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Happy Ent

Judging Eye X (Re-read)

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Lil Kel gets stranger and stranger.

Look at the internal dialogue there, is it just me, or are there as many as three possible voices? It does seem like at least one of the lines is definitely Samarmis, the "Mommy...kisses!" line. Then following that up is the "he'll see you" line and before a lot of this internal conversation, it seems like one of the italics lines is simply Lil Kel's own thoughts.

Note that Maithanet finds it unfathomable when looking at the carnage Lil Kel wrought. Lil Kel as a irrational force of chaos seems to be beyond the ken of Maitha's half-Dunyain intellect. I'm sure Kell would have deduced it to be his son by scent and location of stab wounds (he would calculate the distance between wounds, infer the order they occured and develop a very accurate theory about the 'reach' and proportions of the attacker). But Kell would have also noted olive oil on Sammy's foot/shoe and would never have been fooled by Lil Kel there either.

Inrilatus also shouts against the Gods. I'm very curious to hear his thoughts on them.

But isn't it curious that they don't immediately declare it to be the work of the Consult and the skin spy? it shows the short sightedness of giving the crowd the skin spy earlier in the novel. If they'd been interrogating the creature instead, they could have used it to quell the crowd after the Lil Kel slaughter and passed the blame on to it. It will be very interesting to see how the judgment of the killing goes (I don't think we have another momemn/andiamiane chapter, at least, I do not remember one).

I read the first of the next Condia chapter as well. Very early in the chapter is something I presume to be a pre-Ajencis phrase conception, The Great Song of the World (or something like that), which Sorweel believes Kell to be working against--and this belief seems to be the basis of his remaining resistance to Kell. The Mandati explanation of The Gods and souls of men, is fascinating. setting aside the "kellhus is the god in small" bit, notice how the sorcerer quite clearly states that not all souls of men are equal. Definitely NOT he says, it seems one of the more concise and clear explanations of the pre-modern view of souls as inherently unequal that makes so many people very cross with Bakker.

It is interesting that the God has to be shattered in order for the Hundred Gods and the souls of man to exist. Are we looking at a revelation that it requires a Christ-like sacrifice of a great soul, of the God, in order for people to even exist? And would it necessarily follow that the God is, in fact, dead, and that the souls that remain are his fragments and splinters. That perhaps the God was a great tree, The tree of the world that sacrificed itself for its creation, so that men and gods could florish and prosper? and that the souls of man are naught more but sawdust most times, and the souls of gods are naught more than a twig of that tree? Perhaps it was Kellhus' explanation that was flawed, that there is not a great "oversoul" and all souls are part of a still existing oversoul, but that the oversoul is the ancient ore from which souls are mined.

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Thx Lockesnow, interesting stuff. Looking forward to getting to TJE again. :D

Trees bifurcate, upwards and downwards. Perhaps the souls of men are but leaves, a brief life that alows the whole to drink the sun, then spiral down and decay to feed the roots. <feeling poetic :pimp: >

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I like the Marrow chapter very much.

When the mood takes him, Bakker can describe settings very well. Not only does he tell us how things look (nature, types of buildings, building materials, condition of the streets), he includes the full range of senses: smell and humidity. The population of Marrow is taken straight out of a spaghetti western. The I FUCK SRANC grafitti is hilarious.

We are led to believe that Mim has been following Acka throughout his trek. Then she camps for what must be days slightly outside of Marrow. I do find this a tad hard to believe. The environment of Marrow must be extremely dangerous to her, yet she survives unmolested in an area whose denizens probably combine well-honed tracking skills with an unfettered desire for the female form.

On this reread, the fact that Acka's entire journey and encounter has been anticipated, nay prepared, by Kellhus becomes increasingly likely. Haubrezer certainly knows what he's supposed to do, and in a later scene he seems to check that everything goes according to plan. Also, it's clear that Kosoter has been highly estimated by Kellhus (who gave him the name, Ironsoul), so it seems strange that such a veteran would spend his time hunting Sranc instead of joining the Great Ordeal. Unless Kellhus asked him to do just this, like he asked Saubon to stay behind in Caraskand. I assume that the presence of an Ishroi is explained by Kellhusian manipulation as well.

The only thing that cannot have been planned is the Coffers. This seems to be a genuine coincidence, bloody Fate, the whore.

As somebody already observed, there's a plot hole in the fact that Acka does not feel Kosoter's Chorae through the walls of the inn.

As sologdin observed some time ago, Kosoter's group is an homage to the Glanton gang of McCarthy's Blood Meridian. Cleric is Judge Holden. Just so that everyone knows.

