We Are Proyas

  • 41 Replies
  • 3701 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

solipsisticurge

  • *
  • Momurai
  • **
  • Posts: 79
  • There is a head on a pole behind him.
    • View Profile
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2017, 10:34:04 pm »

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.

It's often remarked on how idiots are blind to their own stupidity, but few notice how the intelligent are often equally blind to their intellect, and the issues this can cause when dealing with others.
Kings never lie. They demand the world be mistaken.

Madness

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Conversational Batman
  • Posts: 5189
  • Strength on the Journey - Journey Well
    • View Profile
    • The Second Apocalypse
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2017, 03:25:41 pm »
Straying into Dunning-Kruger effect?
The Existential Scream
Weaponizing the Warrior Pose - Declare War Inwardly
carnificibus: multus sanguis fluit
Die Better
The Theory-Killer

WeAreProyas

  • *
  • Emwama
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2017, 11:21:59 pm »
Dunning-Kruger effect....I really need to remember that one.

I decided to go back through Mr. Bakker's online comments, parsing for understanding about his intent. (I have given up looking for narrative understanding.) I must admit the comments have pushed me back towards "getting off the ride".

Here are two more quotes that I think fit with my We Are Proyas thesis.

"The ignorance stuff is more retail than that, part of my attempt to write an inverse scripture, one preaching suspicion as opposed to belief."
"But I will still insist that those who do feel betrayed by the ending actually 'get' the book in a way more profound than they know."

So we, as readers, were intended to feel betrayed?
Should we, as readers, be suspicious of Mr. Bakker, the author?

It is almost as if he is intentionally setting up an adversarial relationship between himself and the reader. Explicitly stating, don't trust me and then laughing at us when we continue to try and "understand/decipher" him/the book.

"But what can I do aside from shrug, reaffirm that I did work tremendously hard on this final book, and reassert that frustrating our meaning-making reflexes was paramount among my goals?"

"It's crash space. A place where every judgment of error doubles as an affirmation of success." - This quote admittedly confuses me a bit, but it seems like it is relevant. Is he saying every judgement of error on the part of the readers is taken as a success on the part of the author? Inverse Fire indeed.

"But one thing you will not get is a perfectly edited, entirely consistent encyclopedic version, simply because, for one, some of the inconsistencies are intentional, and secondly, because error/omission free encyclopedia are the product of the Enlightenment. Pre-Enlightenment compendiums are gloriously messy things…." (Italics are mine.)

I am sorry, but in Mr. Bakker's own words...I smell a postmodern rat. I am big a fan of the Enlightenment.

"I'm sure those on the short end, dismayed by the indeterminacy, would be inclined to smell a postmodern rat....."

TLEILAXU

  • *
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Exalt-Smiter of Theories
  • Posts: 579
    • View Profile
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2017, 12:00:23 pm »
So we, as readers, were intended to feel betrayed?
Should we, as readers, be suspicious of Mr. Bakker, the author?

It is almost as if he is intentionally setting up an adversarial relationship between himself and the reader. Explicitly stating, don't trust me and then laughing at us when we continue to try and "understand/decipher" him/the book.
His point isn't that you shouldn't trust him, but that you should've distrusted your own expectations and need for unambiguity.

generalguy

  • *
  • Emwama
  • Posts: 23
    • View Profile
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2017, 08:31:57 pm »
So we, as readers, were intended to feel betrayed?
Should we, as readers, be suspicious of Mr. Bakker, the author?

It is almost as if he is intentionally setting up an adversarial relationship between himself and the reader. Explicitly stating, don't trust me and then laughing at us when we continue to try and "understand/decipher" him/the book.
His point isn't that you shouldn't trust him, but that you should've distrusted your own expectations and need for unambiguity.


...is that what he's calling it now? Better authors than he have tried with the subversion of form and expectations (it's called postmodernism!) and none of them have to fall back on the "well you just weren't smart enough" angle to justify it. The problem is that you have to double down on it and really go for it, not this half-assed post-hoc justification of unclarity. Either he wanted to write an epic fantasy type story that fails (fine) or he wanted to fuck with your expectations and write a postmodern deconstruction of the epic fantasy (fine) but some middling combo of the two that doesn't work in the end (not deconstructed enough and yet not conformal).

Basically I lost a lot of respect for him when he claimed he was pulling some kind of long con. If you're gonna con me, make me believe. He's no Kellhus, that Bakker.

SmilerLoki

  • *
  • Great Name
  • ****
  • Posts: 465
    • View Profile
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2017, 09:44:13 pm »
Either he wanted to write an epic fantasy type story that fails (fine) or he wanted to fuck with your expectations and write a postmodern deconstruction of the epic fantasy (fine) but some middling combo of the two that doesn't work in the end (not deconstructed enough and yet not conformal).
The way I see it, it's none of the above. It's a work that explores certain themes and expectations in ways both direct and indirect. Whether you or me get that is irrelevant. It's in the narrative, structurally and in the voices of the characters. It's not there to make anyone happy (the nature of the series' themes should by no means make people happy). It's not there for fun or enjoyment. It's there because Bakker wanted to convey his views on it.

