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Bakker L - Unholy Consultation and Collaboration (Now with TUC Spoilers!)

424 posts in this topic

3 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

@Kalbear. To answer your questions regarding the foreshadowing. One, I take it as in text evidence of foreshadowing. Why do I need Bakker to tell me he planned it, for it to be foreshadowing. The passage and what later occurred at Sauglish fit together as that passage being foreshadowing. I don't remember your other question ask away.

You can interpret it as foreshadowing, but it can also be interpreted as retconning. We have evidence of both things occurring in the books as stated by Bakker. Why is your interpretation correct and another invalid?

Which, again, it really doesn't matter - because the argument was never that Bakker doesn't do anything planned. The argument is that quite a lot of it is not planned out, and more importantly very little of the next series is planned out, so looking for deep meaning or planning now is not very useful. Furthermore, this is apparently deliberate - Bakker has come out and stated that he wanted to make things deliberately ambiguous and not necessarily meaningful so as to force you to 'engage your meaning-making brain', so even if you do find meaning there, it doesn't mean that it actually was done with intent. 

So why do you need to have Bakker tell you? Because the argument is about whether or not Bakker intended something, and without the author actually saying that he intended to foreshadow these things you have no idea, one way or another. 

Did Bakker intend to imply that Kellhus knew about Mimara with the tapestry? No, per Bakker.

Did Bakker intend to say that Kellhus' plan was to rule over the world in hell? No, per Bakker.

Did Bakker intend to have Kellhus taken over by Gilgaol from the first series? No, per Bakker.

I guess, MSJ, I have a real issue with you contradicting what the author has said was their goal. Bakker said, flat out, that he set out to create something that was deliberately ambiguous with no specific answers implied. He defended this, even, and patted himself on the back and told himself how hard it was to do. Now you're criticizing us for taking him at his word?

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1 minute ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

@unJon, I initially dismissed the Cnaüir became Ajokli at the end there. I do like your and @Let's Get Kraken ideas on it though. Just I have a problem with what comes after determi we what comes before as a rule in Earwa, mean I g the only rule.

Again, this is literally stated to be true by Bakker in the AMA. And it's stated elsewhere in interviews, where he discusses the difficulty of prophecy. 

1 minute ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

Now, I will believe this, and only this will confirm it to me. That Akka dreams are his own, somehow. He literally is Seswatha, is what I mean. And, how can this be? We know the Mandate was created by Seswatha after the 1st apocalypae. An example of what comes before determines what comes after. 

I don't understand this point in any way. I can't parse it. 

1 minute ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

Though, thinking on it, Cnaüir becoming does make a lot of sense. Ajokli is the God of Hate, who embodies that more than Cnaüir? With the way time works on the Outside it wouldn't matter when Ajokli became a God, would still get all the benefits. And, also aligns with myths on Ajokli about seeing TNG and being a companion to the Gods. 

Except Ajokli doesn't see TNG, in the text. This is kind of a big deal in the text. 

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7 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Again, this is literally stated to be true by Bakker in the AMA. And it's stated elsewhere in interviews, where he discusses the difficulty of prophecy. 

I don't understand this point in any way. I can't parse it. 

Except Ajokli doesn't see TNG, in the text. This is kind of a big deal in the text. 

Yes, I've seen what comes after determines what comes before as being stated as true by Bakker. But, why do we have instances of the opposite.

Sorry, I know it s hard to understand what I mean by Akka. If what comes after determines what comes before, how is the Mandate even possible? How did the 1st apocalypse precede the 2nd? You see what I am saying we have evidence that what comes after determines what comes before isn't a universal rule of Earwa. That said, I could take it as confirmation of being true, if somehow Akka is actually Seswatha, hence the dreams. See, you said in a earlier post that the dreams are true, through textual evidence. But, if what comes after determines what comes before how can that be possible?

Yes, a very big deal. But it doesn't necessarily mean Cnaüir became Ajokli, it could be that he was just inhabited by Ajokli at that time.

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14 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

Yes, I've seen what comes after determines what comes before as being stated as true by Bakker. But, why do we have instances of the opposite.

