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Bakker - A Discussion of Rectal Miracles


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#1 Francis Buck

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 07:49 PM

Continue.

Last post by some damn dirty commie:

so, has orson scott bakker finished unholy consult's game yet?


Edited by Francis Buck, 05 September 2013 - 07:51 PM.


#2 Sci-2

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 07:59 PM

The naked lady magician [HE] linked to was pretty cool.

So, is Kellhus an instrument of the God? Well, it seems clear he pulls a heart out of his chest.

But like Mimara's JE or the Inverse Fire, we can't assume the seemingly miraculous is proof of anything.

So Kellhus may have a better understanding of Earwan metaphysics than anyone who came before, and he may even be a tool of the God...but that doesn't mean he can save anyone from damnation.

Now that said, his triumphs always seem to relate to this advanced understanding of space -> pulling out Serwe's heart through his chest, teleportation, Seeing Fire, traveling to the Outside. So perhaps he can do something even more incredible involving spacial manipulation in TUC...perhaps open the topoi in the Ark so it swallows the spaceship whole?

Edited by Sci-2, 05 September 2013 - 07:59 PM.


#3 Francis Buck

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 08:05 PM

This also depends on what exactly your definition of a miracle is. If we assume Wrath's "reaching through the Outside", then is that really a miracle? Did he know he was doing it? Is it just a "skill" he picked up, or a one-off thing? The funny thing about the Umiaki sequence is that, we simultaneously know it's a fib to some extent, and yet it could also be "divine" (which I guess I think it is, if only because I do believe that Kellhus is an instrument of the god, but in the weird unconscious Kahiht sort-of-way).

ETA: Basically, like everything else regarding Kellhus, he's doing messianic shit, without realizing he's doing it, until he realizes he's doing it, and then he starts doing it on purpose. Or is he? I don't know. I'm lost now.

Edited by Francis Buck, 05 September 2013 - 08:07 PM.


#4 Triskan

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 10:33 PM

Another thing about the Umiaki scene that baffles me is that Kellhus has some kind of vision of a man huddled over like an ape (paraphrasing, but ape is used). It's a vague thing, and I have no idea what if anything we can take from it. Who was that image? Is the No-God an orangutan that has been taught to parrot only a few phrases like WHAT DO YOU SEE and TELL ME WHAT YOU SEE?

#5 Sci-2

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 10:39 PM

@Francis:

The funny thing about the Umiaki sequence is that, we simultaneously know it's a fib to some extent,


What's the fib?

@Trisk:

Another thing about the Umiaki scene that baffles me is that Kellhus has some kind of vision of a man huddled over like an ape (paraphrasing, but ape is used). It's a vague thing, and I have no idea what if anything we can take from it. Who was that image? Is the No-God an orangutan that has been taught to parrot only a few phrases like WHAT DO YOU SEE and TELL ME WHAT YOU SEE?


Kellhus and the No-God

#6 Francis Buck

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 11:17 PM

What's the fib?


Pretending Serwe's heart was his own.

#7 Triskan

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 11:24 PM

Yeah, I think it's a fib somehow. I can't quite come up with anything else (although recall that the Outside seemed to have literally seeped into the heart of the Bloody Pick that Akka had them rinse in Cil-Aujas...so who knows).

Thanks for that link, Sci. I should try to help get the other board going a bit more, but I am just on Westeros for Entertainment and GenChat so much.

So the part of that sequence is the man/person. I have no earthly idea if it's supposed to be someone, but Moenghus is the one who comes to mind w/ the legs crossed like a monk thing. Sounds more Dunyainish than Consultish.

#8 unJon

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 09:36 AM

I just reread the circumfixion. I don't think we need to resort to a miracle as the text allows a mundane solution.

1) Kel is tied next to Serwe for a long period of time.
2) There is at least one night when Kel and Serwe are hanging. And the night provides plenty of cover for Kel to remove the heart from her and hide it. The only place he could hide it.
3) Cnauir notes that its too dark under the umiaki to see anything.
4) Kel is lucid enough to chat with both Cnauir and Akka while hanging. In fact he manages to talk to both of them by pitching his voice so only they can hear. If he can pull that off in a crowd, it's feasible he could free a hand take Serwa's heart without the crowd noticing.
5) When pulled off the circumfix Kel couches with his hands braced on knees. Plenty of nooks and crannies in that position to keep heart hidden. (Bonus material: compare this stance to the two stances the ape man Nogod takes in Kel's vision when hanging and draw your own conclusion.)
6) He is draped in linen before showing his empty hands. Heart under linen at this point.
7) Kel is still in linen when he reaches under his bread and pulls out heart. So no one sees him actually reach inside his ribs. His hand is under the linen.



