The use of language in ASoIaF
Posted 22 May 2012 - 03:27 PM
For the record I am not offended in the slightest, nor do I normally feel language itself should be cause for offense.
How do others feel about GRRM's approach to language, especially the coarser elements?
Posted 22 May 2012 - 03:31 PM
Posted 22 May 2012 - 03:58 PM
It's funny to think about, really... What if LotR was like that?
Frodo first washed off his cock, which still smelled of last night's whore...
Edited by Payme, 22 May 2012 - 03:59 PM.
Posted 22 May 2012 - 04:35 PM
Posted 22 May 2012 - 05:00 PM
Well, there was that war for Idril's cunt...But that was thousands of years prior to LotR.
Posted 22 May 2012 - 05:05 PM
I also imagine that if you think LOTR is some sort of benchmark for SF/F you haven't read a lot of the grittier modern fantasy publications. Maybe time to take a peek at the "Literature" subforum and find R Scott Bakker, Abercrombie and Richard Morgan, for example.
Posted 22 May 2012 - 05:07 PM
Posted 22 May 2012 - 05:15 PM
LotR is a benchmark. There's no doubt as to that. And as to the darker fantasy, Glen Cook was already writing it long before any of the ones you mentioned. Even before Martin.
Posted 22 May 2012 - 05:28 PM
Genre aside, I am pleased (and somewhat surprised) that this topic so far has avoided talk of exploitation. I do *not* consider GRRM to be exploitive, but he does have some interesting...errr...verbal tics.
Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:45 AM
YMMV, but compared to the newer darker stuff, I don't really rate Glenn Cook. I felt it was more staple just with added grit, while writers like Abercrombie, R Scott Bakker and Mieville add layers of complexity and just don't add some violence and gore. One of the reason ASOIAF is fairly "dark" and gritty is not just because of language or some violence, it's because the entire weave is filled with more real human complexity and how it explores darker themes wtithin the characters' personalities. Like for instance Tyrion's arc in ADWD, or Theon's. Those really look at even the dregs of the human consciousness and what comes up are not pretty things.
Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:51 AM
Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:56 AM
This really is one of my largest issues in translations and historical fiction. Authors trying to write in the language that their time period is based on. It sucks, it fails, it makes the language awkward and obscure. If its in English, use English, not what you'd imagine 14th century proto-English to be.
Grrm does some of these sins, but he isn't as bad as some other authors, so while parts stick out and are annoying, it isn't bad on the whole.
Posted 23 May 2012 - 01:02 AM
I don't have a problem with anachronisms, generally speaking, as long as they are not over-used and - more importantly I think - as long as they are used consistently throughout the story.
With 'nuncle' it bothered me because it was just suddenly added in, what was it? the fourth book? If it was used consistently from the first, it would not be as glaring. There was another word which escapes me at the moment (neilo or something I think) that was suddenly thrown in ADWD. Again, if it was used from the beginning it would be OK, but when it suddenly appears out of nowhere you just know that GRRM has found something new (to him) in his research and he's decided to chuck it in.
Posted 23 May 2012 - 01:25 AM
Posted 23 May 2012 - 01:33 AM
These are two different things. I mean, what was Jaime supposed to say?
"They'll even write songs about us. They'll call it the war for Cersei's feminine parts!"
Or Ser Gregor,
"Please step this way, kind lady, I do wisheth to surprise-sex thee up thy behind quarters!"
Martin wrote it the way he did because that is the way people talk in real life. I thought you were talking about his choice to write it like that even in instances when it was not someone talking. But in cases of the perspective of the character, you'll find he did adapt - I recall Dany chapters, and her "lower lips." So in the case where the chapter was of a polite person, yes, it seems language was up to their perspective.
Posted 23 May 2012 - 05:17 AM
Posted 23 May 2012 - 05:19 AM