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Darth Richard II

Rothfuss XIV: The Slow Regard of Luna Lovegood

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1 hour ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

The problem there is that Death of the Author kicks in. The text portrays Kvothe as amazingly good at everything - why wouldn't his commentary on love also be seen as non-problematic? If Rothfuss wants to convey a particular thematic point, he needs to do it via the text, not through authorial interviews. It's not simply a matter of POV either. Scott Lynch is able to make it very clear that his protagonist's attitude towards love is profoundly unhealthy - no-one's going to quote Locke Lamora on love.

I also cringe a bit about Rothfuss' attack on Esio Trot. Dahl wrote dark stories, featuring objectively messed-up people. It's part of his enduring appeal for children. Esio Trot isn't supposed to be a love story, it's about our protagonist being clever. 

Didn't watch the video, but to be fair to Rothfuss, I think he has made it clear that Kote regrets a lot of Kvothe's actions and at least seems a better person than Kvothe. We don't see enough of Kote to judge how much he has changed, but there is something there at least.

I thought Rothfuss' criticism on Esio Trot was fair. He might have been missing the point, as the humour and appeal in Roald Dahl's books are based on that kind of unacceptable behaviour, but I can see where he's coming from. What I don't understand is that he has professed a love for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Where does he draws the line?

1 hour ago, Darth Richard II said:

I cringe every time Rothfuss opens his mouth, honestly. And that video does not give me hope that book 3 will be any sort of good, if it ever gets written.

I'm in it mostly for the world building and history, I'm not sure he can screw that up, but again, I didn't watch the video. 

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9 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

The problem there is that Death of the Author kicks in. The text portrays Kvothe as amazingly good at everything - why wouldn't his commentary on love also be seen as non-problematic? If Rothfuss wants to convey a particular thematic point, he needs to do it via the text, not through authorial interviews. It's not simply a matter of POV either. Scott Lynch is able to make it very clear that his protagonist's attitude towards love is profoundly unhealthy - no-one's going to quote Locke Lamora on love.

I also cringe a bit about Rothfuss' attack on Esio Trot. Dahl wrote dark stories, featuring objectively messed-up people. It's part of his enduring appeal for children. Esio Trot isn't supposed to be a love story, it's about our protagonist being clever. 

The text also portrays Kvothe as reckless and incredibly shortsighted in how he looks at everything.  He creates hugh problems for himself by not thinking very hard about the choices he makes.  The text, further, is clearly coming from an unreliable narrator.  How does that factor into your analysis?

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1 hour ago, Darth Richard II said:

The problem I have with that is very few Rithfuss fans outside of this forum seem to pick up on that. I know some people who want to name their kids Kvothe.

How can people not see Kvothe as a reckless unreliable narrator?  It’s obvious.

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The editors will write it, really, if they ever get enough to work with, just as they wrote the second one.  Not blowing wind here.  I know them and they described what happened.  They also were so in love with the first book they sent me the ms -- not even the arc, a copy of the ms --  for they were sure I'd love it just as much.  Which I did.  Until the second book arrived.

I see the problems with Rothfuss very differently.  The house needed a BIG HIT, and they found it in the first book.  Their instincts were absolutely on the money -- and they worked hard with him to make that book really well written, publication ready.  And it was received as they'd hoped and gambled it would be.

But they missed that all their help had disguised to so many that the guy was punching above his weight.  And ever since he's known it, and there ya go.

Edited by Zorral

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1 hour ago, Zorral said:

The editors will write it, really, if they ever get enough to work with, just as they wrote the second one.  Not blowing wind here.  I know them and they described what happened.  They also were so in love with the first book they sent me the ms -- not even the arc, a copy of the ms --  for they were sure I'd love it just as much.  Which I did.  Until the second book arrived.

I see the problems with Rothfuss very differently.  The house needed a BIG HIT, and they found it in the first book.  Their instincts were absolutely on the money -- and they worked hard with him to make that book really well written, publication ready.  And it was received as they'd hoped and gambled it would be.

But they missed that all their help had disguised to so many that the guy was punching above his weight.  And ever since he's known it, and there ya go.

