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Bakker LVI: the Rectum of Creation

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wouldn't the katharsis be more appropriate for the denouement, presumptively to be in series III, whereas we should expect from the climax in series II the peripeteia?  the question accordingly becomes whether this peripeteia is rooted firmly in a cognizable anagnorisis. perhaps it is not, if readers are perplexed.  dunno--am still not over it almost two years later.  the experience of reading the ending thereof is structurally consistent with the substance of the content therein--a kenotic experience, what the author might think of as chorismos, a separation.

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2 hours ago, sologdin said:

wouldn't the katharsis be more appropriate for the denouement, presumptively to be in series III, whereas we should expect from the climax in series II the peripeteia?  the question accordingly becomes whether this peripeteia is rooted firmly in a cognizable anagnorisis. perhaps it is not, if readers are perplexed.  dunno--am still not over it almost two years later.  the experience of reading the ending thereof is structurally consistent with the substance of the content therein--a kenotic experience, what the author might think of as chorismos, a separation.

:o

Dude, I was literally visiting your forum profile yesterday.

:bowdown:

If I am following, it does seem that we get a sort of "peripeteia" on Kellhus' part.  And maybe on the reader's part too?  As in, most readers likely are following that Kellhus, while not the savior, is at least some sort of "lesser or two evils."  As such, the ending throws all that on it's head and has the reader asking if it would be right to recast everything in the light of futility and failure?  As in, was any of this for a purpose at all?

I think, as I wrote in my post above, the answer could be yes, but who knows how deluded I am.

(Not really related, but you might get a kick from reading some shit that I wrote elsewhere, in some sense at least)

Also, I am very glad to read you again, hope to do so again soon.

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9 hours ago, .H. said:

I'm curious what would constitute a "better resolution" though.  One where the No-God does not rise?  Or one where Ajokli does not have such a role?  Or is it little Kel's "sudden" relevance that is an issue?

I haven't found anyone saying that the No-God shouldn't rise. I think that line of argument is disingenuous and obviously combative. 

I don't think the problem is that TUC ends with the No-God rising, it's that TUC is the endpoint of the second series, and as an ending to that series it fails. As you mention, Mimara is a great big sucking point. But so is Akka, and Esme, and the entire resolution of Momemn (which literally IS rocks fall, everyone dies). Sorweel's plot ends not particularly well either. Cnaiur comes out of left field and then proceeds to do almost nothing important save take up space for reasons. Kel appearing in the Golden Room was so confusing we still had people questioning it regularly. 

And that's not even talking about the incredible pace-killer that was cannibal orgy death march. 

The other, other problem - other than all those other things - is that we still, to this day, do not know what Kellhus was planning in his lucid state. If the resolution was that he and Ajokli made a deal and that Kellhus' solution was to rule over the granary as a godling, that would at least be something - we would know for certain that Kellhus was a Bad Dude, etc. But thanks to Bakker, we don't even have that. There was barely any hint at all that Kellhus was under control of a god this entire time, so that comes out of left field - but that would have been okay had it been Kellhus' actual plan. 

So unlike the first series, where we get the entire plan revealed and discussed and the future somewhat resolved, we get the entire plan hidden even more, we get no answers as to virtually any of it, no promise of future answers, and no reasonable climax for any of the other main characters. 

Which...you already know, and we've discussed quite a bit before, so what is this bit of performance art about? If you want a better resolution, here:

  • Kellhus reveals that he was evil all along, anticipated Ajokli riding him ,and still gets ganked because he has Kel as his blindspot. Ideally this is revealed in bits as early as TJE, but definitely first in TGO. 
  • Mimara gets to see Kellhus with TJE before hand and sees Ajokli as well as his own personal sins, but cannot do anything about it before she goes into labor (and her observation that he looks like Cnaiur did as well would be interesting)
  • Mimara sees Kelmomas and sees nothing. 
  • Mimara is able to Judge Sorweel before dying and let him join his father and ancestors
  • Esme gets Akka and Mimara to flee when Mimara goes into labor, and gets them out of there. Which gives them time to actually escape. 
  • Akka fights something. 
  • Shae's fate is more clearly spelled out
  • Some fucking talk about why the Dunsult wanted to nuke Kellhus, jesus fuck
  • Aurax and Aurang get to do something a bit more fearsome than cowering like a pug

Again, most of the resolution changes go around fixing the character arcs. The story beats are largely fine. 

