the archives

dusted off in read-only


posted 13 Dec 2005, 00:12 by Tobias Zhiegler, Commoner

In most general circumstances I would grit my teeth and ignore you, but you constantly state some things that I would merely like clarification on. Mayhaps you read a different version of the book than myself, or you caught some details that I somehow missed. [quote:2eqvscdg] Ok, what do we know about the Holy War? It's against these guys - Fanim, right? Who the hell are the Fanim? Does Bakker even care? We never hear much of them, or see their perspective, or know their motivations, or what makes them the enemy.[/quote:2eqvscdg] In [/i]my[i] version of the book, the Fanim were the religious opposite of the Inrithi. They followed the teachings of the prophet Fane and they held the Inrithi equivalent of catholic Rome (Shimeh) in THEIR possession, and degredaded it in manners that were against the Inrithi religion (with the Cishaurim, a sorcerous sect that the Inrithi deam blasphemous, even more so than the others because they are heathens), hence the reason they are the enemy. And it has been stated, as H. told you that the Fanim HAVE been discussed, and answers have been given in regard to them. And the only reason you're not looking at this war from THEIR perspective throughout the book is that this is a retelling of a story from the perspective of the very characters you seem to have problems reading about, and furthermore, in order to see things fully from the Inrithi perspective, you're going to have to look at the heathenistic Fanim of which they have NO contact with outside of combat, so that you can get a view of them. This is a war from the prospective of one side. The amount of suspense, and speculation, and attatchment that possibly can or cannot be felt in sympothizing, understanding, and/or hating the Inrithi through their trials in the Holy War (all of which are obviously premeditated to come to a conclusion that will answer your questions) would, in all actuality be lacking in impact, and strength if he changed the perspective outside of the very same Holy War that was built up to in the first novel, and expounded on the second. And furthermore, don't you think that he would have had to sacrifice detail on both sides if he decided to use a book to focus on two perspectives instead of one? [quote:2eqvscdg] What annoys me is that it's almost like Bakker knows that he hasn't fleshed them out at all - so he tells us what to think of them. Using the author's voice, which is almost always impartial he only referrs to them only as "The Heathen". [/quote:2eqvscdg] Again, this is a story told from the perspective of the pious Inrithi. He likely refers to them as "The Heathen" because this is the general consensus of the Holy War in its entirety. [quote:2eqvscdg]My theory is that he's so in love with these characters because they are him, Bakker. I'd say that the Warrior-Prophet is Bakker's idealized self, and Cenaur is his dark half. His view of women is clear enough and the rest of the characters are only there to react to him (being Bakker's idealized self as well as his dark half). They are in awe of his idealized self but also fear and persecute it, and are distgusted and fearfull of his dark half. So I guess I'm saying that the books, as good as they are - are all about him. But what great writer isn't a narccist, really? Ah, but there is my main criticism then - that is where the book faltered. Bakker wasn't interested in the other characters so much - only how they reacted to his main characters, or as I said-him. So the character developement fell short, motivations weren't explored. The plight of the narccisist again. Being "all about the author" limited it from being great. And that's too bad, because it could have been great.[/quote:2eqvscdg] This is one of your statements that I have the most problem wholly understanding. What is your basis for calling the premeditated works of someones imagination a part of their actual, desired, or existing mentalities? Is it not perfectly conceivable that all of these characters are just what they are - fictional? Characters that he crafted, molded, and gave emotion, personality, and feeling to in order to tell a story, and further build up, flesh out, and perpetuate any points that he may wanted to subliminally make? Instead of being fictional incarnations of Bakker's personality, and inner most thoughts, is it not possible that the book, and the characters therein could be critiques of society and religion, or rather, embodiments of them, and the the reactions of the characters themselves could be the many POSSIBLE reactions to these societal/religious embodiments/critiques? And really, in all of my mental meanderings, I for the life of me cannot conceive how making a story that is told through the perspective of characters Bakker spent 577 pages fleshing out, and expanding on in the first book is now, somehow...narcissistic? A LOT of the character developments, and reactions to the "Warrior-Prophet" that you seem to have problems with were all premeditated, planned, and foreseeable from the first book, and I, in all honesty cannot see how this expected reaction from the Inritihi, and formation of the Zaudunyani is narcissistic when these are abilities that Kellhus had in his possession, and was going to use from the beginning of the book to attain his mission. [quote:2eqvscdg]When you write a novel - it's deeply personal. Sure, one can write about characters, situations, and states of mind that are completely alien to you-such as someone writing about a character who commits rape/murder/etc. Of course that's done all the time and says nothing about the author. I'm not making these personal guesses simply because of what he wrote but how he wrote it. Though I do agree that putting my guesses to print may have been in poor taste, I do stand by them.