That is good information to have.  Thank you

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On 9/29/2018 at 3:17 PM, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

How can people not see Kvothe as a reckless unreliable narrator?  

A lifetime of reading stories where the main character is the hero and the good guy.

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1 hour ago, Ninefingers said:

A lifetime of reading stories where the main character is the hero and the good guy.

There's a name ofr that effect too, I forget what. Prime examples are Satan from Paradise Lost and the main character from Lolita. You could also look at Cnair from Bakker or Karsa from Erikson.

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On 9/29/2018 at 4:38 PM, Zorral said:

The editors will write it, really, if they ever get enough to work with, just as they wrote the second one.  Not blowing wind here.  I know them and they described what happened.  They also were so in love with the first book they sent me the ms -- not even the arc, a copy of the ms --  for they were sure I'd love it just as much.  Which I did.  Until the second book arrived.

I see the problems with Rothfuss very differently.  The house needed a BIG HIT, and they found it in the first book.  Their instincts were absolutely on the money -- and they worked hard with him to make that book really well written, publication ready.  And it was received as they'd hoped and gambled it would be.

But they missed that all their help had disguised to so many that the guy was punching above his weight.  And ever since he's known it, and there ya go.

Please, please can you elaborate on this. 

I know they "idea ballooned" the rings and adem hand talk. Were they actually writing the dialogue and using Rothfuss's notes as an outline like James Patterson? 

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7 hours ago, lysmonger said:

Please, please can you elaborate on this. 

I know they "idea ballooned" the rings and adem hand talk. Were they actually writing the dialogue and using Rothfuss's notes as an outline like James Patterson? 

Yes, this is fascinating and not really surprising. The 2nd book was obviously a patch-up job, with a near-repeat of book one school hijinks for 40% and a discordant series of adventures that do very little to advance the main plot (to say nothing of basically entertain) for most of the remainder. Zorral, do you know the 'state' of the series as a whole / if the third and/or conclusion was ever even drafted? It's telling that Betsy Wolheim claimed to have not read the material beyond book one.

As for the "Kvothe not being a dude to look up to," that might fly, except Rothfuss has very explicitly encouraged his fans with hero-worship and the elevation of Kvothe-as-cool-dude. This is very much a having cake n' scarfing it down situation.

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On 9/30/2018 at 3:08 AM, Zorral said:

The editors will write it, really, if they ever get enough to work with, just as they wrote the second one.  Not blowing wind here.  I know them and they described what happened.  They also were so in love with the first book they sent me the ms -- not even the arc, a copy of the ms --  for they were sure I'd love it just as much.  Which I did.  Until the second book arrived.

I see the problems with Rothfuss very differently.  The house needed a BIG HIT, and they found it in the first book.  Their instincts were absolutely on the money -- and they worked hard with him to make that book really well written, publication ready.  And it was received as they'd hoped and gambled it would be.

But they missed that all their help had disguised to so many that the guy was punching above his weight.  And ever since he's known it, and there ya go.

Shocking.  Really shocking. 

FWIW, I actually think the real problem is that he has no idea how to get where the second books ends to where he wants the third book to end (if he knows that much). 

Question that follows:  When PR posts a photo of the Doors of Stone manuscript, what is that? Just a cover page and blank pages underneath?

Edited by Gaston de Foix

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1 hour ago, Gaston de Foix said:

Question that follows:  When PR posts a photo of the Doors of Stone manuscript, what is that? Just a cover page and blank pages underneath?

Same text copy and pasted 989,000 times: Kvothe is a dull boy.

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This is classic unsourced anonymous gossip though right? I mean, it sounds so feasible but then I have zero way to know if its true and it's nicely aligned with the general distaste on this board for how Rothfuss presents himself. 

 

I do find it interesting how in music it's fine for artists, well regarded artists, to work with producers and even other song-writers to create hit albums. However in writing, the image is that the writer stands alone to create a mighty work with some help from their editor. We all assume that the editor can play a huge role in the shape of the book but its rarely as publicly viewed as an artistic collaboration. Let's assume Rothfuss is that guy who can create some great ideas and plots but just can't execute without more help than say, Tolkien needed. That should be fine if the end work is produced and is good. But I think if he were to come out and say "I'm teaming up with writer X to knock this book out of the park", he'd get killed by and large for it. Same thing with Martin I think. 

