TDTCB, Ch. 11

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« on: April 19, 2013, 11:38:46 am »
Quote from: lockesnow
[size=200]Momemn[/size]
Quote
Reason, Ajencis writes, is the capacity to overcome unprecedented obstacles in the gratification of desire. What distinguished man from beasts is man’s capacity to overcome infinite obstacles through reason.
But Ajencis has confused the accidental for the essential. Prior to the capacity to overcome infinite obstacles is the capacity to confront them. What defines man is not that he reasons, but that he prays.
—EKYANNUS I, 44 EPISTLES

Late Winter, 4111 Year-of-the-Tusk, Momemn[/b]

§11.1: Proyas arrives at the holy war, remembers an Ajencis quote on politics, bitterly reflects on politics and his faith, comes ashore and prays to the Prophet, greets Xinemus and is informed of the Vulgar Holy War, doubts the Holy War, trades barbs with Conphas, Conphas wins with an Ajencis quote on truth, Proyas doubts himself, is informed that Achamian is present.

§11.2: Achamian waits and ruminates, recriminates re Inrau, becomes an alcoholic, rereads the classics, ranges the encampment, remembers Proyas and Inrau as his sons, told by Xinemus Proyas will not see him.

§11.3: Achamian is being followed by a spy, tries to trap him, thinks about cooking, plans on using the Cants of Compulsion, the man he seizes does not have the face of the man following him, cooking is for slaves.

§11.4: Esmenet and Sarcellus have arrived at the Holy War, thinks of her dead daughter, wonders if she is dreaming, something inside declares she is truly a caste noble, remembers she is whore, Sarcellus tells her he found Achamian, reflects on her and Sarcellus' relationship, her scrutiny has consequences, she is safe but loves Achamian, the Gods punish love with dead daughters,  Sarcellus questions her about Achamian, admits to him she believes in the Consult, he rebukes her that she will only be a whore to him, she knows.

§11.5: The thing called Sarcellus apologizes to Esmenet, she refuses to rut, he takes slaves thinks of killfucking her, is met by the Synthese Architect Father, is named Maëngi, Synthese totally controls Maëngi with a touch, physical pleasure, questions Maëngi about Achamian and learns he spotted Gaörtha, Synthese is enraged at the world when he hears Gaörtha shifted skins, eyes like twin Nails of Heaven, commands Maëngi show his true face which opens for the Synthese like a vagina.

§11.6: The encampment about Momemn rumbles with disbelief about the Vulgar Holy War, Emperor, Great Names, Indenture, scrap of paper, Conphas, the armies worship, fuck and wait, wait for glory.

What Came Before

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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2013, 11:39:45 am »
Quote from: Church
Ok, thought I'd add a reply to this as it would be good to get the re-read going again. Though to be honest I don't find this chapter that interesting, apart from the bit with Sarcellus and the synthese. Take the bit at the end of this scene, where Maengi is being manipulated by the synthese and has the following thought pattern:

Quote
HOW
Roared through what passed for Maengi's soul.
I HATE
Shattering whatever thoughts, whatever passions he might call his own.
THIS WORLD.
Crushing even the unquenchable hunger, the all-encompassing ache...

Is it a bit much to read this as the No-God, or a reflection or part of the N-G, speaking through the skin-spy. So effectively any instruments of the tekne have a little bit of the N-G programme determining their actions. Or am I just reading a bit much into some capital letters?

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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2013, 11:39:58 am »
Quote from: kalstone
I read that as being the telepathic projection of the Synthese's thoughts. 

This is the first time I've reread the series, so it's been about 7-8 years since I read TDTCB.  Up to this point, I had assumed that the Synthese was being controlled by a Mangaeccan.  This passage makes it seem like it must be an Inchoroi controlling it.  I can't remember.  Do we ever find out exactly who it is?

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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2013, 11:40:06 am »
Quote from: Madness
Welcome to the Second Apocalypse, kalstone. Third google hit and rising.

I share your interpretation of that scene. Can't wait to find some time for the reread again. Almost done my chapter... 7, I think, reading.

