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General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« Last post by sciborg2 on December 30, 2021, 06:13:19 pm »
'The idea of ... empathy is an intellectual interpretation of the primary experience in which there is no room for any sort of dichotomy.'
 - Daisetsu T. Suzuki

"The way we see the world shapes the way we treat it. If a mountain is a deity, not a pile of ore; if a river is one of the veins of the land, not potential irrigation water; if a forest is a sacred grove, not timber; if other species are biological kin, not resources; or if the planet is our mother, not an opportunity -- then we will treat each other with greater respect. Thus is the challenge, to look at the world from a different perspective."

~ D Suzuki
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by The P on December 14, 2021, 08:04:41 pm »
Howling Dark by Christopher Ruocchio (21)

This series continues to be good.  The Dune influence, which were pretty pronounced early in book one, are very much in the background here.  The series is doing more to stand on its own in the second book (not that I consider the first derivative), though I suspect further influences from Wolfe's Book of the New Sun, Russell's The Sparrow, and Reynolds's Revelation Space.  But it is very much its own story, however many inspirations it pulls from.  From the very start of this second book, the plot goes in unanticipated directions and keeps going to interesting places throughout, with a completely wild ending.

If I have a complaint, it's that the narrator often brings up some deep thought, introspection, or philosophy; but those ideas or themes are taken in the moment and not developed or elaborated much beyond their introduction.  Leaving that out keeps the story moving at a good clip, but keeps it on the near side of being a thinky, meaty read worth revisiting.  Nonetheless, I'm enjoying it and look forward to the next.
The Unholy Consult / Re: Rereading again, new insights again
« Last post by Wilshire on December 13, 2021, 03:41:47 pm »
One of the best things about TSA is the foreshadowing. Whether intentional or not by Bakker, its these little moments, like those you highlighted, that make the entire series feel like it was fully developed prior to being written. There are discontinuities and/or reversals that prove this isn't the case, but at the very least many specific events past/future are linked together beautifully.

Saubon selling his soul to be king for a day is fantastic, especially because its so literal. He is hardly a sovereign King for more than a few days before becoming part of Kellhus' Empire, and he does end up damned (though this is a fate that basically everyone shares). Fantastic stuff like this is what makes the series worth reading and rereading, over and over.
The Unholy Consult / Re: Rereading again, new insights again
« Last post by Monkhound on December 13, 2021, 10:17:40 am »
I'm not a slow reader but still it took a while to get through TWP again due to life getting in the way  :)

Chapter 6 had some funky references during the Battle of Mengedda:
Quote from: Chapter 6
Now the wind came from the east, and men swore they could smell the sea.
Mengedda being quite far inland, it gave me a flashbacks to the Battle of Dagliash, though that could be because of the "Saubon dying" passage in the same chapter.

Quote from: Chapter 6
And when the day is done,
In our eyes the Gods shall lurk!
These two lines of the chant that the Inrithi sing during the battle struck me as a weird parallel to the "What do you see?" passages that we get from Akka's dreams by the thousands of sranc. The parallel being "After we have killed, the (No-)God will be able to see what we have done (and reward us?)".

Another passage that especially struck me was the one in chapter 17. where Kellhus finally breaks Esmenet, using a repetition of words that we encounter later in TGO in the passage of Koringhus's "cuts and cuts and cuts" revelation:
Quote from: Chapter 17,  The words in bold are mine
"You break and remake, cut and cut and cut, all so you might answer in you conqueror's tongue!"
"And you tell yourself", Kellhus continued, "'These tracks I will not follow!', Perhaps you refuse certain perversity. You pretend to scruple, to discriminate, though the world has forced you onto trackless ground."
"'What love lies beyond sacrifice?'"

Though worded slightly different, I encountered the same explanation a few chapters later, when Cnaïur finally understands how Moënghus and Kellhus have controlled him all along:
Quote from: Chapter 24,  The words in bold are mine
He was bound to the Dûnyain as the Dûnyain was bound to Serwë's corpse - bound by the cutting ropes of an unconquerable hate.
Any shame. Any indignity. He would bear any injury, commit any atrocity, to whet his vengeance. He would see the whole world burn before he would surrender his hate. Hate!
Hatred, and hatred alone, had kept him sane.
Just like Esmenet, Cnaiür has been chipping/ cutting away at himself to fit his view on the world, and to soothe his own mind. In the case of Cnaiür, these cuts seem to be both physical and mental, with him scarring himself with his swazond to pove the point of his hatred... Which in turn gives an extra dimension to Mimara's Judging Eye vision about him later in TGO. I'm currently under the impression that, especially given how we see Kellhus's deduction at work, the Dûyain see the cuts that people made in reverse, since we get a similar deduction described again when Koringhus has his Zero-God revelation.

