Narrative shifts in perspective

  • 10 Replies
  • 260 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Wilshire

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Enshoiya
  • Posts: 4886
  • Do you remember the words?!
    • View Profile
« on: October 27, 2017, 02:08:22 pm »
Nearly the entire novel is told in third person, but there are a small number of standouts that go against this for some unknown reason.

Present Tense
Mimara: Present tense - From her very first POV and throughout, she is notably the only major POV we get that is written like this.

Yatwer - She appears, very briefly, as an avatar in WLW, and she few lines are written the same way as Mimara.

Second Person
Moenghus The Younger: Second person present tense - His last scene in TUC is written in this bizarre style. "You see him walk down the mountain", etc. My own distaste aside, this is one of only two places this happens.

Koringhus: Same as above - I belive when he submits to Mimara he goes into this narrative style as well. Very strange.

Kellhus - same as above - when he's in the outside

We've been over it before elsewhere, but the conclusion then was that the WLW sections are written in third person past tense, not first person.

Has anyone else noticed this happening to other characters?
The real question though, is what does it mean.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 12:18:26 pm by Wilshire »
One of the other conditions of possibility.

Wolfdrop

  • *
  • Momurai
  • **
  • Posts: 92
    • View Profile
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2017, 03:33:24 pm »
Isn't the Mimara/WLW ones third person present? There's no use of "I" so I don't think it's first?

I'm sure I read in an interview thar Bakker said that Mimara's change in narrative style was something to do with the God, though I can't remember the quote.

I guess the WLW one is to show how he exists in multiple timelines at once, it was personally of my faviourites.

What I don't understand at all is the Moenghus one. If the entire book was written like that, fair enough, but solely for his final scene? Unless he is planning on using that tense for all of Moenghus' POV's in future books. But on it's own, I don't think it added anything.


Wilshire

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Enshoiya
  • Posts: 4886
  • Do you remember the words?!
    • View Profile
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2017, 03:42:15 pm »
Maybe she isn't first person (does she now say I? My bad), but its definitely present tense, and different from the WLW's
One of the other conditions of possibility.

Athorn "FB" Gallizur

  • *
  • Kcub Sicnarf
  • Momurai
  • *****
  • The Lordlady
  • Posts: 99
    • View Profile
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2017, 08:34:45 pm »
I don't recall Mimara ever having a first person section, but she is indeed written in present tense.

To be honest, with the exception of Mimara, the WLW, and Kellhus-in-the-Outside, I've become inclined toward the stance that Bakker is simply becoming more experimental (and confidant) in his approach to the narration of the series. The perspective becomes increasingly loose as TUC goes on, and by the final chapters, there are small sequences and paragraphs here and there that are entirely detached from any character, and even from the "thematic voice" of the typical omniscient narration that we are accustomed to, on a level not seen anywhere else in the series thus far. So I'm not sure how much stock to put in the particularities of perspective in the latter parts of TUC. I think, for example, that a lot of the second person stuff during the finale was simply a way for Bakker to really put the reader right there at Golgotterath, witnessing the No-God and the Second Apocalypse firsthand.

Then again, there's also something fishy about, well, everything regarding Moenghus Jr. and Cnaiur's relationship IMO, and the use of second person (which we otherwise have only seen from Kellhus-in-the-Outside and Koringhus's musings) may well be intended to imply some sort of cosmic shenanigans -- but for now my impression is that RSB is just getting very, very comfortable with his style of narration in this series. And really, if there's any point in the series to be experimental and novel with the storytelling, it's in TUC.

« Last Edit: October 28, 2017, 08:36:59 pm by Athorn "FB" Gallizur »

TLEILAXU

  • *
  • Kijneta
  • ***
  • Posts: 296
    • View Profile
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2017, 10:11:18 pm »
The second person narrative makes sense for the Outside sequence since they add a dreamy touch, fitting for the "subconscious" of the World.

TheCulminatingApe

  • *
  • Suthenti
  • *
  • Posts: 58
    • View Profile
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2017, 06:57:50 pm »
The real question though, is what does it mean.

Possibly to do with object and subject, and the nature of observation?  We know Mimara is 'different' because she has the judging eye, and when she sees someone (and the eye is open) she isn't just seeing her subjective impressions of person, but also the objective state of their soul (i.e. the fact they are damned).
Sez who?
Seswatha, that's who.

Madness

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Conversational Batman
  • Posts: 4928
  • Strength on the Journey - Journey Well
    • View Profile
    • The Second Apocalypse
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2017, 03:54:54 pm »
Further interesting to note, in Koringhus' and Moenghus' second-person sections, the object of their scrutiny is respectively Mimara/The No-God.
The Existential Scream
Weaponizing the Warrior Pose - Declare War Inwardly
carnificibus: multus sanguis fluit
Die Better
The Theory-Killer

stuslayer

  • *
  • Emwama
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2017, 06:37:34 pm »
I always took the Mimara perspective as relating to her having TJE, and my personal assumption was that this was a way of signifying the divine perspective, in that everything to the Gods is effectively 'the present', and pointed (at least to me at the time) to TJE being a divine agency. Not sure how this fits in, if at all.

Wilshire

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Enshoiya
  • Posts: 4886
  • Do you remember the words?!
    • View Profile
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2017, 06:39:24 pm »
I always took the Mimara perspective as relating to her having TJE, and my personal assumption was that this was a way of signifying the divine perspective, in that everything to the Gods is effectively 'the present', and pointed (at least to me at the time) to TJE being a divine agency. Not sure how this fits in, if at all.
Agreed. She's definitely unique, and the perspective shift into present tense is a really big indicator of that.
One of the other conditions of possibility.

Yellow

  • *
  • Kijneta
  • ***
  • Posts: 162
    • View Profile
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2017, 09:53:33 pm »
I asked Bakker about this in the AMA. He said it's to do with the way women are traditionally treated in literature and scripture, and this is a subversion of that, but it may have been a case of post hoc ergo proctor hoc. I've no idea if I've used that phrase correctly, I'm just glad I got a West Wing reference up in this shit.
You are the fist that beats us.

Madness

  • *
  • Administrator
  • Old Name
  • *****
  • Conversational Batman
  • Posts: 4928
  • Strength on the Journey - Journey Well
    • View Profile
    • The Second Apocalypse
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2017, 04:03:54 am »
I asked Bakker about this in the AMA. He said it's to do with the way women are traditionally treated in literature and scripture, and this is a subversion of that, but it may have been a case of post hoc ergo proctor hoc. I've no idea if I've used that phrase correctly, I'm just glad I got a West Wing reference up in this shit.

He's definitely spoken online and to me about lit-theory essays that address the ways in which people relate differently to reality based on gender self-identification.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 04:05:50 am by Madness »
The Existential Scream
Weaponizing the Warrior Pose - Declare War Inwardly
carnificibus: multus sanguis fluit
Die Better
The Theory-Killer