The Synthese is Aurang's spy transport, Horde-General, one of the two twins, last of the Inchoroi Princes...

Lol... woe comes...

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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2013, 11:40:15 am »
Quote from: Callan S.
Quote from: Madness
Lol... woe comes...
Something oddly great about that line...

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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2013, 11:40:25 am »
Quote from: sologdin
opening epigraph as a refutation of logocentrism through dogmatism, rather than critique (i.e., rightwing theology rather than leftwing deconstruction).  if this is the way that RSB's mind has turned since leaving the university, then he is lost.

proyas perspective disagrees with ajencian gnomic regarding politics as negotiation for advantage, reducing it further to bartering principle at an auction house (I.11 at 305).  nifty that a feudalist conceives of ideas in market rhetoric.  proyas is therefore a progressive in the setting. he is nonetheless sufficiently retrograde to regard slain children and elderly persons as "dregs," relieved that they are dead (I.11 at 308-09).  needless to say that his progressivism is not so radical as to embrace egalitarianism for dead children.

interest perks a bit when they start talking title to lost provinces (I.11 at 311-12).  it quickly subsides, as the narrative is wrriten without law. 

we get a nice ajencian refutation of the argumentum ad hominem (I.11 at 312).  any wagers on how many characters take it seriously, especially those who know better?

DA reads the sagas, and is angered by what he considers to be their inaccuracies, based on his allegation that he sees the apocalypse (I.11 at 314).  not sure why we take DA seriously when he claims to see the apocalypse.  it's essentially a film in his head.  it's claim to veracity is what, precisely?  DA comes across as dogmatic and ignorant by failing to take the written accounts seriously, even if they are, of course, just another account and prone to error.

DA regards himself as esmi's "pupil" (I.11 at 323) which brings us full circle with his comments previously (I.10 at 279).

caste designations laid out (I.11 at 324). the schematic distinctions again structure the narrative for us:  kjineta fears mere particulars, whereas suthenti fears in general; suthenti lacks answers, whereas kjineta lacks even questions (I.11 at 324-25).  we shall read the text henceforth for the truth of this structuration.  perhaps, incidentally, it may become more complicated, were other castes identified.

esmi believed to be a "student of the game" by certain weirdos who float about the margin of the narrative (I.11 at 328).  game is benjuka, aye?

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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2013, 11:40:32 am »
Quote from: lockesnow
I find this chapter fascinating from a lot of directions, structurally, theologically, thematically, and character wise.

structurally this chapter has each character confronting their views and expectations of the world--in particular how the world relates to their sense of self--and they way they react when the world wounds them, when events do not work out as they expect, in a sense, the author uses this chapter to take each viewpoint character to have them confront their inner monologue of self-flattery, to watch as they fail themselves, to watch themselves be degraded (in a sense), although most of the characters do not really take ownership over their failures within this chapter, the reader probably should--as readers we should recognize the failings of perception particularly as the omniscient we of the readership both knows the flawed inner monologues of the characters and the wide angle view of events that no individual character is privy to. 

In a sense, this chapter is meant to take all the perspectives to date and position the reader to be able to Kellhus these characters.  We can see their thoughts in the ink on the page and we can see the world they inhabit and the wider events (and inner events) that are controlling their thoughts and actions without their ever being aware of it.  We can see all that because 'the word' gives us this power.  Kellhus has this power in-world, it is not just the non-diagetic power of the readerly audience, and we should be aware of the connection between reader and Kellhus because the author in the future will repeatedly make an analogy between reading a book and Kellhus skills.  (or am I misremembering this?)

So.  The chapter begins with Proyas, he is at a HIGH, and he is soon brought low--degraded--in a rapid-fire array of methods.  Conphas demonstrates his greater fame, his greater success, his greater power, his greater family (a family publically united, versus Proyas devided family which empowers Conphas and reduces Proyas influence) and his greater intellect/mastery of theology/philosophy and the classics.  Proyas has many achievements and all these are degraded in the fact of Conphas.  Proyas is only partly aware of just how defeated he is in this first battle of the holy war, he cannot see/acknowledge just how bad it was.

