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Bakker XXXVIII: Where The Posters Are Damned

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This is the perpetual thread devoted to the works of R. Scott Bakker, primarily the books in The Second Apocalypse series, the first of which is The Darkness that Comes Before.


The current publication status is 5 volumes of novels, including the latest, The White-Luck Warrior, as well as 3 short stories, The False Sun and The Four Revelations of Cinial'jin on Bakker's Blog Three Pound Brain and The Knife of Many Hands, which is available for purchase. This thread contains spoilers for these publications.

Since Bakker's writing uses layers of revelation, newcomers are strongly advised to finish the books before coming here; otherwise the spoilers will rot your soul. Eternally.

Most denizens of this thread have also read Bakker's non-fantasy novels Neuropath and Disciple of the Dog, but the spoiler policy is unclear. You are advised to hide crucial plot points in those novels.

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In the last thread Arakan asked.why the Hundred aren't fighting the consult, but instead send the WLW after Kellhus. I'd guess it has to do with the fact that the WLW was created by the Yatwer cult begging Yatwer to kill Kellhus. Are any other cults begging their god to kill the Consult? I doubt it.

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fairly obvious by now that WLW is sent to assist AK. duh?


but we should expect compensatory gods to act one way vis-à-vis opponents, as contrasted to antagonistic (or whatever the second type is) and to the third type (can't evenrecall).

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In the last thread Arakan asked.why the Hundred aren't fighting the consult, but instead send the WLW after Kellhus. I'd guess it has to do with the fact that the WLW was created by the Yatwer cult begging Yatwer to kill Kellhus. Are any other cults begging their god to kill the Consult? I doubt it.

Sorry but this was not my main point. At all.
And your line of reasoning rather enforces my position which was that the "gods" lack so much awareness to be called "gods" in any meaningful way.

The Fanim have the right of it. Those 100 are maybe the most powerful extra-dimensional beings but gods they ain't.

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I believe animals have souls on Earwa. Hence Mimara's declaration about pigs and whatever she said was holy. But, Arakan is right, the Inchoroi and their children all must be invisible to the Gods, why would they not be going after them? Unless, they know something we don't about Kellhus.

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Ah, this from profgrape, over at Second Apocalypse might help out with this....



Beyond Simas in TTT, has there been a reference to another ensoule Skin Spy? At its unmasking, Maitha puts forth that it was "...an accident, and anamoly that, thankfully, it's architects have been unable to create."

and this from geoffrobro:

Ok seems like Skin-spys can see chorae
when Miamara first does the nonman drug, her eye opens when she feels the drug kicking in
she see's the chorae as a "Tear of god" and asked Soma what he saw. he said " its you im having difficulty seeing with that thing pressed against your skin. you look like a breathing shadow."
he also calls it "a ball of shadow." and when she puts is away, he says "ahh much better."

Does he have a soul?

So maybe after 200 years they are "growing" a soul, and maybe the gods have found out some things about the Consult. Thought I'd share it since it's what we're discussing here.

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Another point and I don't want to dwell too long on it but sorry I never understood why it is Bakker who got singled out for apparent misogynist and sexist tendencies. Even here on Westeros.org he was massively criticised. Honestly I find it a little bit ironic, considering we are on a site dedicated to a work of fiction where the author of said work wrote with earnest ambition a supposed love story between a 13 year old girl and a not so noble savage, not to mention all those SanSan fantasies on here.

How can that be? How didnt Dany/Drogo (which in my view is disgusting and a huge fuck up by GRRM) stop GRRM's success? Didnt Jason Momoah even become some kind of "hot sex Symbol" because of his Drogo portrayal? Better not get started how EEEEVIL women use sex as weapon in Westeros (Cercei).

And Bakker in particular gets accused of misogyny? For what? For portraying the suffering of a young girl like Serwe? Ridiculous.

But I just wanted to state my opinion. I read all the old discussions and just thought that Bakker is much more honest in his depicture of violence against women than someone like GRRM. Hopefully all those users who articulated their strong opinions about that issue over the past 6/7 years are doing so in ASOIAF context as well.

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there's different types of misogynistic representation, i think. one sort will ignore or whitewash violence against women, say, whereas another might lovingly present it or by contrast use it as a cheap characterization tool, which might be considered to be a violation of the categorical imperative, perhaps. not my position necessarily that RSB does any of those things; was the charge that the setting is misogynist in its basic principles, and that the conformity therewith of the major characters alienated readers whose expectations were frustrated thereby?

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Sorry but this was not my main point. At all.
And your line of reasoning rather enforces my position which was that the "gods" lack so much awareness to be called "gods" in any meaningful way.

The Fanim have the right of it. Those 100 are maybe the most powerful extra-dimensional beings but gods they ain't.

 

I was just addressing the question (which you asked rather explicitly) as to why the gods don't send anything against the Consult.

you said:  

 

Here is the thing. If it's "only" the No-God they cannot recognize, that means they should be aware of the Consult and their machinations. Are they? 

