feel tacked on. It seems much more like an article about morality than a story. This is a problem in itself, but since I find the discussion of morality obnoxious, it's even worse. I can't ignore the philosophical/moral musings in favor of a good story. The story is just an excuse for the philosophy.

2) The depictions of evil and (particularly) good are incredibly simplistic. Compare it to the Covenant novels. True, Lord Foul is pure evil....but at the same time he's an externalization of Covenant's own evil. No one can define the Creator as pure good. Certainly the Elohim are FAR from pure good. Good is continually corrupted into evil; people keep trying to do good but have their intentions twisted into something else; etc. On the other hand, "Unworthy" we have Satan vs. Angel. Satan = bad and rich and powerful. Angel = good and poor and weak. BUT, Angel has the power of God behind him. Yeee haa!! Go Jesus! Forgive the sarcasm, but that's how this feels to me. It's more like a story written by Ned Flanders than SRD.

3) SRD ties the passion/control art concept NOT to quality art -- the artist is actually depicted as producing the "best art of his career" -- but to morality. I find this incredibly obnoxious. SRD isn't just making a recipe for good (aesthetically) writing, he's combining that to good (morality) writing. This is disingenuous at best, outright obnoxious at worst. Aesthetics and morals are NOT tied together this way. Bad people have made incredible art (SRD should know this, copying Wagner for the Gap novels). Good people make bad art daily and continuously.

1 and 2 are the real reasons I hate the story though. It actually shocks me that it is written by the author of the Covenant novels, the Gap series, and some of the better stories in Reave the Just.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
Fist and Faith
Magister Vitae


Joined: 01 Dec 2002
Posts: 18507

Thanks: 100
Thanked 97 Times in 93 Posts


10569 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Foul Duck1 Lord Mhoram's Victory1 2011 Watchies


PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2003 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Control & passion? Sounds like:
Quote:
It is said that he has mastered all skill and prowess that we desire, all restraint and calm, and has become perfection. Passion and mastery like unto the poised grandeur of mountains.
(Sorry if the punctuation is off. Smile I don't have the book in front of me.)
_________________
We are not required to save the world. We are required to stand up as truly as we can for what we love. -SRD

All lies and jest
Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest
-Paul Simon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
Ryzel
Mage

Male
Joined: 04 Nov 2002
Posts: 933

Thanks: 1
Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts

Location: Oslo, Noreg
119 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2003 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who is that? Ak-haru-kenausten-ardenol?
_________________
"Und wenn sie mich suchen, ich halte mich in der Nähe des Wahnsinns auf." Bernd das Brot
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
Fist and Faith
Magister Vitae


Joined: 01 Dec 2002
Posts: 18507

Thanks: 100
Thanked 97 Times in 93 Posts


10569 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Foul Duck1 Lord Mhoram's Victory1 2011 Watchies


PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2003 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup! Smile
_________________
We are not required to save the world. We are required to stand up as truly as we can for what we love. -SRD

All lies and jest
Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest
-Paul Simon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
Dragonlily
Editor

Female
Joined: 14 Jun 2003
Posts: 4186

Thanks: 2
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts

Location: Aparanta
565 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2003 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many of SRD's short stories are soap boxes, but "Unworthy Of the Angel" is one of my favorites. I like it because it's so atmospheric. It also focuses on an issue important to a lot of artists.
_________________
"The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -- Roger Penrose
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
danlo
Lord of Neverness


Joined: 06 Mar 2002
Posts: 20840

Thanks: 43
Thanked 56 Times in 56 Posts

Location: Albuquerque NM
2936 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 2005 Watcher of the Year1 Sandgorgon1 Skyweir


PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2003 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hmmm...now you got me going Joy! Rolling Eyes I agree with you on Unworthy--but if you don't watch out I'm going to start a "danlo wants Joy to explain in detail why she fells certian SRD short stories are soapboxes" thread. So start explaining and naming Lady! Shocked Mr. Green
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Phoogle Map
kastenessen
Giantfriend

