So Kellhus "went mad?"

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Triskele

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« on: August 04, 2017, 04:15:25 am »
So are we now to take the "What has come before..." sections that say that Kellhus "went mad" quite literally?  That the creeping presence/voice of Ajokli made Kellhus a little less sane from the moment it found him and got worse the closer he got to the Ark?  Many had wondered how to interpret that statement.  Perhaps it had been "mad" from Moenghus' perspective, but now it seems more straight-forward?

Walter

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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2017, 04:28:52 am »
I think Ajokli was eating him up from the inside throughout the series.  His vision during the 'tend the field / who better to burn them' is the most obvious incident I can think of, but I also think we get a hint of it at the point where he speaks to Proyas after bringing him to the Ordeal.

He declines to lie to him, stating that if he did so he wouldn't know why he was doing it.  That seems to imply that he is having trouble accounting for his actions, and is trying to tamp down on this tendency.  It would make a lot of sense if Ajokli is getting more and more uppity the closer they get to the ultra Topos that will allow him to take over completely.

Hiro

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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2017, 11:00:49 am »
Yes. The question of Kellhus's sanity has been discussed at length, because it has been a lingering issue in the books. It turns out that he was going mad, i.e. he was being taken over.

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H

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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2017, 11:33:00 am »
Probably something akin to when Akka is telling Cnaiûr about how the soul is a pin-prick through existence:

Quote
Each man, he explained, was a kind of hole in existence, a point where the Outside penetrated the world. He tapped one of the beads with his finger. It broke, staining the surrounding parchment. When the trials of the world broke men, he explained, the Outside leaked into the world.
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

Woden

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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2017, 12:30:10 pm »
I was thinking something like that. When Kellhus heard the voices at the Circumfixion the leaking of the Outside increased for him.
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Madness

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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2017, 02:02:44 pm »
Lol.

Aw yeah! Sweet, sweet interpretative victory.
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themerchant

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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2017, 03:13:20 pm »
The funny thing is cnauir discounts that interpretation from akka, cause Kelhus contradicts it acts like there are no gaps.

The Sharmat

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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2017, 04:32:32 pm »
Madness is defined by schoolmen as the Outside leaking in. So I guess even though the voice is quite real, Kellhus is mad, since the voice comes from Outside. Or he had to go mad on the circumfix to be able to hear the voice.

Why does everything have to go in circles?

Duskweaver

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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2017, 06:58:31 pm »
Why does everything have to go in circles?
Ask Hofstadter.
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Wilshire

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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2018, 03:03:34 pm »
Probably something akin to when Akka is telling Cnaiûr about how the soul is a pin-prick through existence:

Quote
Each man, he explained, was a kind of hole in existence, a point where the Outside penetrated the world. He tapped one of the beads with his finger. It broke, staining the surrounding parchment. When the trials of the world broke men, he explained, the Outside leaked into the world.

Very poignant now, post TUC.
Literal outside leaking in - Ajokli - caused by an actual event - circumfixtion.
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BeardFisher-King

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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2018, 03:48:41 pm »
Probably something akin to when Akka is telling Cnaiûr about how the soul is a pin-prick through existence:

Quote
Each man, he explained, was a kind of hole in existence, a point where the Outside penetrated the world. He tapped one of the beads with his finger. It broke, staining the surrounding parchment. When the trials of the world broke men, he explained, the Outside leaked into the world.

Very poignant now, post TUC.
Literal outside leaking in - Ajokli - caused by an actual event - circumfixtion.
This thread has really helped me interpret TSA, as I shared Triskele's perplexity over the statements in the "WHCB" prologues concerning Kellhus' "madness". I have been stuck with my real-world view of madness as an inability to function or cope with everyday life (and committing the same error I've accused other readers of committing; namely, reading real-world conditions onto a fictional world). If I've got this right, going mad in Eärwa means being vulnerable to the Outside, which means being vulnerable to possession by the Gods.
"The heart of any other, because it has a will, would remain forever mysterious."

-from "Snow Falling On Cedars", by David Guterson

Wilshire

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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2018, 04:53:02 pm »
I think that's the interpretation implied here, yeah.

Now, it gets confusing, when you separately consider Moenghus and WHCB.
Do we know, or can we assume, that Moenghus was using this particular Earwan definition of madness? I don't think he was. I really do think Moenghus' attribution of mad was something closer to meaning Kellhus has fallen outside the scope of what a 'normal'/'functioning' Dunyain would do.
The WHCB sections are very strange in that we don't have a particular POV/Author to guess at credibility, intent, and/or meaning. It seems to make sense to use Akka's definition of madness to help interpret what is actually going on with Kellhus.

Do the two have to be mutually exclusive? Meaning, does one have to be right over the other?
To me, probably not. Moenghus had his son return to him from the wild gibbering on about hearing the voice of the No-God. Moenghus, at this point, would probably have a half way decent understanding of the No-God and the tekne to realize that this was a ridiculous notion - the NG doesn't speak to anyone as it is a thing without intellect (or something like that). He might not have had time to fully realize what exactly had caused this strangeness, he just knew that it was certainly not what he expected. That Kellhus was Akka-Mad - hearing Outside voices - doesn't preclude him from appear a more 'mundane' sort of mad to Moenghus.

Hmm, so maybe I've over complicated an explanation while still arriving at the same conclusion...
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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2018, 05:33:17 pm »
This thread has really helped me interpret TSA, as I shared Triskele's perplexity over the statements in the "WHCB" prologues concerning Kellhus' "madness". I have been stuck with my real-world view of madness as an inability to function or cope with everyday life (and committing the same error I've accused other readers of committing; namely, reading real-world conditions onto a fictional world). If I've got this right, going mad in Eärwa means being vulnerable to the Outside, which means being vulnerable to possession by the Gods.

Right, the prevailing idea would seem to be that madness is when the "Darkness" takes over more so than usual.  Now, that "Darkness" is actually ever-present and usually is a mix of the Outside and the simple cause and effect on the Inside.  When one's soul "opens" more though, it is influenced more by Outside and less by anything else and this is what it seems is termed "madness."
I am a warrior of ages, Anasurimbor. . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury. -Cet'ingira

BeardFisher-King

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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2018, 07:38:42 pm »
No, I really appreciate your expansion of the idea, Wilshire. Dunyain "madness" vs Eärwan "madness". Great analysis, imho.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 12:09:05 am by BeardFisher-King »
"The heart of any other, because it has a will, would remain forever mysterious."

-from "Snow Falling On Cedars", by David Guterson

MSJ

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« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2018, 10:34:39 pm »
Love, Esmenet was his only darkness..
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,