With the knowledge of the description of Saubon's death in TGO, there is the fun passage in TWP where he calls for his own damnation:
Quote from: Chapter
[Saubon:] "Then fie on it! Fie on the truth!"
[Kellhus:] "And what of your immortal soul?"
"Then let it be damned!" he roared, leaping to his feet. "I embrace it - embace it all! Damnation in this life! Damnation in all others! Torment heaped upon torment! I would bear all to be King for a day! I would see you broken and blooded if that meant I could own this throne! I would see the God's own eyes plucked out!

Finally, chapter 23 has the passage where Kellhus has his revelation:
Quote from: Chapter 23
And upon it two silhouettes, black against clouds of stars, impossibly bright.
The figure of a man seated, shoulders crouched like an ape, legs crossed like a priest.
I remember a similar passage (in TGO, I think? Or maybe in TWLW) where Kellhus encounters people with animal features. Did we get an explanation about that somewhere, or is it simply his madness that is leaking through?

I know there are supposed to be parallels between TPN and TAE, and I'm still amazed at how Bakker pulled it off  ;D.

Going to pick up TTT again next of course, and I'll share the things that stood out to me, with the knowledge of how TAE ends.
General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« Last post by sciborg2 on November 12, 2021, 07:51:28 am »
"Let them not be another's servant, who can be their own masters"

"For heaven is man, and man is heaven, and all men are one heaven, and heaven 
only one man."
 – Paracelsus
General Misc. / Re: Quotes
« Last post by sciborg2 on November 09, 2021, 01:43:14 am »
‘Man is a stream whose source is hidden. Always our being is descending into us from we know not whence.’
 -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“we are continually overflowing toward those who preceded us, toward our origin, and toward those who seemingly come after us. ... It is our task to imprint this temporary, perishable earth into ourselves so deeply, so painfully and passionately, that its essence can rise again “invisibly,” inside us. We are the bees of the invisible. We wildly collect the honey of the visible, to store it in the great golden hive of the invisible.”

―Rainer Maria Rilke

"Paradoxically, the ability to be alone is the condition for the ability to love."
 -Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving

"Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving."
  -bell hooks
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by Wilshire on November 03, 2021, 12:56:16 pm »
Well I'm glad that one worked out for you. Those are some interesting comparisons, and I'll try to remember it later when I'm looking for a book. I've been struggling to finish a Peter F Hamilton book, which is a space opera that started out fun but has really dragged towards the end. Empire of Silence might be something I read in the future to make up for it.
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2021
« Last post by The P on November 02, 2021, 01:07:20 pm »
Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio (20)

I really liked this one.  It has some very heavy Dune-inspired world/galaxy building.  Other people say it's like the Kingkiller Chronicle in space.  I haven't read that one, but it has similarities from what I know. It's basically a dude recounting his life and how he got to where he is (infamous, maybe incarcerated, for doing a big bad thing).  There are nice bits of flavor like "everyone tells the story this way, but this is what really happened," or "I didn't know it at the time, but the guy next to me was so-and-so that you know as having done such-and-such."  They aren't frequent, but I like that it reminds you of the frame and that we know where the story is going.
It's good, highly recommend.  Best space epic I've read in a long time (i.e. I like it better than the Expanse).
The Unholy Consult / Re: Do Dragons descended from Wutteat Comprehend Paradox?
« Last post by Wilshire on October 18, 2021, 04:49:45 pm »
I actually don't think I ever really thought about the Inchoroi bringing out old weapons race from previous planets and unleashing them on Earwa. So when Wutteat talked about traveling through the void I just assumed that meant they found him out there and let him tag along for some reason.

However with that now under consideration, it seems more likely he was created - just a much older creation than anything else they unleased on Earwa.
The Unholy Consult / Re: Do Dragons descended from Wutteat Comprehend Paradox?
« Last post by H on October 15, 2021, 08:34:25 pm »
Yeah, I mean it's ambiguous.  In fact, I think I want to revise my position.  It probably makes a bit more sense to me now if Wutteät is another Ark-made thing.  Post-Fall though they don't have Ark to guide the development and can only work from the existing Wutteät pattern.  I'd still guess Wracu have souls though, even as derivative as likely they are.
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