Such as what? Without knowing how the series ends, you cannot possibly know that this is true. 

14 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

Sorry, I know it s hard to understand what I mean by Akka. If what comes after determines what comes before, how is the Mandate even possible? How did the 1st apocalypse precede the 2nd? You see what I am saying we have evidence that what comes after determines what comes before isn't a universal rule of Earwa. That said, I could take it as confirmation of being true, if somehow Akka is actually Seswatha, hence the dreams. See, you said in a earlier post that the dreams are true, through textual evidence. But, if what comes after determines what comes before how can that be possible?

Because the dreams come after would be the easiest explanation. 

Because Akka needs to have these dreams in order to <blank>, and if he didn't <blank> the series wouldn't end the way it does, so clearly he needed to <blank>. 

I mean, really, the easiest thing to say is that the Mandate has to exist because without the Mandate, Kellhus can't learn the Gnosis, and without him learning the Gnosis he can't deliver Kelmomas to Golgotterath to become the No-God. 

14 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

Yes, a very big deal. But it doesn't necessarily mean Cnaüir became Ajokli, it could be that he was just inhabited by Ajokli at that time.

My point is that it cannot explain why Ajokli sees the No God because we have in text that he doesn't and can't. Cnaiur becoming Ajokli or not doesn't matter here. Ajokli textually cannot see the No-God. 

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I guess, MSJ, I have a real issue with you contradicting what the author has said was their goal. Bakker said, flat out, that he set out to create something that was deliberately ambiguous with no specific answers implied. He defended this, even, and patted himself on the back and told himself how hard it was to do. Now you're criticizing us for taking him at his word?

I am not critizing you for anything. I am discussing the books with you. See, we have the Bakker Troll theory, so why would we take him for his word. You, yourself, have said we can't take him for his word because of "lying" about Cnaüir. An intentional misdirection. This is where I am having problems with how the AMA has been brought into this, and your guys feelings on wether Bankers word and answers mean anything at all. At times you and others say he is lying and misdirectig, then you want me to think that you take him at his word. When we have posts from you, straight out calling him a liar. Its one or the other Kalbear. But, you can't change your stance to fit your argument.

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OK did you just accuse Kalbear of picking and choosing which of Bakker's statements to believe and which to not? Cause if so my irony meter just overloaded.

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3 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

I am not critizing you for anything. I am discussing the books with you. See, we have the Bakker Troll theory, so why would we take him for his word. You, yourself, have said we can't take him for his word because of "lying" about Cnaüir. An intentional misdirection. This is where I am having problems with how the AMA has been brought into this, and your guys feelings on wether Bankers word and answers mean anything at all. At times you and others say he is lying and misdirectig, then you want me to think that you take him at his word. When we have posts from you, straight out calling him a liar. Its one or the other Kalbear. But, you can't change your stance to fit your argument.

Why not? As you said, it's pretty easy to tell when he's telling the truth and when he's lying. He's telling the truth whenever what he says backs me up, and lying whenever it isn't. :P

I personally am not one of the people who backs the Bakker troll theory. I never have. I think it was pretty clear that the Cnaiur thing got spread and respread and confused; looking back at the original story, it was misdirection, but it wasn't lying. (I happen to personally think that the way Cnaiur was shoehorned into the story was stupid and inelegant, but I grant that Bakker wasn't exactly lying about him). 

To me, your view on this seems to correspond well to other views you've had on the series, where authorial comments and discussion made it clear that the book was about something that you didn't want it to be about. And sure, that's fine, I get that. I get wanting so desperately for something to be true that you look to everything to cling to that implies that it is true, and dismiss everything that implies otherwise. But your desire doesn't make other people's viewpoints wrong, nor are they attacks on a person. 

I mean, here, let's go through the things you want to be true:

  • women are worth the same as men (described in text and extratextually as false)
  • what comes before determines what comes after (described extratextually as false)
  • everything is planned out (described extratextually as false, with evidence in text as being false)
  • there is deep meaning in the text (described extratextually as specifically and absolutely wrong)

Isn't it convenient that the things that you want to be true which have been stated to not be true are also dismissed by the Bakker Troll hypothesis, and the things that you want to be true that have some evidence extratextually are not?