Male
Joined: 01 Apr 2003
Posts: 304

Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

Location: Stockholm, Sweden
160 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2003 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, what's a "soap box"? I know what a soap box is, but in this context...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Phoogle Map
UrLord
Haruchai


Joined: 09 Oct 2003
Posts: 553

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

Location: Houston
0 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2003 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the metaphorical soapbox refers to people standing on soapboxes on street corners back in the day and telling anyone who would listen about their own beliefs...

now, I have a question, what's "DOR"? I'm unfamiliar with the abbreviation...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
kastenessen
Giantfriend

Male
Joined: 01 Apr 2003
Posts: 304

Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

Location: Stockholm, Sweden
160 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2003 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks!

DOR is short for "Daughter Of Regals", SRD's first shortstory-collection. LFB is "Lord Fouls Bane", TIW is "The Illearth War" and so on...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Phoogle Map
Dragonlily
Editor

Female
Joined: 14 Jun 2003
Posts: 4186

Thanks: 2
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts

Location: Aparanta
565 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2003 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

danlo wrote:
hmmm...now you got me going Joy! Rolling Eyes I agree with you on Unworthy--but if you don't watch out I'm going to start a "danlo wants Joy to explain in detail why she fells certian SRD short stories are soapboxes" thread. So start explaining and naming Lady! Shocked Mr. Green


Danlo, you're asking me to write in a post, what calls for a monograph. You're looking at a day-and-a-half job. I don't have a free day and a half on my calendar for weeks yet. Faint

Not that I wouldn't drop just about anything for SRD, but really...

Ok, take another look at these, mostly in publication order:

Daughter of Regals and Reave the Just both urge women to empower themselves.
Including Gilden-Fire in the collection was a thumb in the eye of a publisher who was gouging his readers with unrealistic prices.
Mythological Beast is a defence of people who are different -- persecuted for being better.
Lady In White is mostly a story, not a message. It does show the futility of men who go chasing after appearances, but I'm not sure that was as important to him as the story.
Animal Lover speaks to animal rights.
Unworthy Of the Angel we talked about.
The Conqueror Worm comments on the stupidity of a family fight that got out of hand.
Ser Visal's Tale draws a parallel between the Inquisition and other evil forms religion sometimes takes.
I'm mentioning Penance out of order here because of the similar message: holy persecution.
The Djinn Who Watches. He says he wrote it for his career, and what I mostly remember is that it was funny. His hero did make an issue of loving a woman for her wisdom rather than her looks.
The Killing Stroke explores the implications of various martial arts philosophies. His culmination is "There is no killing stroke," a rather esoteric concept that I thought he clarified well.
The Kings Of Tarshish. I've read the suggestion that this is a description of the creative mind at work. That's the best interpretation I've heard. It's also well disguised.
The Woman Who Loved Pigs. I don't see a message in this. I see a story in which he successfully miniaturized the epic sweep of his multibook novels. My top favorite SRD short story.
What Makes Us Human is a story his Intro attributes to ego. Not particularly memorable for me, maybe because I didn't understand the physics -- or maybe because he didn't understand the physics. Wink It does praise unpredictability.
By Any Other Name. The hero's mantra is: "It is the place of every honest citizen to name injustice whenever it occurs, and to reject it honestly."

Satisfied, Danlo? Smile Does that give you enough discussion points?

Let us not forget, the storyteller makes his points, the points don't make the story. I don't think I've spoilered a single plot.
_________________
"The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -- Roger Penrose
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
UrLord
Haruchai


Joined: 09 Oct 2003
Posts: 553

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

Location: Houston
0 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2003 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ah, thanks...I just was unfamiliar with the "DOR" abbreviation