The Consult for more than 3000 years (and for who knows how long the Inchoroi before that) has been planning to "close" the world to the outside, to break the cycle of souls. 

Something which can be interpreted as direct atrack against the gods but did they stop the Consult? No. Instead they send the WLW against Kellhus. Why no WLW against the Consult?

It makes no sense.

Unless of course the limitations of the "gods" (perception and power projection) are much greater than just their inability to "see" the no-god. 

I mean, even mere mortals have realized the physical and metaphysical danger of the Consult and the No-God. "We", children of creation! And the "gods" are still ignorant  ;)

Nah, call me a Fanim  ;)

 

 

I'm not arguing with anything else you're saying here.  I'm just pointing out that there is another explanation to the question you raised.  Yatwer may have felt threatened by Kellhus, and the other gods might feel threatened by all sorts of things, including the Consult.  But until their cults actually do some mumbo-jumbo sexual majjicks nothing happens.

 

 

Another point and I don't want to dwell too long on it but sorry I never understood why it is Bakker who got singled out for apparent misogynist and sexist tendencies. Even here on Westeros.org he was massively criticised. Honestly I find it a little bit ironic, considering we are on a site dedicated to a work of fiction where the author of said work wrote with earnest ambition a supposed love story between a 13 year old girl and a not so noble savage, not to mention all those SanSan fantasies on here.

How can that be? How didnt Dany/Drogo (which in my view is disgusting and a huge fuck up by GRRM) stop GRRM's success? Didnt Jason Momoah even become some kind of "hot sex Symbol" because of his Drogo portrayal? Better not get started how EEEEVIL women use sex as weapon in Westeros (Cercei).

And Bakker in particular gets accused of misogyny? For what? For portraying the suffering of a young girl like Serwe? Ridiculous.

But I just wanted to state my opinion. I read all the old discussions and just thought that Bakker is much more honest in his depicture of violence against women than someone like GRRM. Hopefully all those users who articulated their strong opinions about that issue over the past 6/7 years are doing so in ASOIAF context as well.

If you actually read all of Bakker's interactions with his critics (see the Foz Meadows debacle), the reason he gets so much flak is because of his arrogant and not very successful defense of his books and a lot of problematic stuff he said interacting with the critics.  And plenty of people criticize GRRM's depictions of violence and women, even here, I'm sure if you look around you'll find plenty of it.

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there's different types of misogynistic representation, i think. one sort will ignore or whitewash violence against women, say, whereas another might lovingly present it or by contrast use it as a cheap characterization tool, which might be considered to be a violation of the categorical imperative, perhaps. not my position necessarily that RSB does any of those things; was the charge that the setting is misogynist in its basic principles, and that the conformity therewith of the major characters alienated readers whose expectations were frustrated thereby?


Regarding your last point: Earwa surely is a crapsack world full of misogyny and slavery. And I can understand that for many potential readers this is a big no. But why does Bakker get so much flak for being brutally honest?

As I mentioned in the old thread: the issue that Earwa is an over-the-top slave society was never really an issue in all those discussions over the years but misogyny was...users who love them some good old fashioned epic fantasy with some good old fashioned feudalism (you know like ASOIAF) attack Bakker because of misogyny?
Frankly I call that hypocrisy at its best.

The same people who criticize Bakker for misogyny (often without even clearly defining what it is they criticize) cheer, I repeat cheer!, in other fantasy novels (like ASOIAF) for the representatives of an opressive, injust system!

People, have a word with yourselves...really in this case it is true...EAMD

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I believe animals have souls on Earwa. Hence Mimara's declaration about pigs and whatever she said was holy. But, Arakan is right, the Inchoroi and their children all must be invisible to the Gods, why would they not be going after them? Unless, they know something we don't about Kellhus.


Scott said:

The idea has been that only the rare animal ever 'awakens' enough to develop a soul in Earwa, but that's not something
I've ever explored to date.

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If you actually read all of Bakker's interactions with his critics (see the Foz Meadows debacle), the reason he gets so much flak is because of his arrogant and not very successful defense of his books and a lot of problematic stuff he said interacting with the critics.  And plenty of people criticize GRRM's depictions of violence and women, even here, I'm sure if you look around you'll find plenty of it.


You see, this I never got. An author should be judged solely by his work and not by maybe some stupid things he said in a heated online debate.

Well I once articulated my disgust about a SanSan love thread on here. Result was not so nice.

Anyway I know that there have been discussions about misogyny in ASOIAF (sometimes hard to find amongst all those "hottest chick/boy" threads). I guess at the end of the day what is considered as misogynist is not so much content-driven but PR driven. Your reply basically is a proof of that.

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Another point and I don't want to dwell too long on it but sorry I never understood why it is Bakker who got singled out for apparent misogynist and sexist tendencies. Even here on Westeros.org he was massively criticised. Honestly I find it a little bit ironic, considering we are on a site dedicated to a work of fiction where the author of said work wrote with earnest ambition a supposed love story between a 13 year old girl and a not so noble savage, not to mention all those SanSan fantasies on here.