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3 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

OK did you just accuse Kalbear of picking and choosing which of Bakker's statements to believe and which to not? Cause if so my irony meter just overloaded.

I'm not accusing. Rather, asking. Because he's said straight that we can believe nothing that Bakker says, then went on to use Bakkers comments to refute my post as truths. This is why I am saying, and have been that the AMA shouldn't be used as proof of anything, rather the text should be what we use to discuss the books.

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2 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

I'm not accusing. Rather, asking. Because he's said straight that we can believe nothing that Bakker says

No, I haven't.

 

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4 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

I mean, here, let's go through the things you want to be true:

  • women are worth the same as men (described in text and extratextually as false)
  • what comes before determines what comes after (described extratextually as false)
  • everything is planned out (described extratextually as false, with evidence in text as being false)
  • there is deep meaning in the text (described extratextually as specifically and absolutely wrong)

1. I never wanted that. I thought, before being proved wrong and conceding, that their was a chance that it could be the case. Though with what evidence we have now, the only ones we have seen as saved and holy by the JE are women.

2. No, I don't want that to be the case or even promoting the idea. I believe that both are true and there is actual evidence of what comes before determines what comes after. Does not the 1st apocalypse precede the 2nd? Do not Nonmen precede Men? Their is a whole history of things that coming before determining what comes after. I think that both exist and can't see why that can't be the case. Its not that I want it to be true, it What I'm taking from the text.

3.Everything is planned out? I don't recall promotingbthis idea.

4.No, he asks that we look at meaning in a different way. There just isn't any cognitive closure to TUC, which I'm totally fine with. Because, TUC is not the end. And, even if we still don't get any, I can be ok with that too.

So, from what you think I think, your way off the mark. And, ascribing to me ideas that do not hold. 

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11 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

I'm not accusing. Rather, asking. Because he's said straight that we can believe nothing that Bakker says, then went on to use Bakkers comments to refute my post as truths. This is why I am saying, and have been that the AMA shouldn't be used as proof of anything, rather the text should be what we use to discuss the books.

No...that's what you have been doing.

I feel like I'm in that scene in The Matrix with the pills except instead of choosing red or blue I swallowed both.

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3 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

No...that's what you have been doing.

I feel like I'm in that scene in The Matrix with the pills except instead of choosing red or blue I swallowed both.

I have used ZERO comments from the AMA to am back up any of my thoughts. I've made this clear. That because he will veer you in a way off his choosing on certain questions. And, yes I think you can tell when he's being honest. But, neither have any weight to my reading of the book. I'm not holding on to anything, or upset with the ending of the book or how things turned out. I choose to use the text as evidence when I put forth an idea.

Would you please tell me where I insulted you. Because, I need to know. I tried to be cordial in my post to you. If by responding to your post is a insult, then I'm truly fucked.

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5 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

1. I never wanted that. I thought, before being proved wrong and conceding, that their was a chance that it could be the case. Though with what evidence we have now, the only ones we have seen as saved and holy by the JE are women.

I have the receipts. You might have changed your mind, but boy did you get upset with me for implying this is what Bakker wanted all along, and you didn't buy into it until TGO. 

5 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

2. No, I don't want that to be the case or even promoting the idea. I believe that both are true and there is actual evidence of what comes before determines what comes after. Does not the 1st apocalypse precede the 2nd? Do not Nonmen precede Men? Their is a whole history of things that coming before determining what comes after. I think that both exist and can't see why that can't be the case. Its not that I want it to be true, it What I'm taking from the text.

I don't know who you're arguing with precisely. You stated you didn't want what comes after to determine what comes before - did you mean for EVERYTHING? 

In any case, none of those things are proof until the final book. The first apocalypse, for instance, has to precede the second in order for there to be Dunyain, and the Dunyain are essential for the second. 

5 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

3.Everything is planned out? I don't recall promotingbthis idea.