Joy...interesting points, but I think you can probably find a message in just about any story ever written by any author, though some are more obvious (Terry Goodkind). That's just about the job of any English class nowadays...forcing people to find and describe in detail the slightest grain of meaning in anything...but back to the point. I think that "Reave the Just" and "By Any Other Name" both tend to have the same philosophy of empowering yourself...You've got the same hero advocating the same philosophy in both, but he just seems to apply it in a broader and more detailed fashion in "By Any Other Name." You know, if this was an English class, I'm sure I could write a multi-page essay on "Reave the Just as a Christ Figure in Reave the Just and By Any Other Name"

But that would be work...and I don't really want to apply the principles of something I hate to something I love Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Dragonlily
Editor

Female
Joined: 14 Jun 2003
Posts: 4186

Thanks: 2
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts

Location: Aparanta
565 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2003 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UrLord
Quote:
I think you can probably find a message in just about any story ever written by any author, though some are more obvious

Very true. And it may be I'm simply paying more attention to SRD's messages, so I'm more aware of them than I am when reading other authors. I do think he's one of the authors who is more obvious about his points -- but more often in DOR than in RTJ.
_________________
"The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -- Roger Penrose
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
kastenessen
Giantfriend

Male
Joined: 01 Apr 2003
Posts: 304

Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

Location: Stockholm, Sweden
160 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2003 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have never read SRD's short-stories as messages although I can easily see that there are if you look for them. (Have to ponder about this awhile.)

...but "The Kings of Tarshish...", that's an interesting one. The explanation you gave abot it Joy, beeing
Quote:
...a description of a creative mind at work...
have really something to it. There is an irrationality in the story that to me has been, in the context within the story, inexplicable. (Don't know if I'm making myself clear here...That is, the dreams that Caliph Akhmet dream and explains to others...I mean, we see them and understands them as one can understand dreams, and advisors and others explains them to him. But the Caliph does not go with their explanations and says that they don't understand anything...and for every important dream and what follows, gets more and more violent and frustrated. (Here again, sexual violence is mentioned). But we, as a reader never understand his problems, and the way it is described it is, as I see it, intentional... SRD would never write anything without intention now would he?...what was my point here?...hm...yes, within the story the Caliphs motifs is never explained and it's the purpose of the story...hm....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Phoogle Map
Dragonlily
Editor

Female
Joined: 14 Jun 2003
Posts: 4186

Thanks: 2
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts

Location: Aparanta
565 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2003 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kastenessen wrote:
(Don't know if I'm making myself clear here... SRD would never write anything without intention now would he?...what was my point here?...


Try again when you're thinking in English?

<tears in my eyes from laughing> Kasten, you're c lowning. You are never incoherent.
_________________
"The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -- Roger Penrose
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
arabisha
Guest









0 White Gold Dollars

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My takes on some of the stories:

Conquerer Worm: insecurity, paranoia, jealousy, control and the destruction it causes. How perception is the filter through which we see things.

Reave and By Any Other Name: the power of sacrifice

Unworthy: look hard at people before judging them, usually there is much pain which produces ugly behaivor in folks and these are the very ones most needing assistance and redemption

Mythological Beast: the road to survival/life is learning self trust despite the pressure others place on you to conform
Back to top
Dragonlily
Editor

Female
Joined: 14 Jun 2003
Posts: 4186

Thanks: 2
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts

Location: Aparanta
565 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good, I like these, arabisha. Any others?
_________________
"The universe is made of stories, not atoms." -- Roger Penrose
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
arabisha
Guest









0 White Gold Dollars

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read Kings of Tarshish the other night. That one is harder for me to grasp. Some things that come to mind: the tyranny of others' dreams on those around them and on themselves...the frustration of not being able to be understood also not understanding yourself.

Funny, the way SRD describes the dreams reminds me of something CS Lewis talked about in his autobiography, Surprised By Joy. Specifically how Lewis defined "Joy". He said that this feeling of joy, a euphoria or this internal sudden bright longing that was indefinable and brief was a sort of "glimpse" of divinity. Anything might inspire the flash of joy. For instance he said he first felt it when he studied Norse Mythology. Or seeing ice sparkle in a tree that all of a sudden seems to stop your heart and catch your breath. Lewis believes this happens because it is a reminder of God. I suppose you could call it an allusion since it associates the two. Well, anyhow Lewis said it was pure folly to try to hold the joy or to seek it in the allusion. For instance, Terisa hears the horns. It sends a thrill through her. But it would do no good to hang around music shops eyeballing the brass section. That is not the true source of the joy but a symbol of it. I bring this up because it sounds like that is what the kid was trying to do....to capture something that he couldn't. It led to obsession.

