George in Spain
Posted 12 July 2008 - 06:25 AM
Apparently George received a tour of the set, and the photo shows him in what's apparently the commander's chair. :)
Posted 13 July 2008 - 02:21 PM
And you all know how much I love the Bros, but after meeting the Asshai folks, and having two wonderful parties with them, not to mention hearing the Spanish version of "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" and singing along while pounding the table, the Bros are going to have to step it up.
(I am led to understand that there may be a vid of them singing TB&TMF already on YouTube, but you may have to search using the Spanish title. Once I'm someplace I have decent broadband, I'll post my own vid of it from the dinner in Madrid).
Love to all, peace to all
Posted 14 July 2008 - 04:03 AM
I've seen and heard the folks from Asshai singing "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" (El Oso Horroroso in the Spanish version, a translation by Alejo Cuervo, the publisher of ASOAIF in Spain, himself), and Parris and George dancing to the tune. The fact that many in the Asshai crowd were dressed as characters from the books added to the flavour. There were a bunch of brother of the Night's Watch (and sisters), a group of Melissandres, the Hound (amazing), Asha Greyjoy, Viserys with a gold cauldron on his head, Dany, a wolf, a Dornish lord, Stannis, Lyanna, Ygritte, Sansa, Arya, Winter himself, the UnCat, and many others. And a fellow carrying an arrow sign with "Spoiler" written on it that he used to point to all those characters that he deemed to be spoilerish.
I've meet an artist, Quique Corominas, the author of the art in the Spanish translation of ASOIAF, whose method of signing consists in drawing one of the characters of the books. It's a slow method of signing but nobody was complaining. The presentation of the Art book of the Spanish editions of ASOAIF was really interesting, George told us about great art, good art and awful art (the Spanish edition covers of Fevre's Dream were among the later).
I witnessed one of the most amazing discussions, with George R.R. Martin presenting and discussing R. Scott Bakker's books. It was mind blowing, or in Bakker's case brain blowing (brain blowing from a conceptual point of view of course). When my mind is clearer, sorry, when my brain is clearer I'll try to summarize some of the most interesting points. As an advancement I'll quote R. Scott Bakker: "The human brain weights 1,35kg. My brain weights 2kg. George's brain weights 3 kg!"
Posted 14 July 2008 - 03:14 PM
Posted 14 July 2008 - 04:07 PM
This event, called: "Charlando con R. Scott Bakker" (talking to R. Scott Bakker) was in my opinion the most important one. Two hours latter there was another one called "Charlando con George R.R. Martin" but it was a questions and answers with the hundreds of readers that had gathered there; it was interesting, funny and filled with passion like all the moments when George R.R. Martin is in contact with his readers but the "awesome moments" belonged to the former.
"Charlando con Scott Bakker" was introduced by Pablo Ignacio Taibo II who defined Bakker's Prince of Nothing novels like this:
"This is a novel that Ernest Hemingway would have looked at with distrust and Jean Paul Sartre would have enjoyed, a novel that will be hated by any orthodox best seller author and by any offspring of the canonical instructions of genre novel making [...]."
Pablo Ignacio Taibo II gave Scott Bakker a special award for the Prince of Nothing (special because the jury for the said award was formed by Pablo) and Scott explained that he had been foretold that he would never win any award if he became a genre writer, now he could see that the person who made that prediction had been wrong.
George seemed to have read the books, he asked Scott about the historical parallels with the crusades and specially the siege of Antioch. He asked Scott why had he used this parallel and if when he was writing Prince of Nothing he had considered writing a historical novel. Scott explained that he had used the Crusades as a way to make the events portrayed in his books more real to readers, because readers know that events like those actually happened. Scott wanted to show the power of beliefs in his books, how people acts and understands the world in accordance to their own beliefs. Scott explained that in our society belief is seen as something positive while doubt is regarded as something negative when it should be just the other way around. We tell people "you have to belief", we tell children that they have to belief, but it's doubt what forces us to try to understand the others.
As I've said it was a great event, I should have taken some notes and write a better report but I was too busy enjoying the moment. :P
Posted 14 July 2008 - 04:54 PM
In today's edition you will find the reports of these events by someone who, unlike me, surely took notes. I'll translate some of the most interesting parts.
George R.R. Martin about Tolkien and Scott Bakker's Prince of Nothing: "Tolkien, I believe, is the father of modern fantasy who at the same time created stereotypes that weight heavily the genre: the dark lord, the war of evil against good, etc. Your book is far more complex, there is a darkness that impregnates all characters that are difficult to be admired by readers. Some times readers have asked me, but who is the good guy in your novels? Has this happened to you?"
