We Are Proyas

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WeAreProyas

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« on: August 13, 2017, 10:28:12 pm »
Thanks to Mr. Bakker for creating a uniquely enjoyable reading experience.

Thanks to the online community for helping me to better understand what the hell I have been reading. By both filling in where I missed something AND by putting me at ease when I thought I had missed something but where in fact it was still a mystery.

I read spoilers prior to reading TUC, which probably tempered my reaction. However, as a casual reader I felt I was going to need to “Cliffs notes” ahead of time to improve my understanding.

For many, it seems that Mr. Bakker’s comments post release have generated as much frustration as the book itself. I feel the opposite; they clarified a lot for me. He constructed the nature of this ride intentionally, we all chose to participate and could have gotten off at any time. I salute him for sticking with his approach. In the long-run I think the non-traditional decisions he made will cost him financially in terms of book sales but he created a truly memorable story.

These two quotes said it all for me:
“…so if you were expecting a traditional discharging of narrative mysteries, you were bound to be disappointed…”

“Frustration on the part of a good number of readers--we all have varying tolerances for uncertainty--is something I take as a sign of achieving my narrative and thematic goals. I would have been bummed if some hadn't reacted negatively.”

I think elusiveness and obscurity it is a very effective tool for world building and engaging a reader. The reader fills in the gaps and infuses a world with their perspective. Mystery and narrative dysphoria creates online communities like this, which only enhances the reading experience. The fact that I still don’t know what to think of Kellhus is both disappointing/frustrating and awesome at the same time.

The non-traditional aspects of Mr. Bakker’s books are what pulled me along. In a traditional book, Akka would have been the voice of the author or the stand-in for the reader. Perfectly positioned to inform, observe and judge. However, in the end I believe the reader is really Proyas, completely mind-fucked, used, and wrung out. After volumes of depravity that “What have you done?” scene was soul-droppingly amazing.

Despite all my praise, I am not sure how I feel moving forward with Mr. Bakker’s work. I maintained a high level of “tolerances for uncertainty” throughout the series, but I think I am too traditional for Mr. Bakker and in the end I want reveals. I want understanding. I can take nihilism, shades of grey, obscurity, and the end of the world but I want some narrative closure in a book that the author says is the end they imagined.

I was excited to hear there was a glossary in TUC but that thing is a giant troll to the reader. It became a joke as I read, the number of times I flipped to the back only to find some useless piece of information about a battle or geographic feature but not the thing I wanted. It was the worst kind of filler.

It left me wondering if Mr. Bakker has a clear understanding of his own creation. Has he been spending his time taking a fleshed out world and intentionally making it mysterious or has he been simply writing without a substantive perspective and leaving it to the online community to create substance?

So thank you Mr. Bakker, you constructed a literary ride unlike anything I have experienced. However, I think I am getting off the ride.





Who am I kidding? When is the next book coming out?

 

Nil Sertrax

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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2017, 11:36:09 pm »
Great post...I wish  I had written it!

Woden

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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2017, 05:55:49 am »
Yes, awesome post.
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solipsisticurge

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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2017, 06:38:39 am »
Kellhus would have been the wish fulfillment character, with Achamian as a more destructive, drunker Gandalf. Kellhus fits the farm boy entering the world as its destined savior trope to a T... just, y'know, ascetic eugenics philosophical warrior monk sociopath instead of village idiot #62,012.

One of the things I love most about Bakker's work is, rather than eschewing overutilized standard fantasy tropes, he wields each and every damn one of them... but subverts them to hell and back so many times, they're barely recognizable in the end.

Quote
Who am I kidding? When is the next book coming out?

Not soon enough, my friend.
Kings never lie. They demand the world be mistaken.

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2017, 07:07:22 am »
we all chose to participate and could have gotten off at any time
No. We were faited since Creation to read these books. The White-Luck-Readers.

Woden

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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2017, 09:52:54 am »
we all chose to participate and could have gotten off at any time
No. We were faited since Creation to read these books. The White-Luck-Readers.



I hope that Bakker don't fuck us with a No-God/Kelmomas trick.
Know what your slaves believe, and you will always be their master.

Madness

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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2017, 04:36:35 pm »

we all chose to participate and could have gotten off at any time
No. We were faited since Creation to read these books. The White-Luck-Readers.



I hope that Bakker don't fuck us with a No-God/Kelmomas trick.

This is great!

