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Judging Eye X (Re-read)

Happy Ent

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thank you for a long and meaty summary with lots of quotes.

Only this:

And she follows this up with an insight into who Soma is . Have we had any indication that Soma is a noble?

We knew all along.

From the Marrow chapter, p. 152:

One was even decked in the crisp white gown of a Nilnameshi caste-noble and seemed almost comically concerned with the mud staining this crimson-threaded hems.

The, when Soma approaches Acka’s fire, p. 188, Ch. 8:

He was relatively young, clean-shaven, as was the custom for Nilnameshi caste-nobles, [...]

Soma even has a conversation with Mim about nobility and ancestry. He starts by telling her that she looks like a Lady. (Mim retorts acidicly that her mother was a whore.) Then, Soma:

“Ah, but what is parentage, really? Me? I burned my ancestor lists long ago.”
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Interesting... Well, I do have a theory about Mimara being a virgin birth and the prophesied daughter of the dead Anasûrimbor Celmomas II.

I think most likely the Copper Tree of Siöl wasn't the only significant Nonman tree. Perhaps the Mansions all had elemental trees. For example, there could have been a Nimil Tree of Cil-Aujas since nimil was mined there. Perhaps copper was mined at Siöl, while other places mined silver, gold, tin, iron, etc. and had trees to match.

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I've noticed something from one the Cil-Aujas chapters, which may be significant, or at least a little interesting:

Cleric, discussing how darkness is "holy" to Nonmen (bold mine):

...Ignorance stakes us out, marks our limits, draws the line between us and what transcends. For us, the true God is the unknown God, the God that outruns our febrile words, our flattering thoughts.


We worship that which transcends us by making idols of our finitude, our frailty...

Could this be linked to their art, showing a thing in the past, present, and future? If they are trying to create four-dimensional representations, are they trying to encapsulate the entirety of their being, to better define the limits of themselves, highlighting their temporary nature in praise on the holy unknown stretching out before and after?

Crackpot, I'll admit, particularly because Achamian immediately thinks this sounds more like Kellhus than any Nonman mystery cult he knows of...

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Crackpot, I'll admit, particularly because Achamian immediately thinks this sounds more like Kellhus than any Nonman mystery cult he knows of...

I think that thought of Akka's is the source of the Nerdanal theory that Mek (et al, since mek is more than one) founded the Dunyain so humans would explore the nonman mysteries.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Who is more deserving of a proper plying? The thing called Triskele for withholding the Canadian edition from locke? Or Happy Ent for denying us a proper parody as if he is Aurang trying to deny Kellhus the Gnosis? They are both obscenities, and I hope that you will all agree.

I wish that the fourteenth would get here faster.

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Okay, I finished part one of this, the first half of the last CilAujus Chapter up until Mimara passes through the Chorae. This is focusing on Chorae. My last epic post was supposed to be about this, but it got distracted by all the odd things going on with Mimara's POV and playing with those particular tangles of tantalizing tidbits. I'll cover the last bit of the CilAujus chapter tomorrow, hopefully. I have to go to bed now, sadly. What Forces this curse of sleep upon us, Father?

The suddenly she feels them. Her limbs jolt, and she sways, for her body had thought the ground solid, and now she senses open space, breaths and plummets between leagues of stone. Chorae, bottomless punctures in being, traverse them, a necklace of little voids carried by something that runs in a lumbering file … something.

Moments after this, Mimara looks at Sarl and then at Akka. It’s when she looks at Akka that she realizes that the judging eye has opened. And the judging eye has opened just after she feels the chorae. Note that she doesn’t see anything when she looks at Sarl. Yet she should see the morality of the skin eaters as well, not just that of Akka and Cleric. If Bakker is being clever here, her judging eye is open when she first looks at Sarl, not just when she looks at Akka, but she does not see anything with the Judging Eye because the God is blind to Sarl because Sarl is a skin spy. Bakker makes it especially difficult in this case because the phrase referring to her Judging Eye is “has opened” which works for present tense (which Mimara’s POV must be) but is also passive voice. Because we’re in present tense for her POV we really can’t attribute that bit of passive voice in either direction of interpretation. Also she is standing with Soma but doesn’t look at him, nope she just happens to look first over to Sarl, someone who she will not see anything with the judging eye if he is a skin spy. If her Judging Eye gives her an indirect indication he’s a skin spy she would have pseudo-dunyain like detection powers of Skin Spies.

I wonder about this Judging Eye, earlier she thought “she is inclined to see history as degeneration.” And then she mentally flashes through a progression of her life (after first associating it with art), I wonder if the Judging Eye will give her the ability to see the History of Morality of a person she looks at? If by looking with the God’s Eyes, she sees the truth of what Kellhus only infers? That where Kellhus would read a person’s face and see echoes of their thoughts, she looks at a person and sees echoes of their sins, and perhaps triumphs as well. And that if she got flashes about a person she looked at, she could do the Kellhus thing of telling a person their inmost heart’s secrets. If l’il Kel is Ajokli’s Avatar and Sorweel is Yatwer’s Avatar and Cnaiur is Gilgaol’s avatar, I wonder if Mimara might be The God’s Avatar. Hmm.

and just to throw fuel on the fire, Note Mimara does seem to peer into the events of Soma's past later on in this chapter, when she has the vision of the Soma as a boy, on a swing, playing.