You're the one who has been arguing about how there's so much foreshadowing and so much planning. I don't know why, precisely, but that's what you've been doing. I've never stated that nothing was planned, only that without reliable extratextual information it is impossible to determine what, if anything, is actually planned. 

5 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

4.No, he asks that we look at meaning in a different way. There just isn't any cognitive closure to TUC, which I'm totally fine with. Because, TUC is not the end. And, even if we still don't get any, I can be ok with that too.

That isn't what he said, and you know it. This is deliberately misinterpreting the statement. This is his words:

"I'm not sure I get your use of deus ex machina, since this refers to saving the day via arbitrary plot mechanisms. This is bad because it's lazy. The way you use it, it applies to all true-crime fiction, or any form of writing lacking conventional narrative 'closure,' doesn't it? And what's lazy about intentionally delivering readers to points that deny stable interpretation? It's hard bloody work, let me tell you!"

5 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

So, from what you think I think, your way off the mark. And, ascribing to me ideas that do not hold. 

That's certainly possible; in which case, who are you arguing with and why?

  • I don't think nothing is planned by Bakker; I only think that you cannot determine what is and isn't planned without extratextual information. 
  • I do think that the Earwan universe is essentially locked into a path, similar to the Dune story, where intent matters most for outcome. And we have a crazy amount of textual information to indicate this: Koringhus 'all of this has already happened', the White Luck Warrior, Mimara having the Judging Eye before she is pregnant, Kelmomas being invisible to the Gods before he is the No-God. In addition, we have extratextual data showing this as well.
  • I think Bakker has certain beats planned out, but not everything. I believe him when he says he had Cnaiur screaming at the whirlwind planned; what I don't think he had planned out is how the fuck Cnaiur would be remotely involved in the final bits, who the PoV for Cnaiur would be and why, or how to organically put it in the story. Similarly with Kelmomas: I think he knew Kelmomas was  to be the No-God, but he had very little clear idea about how to get him from Momemn to Golgotterath in any kind of reasonable way, much less get him into the Golden room. I think he had a clear idea of Akka and Mimara going to Ishual, but not what they'd end up doing after. I think many of his details that he puts in are not particularly mindful.
  • I think the biggest failure is that Bakker said something about having a person believe in meaninglessness in a meaningful world, and this implied to many (including me) that the books had a very specific set of rules and goals that were determined and worked out. As it turns out, by the AMA answers this is deliberately false; what is instead intended is 'intentionally delivering readers to points that deny stable interpretation'. Furthermore, past TUC there is no real plan for what will happen. 

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34 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

I personally am not one of the people who backs the Bakker troll theory. I never have. I think it was pretty clear that the Cnaiur thing got spread and respread and confused; looking back at the original story, it was misdirection, but it wasn't lying. (I happen to personally think that the way Cnaiur was shoehorned into the story was stupid and inelegant, but I grant that Bakker wasn't exactly lying about him). 

Fair enough. But why then do you take a off-hand comment about TUC culminating the vision of a 17 year old and say that he meant this was the end? When clearly, from my understanding, TSTSNBN has been talked about since 04' or 05'. And per Madness, from the Con I believe, Bakker has the final scenes and paragraphs of TNG for quite some time now. See, do you see where I think that your statement of not calling a liar as false. And, I'm sure if I go digging I could find that proof. 

When I came here and started all this it was because I thought it sad to see so many of you, who have gotten me to love and understand these books, wasting time and space on comments from the AMA. As, most seemed to like the book and discussion was generally good before the AMA. I just don't see why so much weight is being put into it. For several reasons. One being misdirection on Bakker's part and two the series isn't close to finished.

I was talking with another fan about all of this. And, the best way I can explain the books up to and including TUC are that they are mostly the vision of a disgruntled teen. Confused about life, afterlife and obviously meaning and what effect it had on him. And, that TNG will be a lesson so to speak. Its the grown-up Bakker that's found some meaning, maybe even some hope for humanity. And, that it will be an argument to the prior books. That humankind can fight these Gods and predeterminism. Who knows, but I think it would be a great route to go, going forward. But, Bakker is a philosopher, so who the he'll knows. Regardless, I'm sure I will still love the books. There is nothing out there like them. 