George R.R. Martin later when answering readers' questions: "I don't believe in total wars between good and evil. The human being is today's hero and tomorrow's villain. We all have the capacity to do good and evil. Which are the choices we make in situations of crisis?"
All the mistakes in the translation are mine, keep in mind that this is a translation of a translation.
Posted 15 July 2008 - 02:06 AM
* A fan was wearing a "Benjen Lives" t-shirt. George saw it and said that he couldn't say whether that was true or not, but that we'll definitely have more about him in ADwD.
* There are apparently some major wars over whether Rhaegar was a "cantamanañas" or not, which the fans there have rather literally translated as "singermornings" as (I assume) a joke. Basically, it's a Spanish word meaning ... someone irresponsible, a dreamer. I guess the idea is that it's someone who's singing about tomorrow without giving a thought to today. Anyways, someone had a shirt (they love their custom shirts) that says "Rhaegar was a romantic hero". Parris apparently agreed with that. Then George at some point, I think to the same shirt, agreed that there was something romantic to Rhaegar ... but as to whether he was a hero or not, that depends on your perspective. There's something he said, a rephrasing of a common remark of his... I think this time it went, "today's hero may be tomorrow' villain," I guess pointing out how time can change a person's reputation. Presumably the reverse is also true in George's mind, that today's villain might be tomorrow's hero.
* Keeping in the theme of someone being heroic or villainous depending on your perspective, George was convinced to sign a page after writing as a dedication, "Rhaegar was a singermornings". Heh.
* George says that while the series will not have magic on the level of more typical fantasy series -- mages duelling with balls of fire, transmutation of elements, and so on -- it will continue to increase incrementally as the series progresses.
* Couple more from Parris. She thinks George is in fact entirely capable of killing off Arya, and she repeated that the idea that Jon is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna is "obvious" (with the apparent implication that George wouldn't do something so obvious)... ;)
* Some fans brought George a peach as a gift, and asked if he recognized it. He laughed and said that of course, Renly's peach ... then said that the real question was just what the peach meant.
* Another fan had a bookmark a friend made with the Clegane arms and as a motto for the House, "The Hound is Hot". After having the writing explained, George said he didn't really think those would be the Clegane family words, but he might eventually have a reference to the actual words.
Posted 15 July 2008 - 02:54 PM
Oh, this is delightfully evil. :D
There's a reason I don't participate in all those speculations. I've read a number of threads here and on Tower of the Hand and think they're fun, but I'm sure GRRM will surprise even the best of those theories. ;)
Edited by Gabriele, 15 July 2008 - 02:55 PM.
Posted 15 July 2008 - 04:57 PM
I had a wonderful week. On Thursday the 10th I got my ASOIAF books signed (Mr. Martin is soooooooo nice) and we had a great time at the dinner (I got to sit one seat after Parris and could share some words with them both -I loved Parris' rings^^) and I just hope they didn't get too much scared with us being so noisy (we were so excited). I have to say they're the best couple and they really showed patience with us, participating in everything happily *hugs the air*.
It was great in Gijón too, the signing went really well and the talks were very interesting. The Espicha (the big dinner on Saturday) was veeeery enjoyable, most of us wore costumes (I was supposed to be Jonquil with my boyfriend being Florian but when the Asshai friends saw me they called me Sansa :P ) and we had a great time, drank a lot of cyder and ate tasty dishes. For better or worse, I didn't see the organizers too attentive with Martin and Parris and I felt a little bit of shame, but the good thing was that the fans had a chance to sit next to them and practise our English with them freely, asking them questions and teaching them how to drink cyder and eat cheese and quince jelly (none of us could figure out the name of it by the way, I just looked it up in a dictionary *lol). It was so much fun for us, I just hope they did enjoy. A funny anecdote was that when the speech was taking place on the opposite side of the room, Martin said that he couldn't hear a thing, nor did we (I didn't understand anything and I'm Spanish :P ) and he said that they could be saying that Francisco Franco was alive again and we were clapping politely anyway. It was really funny^^.
I hope he liked the presents we gave him (I wonder if they will be able to take the Colada sword home, I hope so) and the "Martin is coming" T-shirts, which were very popular by the way, many outside Asshai.com fans asked us where could they get them!
Once again, I hope we weren't too noisy or tedious. I've enjoyed this so much... I still can't believe it.
If you want, I'll be posting some pictures as soon as I get them.
Posted 15 July 2008 - 07:38 PM
To me, the weekend started on thursday when I went to the signing books in the evening at Gen-X and sadly finished yesterday when I came back to Madrid. Today I've spend all day in a cloud remembering the big memories of these days.