In the end I could hear a "be careful what you ask for..."
Back to top
kastenessen
Giantfriend

Male
Joined: 01 Apr 2003
Posts: 304

Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

Location: Stockholm, Sweden
160 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2004 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi arabisha! Welcome to the Watch!

You're right about The Kings... It's a tricky one and you're on to something there when you mention the glimpse of divinity and obsession. Perhaps you read an earlier post of mine where i tried to unravel the"mystery" of The Kings... but failed (or something). I have from time to time since studied it and actually written 4 pages of notes from which I have tried to bring something comprehensible and I'm not really done but now that you bring it on again I'll give it a shot.

It's great that you mention the Horns from MN. They are possibly the only element in that story that are used irrationally(I lack word for this usage of element even in swedish so help me). With this I mean that Terisa hear the horns... and never again, and never an explanation from where and why. Just this once. A premonition and a symbol. You can read into the horns almost anythyng(positive I guess) because they never come back... (not until the end but only as a thought). This is one of SRD's more subtle moves of genious. It both have meaning and creates an effect. Well, you said it arabisha, a touch of divinity.

And this is happening in The Kings... as well, four times. I'm thinking of the moments after the telling of dreams and wise men have interpreted them the dialogue goes like this:

Quote:
"Your words give life to beauty."
"Indeed."
"No...Words have nothing to do with it... It was the dream. The beauty was in the dream."
"Ah!... But the dream was yours my lord prince, not ours...We would not have been able toknow of it's beauty if you had not described it so well."
"No! It was the dream. It had nothing to do with me..."
"Of course, ...But Moshim Mosha Va is quite correct. He only means to say that your words are the only way in which we can share the beauty of what you have seen. Perhaps there are two beauties here-the beauty of your dream and the beauty of your description."
"You do not understand!...I remember it all!"


What did young Akhmet expect to get for an answer when telling his dreams. The "irrationality" I was talking about is Akhmet's lines and especially his last one: You do not understand...I remember it all!...We, the reader, know the dreams, astounding... the wise men interpret them, ok , they try to understand...but no...young Ahkmet doesn't buy that, he says... I remember it all! Such a strange thing to say. And such a long way between the teller and the listener. It's not possible to fathom what to understand because it's never spoken of, never mentioned by SRD. Just these lines- You don't understand...I remember it all!

This is the "trick" part (writing technique)...the meanings are several and profound I believe. One thing that stands out is that after each telling and forthcoming misunderstanding Akhmet increases his abuse of women to lenghts never mentioned in any other of SRD's work.

I'll gladly come back to this story after a night's sleep and a days work. Oh,It's so late now. Bye for now...

kast
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Phoogle Map
arabisha
Guest









0 White Gold Dollars

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2004 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you much for the welcome Smile

I'm not quite clear on the bit about the horns and answers being irrational...maybe you were thinking extraneous? I never thought so it was just something that seemed to need no explanation. Again it has been way too long since I read the series. I'm very happy tonight, the board and the short stories have inspired me to give TC a reread and I spent some time in a great old book store this afternoon. Unfortunately they didn't have LFB but I got a copy of Illearth War. I forgot how beautiful it is. If I ever really knew before.

It sounds like from your quotes of the stories and the rest of your post that it is the frustration caused in the dreamer by denying his telling of them that leads to his bad treatment of others. Er I mean that the dream was meant to be told and shared and that by insisting that his telling was worthless or less than perfect (as it could not be) it caused an essential hurt to him which led to his destruction.
Back to top
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> General SRD Discussion and Other Works All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
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