The whole encounter in the inn is right out of a role-playing game's setup. I'm sure it's a deliberate in-joke that we're assembling a group of adventurers that includes a cleric.

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I like the Marrow chapter very much.

When the mood takes him, Bakker can describe settings very well. Not only does he tell us how things look (nature, types of buildings, building materials, condition of the streets), he includes the full range of senses: smell and humidity. The population of Marrow is taken straight out of a spaghetti western. The I FUCK SRANC grafitti is hilarious.

Yeah, in a thread long ago Brady made a hilarious Marrow = Deadwood remark.

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I like the Marrow chapter very much.

When the mood takes him, Bakker can describe settings very well. Not only does he tell us how things look (nature, types of buildings, building materials, condition of the streets), he includes the full range of senses: smell and humidity. The population of Marrow is taken straight out of a spaghetti western. The I FUCK SRANC grafitti is hilarious.

I think Marrow was the best evocation of place (inhabited by humans division, i.e. city, town, etc), we've seen in the series so far.

As sologdin observed some time ago, Kosoter's group is an homage to the Glanton gang of McCarthy's Blood Meridian. Cleric is Judge Holden. Just so that everyone knows.

I've always loved this observation, but I wonder how far we can really take it. The basic set-up (gang of scalpers, etc) is an homage for sure. And I can see Kosoter as a Glanton-like figure: stoic bad-ass, "complete in himself at all moments" or whatever. And Cleric seems to occupy the position of Judge Holden, to a certain extent: larger than life figure whose presence looms over the rest of the party; delivers sermons on the reg; name signifies an ironized metaphorical role: "Judge" / "Cleric."

But I don't really see any correlation with any of the other figures (although I haven't read BloodM all that recently), and Kosoter's gang actually seems a lot less insane.

I also wonder how far we can push the Cleric and Judge Holden analogy. To my mind, Cleric actually seems much more human (oddly enough) and much more tragic. Cleric is all history and pain, whereas nothing weighs the Judge down.

If Bakker is interested in pursuing the Judge/Cleric analogy beyond what we've seen so far, I think this may lend more credence to the Cleric = Nin-JJ theory. Not that the Judge and Nin-JJ are similar figures or anything, but it would push Cleric more toward the (metaphorically) demonic side of the equation.

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Please try and keep Blood Meridian comparisons to a minimum. Nothing has really been spoiled yet, so I just want to keep it that way. Merci.

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And right after the bit I stopped at last night (after the lesson with the broken pot, about souls). Sorweel dreams about/remembers a tree that grew up in the rubble of a ruined area of Sakarpus and how it was sort of his tree and he watched it grow and grow. often spending time underneath it, looking up at it. For the tree to thrive it had to outcompete the Hawthorne bush that occupied the same soil. His last glimpse of the poplar was of it thriving and strong, the bush long dead and gone.

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Yeah...what's up with the tree theme? It seems pretty clear that there's something underlying there, or Bakker just really likes trees, or both. But I don't really have any good guesses as to what the symbolism is.

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Trees are Bakker's version of GRRM's food and Jordan's braid tugging. I doubt there's much more symbolism than simply him going to that well over and over and over again.

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Please try and keep Blood Meridian comparisons to a minimum. Nothing has really been spoiled yet, so I just want to keep it that way. Merci.

No worries, man. I don’t think there are any plot similarities at all. And Finn correctly points to the boundaries of how far we can push even the character similarities.

(Excepting of course the scene in Blood Meridian where Judge Holden explains the basics of gnosticism to an antagonistic rabble of Indian warriors in the ruins of a subterranean lost Aztec city. That may have been a deliberate homage.)

And, yes, the Skin Eaters are the very models of civility and gentlemanly behaviour compared to the Glanton gang. How do you say “Better the Sranc” in Sheyic?

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I’m happy other readers pay attention to the arboreal perspective of Bakker’s books. Trees do indeed play an important role, I like Razor’s analogy to GRRM’s food. I’m prepared to forgive the lack of sentient trees that has plagues the series so far.

I we go back a few pages, to the Momemn chapter, there’s this:

He stared at the greening sycamores [... a full paragraph of tree porn].

He would very much like to be a tree, Kelmomas decided.

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I forgot another detail from the Marrow chapter:

In one of Acka’s dreams, we learn to our surprise that Ses didn’t take the 1st Apocalypse seriously, despite the Nonmen warnings. Says Celmo:

What if this … this thing … is as mighty as the Quya say?

