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General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« Last post by TaoHorror on March 24, 2021, 08:10:53 pm »
Sobriety is a farce. No matter how drunk you get, there will always be someone stupider than you sober. So why be sober?

- Goathead Keene
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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by The P on March 19, 2021, 12:45:05 pm »
The Chosen by Ricardo Pinto (4)

This is the second book in the Stone Dance of the Chameleon (2nd ed).  I am not sure what I think of it.  The first book saw the outsider who grew up away from the center of power journey back for the election of the gods.  This book is mostly the culture shock he experiences, culminating in the election and some other events.  So there isn't a lot that happens, but we get to see all the crazy aspects of life as one of the Chosen.  It is a very unique setting, the prose is evocative, but the plot in this book leaves a lot to be desired.  In the first edition of SDoC, this and The Masters were one book.  I think dividing them up works well; both have reasonable narrative arcs and are thematically and tonally unique.  This is a book that is going to stew in the back of my mind for a while and I will probably come to realize I like it more than I thought initially.  I am intrigued enough to keep going, and it looks like the plot gets moving in the next book.
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News/Announcements / Re: How grimdark is TDTCB?
« Last post by obstinate on March 18, 2021, 11:22:31 pm »
I personally really enjoyed Library at Mount Char, that it sits next to Shadow of the Torturer is somewhat telling to me. Though personally I'd place them at different ends, they do end up both being rather moody and have similar themes of emotional development during hard times... However I'm not really a fan of Shadow to begin with so maybe I "didnt get it".
Yeah I think that the ideal way to run polls like this is for people to rank the items they are knowledgeable about against each other. Then you can establish a chain of "grimdarkness" where you say, "people are about equally likely to rank this above that, so they have about the same score, but everyone who has read both says that's darker than this, so we give it a higher score."

Personally I think Torturer is a bit dreary and sad and of course it takes place on a waning Earth where things are not as they ought to be. But uh it isn't packed to the gills with child rape and torture like Library at Mount Char. I do think Prince of Thorns is dark, but I would also put it below Library. Definitely, The Blade Itself is not close to POT or TDTCB. I put the second apocalypse series as a whole above any of the other stories on this list that I've read, simply because all the other stories listed have a happy ending.
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The Unholy Consult / Re: "Kellhus is dead, but not done."
« Last post by H on March 18, 2021, 01:20:53 pm »
@H - you had me at Deleuzian rhizomes! 

As for Khellus playing all ends, honestly I think: 1) he really did fail, however, 2) he had back up plans.

Failing via ignorance is just so Baker, if Khellus hasn’t, then a greater similar failure is on the way.

The situation Baker set up is so fun—Khellus lies about being a prophet but convinces the world by accidentally dying.  Now Mimara/son really is the propher(s) but their ability to elicit belief from the people is utterly fucked.  If anyone believes her at all, it will be because they think she is some sort of mini-prophet that is part of Khellus’ story.  It will be neat to see if she lies and tells people that Khellus was holy or if that is intolerable and she becomes an outcast at the end of the world.

Maybe that’s the angle Bakker is going for: Mimara will be executed by the mobs she could save if they would only listen to her.  Baker subverts Christ dying on the Cross for our sins in 2 ways: fake Christ (Khellus) dies but not for our sins and Mimara dies even though she could have saved us.

Well, I think it was more than just ignorance though.  As Bakker said once, it was also something like "taking the unity of his personal identity for granted."  To me, it is about a sort of Logo-centrism, the same as Moe the Elder, who just discounts the Outside as trivial and inconsequential.  Kellhus realizes it is consequential, then just figures that the Logos can supersede it, harness it, and conquer it anyway.

Maybe the punchline is that Kellhus fails to realized that the Ground of the Logos is, in fact, full-well in the Outside or maybe we should say that the Ground of the Logos simply is not within the Logo-sphere.  So, here Kellhus figures his personal identity can be a bulwark against the Outside and be the foundation of the Logos, all the while never seeing the sand slipping out from under his feet.