 

 

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On 9/29/2018 at 3:07 PM, Darth Richard II said:

The problem I have with that is very few Rithfuss fans outside of this forum seem to pick up on that. I know some people who want to name their kids Kvothe.

Reminds me of an article I read that counted something like 120 babies that had been named some variation of "Khaleesi".

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26 minutes ago, Let's Get Kraken said:

Reminds me of an article I read that counted something like 120 babies that had been named some variation of "Khaleesi".

That's because, as I understand it, a fair number of people think that Daenerys' first name is actually "Khaleesi".

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2 hours ago, Vaughn said:

This is classic unsourced anonymous gossip though right? I mean, it sounds so feasible but then I have zero way to know if its true and it's nicely aligned with the general distaste on this board for how Rothfuss presents himself. 

 

 

Speculation is always going be a big part of the fandom for things like this. But I personally feel like these Rothfuss threads have come to be characterized by some pretty unhealthy behavior. I don't think anybody on these boards would dox Rothfuss or anything like that, but the gleeful way that people show up just to share anything stupid that he says or play amateur psychiatrist to diagnose his mental issues does kind of mirror the structure of what happens when 4Chan or Kiwifarms finds a new target. Yes, the content is less toxic, and I doubt Rothfuss knows (or cares) what anybody on this board thinks of him, but a bunch of people getting together to form this feedback loop of negativity cannot be good for the psyche.

One thing that I think unites everybody, and I do mean everybody, from the fire-and-brimstone baptist preacher shrieking about Hell and sin from the pulpit, to the more-liberal-than-thou-art, neo-progressive who spends their time protesting white people in kimonos, is that we all love to feel righteous. FWIW, I'm very aware that this includes me in the act of giving this lecture. I also think that the easiest way for a person to feel righteous is to point in condemnation at the non-righteous. Sometimes that can be a good thing. A lot of the protests that have been uniting so many good causes over the past two years have been driven as much by defiance of a divisive figurehead as by the genuine good-will towards our fellow human beings that has always fueled such causes.

But this is not such a cause. FFS, the guy's dad died a few months ago, and I swear the first reaction from some of the folks in this thread was something along the lines of "that doesn't excuse him from being a blowhard that doesn't write enough."

Edited by Let's Get Kraken

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I cannot verify any of this, as, obviously, I didn't record these f-2-f conversations that took place at the e-in-chief's dinner table -- or was it in the living room right before the dinner was served, which was cooked by a mutual friend visiting up from New Orleans who brought all the local items on the menu with him?

I don't have the jiffy bag with the house's mailing label-- or the ms itself -- discarding that when they sent the book itself. Recall how long ago it was published?  (And now, of course, if I still had it, I could sell that ms . . . .)

When this happened, my own professional participation in that world was on the cusp of being left behind, due to my own lack of interest in it, provoked by certain changes in both the consumers' and professionals' ways of doing thing, while I got passionate about what is now my profession, thus the opportunity opened up to go there, and got very, very, very busy.

But I participated as a professional in the sf/f for long enough to know everybody at that level in the days when these events took place.  I still occasionally encounter the publisher figures in these particular events due to their personal relationships with others who have professional relationships in the field in which I work now.  So that is how I learned of their participation in the second book, and their despair that there will ever be a third.

All I could do is include more details but I'm not going there. Those would be no more proof on the internet than 'he said," than what was already provided. So I don't I feel wronged that you choose to believe this didn't happen.

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1 hour ago, Vaughn said:

This is classic unsourced anonymous gossip though right? I mean, it sounds so feasible but then I have zero way to know if its true and it's nicely aligned with the general distaste on this board for how Rothfuss presents himself. 

