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Scholarship of the entire Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
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mhoram99
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks, I sort of thought they went together and were mutually reinforcing. But whatever is easier for conversation is fine!
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Lazy Luke
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be good to read your insight on the subject of Kevin's Wards. It is very surprising how much this vital component of the Chronicles is dismissed as McGuffin.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Most central religious themes in first & second tril Reply with quote

mhoram99 wrote:
Donaldson’s central question is how a rapist can be redeemed.

"Redeemed"? That word is to overloaded with different meanings for me to understand precisely what you mean.

Donaldson wanted to show Covenant as conflicted. Someone who might commit evil as well as do good. The rape, then, is evil. But while Donaldson wants Covenant to feel responsible, and to feel guilt, he never suggests that he should be forgiven - in fact, quite the opposite. (For example, he eventually learns how wrong it was to gift Lena with the Ranyhyn's attention, or with anything). No, the closest to redemption that Donaldson suggests is possible is that Covenant can learn to see himself as more than just a rapist, that it is not the sole action for which he should be judged. But he is still a rapist, still always guilty, still always responsible. And that, having done evil, it opens your eyes to the necessity of not doing evil like nothing else.

The larger theme that surrounds this, that we should not judge ourselves by what we achieve, by whether we succeed or fail or do good or do ill, but instead by what we love and and what we long for, carries forward all the way to the Last Dark, where the arcs of the Haruchai, Kevin Landwaster, and Linden Avery, are all resolved with a spin on this theme. And in two of those three cases, it is Covenant who provides this insight, as he has already lived it.

Is this the "central" question of the Chronicles? In my opinion, no. it is one of many very important threads, true. But there are others, equally important. Which, when woven together, have a common theme: how to be "an effective passion".
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Lena and the Land -- what Donaldson adapted from Hawthor Reply with quote

mhoram99 wrote:
The key to my whole reading of the first series is the following: Lena is the Land

I won't say that that is not a valid interpretation. However, it would have more weight if there were parallels between what happened to the Land and what happened to Lena, like occurs in the King Arthur legends. "Lena got raped/the Land got raped" fails for so many reasons.

But I am happy to consider Lena a proxy for the Land. That is, she exemplifies the Land's response to Covenant, and through that, we learn about the Land and the way the people operate. And we also learn about Covenant by seeing him through her eyes.
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