Then we go to Akka and we see that Akka is his own worst enemy, he describes himself as becoming an alcoholic and we see some of that, we see that Akka is deeply dependent on friendships and emotional relationships, he thinks of himself as a loner but he is clearly not comfortable being alone as the punishment Proyas inflicts in not meeting with him is by far the worst wound Akka has taken in the narrative thus far.  He has people weaknesses--something Kellhus will later master and exploit (in this chapter the author is foreshadowing for us by describing many of the hooks and tools by which Kellhus will master Akka (and Proyas, come to think of it)).  We then get a complete scene where Akka's blindness to the Consult is fully illustrated--and his awareness of his blindness is enhanced in a way that will increase his sense of doubt and defeat--only the reader, with our Kellhus-like extra knowledge of events beyond the perspective of Akka understand the tragedy in this scene.  Akka fails and is brought low in his quest and in his internal monologue he is even more defeated than the consult could know.

Then we have Esmenet undergoing a similar failing, ironically she is the most successful, she has achieved her goal of finding Achamian but she is conflicted in taking the last tiny step before her and her hesitation to take the victory in front of her results in her defeat and failure, her self-doubt leads her to not accept what she has earned--but at this point she is more in control of her own destiny than either Akka or Proyas and the achievement of her goals is within her own control--something neither Akka or Proyas can claim; in this situation they are the dependent ones.

Finally, we see Sarcellus is degraded, although he has largely been a success he is blamed for the failure of a compatriot.  I find the final line of the chapter evocative, is this line an indication that underneath the 'face' of the skin spies are female genitalia?

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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2013, 11:40:43 am »
Quote from: kalstone
Quote from: lockesnow
Finally, we see Sarcellus is degraded, although he has largely been a success he is blamed for the failure of a compatriot.  I find the final line of the chapter evocative, is this line an indication that underneath the 'face' of the skin spies are female genitalia?

That certainly seems to be the implication, but
(click to show/hide)

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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2013, 11:40:51 am »
Quote from: Church
Quote
although most of the characters do not really take ownership over their failures within this chapter, the reader probably should--as readers we should recognize the failings of perception particularly as the omniscient we of the readership both knows the flawed inner monologues of the characters and the wide angle view of events that no individual character is privy to.

In a sense, this chapter is meant to take all the perspectives to date and position the reader to be able to Kellhus these characters. We can see their thoughts in the ink on the page and we can see the world they inhabit and the wider events (and inner events) that are controlling their thoughts and actions without their ever being aware of it. We can see all that because 'the word' gives us this power. Kellhus has this power in-world, it is not just the non-diagetic power of the readerly audience, and we should be aware of the connection between reader and Kellhus because the author in the future will repeatedly make an analogy between reading a book and Kellhus skills. (or am I misremembering this?)

That's an interesting line of thought, made me think about a few things I've read about how parallels can be drawn between the action of God and the action of authors. Bit convoluted, and I may be a bit too tired to express this properly, but here goes...

So the argument about TSA is that Kellhus is in effect taking on the position of the omniscient author narrating events. He isn't being written by those events, but is writing them himself. That effectively gives him a godlike power which is the driving force of the narrative.

Now compare that type of godlike power with that described by sophisticated Christian thinkers. Rowan Williams, writing on Dostoevsky, has claimed that books like Karamazov give us a hint of how an author can create a character without completely determining that character's destiny. Take this quote:

Quote
Dostoevsky works on the basis that the novelist is able to show in some degree what divine creation might be like: that is, by creating a world in which the unexpected and unscripted is continually unfolding, in which there is no imposed last word. The novelist attempts what is in one way an obviously impossible task - a self-emptying in respect of the characters of the fiction, a degree of powerlessness in relation to them. Impossible it may be (given that there is only one actual subject - the writer - making choices here), the approach to it or the intimation of it may also be an intimation of the work of a creator who does bring actual separate agents with choices into being.