How can that be? How didnt Dany/Drogo (which in my view is disgusting and a huge fuck up by GRRM) stop GRRM's success? Didnt Jason Momoah even become some kind of "hot sex Symbol" because of his Drogo portrayal? Better not get started how EEEEVIL women use sex as weapon in Westeros (Cercei).

And Bakker in particular gets accused of misogyny? For what? For portraying the suffering of a young girl like Serwe? Ridiculous.

But I just wanted to state my opinion. I read all the old discussions and just thought that Bakker is much more honest in his depicture of violence against women than someone like GRRM. Hopefully all those users who articulated their strong opinions about that issue over the past 6/7 years are doing so in ASOIAF context as well.



Bakker's responce to the criticisms was lacking a certain... nuance. And humility, which riled up some people. He also apparently crossed some 'line' drawn by certain current feminist orthodoxy positions, rendering him a constant target by specific individuals, and given the inclusion of the Bakkerae group 'round these parts, the criticism has been small but voracious and constant. Given the smallness of Bakker's overall position on the net, these particular opinions have then been repeated elsewhere. Personally, I find other authors more offensive, but because they (smartly) do not respond to criticism, the echoes of discontent tend to fade out (rothfuss, for example).

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Bakker's responce to the criticisms was lacking a certain... nuance. And humility, which riled up some people. He also apparently crossed some 'line' drawn by certain current feminist orthodoxy positions, rendering him a constant target by specific individuals, and given the inclusion of the Bakkerae group 'round these parts, the criticism has been small but voracious and constant. Given the smallness of Bakker's overall position on the net, these particular opinions have then been repeated elsewhere. Personally, I find other authors more offensive, but because they (smartly) do not respond to criticism, the echoes of discontent tend to fade out (rothfuss, for example).


Yep, I agree with that. Basically Bakker has bad PR and the internet is a mob.

Just wanted to point out the hipocrisy of those criticizing Bakker for a perceived misogyny in his work while in the next moment walking around with "GO TEAM STARK/TARGARYEN/STANNIS" HBO T-Shirts.

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fairly obvious by now that WLW is sent to assist AK. duh?


but we should expect compensatory gods to act one way vis-à-vis opponents, as contrasted to antagonistic (or whatever the second type is) and to the third type (can't evenrecall).

 

Bellicose the ones that like you to strive against them, after typing this out i realised someone has probably answered this, but i'm too lazy to go back and check.

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He also apparently crossed some 'line' drawn by certain current feminist orthodoxy positions, rendering him a constant target by specific individuals, and given the inclusion of the Bakkerae group 'round these parts, the criticism has been small but voracious and constant.

 

The rest of it has been gone over again and again, but wanted to answer this a bit. 

 

Bakker specifically stated more than once that his goal was to problematize feminism. Should it be particularly surprising that feminists would have a problem? His stated position is that men are essentially hardwired to rape (which as my sig points out is likely not true), and thus anything that tries to curb this simply won't work. 

 

That he's been a total asshole to various other authors and writers for a long time doesn't help his cause either, I'll grant you, but let's not think that this is because of PR; when your goal is to piss off feminists by saying that feminism doesn't work and can't work, it isn't PR and crowds that is causing you problems. 

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On the whole pronunciation of Cishaurim, Scott said:

My original idea was to have a layered nomenclature, with the Sheyic versions of different
names rendering hard K's as soft C's (parallel to the difference between latinized version of
Greek names, where things like the original Kyklops are rendered as Cyclops). But at some
point in the naming frenzy I got lazy, and whatever systematicity I originally had got lost
in the shuffle - I always told myself that I would 'straighten in out later' and change those
hard C's (as in Cishaurim) into K's.

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The rest of it has been gone over again and again, but wanted to answer this a bit. 
 
Bakker specifically stated more than once that his goal was to problematize feminism. Should it be particularly surprising that feminists would have a problem? His stated position is that men are essentially hardwired to rape (which as my sig points out is likely not true), and thus anything that tries to curb this simply won't work. 
 
That he's been a total asshole to various other authors and writers for a long time doesn't help his cause either, I'll grant you, but let's not think that this is because of PR; when your goal is to piss off feminists by saying that feminism doesn't work and can't work, it isn't PR and crowds that is causing you problems. 


Shouldnt we as readers of PoN and AE judge him by his work and his work only? Take me as some kind of labor rat as I didnt follow the meta-discussion back in the day. And in my perception of his published work, I cannot see anything which would justify a statement like "Bakker's work is misogynist". Au contraire, I could even make a case that Bakker's work is that of a social progressive as he - in contrast to the myriad of epic fantasy authors, GRRM amongst them - doesnt make as root for a social opressive system but rather makes us, the reader, hate that system. As it should be.

Hard to imagine "GO Team Nersei" or "I love Kellhus" T-Shirts...

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