TDTCB, Ch. 15

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What Came Before

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« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2013, 03:28:14 am »
Quote from: lockesnow
perhaps the fingers that define a face indicate there are fingers in the genitalia as well that define it to the appropriate gender being imitated.  Being able to change the physical sex of the skin spy would be crucial to their success, otherwise, they'd be quickly found out.

What Came Before

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« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2013, 03:28:25 am »
Quote from: Duskweaver
Quote from: lockesnow
perhaps the fingers that define a face indicate there are fingers in the genitalia as well that define it to the appropriate gender being imitated.
The problem is that there's no evidence for this. :P All we know is that they can pass as female, but the details of how this is achieved are pretty much a mystery.

When Istrya was revealed, I assumed that skinspies could withdraw their genitals into a sort of 'pocket' (as some animals can) to pass as female. But, again, there was never any textual evidence for this (other than the obvious circumstantial evidence that Conphas is very smart, yet was completely fooled by whatever the skinspy actually did). It's just a guess at something that might be vaguely plausible.

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Being able to change the physical sex of the skin spy would be crucial to their success, otherwise, they'd be quickly found out.
Well, you'd think so (but, then, you'd think it'd be simpler just to have female skinspies to impersonate women). Can they grow breasts as well? Is there any mention of them changing their 'build' noticably? (This last one, at least, is not a rhetorical question - my brother has my PoN books right now, so I can't look any of this up, and it's been too long since I read them to really remember these sorts of details).

In any case, hiding black seed seems much simpler. Don't skinspies only really get genuinely sexually excited when their 'Old Fathers' are around? There's all that talk of 'release' being a reward only the Old Fathers can provide, and only upon completion of a successful mission... So maybe skinspies don't (actually can't) reach sexual climax in the normal course of events and, when having 'sex' with an unsuspecting human, are actually just faking it. In which case, if a human actually ever sees the colour of a skinspy's seed, something has already gone dreadfully wrong.

(This is so not what I wanted to be thinking about today... :P )

What Came Before

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« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2013, 03:28:35 am »
Quote from: Madness
I'd have to "find the evidence," so to speak, but I'm almost positive that Skin-Spies are unilaterally male and can only change their faces (Esmenet is described as relatively flat-chested, as I'm sure, is Istriya).

Also, there are female Sranc. Clearly, the Consult have either a better or worse understanding of the Tekne than those who have come before. I'm not entirely sure whether self-proliferation ranks success or failure when it comes to constructing your own bioweapons... Sranc absolutely have black seed.

Duskweaver, common ;) - Expecting of seed not black, was thoust errer in returning...

What Came Before

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« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2013, 03:28:47 am »
Quote from: WrathOfMe
Duskweaver - If your theory that only the Inchoroi are meant to give the skin-spies "release" is true, then this would be an adequate explanation of the behavior of the John in the market, were he/it a skin-spy. Dismayed and shamed that it allowed Esmenet to bring it to that point.

- Note that I don't buy this. Esmenet walks back to camp without changing and nobody seems to note the black smeared all over her expensive clothes, so I think she imagined it.

Regarding the trade routes to Atrithau - these go via Sakarpus, not the Jiünati, so Kiyuth shouldn't affect their safety one way or another. IIRC in TJE:
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A possible inconsistency with this quote and later events?
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‘At the time,’ Achamian continued, “there was a great uproar about the Scylvendi. The Cishaurim had sent twenty of their own to Shigek to join a punitive expedition the Padirajah was preparing to send into the Steppe. Neither the Padirajah’s army nor the Cishaurim were ever heard from again’” (p487)

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What Came Before

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« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2013, 03:28:57 am »
Quote from: Madness
What are you responding to about the trade routes, Wrath, just curious:

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Quote from: WrathOfMe
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What Came Before

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« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2013, 03:29:22 am »
Quote from: WrathOfMe
Madness:

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What Came Before

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« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2013, 03:29:31 am »
Quote from: Madness
Wrath:

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sologdin

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« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2013, 10:12:25 pm »
a few preliminary notes,  to continue our ledger on figures of thought previously identified:

ideology of innocence:  I.15 at 435 (cf. I.2 at 68 & I.3 at 80).