There's a lot in there, but I think it clearly shows a very different approach to the omniscient author than we see with Kellhus, where the essence of the relationship is instrumental (Kellhus using other people for his own ends). Now you might think that this is all a load of Christian nonsense, but the more I read TSA, and the more I read people like Rowan Williams, the more I see these books as representing opposing poles of debate. Maybe the central point is that it's very hard to have a rationalist/reductionist view of the world and maintain any idea of human freedom, a tension which then manifests very directly in the violence we see in the TSA world (and neuropath for that matter). And speaking of violence, take this quote, again from Williams (these are all from his book Dostoevsky: Language, faith and fiction):

Quote
the attempt to approach human affairs as if they belonged to the world of evidence and determined outcome is bound to end in violence - ideological violence to the understanding of what humanity is, literal violence to those who will not be convinced

I could go on for a while, but I'm pretty tired and can't really concentrate on this any more! Probably enough to say that if we're speaking about godlike power, we don't just need to conceive of God as being the biggest, baddest power around, but that's what we're getting in these books...

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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2013, 11:41:00 am »
Quote from: Church
Quote from: kalstone
Quote from: lockesnow
Finally, we see Sarcellus is degraded, although he has largely been a success he is blamed for the failure of a compatriot.  I find the final line of the chapter evocative, is this line an indication that underneath the 'face' of the skin spies are female genitalia?

That certainly seems to be the implication, but
(click to show/hide)

I think it's more drawing a parallel, like all the almost-genitalia in films like Alien...

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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2013, 11:41:47 am »
Quote from: sologdin
+1 church.

no need to defend the apologetic writers.  i as an atheist may disagree with them as to the ultimate issue, but i've found that dismissing religious writers genetically is manifestly erroneous.

there's some stuff in bakhtin's writings on dostoevsky that go along with the point you've made about AK being the writer of the events in TSA.  will dust those off and quote them here later.

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« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2013, 11:41:58 am »
Quote from: lockesnow
the fact of a mouth in an alien 'face' doesn't indicate the absence of genitalia, they could have genitalia in the mouth (makes eating pleasurable?) or we could make the human assumption/mistake of seeing genitals where we expect to see a mouth and interpreting that to be a mouth.  Perhaps the skin spies speak out of their cunts? perhaps they have cunts in their faces?

Lips, eh?

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« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2013, 11:42:08 am »
Quote from: Callan S.
Quote from: sologdin
opening epigraph as a refutation of logocentrism through dogmatism, rather than critique (i.e., rightwing theology rather than leftwing deconstruction).  if this is the way that RSB's mind has turned since leaving the university, then he is lost.
Not sure of that - until you know absolutely everything, until you reach that absolute, pretty much any act, even that of doing nothing at all, is an act of faith.

Perhaps what more seperates man from animals is that he knows he prays.

Quote
interest perks a bit when they start talking title to lost provinces (I.11 at 311-12).  it quickly subsides, as the narrative is wrriten without law.
Funny how they never let go of the titles - it's always implicit, the injustice of losing the lands to the empire, but never said directly since then it would be raised next to the actual intention of holy war.

Quote
we get a nice ajencian refutation of the argumentum ad hominem (I.11 at 312).  any wagers on how many characters take it seriously, especially those who know better?
I wish your page numbers aligned with my book!

Could you give a bit more info on where this is?

Quote
DA reads the sagas, and is angered by what he considers to be their inaccuracies, based on his allegation that he sees the apocalypse (I.11 at 314).  not sure why we take DA seriously when he claims to see the apocalypse.  it's essentially a film in his head.  it's claim to veracity is what, precisely?  DA comes across as dogmatic and ignorant by failing to take the written accounts seriously, even if they are, of course, just another account and prone to error.
Even a film is a recreation, made with actors. I'm not sure a direct visual (or atleast visual memory) recording sits next to a text several times removed from that? Maybe there could be some angle he'd miss, from a perspective other than Seswatha's.