#9 Madness

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 09:48 AM

Bakker suggested that the ambiguity in this scene is the result of an axed conversation between Cnaiur and Kellhus, which happens before the Circumfixion.

Also, I think we can attempt to distinguish thaumaturgy and sorcery within the text at this point.

#10 Rhom

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 11:15 AM

Bakker suggested that the ambiguity in this scene is the result of an axed conversation between Cnaiur and Kellhus, which happens before the Circumfixion.

Also, I think we can attempt to distinguish thaumaturgy and sorcery within the text at this point.


Okay... so if the ambiguity comes from a deleted scene, what is the clear and concise answer he meant for us to have?

#11 lockesnow

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 11:50 AM

To answer that, look at what happens to Cnaiur prefacing and during the Circumfixion. Also Serwe. Even Esmenet pre circumfixion. If I get time this weekend I'll assemble the narrative of what I think happened, or at least of a crackpot I've not seen before.

It's clearly not any sleight of hand going on. Kellhus's hands were lashed to the circumference of a circle for the entirety of the time he was on the circumfix next to Serwe, I don't think he could have thieved her heart. And honestly we shouldn't be falling for the mundane trick Bakker keeps pulling on us. Was the spell Mekeritrig hit Kellhus with real or not? Kellhus believed magic to be an illusion and superstition, just as we do, so we thought he was right. But perhaps Mek is just a talented illusionist, and the magic was no more real than the gods are, no more real than Kellhus reaching into his chest and pulling out serwe's heart. That would also indicate all of Akka's supernatural spells are illusions as well, he's just very very good at convincing people his magic is real, but it's all sleight of hand and misdirection. Just like how the gods are all superstition. Yup, Earwa is just like Earth, nothing that appears supernatural is actually real.

o, has orson scott bakker finished unholy consult's game yet?


Has anyone read OSC's Wyrms? it's his most Bakker like book. It's his only female action protagonist (since only men can be heroes in his universes), and she's remarkably kick ass.

Then you get to the end and you find out that she's not the protagonist, she was prophesied as only the mother. She's only significant for bearing the SON that will save the world.

Only to get that son, she has to be raped and impregnated by the tentacle demon alien. So she doesn't want to be raped but she's more or less okay with it because pregnancy and motherhood are awesome. Plus she gets to be the mom of the messiah, so a little rape by an alien seems justifiable to her.

If you're worried that sounds too graphic, don't worry, OSC is so proud of the story, he had it adapted into a graphic novel as well!

Good thing we focus all our misogyny attention on Bakker, I don't think the board could survive an OSC and women thread series.

Edited by lockesnow, 06 September 2013 - 11:56 AM.


#12 unJon

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 11:54 AM

I disagree completely. If Bakker said that the passage has ambiguity due to a deleted scene, I think very very unlikely the deleted scene would clarify that Kel in fact pulls a legit miracle. Bakker would for sure leave that subtle an ambiguous given this is the second book. Rather it is much more likely the deleted scene woul clarify that Kel pulls the heart through mundane methods and had planned this "miracle" from even before the circumfixion in order to instill unshakeable conviction in the Inrithri so they could win the battle at end of TWP.

#13 Sci-2

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 11:59 AM

Rather it is much more likely the deleted scene woul clarify that Kel pulls the heart through mundane methods and had planned this "miracle" from even before the circumfixion in order to instill unshakeable conviction in the Inrithri so they could win the battle at end of TWP.


But how does he do it? If his hands are lashed to Circumfix, how can he untie a hand, grab the heart out of Serwe's chest, stuff it up his (honeyed?) butt, and then retie his hand?

Not to mention I find it hard to believe Serwe's corpse rotted so much that he could rummage around into her insides, rip her heart out, and then stuff the heart up his butt.

