Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Winter Bass

Bakker XII: Spoilers for PON, TJE, and WLW

Recommended Posts

Bakker mentioned on his latest blog post that he's having a sort of writer's block. Though really, I'm surprised by how fast he produces quality works. His prose and plots are so fine-tuned for the most part that I always imagined him doing countless rewrites, slaving over individual sentences 'till midnight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing? I'll prime the pump, then.

I'm still not convinced that sexism on the part of both the Schools plus the society would wholly prevent any sort of Witch's School from arising, particularly in the period when sorcerers were still forming their own schools. They could presumably find sanctuary somewhere, and the kingdom that allowed them there would potentially gain a major military advantage.

One other thing - it's interesting that we haven't heard about any Zeumi major schools. More effective repression, maybe?

EDIT: Never mind, Cantabile beat me to the first response.

His prose and plots are so fine-tuned for the most part that I always imagined him doing countless rewrites, slaving over individual sentences 'till midnight.

He might do some of that. His outside time commitments (aside from caring for his daughter and family) don't seem extremely huge, particularly compared to someone like GRRM (who has a crap-ton of side projects in addition to con visits and so forth).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zeum could have Schools, but Zeum isn't part of the Empire, so it's irrelevant. Look at Zeum, it's humongous, the size of modern China, it has to have Schools.

What I want to know is about the Vokalati, they seem to be Nilnamesh's School, and Nilnamesh held out the longest against Kellhus and his Mandate sorcerers. How? Nilnamesh is referred to as being good at math (like ancient India), do the Vokalati have some sort of proto-Gnosis developed using human ideas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was asked what the series could have changed.

1. Less Serwe. Not only was this an implausible way for Kellhus to maintain his hold on Cnaiur, she was a horrible character in her own right. Most of her part could have been excised without any harm, and certainly the PoVs of her.

2. More Conphas and empire. He disappears for a large chunk of book two and is completely pwned by everyone later; it's a shame. He was interesting.

3. Less Istriya sucking so much. If she's so competent, could we at least see some view of said competence?

4. The Inrau plot took too long to resolve and ended up doing very little.

5. More showing the world they were going through. When Bakker does this he does it well, but he does it so sparingly.

6. I was tempted to leave this off, but...no Kellhus PoV. I think most of his PoV could have been tales told to Cnaiur, Esme and Akka in one form or another. The only part this doesn't work in is the Kellhus/Moe scene, but I think there are other ways to deal with that. At the very least, less PoV from him; he's far more intriguing when his motivations and decisions are not perfectly known, and knowing too much about him made him weaker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing? I'll prime the pump, then.

I'm still not convinced that sexism on the part of both the Schools plus the society would wholly prevent any sort of Witch's School from arising, particularly in the period when sorcerers were still forming their own schools. They could presumably find sanctuary somewhere, and the kingdom that allowed them there would potentially gain a major military advantage.

So ask yourself, "why was christianity repressed by ancient Rome?" it wasn't because they felt it threatened the state religion, it was because it threatened property rights. Early Christianity was a very ascetic and extraordinarily egalitarian religion, it quickly became popular among educated Roman daughters because by joining the culture they became people with full equality to men within the culture. Because Christianity was basically an ascetic cult, it tended to mean the women ran away to join a commune more or less. What this meant to Roman men was that Christianity was an immense property theft. Daughters were property, they were a coin that could be bargained and traded through the marriage market for political and personal gain. Daughters were considered a fantastic long term investment and Roman men felt that Christianity was quite literally robbing them of their property. So they aggressively went after the religion in an attempt to shut it down.

So this is to say that in the incredibly misogynistic societies of Bakker's world, where women's inferiority is hardwired into the nature of his universe, it is likely that any publicly organized cult, school, association, etc of women that offered them a reprieve from male authority would be seen as a threat to the property, wealth and well being of the ruling class first and foremost and they would act accordingly. a military bargain in getting a witches school would not be seen as worth it. So it's not about a metaphysical bruising of the male ego in Earwa, I think it's a much more practical consideration that women are basically the property of men in Earwa, and female independence means a loss of property.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was asked what the series could have changed.

1. Less Serwe. Not only was this an implausible way for Kellhus to maintain his hold on Cnaiur, she was a horrible character in her own right. Most of her part could have been excised without any harm, and certainly the PoVs of her.

2. More Conphas and empire. He disappears for a large chunk of book two and is completely pwned by everyone later; it's a shame. He was interesting.

3. Less Istriya sucking so much. If she's so competent, could we at least see some view of said competence?

4. The Inrau plot took too long to resolve and ended up doing very little.

5. More showing the world they were going through. When Bakker does this he does it well, but he does it so sparingly.

6. I was tempted to leave this off, but...no Kellhus PoV. I think most of his PoV could have been tales told to Cnaiur, Esme and Akka in one form or another. The only part this doesn't work in is the Kellhus/Moe scene, but I think there are other ways to deal with that. At the very least, less PoV from him; he's far more intriguing when his motivations and decisions are not perfectly known, and knowing too much about him made him weaker.