Quote
esmi believed to be a "student of the game" by certain weirdos who float about the margin of the narrative (I.11 at 328).  game is benjuka, aye?
Again my page count is off - bit more of a reference, please :)

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« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2013, 11:42:29 am »
Quote from: Madness
Firstly, +1 Church and solo. No sense in tossing out spontaneous knowledge due to its source.

Momemn

Reason, Ajencis writes, is the capacity to overcome unprecedented obstacles in the gratification of desire. What distinguishes man from beasts is man's capacity to overcome infinite obstacles through reason.

But Ajencis has confused the accidental for the essential. Prior to the capacity to
overcome infinite obstacles is the capacity to confront them. What defines man is not that he reasons, but that he prays.
- EKYANNUS I, 44 Epistles

This epigram sticks in my craw especially right now as Duskweaver and I had been forming some thoughts on the No-God's perspective, possible reactions to grasping enlightenment. Ekyannus I suggests that praying precedes reasoning for the latter requires from the former...? Is this a fallacy?

Reasoning is COUOGD,
COUOGD requires that you pray,
therefore, reasoning requires that you pray?

Late Winter, 4111 Year-of-the-Tusk, Momemn[/b]

§11.1 - Beaches of Momemn in Late Winter

We've had Inrau's perspective. Now for Proyas, Achamian's other student.

The real Great Names arrive in Momemn and Proyas is arriving at the head of a Conriyan fleet.

Noted solo's quote of Proyas revising Ajencis' maxims (p328).

Proyas' thoughts are on faith, his duties towards the God of Gods, striving to engage them. It's interesting that he experiences some confusion over the God of Gods - in which of the three "godly" categories does the manifestation fall? (p328) Also, interesting that he doesn't find more solace in the worldly trials as God's mundane test to humankind.

I enjoy the imagery of the damned sorcerer at the Shriah's knee as marring the beginnings of Proyas' martial prayer (p329).

"Its begun, sweet Prophet... The Holy War has begun. Let me be the font of your righteous fury. Let my hand be the hand that delivers your hearth from wickedness. Let me be your hammer!" (p329) - My bold, thanks for the fyi, Proyas.

Proyas meet Achamian's boy Xinemus under the Attrempus standard and they discuss the fate of Proyas cousin and the Vulgar Holy War. Proyas realizes the trap in circumstances by the Emperor, "That wretch Calmemunis has sold us all" (p332). Proyas reminds Xin of a quote to soothe his failings and realizes its still the taint teaching of his blaspheming teacher, Achamian (p333).

Proyas thinks about the beleaguering of circumstance and "Why, God? Why beleaguer us when it's Your will we seek to accomplish? (p333)

Classic faith doubting...

Conphas comes to greet Proyas. I enjoy the "smile of heroes who'd hitherto encounted each other only in rumour and reputation" (p334).

Conphas suggests to Proyas that Nansur is a martial nation, their Empire's population weened in a civilization whose only story is a narrative of loss (p335). Conphas easily outwits and outclasses Proyas in front of their men, as Conphas has been raised in the world that Proyas finds himself engaging in only for faith, even as he spends faith doing so (p328).

As if Proyas wasn't having a rough enough time, Xinemus remembers only or finally finds a moment to tell him at the last, about Achamian being with the Holy War... (p336)

§11.2 - Achamian's Two Sons

While Xinemus and company go to help the Conriyan contingent disembark, Achamian recollects his time since joining the Holy War.

Achamian does what he can to make himself safe as a sorcerer in an army of faithful, takes precautions against his competitor Schoolmen (p337)

Really, it seems busy work to keep his mind from Inrau.

When he can't anymore with his obligatory commitments (p337), he does so with those other vices, intoxication, reading... trying not think about Esmenet.

He drinks heavily in waiting for Xinemus to return from the beaches and entitlement sets in... the theme of the passage is Achamian has very little in his life, as lockesnow noted. His students, most of all, both of whom, Achamian lost to faith. Learning. Esmenet.

Xinemus comes back and, obviously, Proyas was vocal about rejecting Achamian's audience.