gaming metaphor again (B/G/V): I.15 at 431 ff.), including the nice passage regarding “compromise,” which pulls us back to the benjuka treatise, which i regard as the novel’s center of gravity, I.15 at 433 (cf. I.10 at 300).

more spectres:
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where you see a wraith of your nightmares, Schoolman, I see the enemy of my enemy.
(I.15 at 456).

the true implosion of DA’s binaries (cf. I.1 at 38-39):
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This was ancient Kyranean soil on which he stood.  Here--only buried as though beneath layers.  Seswatha had even passed through Momemn once, though it was called Monemora then and was little more than a town.  And that, Achamian realized, was the source of his disquiet.  Ordinarily, he had little trouble keeping the two ages, the present and the apocalyptic, apart.  But this Scylvendi…It was though be bore ancient calamities upon his brow.
(I.15 at 455). 


tension of the chapter is built around the agon of NP and DA, wherein the former is revealed to be not only conclusively philistine but also intellectually dishonest.  the opening epigraph records ajencis as
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Faith is the truth of passion.  Since no passion is more true than another, faith is the truth of nothing.
(I.15 at 430).
for NP, however, this becomes:
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“Faith is the truth of passion, Achamian, and no passion is more true than another.  And that means there’s no possibility you could speak that I could consider, no fear you could summon that could be more true than my adoration.  There can be no discourse between us.
(I.15 at 438).  this is of course a heinous (pronounced, like in my cousin vinny, as high-ANE-us) misrepresentation.  NP has turned “faith is the truth of nothing” into “I am not wrong.”

better to loop this ajencian principle back through other writings with which we are familiar through this point:
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If it is only after that we understand what has come before, then we understand nothing.  Thus we shall define the soul as follows: that which precedes everything.
(I.pro at 1).
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To be ignorant and to be deceived are two different things.  To be ignorant is to be a slave of the world.  To be deceived is to be the slave of another man.  The question will always be: Why, when all men are ignorant, and therefore already slaves, does this latter slavery sting us so?
(I.4 at 106).
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The world is a circle that possesses as many centers as it does men.
(I.7 at 194).

(one wonders if we will encounter mr. ajencis again in later volumes, so that we might subscribe to his newsletter.)  but for now:  we might infer that mr. ajencis is a thorough self-defeating nihilist--all persons are ignorant, regard themselves as the center of the universe, whose faith is the truth of nothing, who reject the idea that cognition can occur through retrospective reflection, insisting through definitional fiat on the fictive existence of the soul in order to make comprehension immanent to events, simultaneous understanding--which is nonetheless vitiated by his other principles. 

the series title places us on notice that nihil may well be our central interpretive category.  we might discern how this nihilism works itself out in the horrible slave-thrashing/black-semen episode (I.15 at 442-47), as opposed to the earlier equally horrible prostitute-thrashing/black semen episode (I.9 at 256-259):
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”What’s this?” he asked sharply.  She followed his eyes to the back of her hand.
“Nothing.”
“Really? I’m afraid I’ve seen this ‘nothing’ before. It’s a mockery of the tattoos borne by Gierric Priestesses, no?  What they use in Sumna to brand their whores.”
(I.15 at 446).  quite literally at this moment, the text affirms that faith (of Gierra) is the truth of this nothing.  similarly:
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But Achamian remained unconvinced.  How did they know the Utemot had been annihilated?
(I.15 at 460).  faith (in CuS as kut’ma) is the truth of this nihil.  my suspicion now is that the entire volume should be read with this constellation firmly in mind.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 01:27:37 pm by sologdin »

locke

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« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2013, 12:25:22 am »
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But this Scylvendi…It was though be bore ancient calamities upon his brow.

If we take DA to be a prophet of the past, then he is making a prophecy here.  Note also that Cishaurim sorcery generates from the brow as well, so this is an association with that as well and perhaps ties into the prophecy.  And of course the similarity/synonym relation between calamity and catastrophe, with the latter being what the word Scylvendi means.


generic

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« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2016, 06:27:30 pm »
Just found where I left off reading three years ago, forgive the necromancy.
The black seed here is clearly a flashback, she sees it after she closes her eyes. In this scene she remembers her purpose. "He must be told".

Madness

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« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2016, 08:18:18 pm »
Nothing to forgive, generic :).

Resurrect at will. It pleases me greatly that someone might continue the Almanac.
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