Why do you like this series?

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« Reply #30 on: May 14, 2013, 11:45:19 pm »
Quote from: Wilshire
Quote from: Madness
Actually, I think he did, Wilshire. I'm not sure he's still in his Ph.D period anymore...
As of last thursday he was.  ;)

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« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2013, 11:45:24 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Crazy... is he still technically on sabbatical from Vanderbilt, do you know?

Lol, I'm surprised that that specific thing never came up in our conversations - though the university/college system has a number of times.

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« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2013, 11:45:30 pm »
Quote from: Wilshire
Uh not sure about the technicalities of it all, but he works on TUC every morning 7 days a week, and his Ph.D in the afternoon.

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« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2013, 11:45:36 pm »
Quote from: sologdin
could be that he's pursuing the philosophy phd along lines of inquiry suggested by neuroscience and evopsych, rather than the issues raised by continental philosophy, linguistics, culture theory, and whatnot?

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« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2013, 11:45:41 pm »
Quote from: Wilshire
again I know very little about the subject as a whole, but he did mention that he shifted his study away from what it was originally, something about Euorpean philosophy, to something more (like you said solo) towards neuroscience and such.

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« Reply #35 on: May 14, 2013, 11:45:46 pm »
Quote from: 4AGdTmCall_Moenghus
Like many of you have mentioned, when I think of the SFF series that resonate most with me, I think of GRRM's ASOIAF and RSB's SA. When I was much younger I read RJ's WoT.

When I found ASOIAF, what immediately struck me was the dynamic between the characters. Reading deeper into the series I have always appreciated how GRRM is able to give insight into the inner-workings of any character, which has almost uniformly translated into me investing in that character: I want these characters, all of them, to succeed, despite the fact that in many cases their conflict is a zero-sum game. For me, this is the crux of GRRM's talent, the passion that I, the reader, have in his characters.

For RSB's series, it has been a different experience. The first time I picked up TDTCB it was a labor. So many of the characters were completely unlikeable for me, which was tough. I'm a total fucking sap, and I love to love my characters. RSB has not allowed me such a luxury. While I do in fact love Akka---his constant self-doubt, self-loathing, his fear and his bravery in the face of such fear, his passion for learning; I don't know if I necessarily enjoy another character.

What I have enjoyed immensely, though, is RSB's prose. It is rich and sometimes a little dense. I think in 10-15 years he will be like a post-Blood Meridian McCarthy; that is, his descriptions will stop exactly when he has painted the picture---that is, he will be more economical with his words. However, even now, I love RSB's prose.

Speaking of McCarthy, when I started reading TJE and the slog of slogs, something clicked in my brain. I stopped looking for characters to love, and I started to just enjoy the tale, started to taste the cold sweat of fear that is the slog of slogs, and I started to love how RSB had woven such a great tale of horrible despair. I think this was when I put on my Cormac McCarthy goggles and started to see Blood Meridian come to life in the fantastical setting of Earwa. But whereas McCarthy's Judge was the devil incarnate, or the blood-lusting war machine made manifest, the Nonman Erratic was a mystery even unto himself, some incomprehensible amnesiac wanderer philosopher-king dispensing the narcotic eucharist to his murderous votaries. The crazy lines of his poetry...

And finally, I'll shut up soon... what totally won me over was the battle between Wutteat and Akka and Nil'giccas. I thought Bakker at this point had totally hit his stride, starting instressing the inscape...  And really, it is in scenes like this where RSB's almost purply prose---I said almost---does him a service. Fact is, I think a writer has to almost overdo with words a battle between a Dragon and an Immortal being. And RSB was spot on---he was fucking magic.

In short, I love RSB's prose and also, I think I love the mad despair.

And I can't wait to do a re-read. When the semester is over, I will be doing just that.

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« Reply #36 on: May 14, 2013, 11:45:53 pm »
Quote from: Ajokli
A fine post #2 .

/I've come to hate all of GRRMs characters.

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« Reply #37 on: May 14, 2013, 11:45:59 pm »
Quote from: Wilshire
Lets face it, I read fantasy because, well, I'm not exactly what you would call a 'bookie' (like a foodie but with books?). I don't do philosophy, I like fantasy because it has big explosions and its shiny and its easier to do than my homework.
So then I picked up a book by RSB and started reading. Probably for the first time.

The thing is, you can skip over the names and places, ignore all the deeper meaning and the philosophies and the sub plots and the secrets, forget about the majority of the history and past, you can do all that, and still scrape out a magnificent experience unlike anything else. Or at least I did on my first read. It was over my head, way over, and I only just got through the first book.

By the time I got through the series I was forced to expand my mental horizons. You can't read these books passively. I learned something, not exactly sure what but it was certainly something, and that something changed me. My brain works in different ways that would have never been possible without these books. I'm still no philosopher, fuck poetry, and I still don't like the classics (whatever those are), but I am different.

No other book or series of books has changed me as profoundly as TSA.


So then I read the series again,  and damn I missed a whole lot. The complexities really exploded, but at the same time, they collapsed. I could focus on the minutia since I already knew what was happening in the rest of the world, and everything came into focus in such a spectacular way. Really it was an incredible experience, as it continues to be.