If it's uninteresting to you, that's fine. If it upsets you, that's also fine. None of those outcomes diminish the work itself, though.

Nor does the fact that the series hasn't brought me any kind of happiness (at least in the beginning). When I started to read, I was actually genuinely unhappy because of it. But I was interested in Bakker's ideas and perspective, and as of yet he hasn't failed to consistently provide those. I feel he is being true to himself and his design. And I never thought said design was to write something that comforts people, narratively or otherwise. My opinion is, it's quite the opposite.

This is probably why he said that people who feel betrayed get it. It's not like he wanted to betray them. It's one of his points that their expectations at some point will.

Basically I lost a lot of respect for him when he claimed he was pulling some kind of long con. If you're gonna con me, make me believe. He's no Kellhus, that Bakker.
My take on it is, he wasn't conning you. He was actually always completely upfront about his intentions and the nature of his work. And therein he demonstrates how we all con ourselves.

Because of that aspect of the series I prefer to consider the Second Apocalypse literary fiction. Unlike genre fiction, literary fiction isn't there to (necessarily) make readers enjoy themselves.

Madness

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Conversational Batman
  • Posts: 5189
  • Strength on the Journey - Journey Well
    • View Profile
    • The Second Apocalypse
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2017, 10:23:26 pm »
Good post, SmilerLoki.

I actually mentioned that to FB and Camlost recently. I feel like with TGO/TUC Bakker has firmly fulfilled his promise that TSA is a work of literature. I wouldn't be surprised to see the data and find that those disappointed by TUC are mostly strict genre fans.

I've wondered recently that Bakker's work might serve as a litmus test for needing cognitive closure.
The Existential Scream
Weaponizing the Warrior Pose - Declare War Inwardly
carnificibus: multus sanguis fluit
Die Better
The Theory-Killer

generalguy

  • *
  • Emwama
  • Posts: 23
    • View Profile
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2017, 10:31:03 pm »
Either he wanted to write an epic fantasy type story that fails (fine) or he wanted to fuck with your expectations and write a postmodern deconstruction of the epic fantasy (fine) but some middling combo of the two that doesn't work in the end (not deconstructed enough and yet not conformal).
The way I see it, it's none of the above. It's a work that explores certain themes and expectations in ways both direct and indirect. Whether you or me get that is irrelevant. It's in the narrative, structurally and in the voices of the characters. It's not there to make anyone happy (the nature of the series' themes should by no means make people happy). It's not there for fun or enjoyment. It's there because Bakker wanted to convey his views on it.

If it's uninteresting to you, that's fine. If it upsets you, that's also fine. None of those outcomes diminish the work itself, though.

Nor does the fact that the series hasn't brought me any kind of happiness (at least in the beginning). When I started to read, I was actually genuinely unhappy because of it. But I was interested in Bakker's ideas and perspective, and as of yet he hasn't failed to consistently provide those. I feel he is being true to himself and his design. And I never thought said design was to write something that comforts people, narratively or otherwise. My opinion is, it's quite the opposite.

This is probably why he said that people who feel betrayed get it. It's not like he wanted to betray them. It's one of his points that their expectations at some point will.

Basically I lost a lot of respect for him when he claimed he was pulling some kind of long con. If you're gonna con me, make me believe. He's no Kellhus, that Bakker.
My take on it is, he wasn't conning you. He was actually always completely upfront about his intentions and the nature of his work. And therein he demonstrates how we all con ourselves.

Because of that aspect of the series I prefer to consider the Second Apocalypse literary fiction. Unlike genre fiction, literary fiction isn't there to (necessarily) make readers enjoy themselves.
Sure, I get that. I read a lot of works that are intended to have a certain effect that isn't joy or happiness on my part

I'm just saying that by the end of tuc I felt betrayed in the sense that I thought bakker would have written his ending better than he did, and found the twists kind of lame and unforeshadowed by the earlier books even after rereading them. Of course hindsight is 20/20 but chekov had his guns for a reason, they help to suspend disbelief. The ajokli thing just felt lame in retrospect since there's minimal buildup and too deus ex machina - literally in the sense that dunyain are human computers.

Im more disappointed than angry but for something that was hyped the way it was TUC couldn't deliver. Too much setup and not enough resolution for me.

If he purely wanted his readers to feel betrayal I think he could have done it better than claiming a flawed book as some kind of masterstroke in reader manipulation.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

SmilerLoki

  • *
  • Great Name
  • ****
  • Posts: 465
    • View Profile
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2017, 12:00:00 am »
Good post, SmilerLoki.