A couple of pics of this weekend, the first one was in the "Espicha" on saturday night. We share it with Martin and Parris, and Martin was wearing one of us T-Shirts "Martin is coming" there are three different models on its back (Targy, Lannister and Stark). We were trying to know wich one of them was wearing but it was impossible to know. I asked to Parris and she said that we had to bet about it.
Martin with crowned Viserys
The second was on his meeting on Sunday evening.
George R.R. Martin
Edited by rakoon, 17 July 2008 - 06:23 AM.
Posted 15 July 2008 - 10:26 PM
He revealed that “The fantasy book is based on two premises. The first is following the genre norms and the second is on the spectacle. I have intended to unite those two premises in writing the trilogy. I got my inspiration from The Lord of the Rings and I also included a series of philosophical concepts. And for that I have utilized characters which are above all from us, characters that transcend the rest. So, the protagonist treats us as if we were children and he manipulates all of those around him.” The author wanted to elaborate on the personality of his protagonist, Kellhus, an enigmatic character who searches for his father across a planet in conflict. “The protagonist of this story is a false prophet, which converts himself into one thanks to the admiration of those around him. These characters discover that there is someone which seems to possess absolute truth. Each one of us believes that we hold the power of truth, that we have our own vision of the world. In this society doubt has a negative connotation, pushing us to believe in something and I believe that doubt has a positive virtue, one that helps us to strive to understand.” Taibo II then introduced the other grande, George R.R. Martin. The American author also wanted to resolve his doubts and he questioned his colleague about the historical perfume that emanated from his book. “The historical context of The Prince of Nothing makes references to the events of the First Crusade...Do you consider that you wrote a historical novel set in a fantasy world? How did you conceive this book?” Scott Bakker clarified that “I studied philosophy and I believe that the philosophers liked to give us elaborate responses to simple questions. The truth is that I read at 15 years a book over the First Crusade that left me stunned. Perhaps for the lack of confidence I have in my narrative, I based it on historical deeds. I believe that the novel is a fantasy crawling with historical deeds.
George R.R. Martin praised the literary skill of Bakker on a few occasions and also shared with the Canadian some concerns. “So,” Martin commented that “I am an admirer of Tolkien’s works, I believe that he is the father of modern fantasy, who at the same time has created stereotypes that burden the genre: the Dark Lord, the fight of good and evil, etc. Your book is more complex, there is a darkness which inhabits all of the characters, which are difficult for the reader to admire. On some occasions readers have questioned me, ‘But who is Good in the novel?’ Has this also happened with you?” Bakker recalled to the respect that “the fantasy reader seeks moral simplicity which gives him/her security, security which one doesn’t find in real life. I believe that you do this, George, better than I do. Your characters have distanced themselves from the stereotypes and you give form to the stories with an extraordinary narrative. I want to compensate for this with the protagonists’ lack of confidence and by creating a world which interests the reader.” Taibo II noted that after reading the works of his table companions he had encountered certain similarities in their work. “There are some parallels in the work of both, such as political complexity.” Bakker answered, “When I read Tolkien I was surprised, it provoked admiration in me. It captured me because the world which was presented was believable. I wanted to make a complex story. In general, we hate complexity. I wanted to be more complex than the complex, more Tolkien than Tolkien.” Likewise, Martin agreed and contributed other parallels between their pages: “Such in Scott’s work as in mine I believe that you note that the actions of the characters interest us. History does not depend on the actions of great men, but instead on the actions of the people and on the socio-economic context. I believe that in fantasy books we ought to restore the importance of individual accion.” Concluding the meeting, the author of The Prince of Nothing ended with this: “Readers of fantasy fiction are not astounded by the size of the books which they read, they realize that effort. I believe that this genre merits being considered in the same breath with Capital L Literature.” The applause served to close the meeting. Afterwards, they signed books, because this is Semana Negra...
Posted 16 July 2008 - 07:03 AM
Martin and Parris are great!! They'd been so patient, so kind, we guys from Asshai are crazy, but for some reason they've had fun with us :P I've had an awesome time in Gijón, I'm greatly pleased because we met Martin and Parris personally, very different from the signs and lectures, he's very, very funny. Also, when we were leaving and they spot us, they came to us to say good bye to all of us, thanks, Martin and Parris, you're very gentle and a little crazy like us (I agree, Solo shot first! :leaving: )
Well, I must to say I went to the Espicha dressed of Lannister, and I was knighted by Martin himself and named warden of our Maester Miruvor, the administrator who sees everything and is also a Lannister, and was gifted a Lannister T-shirt :cheers:
I hope you have a good time when you come to Barcelona, I'll also be here :cheers:
Posted 16 July 2008 - 06:07 PM
Characters of asoiaf
Daenerys with Viserys
Ygritte kissing Martin
Martin knighting warder of the north
Martin with Jon Nieve our boardadmin
Martin and Parris listening "El oso horroroso"
Martin with Bakker
Edited by rakoon, 17 July 2008 - 06:20 AM.
