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The Unholy Consult post-release SPOILER thread III

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2 hours ago, Callan S. said:

words

I roleplay a lot too but I don't know if I understand. PCs are supposed to have "realistic" motivations for doing things that go in line with their personality, backstory, and even (if you're more of the D&D/Pathfinder tabletops) their alignment. Akka had a motive for going to Golgotterath beyond being there, it was to see Kellhus with the Judging Eye and maybe receive some closure about the cause he had basically dedicated his life to. If you meant play-by-post roleplaying on the internet, those tend to be even more skewed towards plot-based storytelling. But beyond that, I feel like maybe the deconstruction at play is not the one you're describing. Earwa is supposed to be the meaningful world, isn't it? 

 

1 hour ago, lokisnow said:

Which I am fine with. Half anticipated. But to quote the gopher from Winnie the Pooh, "not in the book!"

which is to say if the revelation is that no answers were intended, execute that vision within the text, not within post release press.

He appears to think he did execute that vision within the text: we were just telling ourselves that clearly all of these storylines were going somewhere.

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8 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

Madness is...not allowed on this forum currently. And just judging by a quick glance over at TSA their are plenty of people who seem thrilled with all this.

So they actually banned Madness? I thought the mods just told him to knock it off with promoting the TSA forums here. 

Seconded on taking away Bakker's italics function. 

 

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6 hours ago, odium said:

I roleplay a lot too but I don't know if I understand. PCs are supposed to have "realistic" motivations for doing things that go in line with their personality, backstory, and even (if you're more of the D&D/Pathfinder tabletops) their alignment. Akka had a motive for going to Golgotterath beyond being there, it was to see Kellhus with the Judging Eye and maybe receive some closure about the cause he had basically dedicated his life to. If you meant play-by-post roleplaying on the internet, those tend to be even more skewed towards plot-based storytelling. But beyond that, I feel like maybe the deconstruction at play is not the one you're describing. Earwa is supposed to be the meaningful world, isn't it?

Yes, Akka wanted to do that. How is someone wanting to do something means it is something that has to receive closure?

It reminds me of people calling Star Trek 'office porn', because in it they have meetings, they all describe the problem, have their fair say and figure a solution and get to it, all in good time - unlike real life where meetings generally fail all those things. It's 'porn' because it's what the person wanted in their real life.

Do you read fiction so you can see a character want something and the 'plot' intersects with that - and they get closure? Like the star trek example where the guy looked to fiction to give what real life might often fail to provide?

Is lack of closure for Akka a tragedy? Is tragedy meaningful? What might a meaningful world consist of? Happyness in the end? What is the ache that is the absence of closure. Reminds me of when Cnaiur goes back to his people in the first book - and that guy who betrayed him has the uncanny feeling of being gouged hollow...maybe that's what the ache is like.

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10 hours ago, Sheep the Evicted said:

Though who knows, maybe there are people out there that like this development. HE ? Madeness ? 

I’m not sure which position I’m supposed to hold or defend here.

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20 hours ago, Darth Richard II said:

I think HE said he was done with Bakker at this point.

For the record, this would be a surprise to me. I’m eagerly awaiting the next book.

Edit: the only way I can understand the surprising development of the reception of my position is that I have made explicit, here and in other places, my utter rejection of postmodernism on aesthetic, moral, political, and tactical grounds. 

I fucking hate it. I hate it in Dorne and I hate it in King’s Landing. Bakker is a postmodern writer, deliberately so. I’ve observed and openly disliked this from his first book. I think this is a shame, and would like it to be different, just as I’d like McCarthy or Pynchon better if they used a different aesthetic and approach to plot, description, and structure. And yet, McCarthy would not be McCarthy and Pynchon not Pynchon, nor Joyce Joyce.

Yet I do cling to the belief that Bakker would still be Bakker – that his books would actually improve from classical style. But it’s what we have, I get it, and I get the point (deconstruction, frustration of tropes, yadayada) – I just find it childish. Postmodern literary criticism is something that should fascinate a precocious 14-year old (it did when I was one.) But today I find these games intellectually facile as well as annoying.

I’d rather have my elves and aliens served neat, as an adult.

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These Bakker threads have become unbearable, the same few people talking about how much they hate everything about the book and most especially the author.  It seems to have ran everybody else off, all discussion now seems pointless. 

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These Bakker threads have become unbearable

You mean the last few pages since the AMA? I don't think it's anything coming from people who have been talking about the series here for almost a decade or years at least. Of course there is going to be very strong reactions to the shit that he said. 