He says Thing. This is compatible with my view that the No-God is a construction, an artificial intelligence if you want. Something of the Tekne. It’s built (or “realized” as the appendix says).

(Of course, you might argue, what does Celmo know about these things…)

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I'm not sure it's just tree-porn akin to GRRM's food porn, I think Bakker is weaving in trees as a literary device throughout the series. So I think it's deliberate and there for a reason other than that Bakker loves trees.

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I'm not sure it's just tree-porn akin to GRRM's food porn, I think Bakker is weaving in trees as a literary device throughout the series. So I think it's deliberate and there for a reason other than that Bakker loves trees.

Agree. It's a leitmotif relating to manifestations and expressions of divinity (or at least outside agency), based on my contextual interpretation.

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IIRC, Bakker said something like "yeah, the trees are important" in answer to a questio on the three-seas forum. Do not remember details, but someone that still has searching capability over there could maybe pull the quote.

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Thx Lockesnow, interesting stuff. Looking forward to getting to TJE again. :D

Trees bifurcate, upwards and downwards. Perhaps the souls of men are but leaves, a brief life that alows the whole to drink the sun, then spiral down and decay to feed the roots. <feeling poetic :pimp: >

Yeah...what's up with the tree theme? It seems pretty clear that there's something underlying there, or Bakker just really likes trees, or both. But I don't really have any good guesses as to what the symbolism is.

In my reread, especially in TTT, I've come up with a theory regarding trees. However, I want to finish TTT (about to the Battle of Shimeh) and assemble my quotes before delving into it. (Not that it's particularly exciting, btw.)

Re: Marrow - I've never read Blood Meridian but I did like the homage to roleplaying with regards to the "party" composition in the inn. Your tank, your cleric, your wizard, etc.

Re: Soter - I'm seeing a lot of mentions of an Ainoni "Lord Soter" throughout PoN. Any chance that this is Soter? He is alive at least at the beginning of the battle of Shimeh.

Also: I'm coming to believe in the Cleric = Nil-Giccas theory. In TTT, in a Seswatha dream it's revealed that Sessy and NG are acquaintances, and he is mentioned several distinct times as the Nonman King of Ishterebinth. However, Aurang mentions Nin-whatever as the one to watch in Ishterebinth. Perhaps NG, the great Nonman king during the Apocalypse, eventually became Erratic and found his way to the Skin Eaters, probably due to some Kellhusian manipulation.

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Re: Soter - I'm seeing a lot of mentions of an Ainoni "Lord Soter" throughout PoN. Any chance that this is Soter? He is alive at least at the beginning of the battle of Shimeh.

We’ve been there before. My opinion is no, because Acka doesn’t recognise him. Acka knows the history of the holy war as well as we do, in fact, he wrote a book about it. So he must have heard of Lord Soter, possibly met him. Since Acka himself doesn’t make the connection, neither need we. It’s probably just a normal form of Ainoni name.

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meh, crack pot time. He is Kosoter not Soter because of what Kell did to/for him. He died, but Kell reached through the outside and yanked his soul back inside, but plunked it into another body (Soter's being unusable). Kell is able to do this, because like Mimara's heart everyone REALLY REALLY believes in him as the battle of Shimeh winds down. Akka doesn't hear of it because he's doing his little cuckold scolding of Kell and then storms off to exile.

shooting holes in my own crackpot. Naturally Kosoter being a lazarus would be such big news everyone would know of him, even Akka, it'd be a pretty indisputable miracle the kind that Xinemus noted Kell didn't perform ala Ajencis.

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Also: I'm coming to believe in the Cleric = Nil-Giccas theory. In TTT, in a Seswatha dream it's revealed that Sessy and NG are acquaintances, and he is mentioned several distinct times as the Nonman King of Ishterebinth. However, Aurang mentions Nin-whatever as the one to watch in Ishterebinth. Perhaps NG, the great Nonman king during the Apocalypse, eventually became Erratic and found his way to the Skin Eaters, probably due to some Kellhusian manipulation.

We are happy to count you as one of the Nil'giccasari. Welcome, friend.

The other guy who Aurang mentions is Nin'Ciljiras. Calibander's theory was that he's left and become Cleric in a bit of an Aragorn-as-Strider tribute. I rather like that theory as well, but I'm still sticking to my NG theory.

ETA: Random thoughts on Kosoter that has nothing to do with the above...

In PoN the Ainoni are oftentimes thought of by other nations as an effeminate and indulgent people. I don't think anyone would describe The Captain that way.

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