Now, look at the temperature Key Words in the following paragraph, after she declares “Drusas Achamian is damned.”

Her breath catches. Almost without thinking, she clutches Somandutta’s free hand—the slick cool of iron rings and the grease of leather shocks her skin. She squeezes hard, as though her fingers need confirmation of their warm-blooded counterparts. The Chorae and their inscrutable bearers move beneath her feet, each a point of absolute chill.

People are warm Chorae are cold. I don’t think we usually see Chorae associated with temperature, but here the contrast is important, I think it’s interesting to see iron rings also given a the ‘cool’ term, as though something that is made is inherently less holy than something that is natural. A chorae or a metal ring might be cold, while life, for example a tree, might be hot, and holy.

Because he wears his Chorae over his heart, she cannot shake the sense that he’s not quite alive
And there we have the pair directly in opposition to each other, Chorae contrasts to life. And also associating the Chorae with the heart. The heart is close to the outside where the light of the God shines through, the Chorae is a pit, almost like a black hole to her sight. Perhaps that explains the silhouette that shimmers that I mentioned in a previous post when Mimara looked at Kosotor after being knocked out.

I’m going to quote most of the mentions of Chorae here, because I think it’s interesting to stack all the ways of describing them together, to stitch together a better picture of them, or at least of how Mimara sees them.

She feels the Chorae… pinpricks of nothingness fanning across the far dark.

She feels the first Chorae bearer before she sees it, the forward plummet of absence and anathema

For mere heartbeats the Chorae have floated out there, little abyssal holes, long enough for her to have forgotten.

Chorae. Tear of God. Trinket…

It wrenches the eyes even to glance at it, to see both the plain iron ball tacked in Sranc blood and the pit that scries into oblivion. She clutches it, she who is not yet cursed, presses it against her breast and bodice. Nausea wrings her like a wineskin. The vomit surprises her mouth, her teeth.

Particularly note the phrase Scries INTO oblivion. I have a developing theory thtat Chorae are like gates and that they are one way portals to the Outside or to the Other-Side. And Mimara’s in particular is to the Outside, and the Captain’s is back to Inside. I wonder if she will need both (and if the Captain will give her his at some point to further empower her) to do what it is that she is being set up to do.

If I associate this theory with the Very Odd conversation the Wight has with Cleric about doors and thresholds relate to this concept. That the nonman, particularly the practioners of the Aporos, created gates and thresholds to study the outside. To better let it envelope them and expose their holy ignorance, and the chorae are tools to create these sorts of portals. That’s why, when Mimara passes through the Chorae, the wight then shows up, because the gates had all been wrecked by the topos he could no longer transition until she made a new portal. He was stuck in the outside, his body long ago wasted away while his consciousness was elsewhere Outside and he was left a wandering soul, stuck outside with no way to traverse the barriers from Out to In. For my theory to hold, mimara would probably have to also be using Kosotor's inside Chorae without realizing it. Or the wight used his after seeing Mimara use hers, since she doesn't so much go outside as she passes through it. I'm basing this Kosotor's chorae is different theory on the way his Chorae is later described by Mimara.

The Chorae leans like an ache against her heart
Again we have a Chorae and heart. Note that Right after This, Cleric reappears, “like a vision”. It’s been argued that Mimara summoned the Wight in the Mountain. And it is possible we don’t even see Cleric in this scene. Mimara says “he looks like an apparition. Cil-Aujus made animate.” But Mimara+heart+chorae precedes this appearance, perhaps this was the wight. But I'm not really serious about this bit, it's more of a fun and silly crackpot.

The first of the Bashrag lumber near, one with a Chorae gouging hollow its grotesque breast.
Note that the Bashrag doesn’t have a heart, not in the soul sense, the Chorae rests above the breast. That’s a minor, but significant difference.

Btw, what are the latin and greek roots of the word Cancer? Could there be any relation between Chorae as a word, and Cancer’s word origins?

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Btw, what are the latin and greek roots of the word Cancer? Could there be any relation between Chorae as a word, and Cancer’s word origins?

Well I'm no linguist or anything but cancer in latin means "crab". The Ancient Greek word for the disease, καρκινος (karkinos), also means crab. It seems it was Hippocrates who came up with the name, which then got directly translated to latin.

I'm fairly sure it wouldn't be related to chorae.

Though this got me googling on some other related stuff, and I found something kind of interesting.

I don't know if this has been mentioned somewhere before, but "aporos" apparently means "impassable" in Ancient Greek, with poros meaning "passage". This, I think, connects the chorae more firmly with all the talk about gates and doors.

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Email from Amazon: WLW has shipped, arriving April 13! Can't wait to read and rejoin these discussions. Apologies for posting this in the reread thread, but I didn't want to go in the other threads for fear of spoilers so close to the end.

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Question to unJon and everyone else: How long do you predict that it will take you to finish the book once you have it?

I had a really busy week which only saw me get to about 200 pages over the course of a week until I finally had a 400 page marathon last Saturday (rarely do I read that much in one day. That took me probably about 7-8 hours).

Hmph. Mine's to be delivered on the 18th, from Amazon. I only preordered it six months ago. Oh well.

I have a major project due on the 22nd, so I won't really get quality time with the book until after then. I may try and milk it for a couple weeks, to really enjoy the prose rather than blow through like I did on my initial read of TJE.

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