 

I do find it interesting how in music it's fine for artists, well regarded artists, to work with producers and even other song-writers to create hit albums. However in writing, the image is that the writer stands alone to create a mighty work with some help from their editor. We all assume that the editor can play a huge role in the shape of the book but its rarely as publicly viewed as an artistic collaboration. Let's assume Rothfuss is that guy who can create some great ideas and plots but just can't execute without more help than say, Tolkien needed. That should be fine if the end work is produced and is good. But I think if he were to come out and say "I'm teaming up with writer X to knock this book out of the park", he'd get killed by and large for it. Same thing with Martin I think. 

 

 

Did you ever hear of Max Perkins?

However, knowing a whole lot of how writing fiction works, as well as other great works of print content, and other kinds of art such as painting (though many of the artists of the Great Masters index did have their students and apprentices do the dull bits) it really is a different process than the utterly necessary collaborative elements of recording music or making movies and tv.  BYW this is changing / changed a great deal now due to technology.

But still the show runner cannot compose, record, dub, etc. the music and sound for the images. Not to mention the special effects, etc.

Writing books -- an editor has to have a really strong core to work with, which you will know what is meant when looking at the list of the authors an editor like Perkins worked with.  Perkins didn't write the text, he whittled and sculpted it.

I've done one hell of lot more editing than I'd like -- it's really hard work.  And if there ain't no there there, no matter how great the editor is the book won't be.  So yes, writing fiction particularly is still an area where we reasonably can expect that the name on it as author actually wrote it.

This isn't to denigrate editors.  No matter how good a writer and thinker the author is, a good editor is the gift beyond price, and which continues to give, helping to make the first drafts of the next work better than the first drafts were of the previous work.

Then too, in the sf/f publishing world, that kind of editing isn't something most of them ever did / do for most of their authors.  Basic editing -- change this, change that, cut 200 words, that's about as far as it has ever gone with most sf/f books.  Genre publishing tends to lean really hard on authors who can turn in something acceptable at the deadline, and produce reliably another book next year, the year after, etc.  No fields depend on this like sf/f, mysteries and romance.  An author seldom can make a career in these fields without publishing every year -- thus series. And in some romance divisions, the expected production rate of their authors is even a dozen books a year.

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3 hours ago, Zorral said:

Did you ever hear of Max Perkins?

However, knowing a whole lot of how writing fiction works, as well as other great works of print content, and other kinds of art such as painting (though many of the artists of the Great Masters index did have their students and apprentices do the dull bits) it really is a different process than the utterly necessary collaborative elements of recording music or making movies and tv.  BYW this is changing / changed a great deal now due to technology.

But still the show runner cannot compose, record, dub, etc. the music and sound for the images. Not to mention the special effects, etc.

Writing books -- an editor has to have a really strong core to work with, which you will know what is meant when looking at the list of the authors an editor like Perkins worked with.  Perkins didn't write the text, he whittled and sculpted it.

I've done one hell of lot more editing than I'd like -- it's really hard work.  And if there ain't no there there, no matter how great the editor is the book won't be.  So yes, writing fiction particularly is still an area where we reasonably can expect that the name on it as author actually wrote it.

This isn't to denigrate editors.  No matter how good a writer and thinker the author is, a good editor is the gift beyond price, and which continues to give, helping to make the first drafts of the next work better than the first drafts were of the previous work.

Then too, in the sf/f publishing world, that kind of editing isn't something most of them ever did / do for most of their authors.  Basic editing -- change this, change that, cut 200 words, that's about as far as it has ever gone with most sf/f books.  Genre publishing tends to lean really hard on authors who can turn in something acceptable at the deadline, and produce reliably another book next year, the year after, etc.  No fields depend on this like sf/f, mysteries and romance.  An author seldom can make a career in these fields without publishing every year -- thus series. And in some romance divisions, the expected production rate of their authors is even a dozen books a year.

I agree that modern fiction largely has always been author as individual and have generally found author team up books to be less than the sum of their parts.  But it's illustrative that (cherry picking alert) JA Corey has been able to keep their story moving forward in a way that Martin and Rothfuss haven't. I'm a little surprised it's not done more often. Like one writer is the plot/narrative writer and another is the details/characterization writer, etc...  Especially in genre where the expectations are usually more pragmatic than some Man Booker winner in high falutin' literature. 

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