I actually mentioned that to FB and Camlost recently. I feel like with TGO/TUC Bakker has firmly fulfilled his promise that TSA is a work of literature. I wouldn't be surprised to see the data and find that those disappointed by TUC are mostly strict genre fans.

I've wondered recently that Bakker's work might serve as a litmus test for needing cognitive closure.
Thank you! And I agree.

If he purely wanted his readers to feel betrayal I think he could have done it better than claiming a flawed book as some kind of masterstroke in reader manipulation.
This isn't at all how I see his statements. In my opinion, he's saying that reactions he's aware of are consistent with the ones he imagined when he was writing the book. That doesn't mean the book has no flaws; nobody's perfect.

TLEILAXU

  • *
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Exalt-Smiter of Theories
  • Posts: 579
    • View Profile
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2017, 12:28:28 am »
This isn't at all how I see his statements. In my opinion, he's saying that reactions he's aware of are consistent with the ones he imagined when he was writing the book. That doesn't mean the book has no flaws; nobody's perfect.
Exactly. Just as he probably foresaw some people breathing a sigh of relief in the face of a Consult victory, he foresaw others making angry forum posts about it.

SmilerLoki

  • *
  • Great Name
  • ****
  • Posts: 465
    • View Profile
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2017, 01:32:51 am »
Exactly. Just as he probably foresaw some people breathing a sigh of relief in the face of a Consult victory, he foresaw others making angry forum posts about it.
More about the abruptness of the ending and lack of clarity about who's right and who's wrong, I think.

Monkhound

  • *
  • Kijneta
  • ***
  • Posts: 158
    • View Profile
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2017, 06:07:30 am »
Exactly. Just as he probably foresaw some people breathing a sigh of relief in the face of a Consult victory, he foresaw others making angry forum posts about it.
More about the abruptness of the ending and lack of clarity about who's right and who's wrong, I think.

As had been discussed earlier both on TSA and confirmed by Bakker, there is no-one right or wrong, which is part of the beauty of the whole: There are only gray areas, just as these exist in our everyday perception, just add there always exists a different perception of real life events, no matter how big or puny these are. That goes both for the characters and for our interpretation. We're left to decide for ourselves about the good and the bad, or preferably who we deem "most moral", if we need to.
Cuts and cuts and cuts...

SmilerLoki

  • *
  • Great Name
  • ****
  • Posts: 465
    • View Profile
« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2017, 06:16:59 am »
As had been discussed earlier both on TSA and confirmed by Bakker, there is no-one right or wrong, which is part of the beauty of the whole: There are only gray areas, just as these exist in our everyday perception, just add there always exists a different perception of real life events, no matter how big or puny these are. That goes both for the characters and for our interpretation. We're left to decide for ourselves about the good and the bad, or preferably who we deem "most moral", if we need to.
Which, as expected, doesn't sit well with many readers.

Personally, I'm completely fine with it. But I also was ready for it from the beginning. It was always clear in the narrative structure for me.

Duskweaver

  • *
  • Kijneta
  • ***
  • Posts: 192
    • View Profile
« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2017, 12:44:57 pm »
I've wondered recently that Bakker's work might serve as a litmus test for needing cognitive closure.
I think this is something well-worth investigating. I certainly seem to fit your hypothesis. I have a ludicrously low NCS, and so far all the ambiguities people have held up as examples of Bakker being terrible are the things I enjoyed most about TSA. Part of me would quite like it if Bakker just kept on writing new instalments and never actually concluded the storyline at all. The journey is so fascinating and thought-provoking that I don't ultimately care where we end up. I guess it also fits in with my real-world philosophical/religious inclinations, in that I'm what I call an Inverse Buddhist: I believe the Buddha was mostly right, except that I don't see escaping the endless cycle of existence as a worthy goal. I'm quite content to go round and round the cycle forever. Existence is, for want of a better term, a hell of a lot of fun.
"Then I looked, and behold, a Whirlwind came out of the North..." - Ezekiel 1:4

"Two things that brand one a coward: using violence when it is not necessary; and shrinking from it when it is."

Madness

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Conversational Batman
  • Posts: 5189
  • Strength on the Journey - Journey Well
    • View Profile
    • The Second Apocalypse
« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2017, 05:24:47 pm »
I think this is something well-worth investigating. I certainly seem to fit your hypothesis. I have a ludicrously low NCS, and so far all the ambiguities people have held up as examples of Bakker being terrible are the things I enjoyed most about TSA.

Thanks, Duskweaver :).

I certainly think it's an interesting thought.
The Existential Scream
Weaponizing the Warrior Pose - Declare War Inwardly
carnificibus: multus sanguis fluit
Die Better
The Theory-Killer