#14 Triskan

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:04 PM

This thread title is both clever and likely to reinforce negative stereotypes of Bakker. Alas. /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />


I don't think there's anything to be read into Mek's spell-casting in the prologue. It was real, and Kellhus went from thinking sorcery a sham to knowing it was legit right away.

#15 Happy Ent

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:21 PM

This thread title is both clever and likely to reinforce negative stereotypes of Bakker.

Yeah, maybe I’m getting old and, but I’d prefer the title changed to something less juvenile. I understand the desire to demonstrate power by trespassing boundaries.

But we are not Inrilatas.

#16 unJon

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 12:33 PM

But how does he do it? If his hands are lashed to Circumfix, how can he untie a hand, grab the heart out of Serwe's chest, stuff it up his (honeyed?) butt, and then retie his hand?

Not to mention I find it hard to believe Serwe's corpse rotted so much that he could rummage around into her insides, rip her heart out, and then stuff the heart up his butt.


Yes I think he could have done that given that he did this a few chapters prior:

With nightmarish horror she watched the Warrior-Prophet catch a blade in his palms, break it, and then touch the neck of his assailant. The man crumpled. Another he caught by the arm, which suddenly went limp as sackcloth, and then drove his fist through his face, as though the manís head were a melon.



Also not totally clear but Sarcellus appears to kill Serwe by stabbing her in the upper part of her body in front. Possibly in the chest or heart reason. It was said it was done according to scripture. So Serwe may already have a chest opening that would have made it easy for Kel to pull out the heart.

Edited by unJon, 06 September 2013 - 12:34 PM.


#17 lockesnow

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 01:14 PM

I don't think there's anything to be read into Mek's spell-casting in the prologue. It was real, and Kellhus went from thinking sorcery a sham to knowing it was legit right away.


This was actually the primary question I was getting at:

Why do we genre readers accept some supernatural things in a non-mundane world, but discount other supernatural things in the same world with mundane explanations?

Why is the martial privileged (spells/attacks/sorcery) but the Gods or religions or miracles are discounted?

What does it say about us readers that we so forcefully reject any supernatural aspect of a world and insist on a mundane world unless that supernatural aspect is martial magic?

Edited by lockesnow, 06 September 2013 - 01:14 PM.


#18 Happy Ent

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 02:34 PM

Let me state again that I complete accept Kellhus’s action as what it is described as.

He reaches, with haloed hands, into his own ribcage and pulls out Serwë’s burning heart. Not figuratively. Not by any subterfuge or manipulation from Kellhus’s side. This is the holiest moment we’ve seen yet in the books.

#19 Sci-2

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 02:46 PM

Let me state again that I complete accept Kellhus’s action as what it is described as.

He reaches, with haloed hands, into his own ribcage and pulls out Serwë’s burning heart. Not figuratively. Not by any subterfuge or manipulation from Kellhus’s side. This is the holiest moment we’ve seen yet in the books.


If Earwa is the place of miracles, where reality can actually be bent by will alone, that might explain why the Inchies think of it as the promised land.

Perhaps reality is always malleable for the Few, but the diffusion of meaning usually makes this impossible for mortals to accomplish without the utterals.

So magic [Cants] is [are] the crutch for mortals who need language to keep the meaning of their intention pure. But for this one moment meaning is exactly in line with Kellhus's will and so he can rip out Serwe's heart by using his own chest as a portal.

Edited by Sci-2, 06 September 2013 - 04:09 PM.


#20 kuenjato

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 03:36 PM

Let me state again that I complete accept Kellhus’s action as what it is described as.

He reaches, with haloed hands, into his own ribcage and pulls out Serwë’s burning heart. Not figuratively. Not by any subterfuge or manipulation from Kellhus’s side. This is the holiest moment we’ve seen yet in the books.


using a form of the teleportation he later masters with the third inutterable? I agree, this seems like the coolest explanation...

Of course, when I review these arguments of minutia, I always recall that Bakker was typing these books as fast as he could at 5-6 in the morning before a full day of classes. Who knows how many ambiguous points of the series, with thousands of words committed to speculation, resulted from his frantic schedule? Just sayin'.

Hopefully we'll get the second half of chapter 1 before the end of this year.