§11.3 - Alleyways and Intrigue

Again, these are passages that I wish we had more of. Achamian is being followed in the market... and go...

This passage is a great exercise in how making assumptions causes falsities.

Achamian also doubts his faith in the Mandate's ancient mission, so much, he doesn't once consider that the man following him is an agent of the Consult. However, Achamian frames him instead in that elusive, College of Luthymae, those Few who joined to the Thousand Temples, rejecting sorcery, to persecute the false (p341).

Following that false premise, he decides correctly that if they know about Achamian, they know Esmenet associated with Inrau as well (p342).

Little quote but one I personally love - highlights the average ability of all those who dream the Dreams - "He was always faintly incredulous of his ability to work sorcery, more so when days would pass without his uttering a significant Cant - as in this case. But in his thirty-nine years with the Mandate, his abilities - at least in this regard - had never failed him" (p342).

The man doesn't fall into Achamian's first trap and he gets all suspicious of his gut feelings (p343). Then as he goes back to buying dinner, he finds himself following the man.

"'Sweet Sejenus, man!' a perfumed Ainoni cried in Achamian's periphery. 'Do that again and I'll fucking knife you!'" Always laugh at that...

More importantly, we almost get to see the Gnostic Cants of Compulsion?! (p344) But the man is not who Achamian thought and finally, having dropped his food, he forgets about cooking - "for slaves" (p345)... wow Akka lol.

(click to show/hide)

§11.3 - To Be All I Can Be

"Once again she felt as though she'd been thrown beyond the circuit of what was possible. She had journeyed to find a sorcerer, only to be rescued by a knight" (p345).

I'm so struck in this written out rereads about how much the Consult directs Esmenet's skyrocket to these revelatory heights.

She thinks about her daughter again, as always, giving selfish gifts (p345).

I'm struck by the comparisons to Satan's tempting of Jesus - Sarcellus literally delivers her to the best spot in the Holy War (p345-46).

The conversation between her and Sarcellus also strikes me as very key... Clearly, Sarcellus' perspective is a non-issue... he doesn't have one. What he is authored to say and do is what is important.

Basically, Sarcellus offers Esmenet all the worldly glory, everything, not go to Achamian (p347).

It's actually Sarcellus, solo, that claims he is Esmi's pupil... (p348). Weird.

We know that all of Esmenet's observations of her character probably first reflect that Sarcellus is a skin-spy. However, as solo noted, she contextualizes their differences in caste, in social distinctions.

Then Sarcellus hits upon the crux... can Achamian love Esmenet? Sarcellus is a tool, doing what Kellhus does, just not nearly as well. If we recount her thoughts in this passage, is that people are defined by their social and cultural positions... the status that those around you grant.

(click to show/hide)

So a theme emerges here of social identity.

Love the Sarcellus passage at p350-51:

"You're his tether, Esmi. He's fastened on you because you bind him to what's real. But if you go to him, cast away you life and go to him, you'll simply be one of two ships at sea. Soon, very soon, you'll lose sight of the shore. His madness will engulf you."

Which, is also ironic, because Esmenet has been engulfed by Achamian's madness... the truth of it - though, just a really good metaphor for relationships, well written.

Belittling yourself a little, Sarcellus (p351).

All she can ever be... is his whore? (p351).

§11.4 - Architect, Old Father, Warlord, & Spy

Since books, much more than the real world, fairly rest on beds of synchronicity, have to taken notice of this.

First skin-spy perspective... First lines: "On his knees, the Knight-Commander saw a tear lingering on her upper lip. A miniature replica of the fire glittered with it" (p351).

(click to show/hide)

"To simply be where the Architect had been! To thrust where he had thrusted. It at once humbled and engorged. To plunge into a furnace stoked by the Old Father!" (p352).

More corroboration that Aurang himself... either physically or through the magic of sorcery was with Esmenet in her opening chapter.

Then finally... an intelligence. The Synthese, as much as it allows for the expression of Aurang's intellect.