And great post, WeAreProyas.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2017, 07:18:32 pm »
I think, WeAreProyas, that if you spend some time wandering the forum from now until whenever 'the end' might be, you'll find an increasing number of people that think similarly regarding your post in between releases. Though we only have 2 data points, it seems that every time a book comes out there's a big "WHOOSH" of people blowing in feeling devastated and then leaving. I think they always come back though, when the next book comes out. Each post places a brick in the monument that is the legacy of Bakker's TSA. Though we know not what it will become, we are building it. Those that toil shape it more, I think, than those who pass by.

A deep part of my interest in these books has become watching those who read it. The dramatic difference in perception is utterly fascinating to me. We seem to have quite the interesting intersection of humanity around, and with that the myriad interpretations that come from each mind. How seldom we agree on even whats written down is amazing. Like a living breathing incantation of the darkness explored in TSA. I hope you stick around and light your own candle against the dark :) .
One of the other conditions of possibility.

gtownwr

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« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2017, 07:57:49 pm »
Great post that pretty much sums up my feelings exactly.  I have loved the series more than any other, but I am really struggling to get over the lack of narrative closure.  I was along for all the genre trope deconstruction and the No-God walks ending, but my commitment to at least literary structure has made me wonder if it was worth it to read these books over and over.  I feel disappointed despite not wanting to feel that way.

Wilshire

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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2017, 08:02:52 pm »
Great post that pretty much sums up my feelings exactly.  I have loved the series more than any other, but I am really struggling to get over the lack of narrative closure.  I was along for all the genre trope deconstruction and the No-God walks ending, but my commitment to at least literary structure has made me wonder if it was worth it to read these books over and over.  I feel disappointed despite not wanting to feel that way.

Given many of the reactions, I think it might be fair to say that Bakker didn't hit the ending perfectly. He took a lot of risks, thought some things were more clear than they were maybe. Granted, part of that may have also been the point as well, but I wouldn't say your feeling is invalid (whether or not I agree is irrelevant).
One of the other conditions of possibility.

Duskweaver

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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2017, 09:37:40 am »
Maybe Bakker's flaw as an author is that he thinks his readers are as clever as he thinks he is?
"Then I looked, and behold, a Whirlwind came out of the North..." - Ezekiel 1:4

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Woden

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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2017, 09:53:52 am »
Probably.  ;D
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gtownwr

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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2017, 01:42:30 pm »
Maybe Bakker's flaw as an author is that he thinks his readers are as clever as he thinks he is?

This made me LOL.  I hope my post didn't come across more negative than I actually feel.  I will admit I was hoping the trope inversion would involve Khellus winning but not being the hero the trope would have had.  So when he got salted I was pretty said and I'm still hoping he made it through somehow.  And I have really tried to find all the silver linings.  My feelings are disappointed, frustrated, sad, but my brain is seeing how this series has made me analyze the way I read and interact with books and also the way I put maybe too much stock in the ending instead of the journey, and helped me see that maybe I should be putting more stock in the experience that takes years and years than in the end that takes 10 minutes.  It had made me think, which I know was at least part of his goal.  I just still have these pesty feelings.  :)

Madness

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« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2017, 02:10:48 pm »
I think, WeAreProyas, that if you spend some time wandering the forum from now until whenever 'the end' might be, you'll find an increasing number of people that think similarly regarding your post in between releases. Though we only have 2 data points, it seems that every time a book comes out there's a big "WHOOSH" of people blowing in feeling devastated and then leaving. I think they always come back though, when the next book comes out. Each post places a brick in the monument that is the legacy of Bakker's TSA. Though we know not what it will become, we are building it. Those that toil shape it more, I think, than those who pass by.

A deep part of my interest in these books has become watching those who read it. The dramatic difference in perception is utterly fascinating to me. We seem to have quite the interesting intersection of humanity around, and with that the myriad interpretations that come from each mind. How seldom we agree on even whats written down is amazing. Like a living breathing incantation of the darkness explored in TSA. I hope you stick around and light your own candle against the dark :) .

+1

Maybe Bakker's flaw as an author is that he thinks his readers are as clever as he thinks he is?

Whether or not it's his "flaw," he does think some of his readers are even cleverer than he is (not me, by the way)...

The problem therein is his self-deprecating nature: he thinks he's less smart than he is and that he's more average than he is.
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Yellow

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« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2017, 07:17:55 pm »
Nah, he thinks he's very clever indeed.
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