Posted 17 July 2008 - 06:07 AM
On Saturday morning George R.R. Martin was kind enough to attend to a book signing that was not in the Semana Negra's official schedule. Someone realized that with all the readers and fans attending it was going to be very difficult to host such an event the following day after George had finished his Q&A with the readers. In this picyou can see George signing, notice the Absinthe bottle on the table that some readers had brought to remember old days.
This same day, in the afternoon, there was the official presentation of the Spanish edition of A Song of Ice and Fire's art book. In this image you can see from left to right; Alejo Cuervo (ASOAIF publisher in Spain), Quique Corominas (the artist), George R.R. Martin, and Diego the translator who did an amazing job. George really liked Corominas' work and used one of his drawings, the one showing Robert and Rhaegar at the battle of the Trident as an example of that book art can be excellent even if there are some mistakes, in this one Robert was wielding an axe instead of a hammer. Corominas showing some embarrassment for his mistake said to George: "You are a good man!". Everybody agreed.
In the following image we can see why it took so long for Corominas to "sign" his art book. You can see him in the process of drawing Euron Croweye, then Arya Stark (this one was my book) and Melissandre (my good friend Israel Merino's book).
As it has been said, the Espicha was a great success. One of the reasons was that everybody was standing and moving around while we drank sidra and ate. This gave those who wanted a good chance to chat with George and Parris. I've chosen several pics, one is the highly spoilerish UnCat with the Hound at her side, then we have Paris and George with the Night's Watch and the last one shows the members of Asshai singing "el Oso horroroso".
Next day, on Sunday afternoon there was the great discussion with George R.R. Martin, Scott Bakker and Pablo Ignacio Taibo II. Scott Bakker was given and award proving some dire omens that he would never get one wrong (much in the spirit of certain books where omens not always are right). The next pic shows Taibo II, Bakker, the translator (who had been given a much deserved Stark T Shirt) and George. The last one shows George and Scott during the discussion. That was a great event, as I've already explained and as you will have read in Dylanfanatic's great translation.
Posted 17 July 2008 - 08:54 AM
This is Israel Merino (Agulla's friend and lucky original Melisandre picture owner now, thanks Corominas), and I've been the 'Silent Brother' on this forums for some time, checking them here and there, but not daring comment on anything in particular (100% of my thoughts were already somewhere written with better words). I have known some of you for some time too (other places, other names, looooong time ago, Ran we met at Elendor when you were ruling Rohan), and after last weekend at Gijón, I felt the urge to write something (ah well, Agulla phoned me, too) :) I just want to clarify a couple things:
-The bottle of absyntha was Agulla's idea, since I didn't want to run the risk. I had nightmares about legions of fans wanting to kill us after 2001's night with George (that was between aSoS and aFfC, you understand). As a sidenote, on my aGoT George's signature, you can read: "To Israel, with foggy memories of an absynthe night" (proof of guilt!). Of course, we did show our respects to Parris who was kind enough to laugh about it (Thanks, Parris!).
-About Scott Bakker... well.. Amazing guy. It was a real surprise to me (Agulla said some of you had met him before). We had some laughs with him (and some beers) before his conversation with Martin, and dude... HE is tall! His wife Sharron is also lovely and she was kind enough to take some photos for us and we had a real sweet conversation while Scott was signing books. I think both were impressed with the Semana Negra and the fans gathered there. Well.. we were not less impressed with you! Really hope to meet them again soon.
A day at Gijón: You wake up, you have your breakfast, you take a walk under the sun beside the beach, you have lunch, you take another walk and end up having coffee with George R. R. Martin, then you go drink something cold with chillout music, then you have some beers with Scott Bakker, attend some nice conversations, and end up singing Monty Python's "Philosopher's Song" (well.. some of it) with Scott Bakker. Boring... Boring day!!
P.S: For those people of "Asshai" reading here, I was the handsome guy with the "Night's Watch" T-shirt, similing like an idiot all the time. :)
Edited by pnume, 17 July 2008 - 08:57 AM.
Posted 17 July 2008 - 12:03 PM
Agulla you too, please, let me see if I remember any of you!