  • Akka does not bow to Kellhus, or he does so in a way that actually makes some vague sense and is important. 

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I do find the "you didn't like the ending cause it was a bad one" argument to be tired at this point. I read "grimdark" for fucks sake, bad endings are kind of cliche almost now.

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31 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

I haven't found anyone saying that the No-God shouldn't rise. I think that line of argument is disingenuous and obviously combative.

Well, you say obviously combative, but that really wasn't my intent, although reading it back after the fact, I can see how it could come across that way.

33 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

So unlike the first series, where we get the entire plan revealed and discussed and the future somewhat resolved, we get the entire plan hidden even more, we get no answers as to virtually any of it, no promise of future answers, and no reasonable climax for any of the other main characters. 

Well, you also know that I do consider PoN superior to TAE, so it's not hard for me to see the ending of the first series as better than that of the second.

34 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

Which...you already know, and we've discussed quite a bit before, so what is this bit of performance art about?

Well, as much as you might view it as performance art, that wasn't my intent, nor was it to be combative, so your "come back" with a combative retort isn't really justified, except by your presumption.  I was asking him his personal opinion and indeed, in retrospect, I should have worded it more parsimoniously.

In fact, I really don't disagree with any of the things that you list.  So, my intention is asking him was not to somehow inform him of how the ending he saw as "bad" wasn't actually.  Indeed, I'm pretty ambivalent about the end myself, so I was actually asking him what he didn't like, to possibly gain better insight into my own feelings about it.

But it's ok, you can ascribe all the ill intent and motive to me you want, I'm not actually here to fight you.  I never was and I'm still not going to be.

So, if I ask people if it's closure? Is it resolution? Is it catharsis? Is it information?  I actually am curious about what it really seems to be.  Maybe it's all of those, what do I know?  That's why I'm asking.  Because I've never said the ending was perfect, or great, or even good.  I just have a hunch that the ending was as Bakker wanted it, for some reason that only he knows.  Perhaps that is set-up, perhaps it's just Bakker being a troll, I don't know.

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2 minutes ago, .H. said:

So, if I ask people if it's closure? Is it resolution? Is it catharsis? Is it information?  I actually am curious about what it really seems to be.  Maybe it's all of those, what do I know?  That's why I'm asking.  Because I've never said the ending was perfect, or great, or even good.  I just have a hunch that the ending was as Bakker wanted it, for some reason that only he knows.  Perhaps that is set-up, perhaps it's just Bakker being a troll, I don't know.

Well, per Bakker we also know the answer to this - it was him wanting specifically to tweak expectations of readers and effectively troll them. His goal was to leave you feeling unsatisfied and without answers, and potentially never get those answers. His goal was to sow ambiguity, to engage your meaning-making engines and then give you nothing. 

I mean he said this, and got all chuffy when someone got upset about it. 

What it isn't is closure, or resolution, or catharsis, or information, and that's all by design. At best it's simply information. "This is the way things happened". There is no interpretation given, and the notion that this resolves anything is not true. It's just shitty things happening to shitty people, and the few people who we were set up to think something would happen special with them just don't. 

I think he took all the lessons of Blood Meridian and didn't understand any of them. I get that he wanted to leave the ending and the story up to debate and discussion, and have it many-faceted - but Blood Meridian was haunting not just because of the ugly things, but because of what happened to the characters - and they definitely had several arcs that finished in fairly great fashion. There's a difference between ambiguity in theme and ambiguity in plot, and TUC is far more about the latter. 

7 minutes ago, .H. said:

But it's ok, you can ascribe all the ill intent and motive to me you want, I'm not actually here to fight you.  I never was and I'm still not going to be.

I'm sorry for that. It is how I (and apparently others) took it. I'd recommend asking more open-ended questions instead of supplying the answers that you think might suffice if you want to come off as not being immediately antagonistic. 

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useful perhaps to bracket away as a digressive revenant the evaluation of aesthetic quality, especially as conjoined with considerations of authorial intentions, in the attempt to decide what the conclusion of volume VII is, without regard for aristotelian heuristics or freytag's schematic?  

that is, the novels' difficulty warrants becoming resistant to a writer's totalitarian attempt at semiotic monopolization.  