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18 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

I have the receipts. You might have changed your mind, but boy did you get upset with me for implying this is what Bakker wanted all along, and you didn't buy into it until TGO

No, doubt. And will you ever let me live it down?

19 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

don't know who you're arguing with precisely. You stated you didn't want what comes after to determine what comes before - did you mean for EVERYTHING? 

In any case, none of those things are proof until the final book. The first apocalypse, for instance, has to precede the second in order for there to be Dunyain, and the Dunyain are essential for the second. 

Why do I have to be arguing? I'm not arguing Kalbear, I'm discussing the books, why an argument? I never stated that I didn't want what comes after to determine what comes before, I know it true. I just don't think it holds true universally In the books, as we have instance of the opposite and I have gave them multiple times and anyone who's read the books could offer you or anyone a handful.

24 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

"I'm not sure I get your use of deus ex machina, since this refers to saving the day via arbitrary plot mechanisms. This is bad because it's lazy. The way you use it, it applies to all true-crime fiction, or any form of writing lacking conventional narrative 'closure,' doesn't it? And what's lazy about intentionally delivering readers to points that deny stable interpretation? It's hard bloody work, let me tell you!"

That's not the quote I was referring to. I was referring to the one about having cognitive closure. And, that what it's says about you, and he was offering a different way of looking and thinking of meaning.

27 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

That's certainly possible; in which case, who are you arguing with and why?

Again, why do you insist I am arguing with you? Cannot it just be a discussion? You've accused me of certain things in which I defended, and visa-versa. And, I disagree, I believe Bakker does have an idea of what will happen, just not how to get there. I wasn't referring to TUC When I said Bakker had the final scenes written down for awhile now, that was in reference to TNG. 

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2 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

Fair enough. But why then do you take a off-hand comment about TUC culminating the vision of a 17 year old and say that he meant this was the end? When clearly, from my understanding, TSTSNBN has been talked about since 04' or 05'. And per Madness, from the Con I believe, Bakker has the final scenes and paragraphs of TNG for quite some time now. See, do you see where I think that your statement of not calling a liar as false. And, I'm sure if I go digging I could find that proof. 

I didn't say that it was the end. Never thought it was. I just don't think he's got things particularly well-planned out now, and I am questioning how much he has had planned in the past. I suspect strongly that there are not going to be particularly good answers to open questions, because either those questions were answered abruptly already in the AMA or were left as deliberately ambiguous. 

This idea that people think that TUC is the end is, as far as I can tell, coming from readers on Goodreads who had no idea that this was not the final book. 

Bakker said he'd be satisfied if TUC was the end. And I can see that. I think - especially with some of the ideas floating around - that it would have made a fairly good ending, similar to Cabin in the Woods. The suckball world of Earwa and its incredibly horrible damnation for all eternity ends. 

By all means, go digging for your prize. 

2 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

When I came here and started all this it was because I thought it sad to see so many of you, who have gotten me to love and understand these books, wasting time and space on comments from the AMA. As, most seemed to like the book and discussion was generally good before the AMA. I just don't see why so much weight is being put into it. For several reasons. One being misdirection on Bakker's part and two the series isn't close to finished.

Oddly, I don't see it as a waste to talk about what the author's viewpoints of his own novel are, especially when they are so very different from many of the conclusions that we had reached. The Kellhus being corrupted slowly  and Ajokli taking over wasn't his planwas, as far as I can tell, something that not a single person anywhere put forward. 

2 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

I was talking with another fan about all of this. And, the best way I can explain the books up to and including TUC are that they are mostly the vision of a disgruntled teen. Confused about life, afterlife and obviously meaning and what effect it had on him. And, that TNG will be a lesson so to speak. Its the grown-up Bakker that's found some meaning, maybe even some hope for humanity. And, that it will be an argument to the prior books. That humankind can fight these Gods and predeterminism. Who knows, but I think it would be a great route to go, going forward. But, Bakker is a philosopher, so who the he'll knows. Regardless, I'm sure I will still love the books. There is nothing out there like them. 