I think Bakker has said that he was originally planning on showing less and less of Kellhus via POV as the Prince of Nothing went on and have no Kellhus POV in TTT. Then he changed it but I forgot why. He says the world really opens up in the Aspect-Emperor series too. Both of these statements are from the three seas forum, I think, but I don't think I'm making things up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like that list, Razorbeef, great points. When Conphas was first introduced as a character, I felt like he had so much potential, but he ended up as a cry baby getting his ass handed to him by every other kid in the sandbox.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still Cnaiur and Conphas are among the best crazy-person PoV's I've ever read. If only GRRM could give us Dolorous Edd as a PoV, he might surpass them. I dunno, GRRM doesn't really have that many truly insane. Definitely, we got some personality disorders going on with some characters, but aside from Cersei, most everyone is rational in their own way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
a military bargain in getting a witches school would not be seen as worth it.
It's hard for me to buy that - especially in places where Inrithism isn't so practiced. Sorcerers are too powerful and too rare to simply throw them away, and some country that was up and coming but not as strong would likely be willing to take in those witches and train them if only to get an edge up.

It's clear from the text that there are witches in the world, which are shunned and outcast but also used by the populace for things they need. People are willing to accept that level of power to women if it's useful to them. Why not a school somewhere where women aren't quite so cast down? I guess that assumes there's anywhere where women aren't cast down to begin with.

On that note - is there any sign of nonmen women having power and equal rights in that respect?

Oh yeah, one last thing I could have done with less of: LESS PHALLUSES. Seriously, Bakker, it's like a sausage factory in there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, as much as I like them, generally speaking, I could do with fewer pendulous phallus references myself. :dunno:

I agree that Cnaiur was the best crazy person that at least I'VE ever read. Conphas... I don't think of him as crazy per se, as much as just incredibly narcissistic.

GRRM's nutcases have their sane sides - Vargo Hoat knew which when to reel it back in. Biter and the other guy (can't recall his name) probably knew enough not to act up around, say, Tywin Lannister. Trying to think of some other deranged-type personalities in aSoIaF...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Bakker has said that he was originally planning on showing less and less of Kellhus via POV as the Prince of Nothing went on and have no Kellhus POV in TTT. Then he changed it but I forgot why. He says the world really opens up in the Aspect-Emperor series too. Both of these statements are from the three seas forum, I think, but I don't think I'm making things up.

You're right about this. He wanted to make Kellhus more and more distant to the reader as he gained power. I think he largely left this idea intact in the novel but I think he changed a few things because some of his test readers were buying kellhus's bullshit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing is, lockesnow, is that Christianity was emerging against an established hierarchy in an empire. That`s not necessarily the case with Earwan civilization, which was in flux for along period (including periods during which the For Tribes were little more than stone age nomads). That`s a lot of time for a witches school to organize, particularly with the incentive of persecution, like with the other schools.

I disagree over the "no Kellhus POV" position. Aside from being my favorite POV to read (particularly the dialogue between him and Moenghus), I think the contrast between between how the other characters see him, and how he`s actually thinking, is important to the story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with most of Kalbear's suggestions, especially more Conphas. He was fun.

I think you could take away the Inchoroi (and all the associated rape tropes, except in the description of war crimes) with minimal disruption - let the Mangaecca have developed Tekne; they already have plenty motivation. The Inchoroi are just uninterestingly evil.

On that note - is there any sign of nonmen women having power and equal rights in that respect?

For all we know they might have been completely equal. They're ancient history, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think you could take away the Inchoroi (and all the associated rape tropes, except in the description of war crimes) with minimal disruption - let the Mangaecca have developed Tekne; they already have plenty motivation. The Inchoroi are just uninterestingly evil.

I don't see how this would work with respect to the Tekne. The most obvious product of the Tekne in story is the skin-spies. These are seemingly created via genetic manipulation far beyond anything we have now. I don't see how something that technologically advanced could have been developed in a tenth or eleventh century-equivalent world. And sorcery can't be used to make the skin spies because then they would be detected by the Few and they would be pointless as spies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see how this would work with respect to the Tekne. The most obvious product of the Tekne in story is the skin-spies. These are seemingly created via genetic manipulation far beyond anything we have now. I don't see how something that technologically advanced could have been developed in a tenth or eleventh century-equivalent world. And sorcery can't be used to make the skin spies because then they would be detected by the Few and they would be pointless as spies.

Cishaurim magic can't be detected either, so...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's also no reason that the Consult - led by sorcerers - could not have learned how to use the Tekne and then killed the remaining Inchoroi. Or moved on from their primitive knowledge of it and taught those phone service technicians and objectivists how to actually use the stuff.

That being said, I like the Inchies as an enemy, and I'm disappointed that there are so few of them. I don't like them being completely idiotic rape demons, but the notion of an alien being who is damned simply for existing (and fighting against the objective metaphysical reality) is an interesting one. I would have liked the inchoroi to be a bit less...well, tentacle porn demon, and a bit more interesting as a villain. Heck, let them control their creations via lust and base instincts - that's still an interesting conceit. But why do they have to be the ones that want to fuck everything?

At the very least, let them be less idiotic and have plans that make some vague amount of sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×