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About Pilusmagnus

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  • Birthday 08/31/1996

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  1. Which asserts my view that Gurkhul is a subverted and self-conscious orientalist cliché, but an orientalist cliché nonetheless.
  2. Them being a nation of free-will-deprived slaves submitted to the aura of an all-powerful God-Emperor, that are contrasted against the individualistic rationalistic mindset of the pseudo-democratic pseudo-Enlightened Union doesn't make it clear enough? And again, I'm not saying that the Gurkhish are set up as worse than the Union. That's beside the point. Nor do I consider orientalism to be an unforgivable crime. GRRM does it too, and I still like the Essos chapters. I'm not exactly reading Abercrombie to avoid clichés. To subvert them, you first have to use them, right?
  3. Those aren't contradictory statements at all.
  4. Orientalism doesn't mean that the Eastern-type regions are presented as worse than the Western-type ones. It just means they are built around the harmful erroneous representations that allowed Europeans to assert their moral superiority over colonized lands. The Union is just as cliché as Gurkhul but it's not a harmful cliché because it comes from within.
  5. The orientalism from the first trilogy is already too strong to be undone. I'd rather Joe just went with it, because he's not known for extremely subtle depiction of the West and "savagery" either, but the location of the new trilogy proves that he doesn't want to go that way and I'll admit it's an honest move.
  6. I must admit the trilogy being set mostly in the Union and North doesn't really raise my expectations. I hoped we would visit other places.
  7. Pilusmagnus

    2018 Reading Self-Challenge

    My goal was 40. Sub-goals: 1/ I want to read at least 10 non-fiction books, among which: At least 3 books of social sciences At least 3 books of literary theory At least 1 book of history 2/ I want to read at least two books in Spanish 3/ I want to read at least 5 translations of books already read It's almost the middle of the year and I'm far from reaching my goal! I'll have to spend the whole summer reading to manage it. - William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return, by Ian Doescher - Elric of Melniboné, by Michael Moorcock - Imperium in Imperio, by Sutton E. Griggs - Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving and translation by Philippe Jaworski - The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, translated by Daniel Lauzon - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, translated by Daniel Lauzon - Cyrano de Bergerac, translated by Christopher Fry - Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, by Hayao Miyazaki 8/40 Translations read: 4/5 Social sciences: 0/3 Literary theory: 0/3 History: 0/1 Books in Spanish: 0/2
  8. Pilusmagnus

    Tolkien 2.0

    I'm a bit late answering this, but I wouldn't recommend buying his translation if you're interested in getting a good perspective on the Beowulf text itself. It is however an interesting read if you're interested in Tolkien's personality and the way he read Anglo-Saxon poetry. His translation shows the obsessive and borderline maniac reading he had of Beowulf. Although it's a prose translation, he decides to remain close to the Anglo-Saxon syntax, which makes for a hard text to read, and one that does not even try to render the poetry of the original through any creative translation strategy. Tolkien's view of translation is that it could only serve as an aid to study of the original text, and that's exactly what his translation is. And probably not the best aid at that. I just want to quote an extract from his commentary of his translation of the kenning hronrade to show how obsessed he was with how any specific word sounded to him and how this very sensitive phonesthetic acquaintance with language made the original text and its poetry untranslatable in his mind. P.S. I wrote a short essay comparing three translations of Beowulf: William Ellery Leonard's, Tolkien's and Seamus Heaney's. Keep in mind I am a Translation Student and not an Anglo-Saxon scholar, but I'd be happy to send it to you if you're interested.
  9. Pilusmagnus

    2017 Reading Self-Challenge

    Only managed to read 36 books on the planned 40. I will therefore set my goal to 40 again for 2018. With sub-goals. 1/ I want to read at least 10 non-fiction books, among which: At least 3 books of social sciences At least 3 books of literary theory At least 1 book of history 2/ I want to read at least two books in Spanish 3/ I want to read at least 5 translations of books already read
  10. Pilusmagnus

    Pessimism vs Cynicism in fantasy

    I don't think placing George R.R. Martin as a pessimistic cynic is as obvious as you claim. The main problem with classifying him is that we don't have the ending of ASOIAF yet, and there's reason to believe that it will show humanity achieving peace, even if it is a temporary one. And in any case that is where the TV show is going. I'm not familiar with Martin's other works, but he claims to be a pacifist and he has said in an interview that he believed that abolishing war was maybe possible. So although he definitely is a cynic, I wouldn't know whether to make him an optimist or a pessimist, at least as far as ASOIAF is concerned.
  11. Pilusmagnus

    I like the story but… complaints about style/substance/etcetera

    Back to the topic, I've always been bothered by the argument "The story is good but it's badly written" which I hear a lot about George R.R. Martin for example. I utterly think the way you perceive content depends on the manner in which it is conveyed. If you really thought the book was badly written, then you wouldn't like the story. If you like the story, then it means the style is efficient, although it maybe does not fall within the "Well-written" arbitrary aesthetic category.
  12. Pilusmagnus

    I like the story but… complaints about style/substance/etcetera

    Do GRRM's Children of the Forest fall within the "Native Americans as Elves" cliché in your opinion?
  13. Pilusmagnus

    Tolkien 2.0

    I think it's a common misconception among Tolkien readers (and viewers) that all the "good guys" have a clear and uniform view of what is best for Middle-Earth as a whole. It may be because Tolkien doesn't really concentrate on depicting the conflicts of interest, differences in mindset and dissensions between Human, Elvish and Dwarvish kingdoms other than in the Appendices. But there is no alliance of good that absolutely knows what is to be done with the ring. Elrond cannot possibly take that harsh a decision at that point in time.
  14. Pilusmagnus

    2017 Reading Self-Challenge

    November update: - The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy by Tim Burton.- Tales from the Perilous Realm by J.R.R. Tolkien- The Fall of Arthur by J.R.R. Tolkien- Short Cuts: Selected Stories by Raymond Carver- Poésies I et II by Lautréamont- The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien- A bunch of short stories by Ernest Hemingway (qualifies as one book)- Heart of Darkness and Youth by Joseph Conrad- A bunch of short stories by Edgar Allan Poe (qualifies as one book)- For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway- Des femmes qui tombent by Pierre Desproges- The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov- The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski- Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney- La personne et le sacré by Simone Weil- L'Iliade ou le poème de la force by Simone Weil- A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle- Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky- Book 13 of The Confessions by Saint Augustin- The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco- Colline by Jean Giono- Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie- The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Travels in the Scriptorium by Paul Auster - A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin - Beowulf translated by J.R.R. Tolkien - Beowulf translated by William Ellery Leonard - The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (first time reading in English) - Le Hobbit translated by Daniel Lauzon - Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift - La Disparition by Georges Perec (not read to the end but I read articles about it so it counts) - The Fellowship of the Ring translated by Daniel Lauzon 33/40. Seven to go in one month. I'm in deep shit.
  15. Pilusmagnus

    Most Adaptable Works of Fantasy

    I don't know if it is the most adaptable series, but given the current time and context, The First Law screams to be adapted.