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31 minutes ago, Latan said:

These Bakker threads have become unbearable, the same few people talking about how much they hate everything about the book and most especially the author.  It seems to have ran everybody else off, all discussion now seems pointless. 

Well, given that Bakker to a large extent leaves it up to the reader to create their own meaning, I think that a certain degree of letting out of steam is quite natural... I don't think that there is anybody here hating Bakker, but of course there are a number of persons (me included) that are let down by narrative dead-ends in TAE. What aspect of the book/series did you have in mind for a discussion?

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I don't know, Callan. I think you just are able to view as a literary device what appears to me to be... Bad writing, regardless of its intentionality. But what is bad writing! Merely a preconceived notion of mine? Yes. Still though, I have to see the series through some kind of lens. If Bakker wants to tell me it was all part of his vision from the get go, fine, but his execution left a lot to be desired, imo. 

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I finished the book last week and started in on the threads after.  I think what's most disappointing to me is how quickly my excitement went from the many possibilities and potential interpretations down into nothingness after the Bakker AMA answers started coming out.  Literally, I was three pages into the Post Release spoiler thread and thinking about all the possibilities of Kellhus' head on Mek's body or Kellhus as a sentient baby and then... BOOOOM.  There's actually nothing there.

There's an old saying about keeping your mouth shut and being thought a fool versus opening it.  When looking up the proper wording for this post, I found this origin from the King James Bible and thought it was especially apt for this discussion:

Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

If RSB hadn't gone online to answer questions, there would be plenty of room for debate and this discussion would be entirely different.  Yes, there's too much time spent on necrophilia early in the book, but there really are some good set pieces in there.

If Kellhus' master plan had really been the head swap deal with Ajokli and it was simply messed up by Kelmomas' presence; I think its a fitting end.  Then the scene at the end with the betrayed Ajokli looking for his soul has all the great implications that were being discussed early in the post release threads.  Instead, we get some sort of ridiculousness about Kellhus not knowing what's going on.

As to whether this was the ending he had planned all along... I believe it.  Hero dies.  Bad guys win.  That's exactly the sort of "original" thinking that an 18 year old from the heyday of Straight Edgers and flannel outcasts would come up with.

I also far prefer the DunSult as they appeared in the book.  Even if there had been ambiguity regarding the possibility for Shae to still be in there it would have fueled great debate, but then for RSB to essentially indicate that DunShae is a real thing makes everything feel less.

Sure, I think there were anticipated meetings that didn't pay off.  I also didn't understand why Serwa had to fight the dragon.  Once the fight was over, it didn't allow the Ordeal to change anything.  I'm okay with the explanation that Akka was just there to witness... but casually bumping into Kellhus in a back alley and having that as their only confrontation was definitely underwhelming.  There are things that could have done better, but the ending itself was initially fine to me.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm totally cool with ambiguous endings, but I'm not okay with the author then telling me its ambiguous without a plan.  Similar to the comment above about how the gods were there hiding in plain sight in PoN but then it turns out that RSB just didn't put them in there.  It was better when you just didn't say anything!

 

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20 hours ago, Ajûrbkli said:

It's up to you, the problem with speculation, apparently, is that Bakker intentionally decided to make shit go no-where. Kellhus instigates the Achamian plotline just to "witness his fidelity."  Like.... Bakker's AMA literally made the book worse.  Given his personality, I do think there's a non-zero chance he's trying to troll is and trying to make sort of statement about Death of the Author or something.

So maybe I'll read the speculation instead but not read the author's online interaction? Good to know.

 

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7 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Sorry HE, my memory must be faulty this week.

That’s what Bakker wants you to think.

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9 hours ago, Latan said:

These Bakker threads have become unbearable, the same few people talking about how much they hate everything about the book and most especially the author.  It seems to have ran everybody else off, all discussion now seems pointless. 

Well what are we supposed to talk about? The decade or so of speculation and discussion that the Author shot down in one AMA as being pointless and having no meaning?

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Forgive the multiple posts, but, really, what do you guys want to actually talk about from the books? Cause I can't think of a single thing that hasn't been shot down as meaningless or "no that's dumb" by the author. And I'm really trying. Baby Kellus?

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Baby Kellhus has been shot down by Bakker already, multiple times. Which some people found suspicious... Maybe we can discuss that reaction? 

We can try to make sense of the Kellhus became Ajokli thing and didn't actually plan to be possessed by him again? 

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