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10 hours ago, sologdin said:

wouldn't the katharsis be more appropriate for the denouement, presumptively to be in series III, whereas we should expect from the climax in series II the peripeteia?  the question accordingly becomes whether this peripeteia is rooted firmly in a cognizable anagnorisis. perhaps it is not, if readers are perplexed.  dunno--am still not over it almost two years later.  the experience of reading the ending thereof is structurally consistent with the substance of the content therein--a kenotic experience, what the author might think of as chorismos, a separation.

A sub-series is still a series, which ought to dictate some level of resolution within the wider whole. It'd have been far better had Bakker ditched the sub-series thing, and just gone for one long Second Apocalypse series.

It's doubly worse, of course, because the Golgotterath-sized glossary at the end of The Unholy Consult pads the page-count. It's one thing to be left hanging at the end of the fourth book of a quartet, it's another to be left hanging with nearly a third of the physical book to go. I'm just relieved I got it as a library book. 

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3 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Well, per Bakker we also know the answer to this - it was him wanting specifically to tweak expectations of readers and effectively troll them. His goal was to leave you feeling unsatisfied and without answers, and potentially never get those answers. His goal was to sow ambiguity, to engage your meaning-making engines and then give you nothing. 

I mean he said this, and got all chuffy when someone got upset about it. 

What it isn't is closure, or resolution, or catharsis, or information, and that's all by design. At best it's simply information. "This is the way things happened". There is no interpretation given, and the notion that this resolves anything is not true. It's just shitty things happening to shitty people, and the few people who we were set up to think something would happen special with them just don't. 

I think he took all the lessons of Blood Meridian and didn't understand any of them. I get that he wanted to leave the ending and the story up to debate and discussion, and have it many-faceted - but Blood Meridian was haunting not just because of the ugly things, but because of what happened to the characters - and they definitely had several arcs that finished in fairly great fashion. There's a difference between ambiguity in theme and ambiguity in plot, and TUC is far more about the latter. 

I'm sorry for that. It is how I (and apparently others) took it. I'd recommend asking more open-ended questions instead of supplying the answers that you think might suffice if you want to come off as not being immediately antagonistic. 

Ah, so we've got an author trying to write an anti-novel out of a misplaced sense of cleverness. In which case he's failed - it's a novel that is a novel, just without a meaningful ending. 

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40 minutes ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Ah, so we've got an author trying to write an anti-novel out of a misplaced sense of cleverness. In which case he's failed - it's a novel that is a novel, just without a meaningful ending. 

Heh did you uh, miss Bakker's AMA and other stuff when the book came out? There was some uh, drama.

Not to mention him bragging about the g string moment for a decade or so and some fuckery by the fans.

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1 hour ago, Darth Richard II said:

Heh did you uh, miss Bakker's AMA and other stuff when the book came out? There was some uh, drama.

Not to mention him bragging about the g string moment for a decade or so and some fuckery by the fans.

I've been living under a rock when it becomes to Bakker news. I'll follow it up.

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8 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

I've been living under a rock when it becomes to Bakker news. I'll follow it up.

The Cunoroi tried to dig down below the surface of the world to escape the judgment of the gods, and failed, what makes you think this rock offers you protection they were unable to find?

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author commentary as falling randomly from the sky to shake the foundations of our excogitation--the RSB is accordingly inchoroi.

 

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One must always remember that RSB is Canadian and as such was directed to read Margaret Laurence in high school English. 

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Quote

 

 Ah, so we've got an author trying to write an anti-novel out of a misplaced sense of cleverness. In which case he's failed - it's a novel that is a novel, just without a meaningful ending. 

 

Or is it a novel that isn't a novel, but evil incarnate? It has an evil rustle of pages.

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On 3/22/2019 at 6:59 AM, .H. said:

Now, maybe that word salad doesn't actually mean anything, but it seems to me that it might.  I've tried to point out that I think Kellhus is a failure in an "Abrahamic sense," a spiritual sense, but I was rather quickly dismissed here with that, so I quit bothering.

In the end, I don't know if the end of TAE is good, because I don't know exactly what Bakker was after with the ending.  However, it is likely that he hit something like the target he was after, to show that Kellhus was specifically not a savior, not an "answer" to the problem of the No-God.  Maybe a good ending requires catharsis, I don't know.  I don't know what a "good ending" even means to me, let alone to anyone else.

So, I don't know if TUC's end was good.  I'm still trying to figure it out...