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« Reply #38 on: May 14, 2013, 11:46:04 pm »
Quote from: 4AGdTmCall_Moenghus
Quote from: Wilshire


So then I read the series again,  and damn I missed a whole lot. The complexities really exploded, but at the same time, they collapsed. I could focus on the minutia since I already knew what was happening in the rest of the world, and everything came into focus in such a spectacular way. Really it was an incredible experience, as it continues to be.


I'm starting a re-read now, and I'm tracking through this forum's re-read message board. I'm only barely into the first book, and in no hurry, what with the end of the semester rearing its ugly head, but the second read has been phenomenal.

Really, this forum has been instrumental in really re-stoking my interest in RSB. I had initially been looking for information on TUC, and then started reading all you crazies had written. It's been an awesome experience.

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« Reply #39 on: May 14, 2013, 11:46:10 pm »
Quote from: Madness
Wilshire, your chronicle covers my own experience in many aspects.

Lol, GTM, cheers. There's nothing quite like engaged Bakker readers.

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« Reply #40 on: May 14, 2013, 11:46:16 pm »
Quote from: Wilshire
Quote from: 4AGdTmCall_Moenghus
and then started reading all you crazies had written.


Careful, thats how it starts. Suddenly six months from now your going to have read through nearly all of the 3000+ posts that are currently up and you'll find yourself checking this more than facebook and inserting yourself into every new conversation and discussion. Oh wait, nvm thats me.

Ah well, I pride myself on being one of those crazies :) .

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« Reply #41 on: May 14, 2013, 11:46:21 pm »
Quote from: 4AGdTmCall_Moenghus
Quote from: Wilshire
Suddenly six months from now your going to have read through nearly all of the 3000+ posts that are currently up...


I think I'm well on my way. This shit is like chanv.

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« Reply #42 on: May 14, 2013, 11:46:30 pm »
Quote from: Wilshire
Quote from: 4AGdTmCall_Moenghus
I think I'm well on my way. This shit is like chanv.

Well when you're done, go outside, your family is worried about you.

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« Reply #43 on: May 14, 2013, 11:46:36 pm »
Quote from: bbaztek
Quote from: 4AGdTmCall_Moenghus
Like many of you have mentioned, when I think of the SFF series that resonate most with me, I think of GRRM's ASOIAF and RSB's SA. When I was much younger I read RJ's WoT.

When I found ASOIAF, what immediately struck me was the dynamic between the characters. Reading deeper into the series I have always appreciated how GRRM is able to give insight into the inner-workings of any character, which has almost uniformly translated into me investing in that character: I want these characters, all of them, to succeed, despite the fact that in many cases their conflict is a zero-sum game. For me, this is the crux of GRRM's talent, the passion that I, the reader, have in his characters.

For RSB's series, it has been a different experience. The first time I picked up TDTCB it was a labor. So many of the characters were completely unlikeable for me, which was tough. I'm a total fucking sap, and I love to love my characters. RSB has not allowed me such a luxury. While I do in fact love Akka---his constant self-doubt, self-loathing, his fear and his bravery in the face of such fear, his passion for learning; I don't know if I necessarily enjoy another character.

What I have enjoyed immensely, though, is RSB's prose. It is rich and sometimes a little dense. I think in 10-15 years he will be like a post-Blood Meridian McCarthy; that is, his descriptions will stop exactly when he has painted the picture---that is, he will be more economical with his words. However, even now, I love RSB's prose.

Speaking of McCarthy, when I started reading TJE and the slog of slogs, something clicked in my brain. I stopped looking for characters to love, and I started to just enjoy the tale, started to taste the cold sweat of fear that is the slog of slogs, and I started to love how RSB had woven such a great tale of horrible despair. I think this was when I put on my Cormac McCarthy goggles and started to see Blood Meridian come to life in the fantastical setting of Earwa. But whereas McCarthy's Judge was the devil incarnate, or the blood-lusting war machine made manifest, the Nonman Erratic was a mystery even unto himself, some incomprehensible amnesiac wanderer philosopher-king dispensing the narcotic eucharist to his murderous votaries. The crazy lines of his poetry...

And finally, I'll shut up soon... what totally won me over was the battle between Wutteat and Akka and Nil'giccas. I thought Bakker at this point had totally hit his stride, starting instressing the inscape...  And really, it is in scenes like this where RSB's almost purply prose---I said almost---does him a service. Fact is, I think a writer has to almost overdo with words a battle between a Dragon and an Immortal being. And RSB was spot on---he was fucking magic.

In short, I love RSB's prose and also, I think I love the mad despair.

And I can't wait to do a re-read. When the semester is over, I will be doing just that.

I've been making my way through WLW and I couldn't agree more. Someone on the Something Awful forums said this isn't the series for you if you thought ASOIAF was too dark, because TSA is pitch black and sticky. Yet, I think it's what defines TSA. There's something to be said for taking so much horror, death, and violation and elevating it into, dare I say, art.

Sometimes I get flabbergasted about how goddamn far Bakker goes to make his world grim (soft earth deeply ploughed? all of esmi's kids being either batshit insane, batshit evil, incestuous, or devoid of human emotion? come on bro) and then I remember I'm reading this like I would a normal work of fiction, and not through the lens of the scripture Bakker is trying to imitate. It stops reading like any random story and more like the epic saga he's aiming for.

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« Reply #44 on: May 14, 2013, 11:46:43 pm »
Quote from: Wilshire
"Soft earth deeply plowed" is one of my favorite quotes.