I guess I just really want Mimara to actually be the prophet.  Does she actually get to do it?  I'm not sure.  I think it's a toss up, so maybe the idea is more than she doesn't get the universal acceptance, but maybe a small band of people realize she is the real deal.  Perhaps the "ultimate" is that she does avert the Apocalypse, she does manage to reframe things to some extent, but in the end, it's only a small incremental change and it will all happen again, just hopefully a little less badly next time...

Tangent: What about the possibility of performing sorcery in hell?  Sorcery requires two voices, each securing the meaning of the other — Khellus lost his physical mouth but can still sing with 2 voices internally.  Not sure there is anything here, just wondering, it’s my adhd.

Hmm, I'd guess not and interestingly, the main way we see Kellhus leverage the Outside was via the Head On A Pole, which if we are right and is now not a thing since he is dead, then what does he have as leverage on the Outside?

As far as Khellus being motivated by love of Serwe, I still don’t think it’s a possibility, but I am reminded of this…when Sutadra dies, Mimara sees “the clear skin of heroism and sacrifice.  The white of devotion.  The GOLD of unconditional love.  The gleam of loyalty and long silence.  The high blue of indomitable strength.”

I think the answer is a sort of "yes, but no" on that.  Does he "love" Serwe?  Yes, but in his own sort of stunted way and his aim was always more toward the elevation of himself to the Logo-centric place, a conqueror of all that is Outside the usual sense of control.
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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by Wilshire on March 18, 2021, 12:59:11 pm »
To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini 3

Meh. This book is achingly bland. Nothing is done poorly, but there's also nothing great about it. The plot, worldbuilding, characters, prose ... it all ranges from mildly interesting to a bit overly generic. At no point do you really connect with any of the characters, the setting is typical future scifi space opera, the baddies are dumb generic bad guy alienes, the lore is generic "mysterious advanced lost civ left behind super advanced stuff that other races are now fighting over". There are some acceptable specifics that made me want to finish it, but frankly for a nearly 1000 page book its nowhere near enough.

The best part of the whole book is an insane AI that actually showcases some potential for great writing from Paolini, which he uses to explore different writing styles/prose/allusions/etc. and he does so with great effect. But Gregoravich is a minor side character without enough screen time. Actually, this is kind of the problem with the entire book - the most interesting things are either side items that don't get explored much (Insane AI, Entropists, Missing-Generic-Advanced-Civ), or are integral to the story but still sidelined as supporting cast.

What you are left with is a wholly generic main story with interesting fringe elements.

I can't really recommend anyone read this book. Its not bad, but for such a large book there is just no reason to keep turning pages. Its just a predictable and uninteresting quest for a magical technological mcguffin.

Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (1)
Brilliant.... I can't wait for more from Muir.
I was wondering about this book--thanks Wilshire!

Buddy, its amazing. You should absolutely try it out.
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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by mrganondorf on March 18, 2021, 01:32:47 am »
Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (1)

Brilliant. This book is as fun to read as it is confusing. There's a myriad of timelines, past and present, a narrator who is mad and terribly unreliable. Shifts in POV writing - First, Second, Third, maybe others but I lack the ability to identify them. Tremendous fun, horribly opaque, and a bizarre ending that holds true to form. Tamysn Muir is for me one of the most satisfying authors I've read recently. Though, that's probably a shame for her because I apparently enjoy commercially unsuccessful things with limited mass appeal.

The Locked Tomb series is a resounding must read. I can't wait for more from Muir.

I was wondering about this book--thanks Wilshire!

Finished the Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson.  Supposedly the movie Frozen was supposed to be inspired by it.  I only saw Frozen 1 once and don't remember it very well but the Snow Queen did not seem to be related except that there was cold stuff and magic.

The Snow Queen was very fun and short.  Absolutely great bit about a cursed magic mirror.  C.S. Lewis definitely drew from her to get the White Witch.
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The Unholy Consult / Re: "Kellhus is dead, but not done."
« Last post by mrganondorf on March 18, 2021, 01:29:17 am »
@H - you had me at Deleuzian rhizomes! 

As for Khellus playing all ends, honestly I think: 1) he really did fail, however, 2) he had back up plans.

Failing via ignorance is just so Baker, if Khellus hasn’t, then a greater similar failure is on the way.