I really like this idea of Kellhus as a Abrahamic failure, but I don't think it's supported by the text, rather, I think it's an explanation that fits the text very well--in other words you've found a narrative framework for the text that operates within the familiar narrative frameworks we regularly experience in western culture.

But this sort of fitting should be resisted by the reader because the text was explicitly designed to reject fitting narrative frameworks, and scrambling to find the framework within which to fit it (and thus achieve victory in the magical belief lottery) is to willfully miss a key point of the text.

I thought TUC's ending was fine because it works somewhat, but it's also poorly designed and executed in terms of pulling off theoretically ambitious ideas.  The AMA threw me off the series as a whole, but I don't remember strongly the details of it, other than Bakker rejecting the text-as-he-wrote it and positing all sorts of extra textual information enforcing a bunch of bizarre interpretations the text could not in and of itself support. So I've sort of just let all that nonsense bugger off as more or less pointless. 

 

On 3/22/2019 at 2:31 PM, Kalbear said:

So unlike the first series, where we get the entire plan revealed and discussed and the future somewhat resolved, we get the entire plan hidden even more, we get no answers as to virtually any of it, no promise of future answers, and no reasonable climax for any of the other main characters. 

I think this resolves around the readerly desire for the concept of "entire plan" to be coherent and the cultural expectation that an "entire plan" even exists. This is made worse because, as you say, Bakker fulfilled these expectations with typical semen infused over-enthusiasm in the first series as Moenghus goes very James Bond villain monologuing to an epic extent. So having been provided with this cultural red meat, the audience expects a similar 'entire plan' to appear the second time around. And I think it just comes down to this: Bakker didn't have one for any of the characters, and didn't want to have one, and it made more sense for his writing goals to write something that didn't have one in order to best execute (in his mind) the subversion of narrative tropes that made him the mostest cleverest writer (or so every disaffected teenager to ever be cynical has already always thought about themselves when they're rejecting something something culture something something society, proving to themselves how much superior they are to everything beneath them).

Just accept that for the entire series, there never was an entire plan and it all works better. The writer, is, naturally, just making shit up as they go along. and this is just an extreme case, Bakker thought it would be a g-string moment because to extend his metaphor, he didn't know what the naked body looked like, so holy shit it must be awesome for him when he finally got there?

 

Quote

Which...you already know, and we've discussed quite a bit before, so what is this bit of performance art about? If you want a better resolution, here:

Kellhus reveals that he was evil all along, anticipated Ajokli riding him ,and still gets ganked because he has Kel as his blindspot. Ideally this is revealed in bits as early as TJE, but definitely first in TGO. 

Mimara gets to see Kellhus with TJE before hand and sees Ajokli as well as his own personal sins, but cannot do anything about it before she goes into labor (and her observation that he looks like Cnaiur did as well would be interesting)

Mimara sees Kelmomas and sees nothing. 

Mimara is able to Judge Sorweel before dying and let him join his father and ancestors

Esme gets Akka and Mimara to flee when Mimara goes into labor, and gets them out of there. Which gives them time to actually escape. 

Akka fights something. 

Shae's fate is more clearly spelled out

Some fucking talk about why the Dunsult wanted to nuke Kellhus, jesus fuck

Aurax and Aurang get to do something a bit more fearsome than cowering like a pug

A lot of these, particularly the last and 6, miss I think, the thrusting hips of defying expectations established by the ejaculations from the climaxing in the first trilogy.  2 and 4 I think are untenable to have in any version of the text.

8 really doesn't bother me, I would find funny if it were literally never a plan of their's--it was a leftover nuke that got thrown after Titirga but never went off, Kellhus disturbs it and it blows up in his face. lolz.

I think many and more of the problems from the book's reception come from severing the book like Solomon, in order to get mo money (but for face saving to include a completely pointless glossary (put it online and include a qr code, but don't murder trees on that garbage). I think structurally it would play a lot better if the last book isn't trying to play tantric footsie with cannibal rape because the climax was designed as a 200 page resolution to the previous book's setup.

Cnaiur was just foolish. I understand he had a teenage vision of this scene of naked barbarian yelling at the pillar-of-smoke-by-day, but he should have let it go, that is what editing is for, the contortions to fulfill this vision hurt the entire last two books, gave us one really glorious scene, but did damage to the whole thing. 

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