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THE WOUNDED LAND, Ch 6&7: The Graveler & Marid
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wayfriend
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Final Dark is the end ... but Donaldson's daunting task is to make it be a triumph for Covenant. (Hmmm... link (Runes forum)).
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wayfriend wrote:
The Final Dark is the end ... but Donaldson's daunting task is to make it be a triumph for Covenant. (Hmmm... link (Runes forum)).


That was a great post; thanks for that link.

SRD's comment about the end of the Land seems pretty final. His vision may have changed in the years since then, but it seems highly doubtful. I found the original question and answer from which that statement was drawn to see if there were any other hints. The only thing worth mentioning is that he refers to the Last Chronicles as "test of acceptance," where the first and second Chronicles were tests of muscle and sacrifice, respectively. Acceptance...that the world must end? That despair cannot ever be completely destroyed? Sounds like another phrase that won't be completely clear until it's all over.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really? I don't remember ever seeing that statement. Very cool. (on the other hand, since one of the things I'm working on in my life is acceptance, hmmm. I wonder why I missed it Wink )

Acceptance... of what? That we all have darkness within us? That there are things that we can't change, and must learn to just be at peace with? That the only thing we can have any control over is ourselves, and that we must learn to accept that others will do whatever they choose... ??
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The difference between acceptance and surrender is very subtle, but important. Surrender is giving up. Acceptance is giving in. It's not abandoning hope, not suicide. But rather coming to peace with, being honest with, reality. It's the middle ground between resistance and surrender (the first and second chronicles "solutions" to the problem of evil, respectively). It's an attitude in which resistance is still possible, even though that resistance is ultimately futile.

Relayer asks "acceptance of what?" Well, all those things about reality which suck, but which are nevertheless fundamental aspects of existence. The unattractive truths: Death. Sickness. Disease. Temporality. Finitude. Basically, it's the problem of being a conscious entity in a dying world in a dying body.

I don't agree with the Jacob's Ladder comparison. In that comparison, there's only two choices: "Hanging on (resisting)" or "letting go (stop resisting)." These correspond to the solutions given by Donaldson in the 1st and 2nd Chronicles, respectively. Jacob's Ladder doesn't leave room for the possibility of a third solution, a Last Chronicles solution.

"Letting it go" has nothing to do with acceptance; it's merely a defensive mechanism to shield you from pain by distancing yourself from things you don't like about life (such as the fact that it ends). That's not acceptance; that's surrender. "Letting it go" is the cessation of fighting, cessation of resistance. I don't think Donaldson's point is to give up all the things we love about life, or to stop resisting those things which corrupt and shorten life. Surely this isn't a story about how to die, but a story about how to live (albeit in the face of death).

I don't think this is about finding a way to avoid pain, to keep things from "burning a hole in your heart." Instead, I think it's about accepting that pain and accepting that burning hole as part of living, as the flaming proof of your existence. Covenant doesn't need yet another way to numb himself from life. He's already a leper.

I do like the reinterpretation of "evil" into something "good," and how these interpretations are often based on our inability to face unattractive truths. Death isn't evil. Suffering isn't evil. If there's anything we must let go, it is our aversion and inauthenticity. But life is certainly not something to "let go." Resistance may create demons. And surrender may create angels. Acceptance shows that all that angels/demons stuff was just an illusion (or metaphor). Hence, I think all this is going to end in the "real" world, despite my virtual certainty that Donaldson won't pull an ". . . it was all a dream" ending (or "it was all a drug induced hallucination due to military experiments on aggression-enhancing compounds . . ." ending Smile ).
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(This subthread really should be moved to the Runes forum, IMO.)
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for derailing the thread. Embarassed Please cut/move as you deem fitting.

Malik23 wrote:
Relayer asks "acceptance of what?" Well, all those things about reality which suck, but which are nevertheless fundamental aspects of existence. The unattractive truths: Death. Sickness. Disease. Temporality. Finitude. Basically, it's the problem of being a conscious entity in a dying world in a dying body.


Ah, where is Mhoram's quote when I need it? Didn't he once say something to the effect that "we should rage at dying, but not death"? I know "rage" is incorrect, but the gist is similar. I can't accept an ending that invalidates anything Mhoram has said. (I'm kidding.)

In regards to the way "acceptance" was defined in the rest of the above post, I need some clarification. Accepting that life and death are equally integral parts of existence is one thing. But is a worldview that values life over death really in need of change?
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't accept an ending that invalidates anything Mhoram has said.

Period Wink

You're thinking of the song he sings when his parents choose to die.

Death reaps the beauty of the world—-
bundles old crops to hasten new.
Be still, heart:
hold peace.
Growing is better than decay:
I hear the blade which severs life from life.
Be still, peace:
hold heart.
Death is passing on—-
the making way of life and time for life.
Hate dying and killing, not death.
Be still, heart:
make no expostulation.
Hold peace and grief
and be still.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

danlo wrote:
Very good Fist! See any parallels between that and Linden's parents? Confused


Bumpity-ump!! Very Happy Well said, danlo, (four years ago!) that had actually gone right by me. But there is a lot to re-reading TWL. If you already know why Linden is so dark, it explains a lot. Thankfully for TC's sake, he doesn't take it personally, he is familiar with that kind of woundedness.

Someone less scarred would not have been equal to the pain the Land was in, and its inhabitants as well. Linden cast no stones at Sunder because she herself was guilty... her denial that evil exists was her way of coping, but that wasn't going to cut it in the Land. That is her challenge-- to acknowledge that there IS evil, and get on with her life. She will have to face her own darkness and survive.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bit of a bump but am re-reading the 1st and 2nd Chronicles again and something struck me when reading the passage where Sunder touches Marid with his staff and it bursts into flames. Can't recall if this is addressed later in the book, but does that imply Sunder's staff is <i>lomillialor</i> High Wood? Another example of the crossover between Stonedownors and Woodhelvenin exemplified by Hollian's role in her community? If so, where did it come from given that Triock's <i>lomillialor</i> was burned by <i>turiya</i> raver in TPTP?

Always so much to think about in these books and just recalling the shock of reading TWL for the first time over 25 years ago...
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have some random thoughts which may or may not help.

For one thing, Marid, at this time, was literally hot. Like, if you touched him, you got burned.

I think the author's intention here was to tie Marid to the hot knife left in Nassic's back.

So Sunder's staff ignited for the same reason that the knife was made hot. Because of the Raver's power. It was wood, not iron, and so poof. Simply heat.

Now, other Ravers at other times did not exhibit this kind of hotness. I think it was intentional on the Raver's part. At that point in time, he wanted Marid to be found guilty of slaying Nassic. So when Sunder touched him with the staff, the Raver exerted power as heat.

For these reasons, I don't see high wood being involved. I think the author is leading us in a different direction, wherein the Raver is using heat to tie Marid to the slaying of Sunder's father and ensuring he would be staked in the Sunbane.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Wayfriend, that makes perfect sense. Now you mention it there was a definite theme of heat involved with the Ravers in TWL - I had just assumed it was a "test of truth" but was more straightforward than that. With the intermingling of Stonedownor and Woodhelvenin lore it wouldn't have surprised me to see High Wood - not sure what Hollian's <i>lianar</i> wand is come to think of it?
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