The situation Baker set up is so fun—Khellus lies about being a prophet but convinces the world by accidentally dying.  Now Mimara/son really is the propher(s) but their ability to elicit belief from the people is utterly fucked.  If anyone believes her at all, it will be because they think she is some sort of mini-prophet that is part of Khellus’ story.  It will be neat to see if she lies and tells people that Khellus was holy or if that is intolerable and she becomes an outcast at the end of the world.

Maybe that’s the angle Bakker is going for: Mimara will be executed by the mobs she could save if they would only listen to her.  Baker subverts Christ dying on the Cross for our sins in 2 ways: fake Christ (Khellus) dies but not for our sins and Mimara dies even though she could have saved us.

———

Tangent: What about the possibility of performing sorcery in hell?  Sorcery requires two voices, each securing the meaning of the other — Khellus lost his physical mouth but can still sing with 2 voices internally.  Not sure there is anything here, just wondering, it’s my adhd. 

——

As far as Khellus being motivated by love of Serwe, I still don’t think it’s a possibility, but I am reminded of this…when Sutadra dies, Mimara sees “the clear skin of heroism and sacrifice.  The white of devotion.  The GOLD of unconditional love.  The gleam of loyalty and long silence.  The high blue of indomitable strength.”
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The Unholy Consult / Re: "Kellhus is dead, but not done."
« Last post by mrganondorf on March 18, 2021, 01:06:37 am »
Yeah longer, the less believable ... however, it's a helluva viramsata all the same.  Bakker took 'what is the meaning of a deluded life' and spread it to every corner of Earwa/Eanna.  These people are going to be believe hard now.

It would be the strangest thing if we found out that Khellus (inadvertently) was sacrificed to save the world (if a world united by him posthumously finds a way to overcome mog).  Trying to fool everyone into believing you are Jesus and die and yet succeed.

Also, whatever Khellus' fate, as a liar, he was the Authentic Prophet of Ajokli.  Those gold haloes weren't in lieu of silver ones, they signified an alternative holiness--being blessed by the biggest demon.

What do you think H?

Extraordinary, I don't think this has been explained with such clarity and economy :)

Can't tell if you're messing with me TaoHorror.  It's good to see you here.  And SmilerLoki.  And Madness and Wilshire!

Even though Covid never kept me from the forum, there's been some tough times and I'm glad to communicate with some friendly people.

Hope y'all are hanging in there ok.
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General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« Last post by sciborg2 on March 18, 2021, 12:29:47 am »
Man's search for Meaning is def worth a read.

Bakker readers should be Frankl readers... it seems axiomatic ;).

The Bakker Appendix N would be an interesting list...

"We have a new type of rule now. Not one-man rule, or rule of aristocracy or plutocracy, but of small groups elevated to positions of absolute power by random pressures and subject to political and economic factors that leave little room for decision.

They are representatives of abstract forces, who have reached power through surrender of self. The iron-willed dictator is a thing of past.

There will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers.

The rulers of this most insecure of all worlds are rulers by accident. Inept, frightened pilots at the controls of a vast machine they cannot understand, calling in experts to tell them which buttons to push."

 -William S Burroughs

From today onward
May I be willing
To live with chaos and confusion
And that of all other sentient beings
May I be willing
To share our mutual confusion
And work incessantly and humbly
To help and elevate everyone without exception
-Tibetan Prayer

=-=-=

“Once, St. Teresa was amorously complaining to God in
prayer about her sufferings & trials. The Lord told her:

 “Teresa, so do I treat My friends!” conveying the purificatory character of suffering.

But Teresa answered boldly: “That’s why you have so few (friends)”

-Raimon Panikkar
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General Misc. / Re: What are you watching?
« Last post by sciborg2 on March 18, 2021, 12:23:22 am »
Been doing a binging of the Blacklist, which I leave in the background.

Frustrating in that there's a good show in the morass of seasons, a questionable lead actress, and other factors.

I can't recommend actually watching it with deep focus, but if you leave it in the background your mind might be able, as mine sort of has, utilize it for an excellent show vaguely in memory. It doesn't work perfectly because of some plot points are just too big and stupid but if you are just bored and want something playing while you work it might suffice...
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