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Sorcery and its parallels in our world posted 12 Jan 2010, 03:01 by avatar_of_existence, Peralogue

I have been having a very intense and long-lasting conversation with four friends who are fans of the PON series concerning the nature of sorcery and its parallels in our society. Having just finished reading [i:32hl391n]Authority: Construction and Corrosion[/i:32hl391n] by Bruce Lincoln (I think) I was struck by similarities to the definition of sorcery in TTT. Authority is defined in the book as [i:32hl391n]consequential speech[/i:32hl391n], empowered or corroded by social position, place, and timing. A friend of mine thinks that poetry is a more direct parallel despite Achamian basically stating that they are opposites (can't remember which book but I'm pretty sure he did say they were opposite in that sorcrey destroys and poetry creates). Then the conversation turned to language itself. A philosophy teacher said that a good philosopher 'is interested in what words can and should do for us.' which, frankly, blew my mind. This all turns to sorcery, the idea of utteral and inutteral perhaps referring directly to the fact that what those in power (think the president or the head of a big advertising company) say and what we intend to make real happen to often be two very different things (I admit this correlation is weak). I suppose what excites me about this is that it means that one day I can practice sorcery in a metaphorical sense, though I can see how it could quite literally cost me my soul (become the president? Hah!). Anyone have any ideas of what sorcery could be in our world? Of how else we shape the world with our words? view post

Re: Sorcery and its parallels in our world posted 12 Jan 2010, 07:01 by Athjeari, Peralogue

I too have thought of the power of sorcery in a way that correlates with our world. This being said, I am a student/teacher of communication studies and I study rhetoric and theory. I believed that words had power prior to reading PON, but I like the way in which words are used within the universe of PON to generate power/control. With most characters in the series, the most potent tool used to control and gain power is rhetoric. Granted, Cnaiur and Kellhus demonstrate incredible martial prowess (which could honestly be viewed as a form of rhetoric), but Kellhus, and Cnaiur, use words in order to dominate and control others for the most part. Look at the way Cnaiur culled Serwe into submission by whispering to her. Look at the way Cnaiur rallied his men in there desperate attempt to hold the city towards the end of TTT. Another example is Cnaiur talking to the caste nobles in the Andiamine Heights. I shouldn't even have to give examples of Kellhus, but the scene with Leweth, the trapper, is one of my favorite scenes. Kellhus admits he uses words Leweth calls cruel solely to better possess him, but any instance that Kellhus utters words can be seen as using rhetoric for power and control. I like to look at these characters: Kellhus, Cnaiur, Conphas (Conphas talks about the importance of kairos, which is Greek for referring to waiting for the correct moment or timing, which I love), Esmenet (She is great because Esmenet is a women and watching her rise to power through the use of words, and sex, is wonderful in a world dominated by men), Maithanet, and last but not least Moenghus (the dialogue in TTT with Kellhus is spectacular, and I often look at the exchange as a legitimate fight for control with two Dunyain trying to anticipate and direct the other Dunyain solely with the use of words (until Kellhus stabs Moenghus of course). I enjoy the use of words by these characters more so than looking at the sorcerers, but I have definitely thought about exactly what you stated regarding the use of words by sorcerers. This brings me to the sorcerers of the Three Seas. Sorcerers wield unimaginable power through the use of words. The book shows men pulling walls down solely with words. I also think it is important to bring up that for the most part Bakker refers to sorcerers as "singing" and this, I think, is unique and powerful as well with regards to the meaning behind the words and how they are spoken (delivery if you would, some individuals are FAR better at delivery and know exactly how to speak to instill emotions and provoke action from people. As a student of rhetoric and communication studies, I like to think that words DO possess this power within our world, as long as you are in the right position or place for your words to be heard, and you speak at the right time (kairos). The examples of CEO's and the President work great, but like I said above, I tend to focus my attention on the actual dialogue within the PON series. view post

Re: Sorcery and its parallels in our world posted 25 Jan 2010, 01:01 by avatar_of_existence, Peralogue

I like the part about the sorcerers singing. I guess what I was most interested in is how we practice sorcery (speaking words that shape the world) today, and what those words are. So are singers sorcerers? Its hard to measure the ability to shape the world without something as direct as the [*]odaini concussion chant[*] to give it context, and so I don't even know how to answer the question. Advertising seems the closest to sorcery in the end, and musicians are only magical in that they have good advertising (like Madonna or the late Micheal Jackson). I watched an old BBC documentary called 'Century of the Self' yesterday that kind of solidified that opinion. :shock: view post

Re: Sorcery and its parallels in our world posted 28 Mar 2010, 19:03 by Madness, Peralogue

While I like your head spaces, wouldn't the utteral and innutteral refer more to how we use our own language to communicate; the utteral specifically speech and the innutteral specifically the internal thoughts which can accompany spoken meanings. Don't our innutterals change the very definition and meaning of our utterals? I think this is the ethereal phenomenon Bakker is playing off of. I think he's mentioned in interviews that the sorcerer is simply supposed to be an ongoing metaphor for the phenomenon of language itself. view post

Re: Sorcery and its parallels in our world posted 01 Apr 2010, 06:04 by Athjeari, Peralogue

Madness, That is precisely the point! The inutteral could be seen as what Plato referred to as "the Form" (antirealist), or what Aristotle called the "Universal" (realist) I think that the fact that the schoolmen are able to reek havoc by understanding inutterals gives credence to the argument that they are master communicators and have developed a God like understanding of language. One could then say that the schoolmen are the most skilled of orators, and master rhetoricians because they are able to understand the "Form", or "Universal" of the actual word. If you want to get into the linguistic philosophy we can delve into that because I am a huge fan! view post


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