There's a lot like them, as it turns out. Bakker makes this mistake too, thinking that he's this special snowflake. Blood Meridian is a great example that Bakker cribs from. Abercrombie does better nihilism. Erikson arguably has a more expansive universe, and significantly better thought out systems of gods. Dune deals with predestination better. Brin has better aliens, even gross ones. Bear deals with the brain and meat better. Martin does much better showing women in a shitty world. 

Though I will say there are very few philosophers who have written fantasy like Bakker has. That's pretty unique to my knowledge. 

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2 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

No, doubt. And will you ever let me live it down?

When it's a good example of you choosing to ignore information in order to show what you want, and attacking people who argue otherwise? No, I won't. 

2 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

Why do I have to be arguing? I'm not arguing Kalbear, I'm discussing the books, why an argument? I never stated that I didn't want what comes after to determine what comes before, I know it true. I just don't think it holds true universally In the books, as we have instance of the opposite and I have gave them multiple times and anyone who's read the books could offer you or anyone a handful.

You're telling people to not discuss the AMA, you're demanding that people answer your questions, and you're willfully ignoring answers that have information you don't like. That's really not a discussion, that's an argument, and a fairly personal one at that. 

2 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

That's not the quote I was referring to. I was referring to the one about having cognitive closure. And, that what it's says about you, and he was offering a different way of looking and thinking of meaning.

Yes, that's literally the next sentence from the quote I provided. The obvious interpretation is that the first sentence informs the second. If you take the second out of context it means what you say; if you don't, it means what I do. 

2 minutes ago, Michael Seswatha Jordan said:

Again, why do you insist I am arguing with you? Cannot it just be a discussion? You've accused me of certain things in which I defended, and visa-versa. And, I disagree, I believe Bakker does have an idea of what will happen, just not how to get there. I wasn't referring to TUC When I said Bakker had the final scenes written down for awhile now, that was in reference to TNG. 

I have seen no sign that he has anything written down for TNG as the final scenes. That he is discussing an entire book about Crabicus with Madness is a good example of disproving this. Not that I really care; as far as I can tell you seem to ascribed to me that he has NOTHING planned in the next series, and that he's making it all up, which isn't what I think; I think that he doesn't have a set story to tell, and he's going to be doing a lot of writing as a gardener and seeing where it takes him, far more so than what we have in TUC. I also think that basically TUC ends what stuff was done and talked about before, and there aren't going to be a whole lot of answers to unanswered questions. We'll get some answers around Mimara's kid, probably (though it would be kind of hilarious if the kid just ended up dead from the No-God), but Akka's dreams? Probably not. Kellhus' actual plan? Maybe? Or not. Either wouldn't surprise me. 

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SO to attempt to bring discussion back to books, this was talked about briefly over in the entertainment thread when we were discussing the new It movie, but how exactly do we define foreshadowing here. Does it have to be planned, I guess is the question. There's an argument that King puts plenty of foreshadowing his work despite being someone who just makes things up 100 percent as he goes, with the counter argument being it can't be foreshadowing if it isn't planned to be foreshadowing and it's an accident when things line up.So, I guess, can foreshadowing by accidental?

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I hope so.

6 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

how exactly do we define foreshadowing here. Does it have to be planned, I guess is the question.

I'm not sure but to ask another question, does it have to be a deliberate effort on the part of the author to give the reader clues so as to be able to predict what's going to happen in the future? For example, if Bakker doesn't mention Dunyain women anywhere in Kellhus's flashback because he knows they don't exist and is just being consistent with what he's going to reveal later and doesn't really expect people to guess the Whale Mothers (the only reason they did is because of the Dune parallel, after all) does that count as foreshadowing? This might be seen as semantics but it's helpful to know what people think if we're going to discuss what Bakker foreshadowed and didn't.

Edited by Hello World

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[mod] Please knock off the interpersonal bickering. It doesn't achieve anything but work for the mods. If you're angry at someone, if you have a personal beef with them, if you feel the need to blow off steam - do it elsewhere. Don't post it here. [/mod]

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