We can only trust Sarcellus perspective so much and his actions and words can only reveal his makers intentions... his internals matter jack shit!

They talk about the promise of release. Reason is welded to desire in the skin-spies, reflecting the opening epigraph (p352). They will fake any social identity so long as released is promised.

"Is it time?" (p353)... to kill Esmenet?

Sologdin noted the Aurang's recognition as a student - except we know that she is not... Achamian simply gave her information, which protected her, which elevated her ability to play. Information, Achamian didn't even believe but gave to her under the madness of love.

"No. She does not run to Drusas Achamian, which means something... Her life's been too hard for her not weigh loyalties against advantages. She may yet prove useful" (p353). Useful how? Is it really that Mandate Schoolmen don't form close relationships? Esmenet is going to provide the Consult with information from Achamian...?

Just what the fuck is the Consult's interest here...

Then Sarcellus admits to breaking protocol - again, how do these creatures have any sort of laterality? - to contact Gaortha, who is assigned to watch Achamian. We know that Achamian gets suspicious because a man is following him - the rest is clothed, erronously, in Achamian's explanatory style.

So there's this divergence here... the Consult is reacting to Esmenet or Achamian specially and if its only the latter, they are reaching conclusions that elevate Achamian's social identity that don't reflect truth. The World Conspires?

The whole Capital letters, eyes glowing, seems to reflect sorcery, neh?

§11.5 - Men of the Tusk

Another omniscient passage regarding the true congregation of the Holy War around Momemn. The everymen perspectives.

I would just note, as in many of my previous reread I've had a definitive slant in bias, that all the Cults and Aspects of the God are represented (p356).

As this ends the Harlot's introduction - and I always remembered these parts as longer - a couple thoughts.

Esmenet is inextricably tied to the Consult. Why? How much of this "uncomfortable build-up" reflects the World Conspires? What the fuck did Inrau find in Maithanet's apartments?

I really do love this book. As it stands, still probably my second favorite book in the series after WLW and before TWP.

What Came Before

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« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2013, 11:42:36 am »
Quote from: lockesnow
Quote from: Madness
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How about imagery of a tear of god?  A chorae?
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"No. She does not run to Drusas Achamian, which means something... Her life's been too hard for her not weigh loyalties against advantages. She may yet prove useful" (p353). Useful how? Is it really that Mandate Schoolmen don't form close relationships? Esmenet is going to provide the Consult with information from Achamian...?

Just what the fuck is the Consult's interest here...

Then Sarcellus admits to breaking protocol - again, how do these creatures have any sort of laterality? - to contact Gaortha, who is assigned to watch Achamian. We know that Achamian gets suspicious because a man is following him - the rest is clothed, erronously, in Achamian's explanatory style.

So there's this divergence here... the Consult is reacting to Esmenet or Achamian specially and if its only the latter, they are reaching conclusions that elevate Achamian's social identity that don't reflect truth. The World Conspires?

The whole Capital letters, eyes glowing, seems to reflect sorcery, neh?
On a first read it seemed obvious that the Consult would be following DA because the Mandate were their enemy and DA was the only one of the Mandate embedded within the holy war.  DA has the potential to expose them--none but the Mandate could think that the Consult moved the machinery of the holy war, they are hidden so long as he is silent.  But there is risk in silencing the only Mandate representative as well, his mysterious death might well be a calling card or proof, the Consult does not want to be exposed via negation.  So the best strategem is to manipulate DA through mechanisms by which he cannot see, the easiest is to let the events of the holy war buffet him where they will, the Consult knows it is unlikely that DA will be a factor.  But if he does become a factor, they want to hold Esmenet in reserve because she is a way to directly manipulate and control DA, without him ever being aware of it.  Sarcellus admits this when he says that he is Esmenet's student.  The assertion here seems to suggest that the Consult intends for Sarcellus to replace Esement, in order for a replacement to be successful, the Skin Spy probably needs to learn much and more about the subject they are replacing.   Sarcellus would replace Esmenet if their methods for observing DA fail and they need to control him more directly.