[/quote:2eqvscdg] I think that your statement in regard to writing a first novel is very subjective, and based entirely on the individual. It can't be generalized. And I have not seen any authentic proof of the claims you have made against, or rather, towards Bakker's personal endeavours outside of "IT'S IN THE BOOK, SO IT MUST BE ETCHED INTO HIS MIND AND PART OF HIS PERSONAL LIFE!" If you can offer me proof of your claims, and actual, logical theories of your statements outside of the "I found his writing waaayyy too poetic, and descriptive in certain sequences that I find morally evil, or questionable and therefore he must WANT to do this stuff, or has done it before", then please, don't share them anymore. It's distasteful and embodies what a baseless assumption is. Also, I have to ask you what your proof of Cnaiur's homosexuality is. The first time his sexuality was even brought into question was due to what could, indeed, be argued as a misreading of certain signs upon Moengus' departure on the part of his clansmen (that sign being he cried when the only person who may have understood to him, and appealed to his emotions as well as gave him a new line of thought, and somone he also looked up to and respected as a father...left). Crying is now gay? Furthermore, I would demand proof of Cnaiur liking Kellhus, something that was alluded to not once in the book. Throughout the entirety of their contact in the Darkness That Comes Before, AND The Warrior-Prophet, Cnaiur has shown nothing but absolute hatred for not only Kellhus but his father, and he despises the fact that he needs him to take vengance on his father. The only moment that could be construed as Cnaiur liking Kellhus is remarkably suspect. He went mad, and he was seemingly reliving thoughts of his own past, and he, in all actuality did not see Kellhus as Kellhus but rather, saw him as Moengus - the man he loved (and keep in mind, it takes sex with one of the same gender, or wanting to do as such, to become gay). Loving a man, and favoring him because you care for him is not homosexual, last I checked. [quote:2eqvscdg]As far as Cnaiur not being dark, I can't accept that. He's a very one dimensional character and I have read around and other reviewers have pointed that out as well. I stand by that, Cnaiur is a dark half, a doppelganger if you will. Shame, hatred, and sexual confusion draw out the boundaries of his character nicely. Oh yeah, and spitting. They guy's like a goddam lama.[/quote:2eqvscdg] Shame, hatred, and sexual confusion (the latter of which is questionable) does not accurately draw out the bounderies of his character, and reading the reviews of others whom you agree with does not add validity to your claims. Of all the traits you list, you forget not only madness, and conflict, but you undermind the significance of each of those qualities. I bring up conflict, simply because of all of his traits, I think that this may be the one that is the deepest. He is constantly at conflict. Whether it be with the traditions of his people, the fact that he must suffer the son of the one who betrayed him and watch as all those around him fall under the same manipulation that he did, him actually coming to like, and respect the Inrithi he was once, out of tradition told to despise. Also the fact that the same people he may somewhat dislike, in terms of their ways (the Scylvendi), he also WANTS to be a part of, though in terms of both intellect and sheer ability, he is above them, thus the reason for Serwe's existence in the story, whom he must fight Kellhus just to have for himself as the proof against the claims (be they hearsay, or fact), that the Scylvendi at Kiyuth told him, and constantly, he must go against his advantages and desires for one that is greater in mind, even if it is to his own detriment. Remember Anwurat? He WANTS to be Of The People, and he wants to kill Moengus, as well as keep whatever advantages he has in his relations with Kellhus, so he traded his one advantage, for the sake of acceptance. I really cannot see how a person with so much history, and depth of emotion which, in all actuality guides his current actions can be unabashedly considered one dimensional. [quote:2eqvscdg]Cnauir was in love with Kellhus and there were so many references to it I don't see how it can be missed.[/quote:2eqvscdg] Give me two. [quote:2eqvscdg]Bakker even went on and on about how he was rejected by his people and they called him a faggot. How can anyone miss all the information alluding to his sexuality?[/quote:2eqvscdg] Seemed like a rumor to me... [quote:2eqvscdg]Oh and the sea didn't represent nakedness - it represented cleansing. He was trying to wash his lust/love for Kellhus away.[/quote:2eqvscdg] When, before the moment in the sea when he saw Kellhus as Moengus, did Cnaiur show anything outside of disgust for Kellhus? [quote:2eqvscdg]As an example of the heavy-handedness Bakker used to promote Kellhus - consider how many pages were used describing Esmett's adoring views of him. Bakker was taking a bit of an easy route in creating his comic-book-like hero there. The simplest way to get a male dominated audience (which we are) to see another man as admirable, is to see him admired by women. Bakker spent so much time having us admire him through her eyes that I can't accept that he wasn't equally in love with the character. [/quote:2eqvscdg] Actually, more time was spent gauging the reaction of Holy War in its entirety towards Kellhus and his teachings than time was spent with Esmenet admiring Kellhus. In all actuality, Achamian spent more time admiring Kellhus than Esmenet did, is he gay, too? What about Martemus? What about Saubon? What about the Zaudunyani? Are all of these people who have shown deep admiration and love for Kellhus also homosexual? And I'm tired of your almost adolescent observation that Bakker is gay because he has deep characters, and wants to expound every relevant moment with them to further the plot. Is he also a necrophilliac because of the Sranc? Do they represent an even DARKER half of him? They should if we abided by your logic. [quote:2eqvscdg]Bakker put himself down as being one of the "egg-heads", which is a term generally used to admit nerdiness/awkwardness/being the butt of jokes in one's youth particularly. From the point of view of such a person - if they were to create an idealized self, it would make sense that there would be a heavy emphasis on being charismatic and adored by women. Picture Bakker as kind of a nerdy Steven King-looking fellow and it's easier to imagine him taking extra pleasure in spinning his ideal self as a super-stud. And if that accounts for the amount of time Bakker spent on it then again that's a symptom of him writing too much from himself and taking too many pages meeting his own needs instead of ours. Which is the heart of my criticism of the book.[/quote:2eqvscdg] Would you please...PLEASE give me a proper criticism of this book that does not delve into the territories of the aforementioned baseless assumptions that I previously referred to? This concludes my post. I look forward to your many clarifications and insights... view post


The Three Seas Forum archives are hosted and maintained courtesy of Jack Brown.