Rereading again, new insights again

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Monkhound

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« on: September 02, 2021, 07:41:03 am »
It's been a while since I visited here, but you know... You reread PON for the so-manyeth time and you're inexorably drawn back to this Place, since everytime there are new insights, and new things that stand out. This time is the first one since finishing TUC a few years back though. A passage in Chapter 12 related to Cnaiür remembering his youth after capturing Kellhus, struck me as interesting:

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The revelation was as breathtaking as it was heartbreaking. Once, when Cnaüir was a child, a whirlwind had roared through the Utemot encampment, its shoulders in the clouds, yaksh, cattle, and lives swirling like skirts about its feet. He had watched it from a distance, wailing, clutching his father’s rigid waist. Then it had vanished, like sand settling in water. He could remember his father running through the hail to assist his kinsmen. He could remember beginning to follow, then stumbling to a halt, transfixed by the vista before him as though the scale of the transformation had dwarfed his eyes’ ability to believe. The great rambling web of tracks, pens, and yaksh had been utterly rewritten, as though some mountain-tall child had drawn sweeping circles with a stick. Horror had replaced familiarity, but order had replaced order.

Like the whirlwind, his revelation regarding Moenghus had blasted a different, far more horrifying order from what he had known. Triumph became degradation. Pride became remorse.

The passage continues referring to the whole whirlwind theme that fits Cnaiür's fear (PON) and vengeance (TUC). This is especially awesome when you keep in mind that Bakker mentioned Cnaiür walking into the whirlwind at the end being THE image he had in mind all along for the end of the series (Can't find that specific quote anymore though  :-\).

Another thing that I found interesting, were the similarities and continuity between PON Chapter 17 and the whole chapter 14 of TGO, where the Survivor has his insights (the "Cuts and cuts and cuts" chapter): It's the chapter where you have both the whole showdown between the great names and the emperor, the unmasking of Skeaös, and Kellhus's intruction by the pragma. Ever since reading it, I've been of a mind that the TGO chapter was key for understanding some major elements of the book. But together with the PON chapter, I think it explains exactly what has been going through Kellhus's mind ever since he was hung from the tree in Caraskand (so in TWP). It's still heavy stuff; I'm still trying to decipher it and share what I get, but I'll get to that when I reach the passages during the reread of the series ^^.
Cuts and cuts and cuts...

Wilshire

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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2021, 12:19:14 pm »
I have always found rereads rewarding for TSA, especially going back through the whole series once a new book was released. I admit that I haven't done this post-TUC though. After  X many reads it feels like there shouldn't be anything left... obviously this isn't the case though! What comes after determines what comes before.

I don't have a great memory so connections between books has always been somewhat fleeting to me unless I'm coming down from a reread. I'll have to take a look through the two chapters you've mentioned there and see what there is to see.

As always, thanks for posting! Its been quite around here for a while, but there are still those of us lurking. Share with us, the silent audience, your revelations as they come ;)
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2021, 03:52:57 pm »
Another thing that I found interesting, were the similarities and continuity between PON Chapter 17 and the whole chapter 14 of TGO, where the Survivor has his insights (the "Cuts and cuts and cuts" chapter): It's the chapter where you have both the whole showdown between the great names and the emperor, the unmasking of Skeaös, and Kellhus's intruction by the pragma. Ever since reading it, I've been of a mind that the TGO chapter was key for understanding some major elements of the book. But together with the PON chapter, I think it explains exactly what has been going through Kellhus's mind ever since he was hung from the tree in Caraskand (so in TWP). It's still heavy stuff; I'm still trying to decipher it and share what I get, but I'll get to that when I reach the passages during the reread of the series ^^.

Yeah, I had, for a pretty long time, figured that Korginghus was "right" in his framing of the Absolute.  That is, in thinking of the Absolute not as a generative, "positive" accumulation of Being, but rather as a notionally negative Abolsute of loss.  I still think he is "more right" than anyone else (perhaps minus Mimara, but that is another issue really) but he probably misses something in his sort of Kierkegaardian frame.

From Todd McGowan:
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The substantial Other in the case of Kierkegaard is more subtle. In many ways, Kierkegaard, despite his rabid opposition to Hegel, formulates a very Hegelian philosophy that identifies dialectical moments in the structure of belief. But Kierkegaard refuses Hegel’s interpretation of Christ’s death. For Kierkegaard, God remains utterly distinct from the world of finitude. The humiliation of Christ in the finite world does not manifest God’s descent or desubstantialization. This is an impossibility that would eliminate the infinite distance that separates the subject from God, but it becomes everyday theology in the Christendom that Kierkegaard excoriates. This infinite distance is correlative to the subject’s freedom. Kierkegaard poses it in opposition to Hegelian absolute knowing as the emblem of freedom.

The subject’s freedom, for Kierkegaard, depends on an absence of knowledge about God, who thus acquires a substantial status. Despite God’s appearance in the finite form of Christ, Kierkegaard’s God is not subjectivized. Kierkegaard’s critique of Hegel focuses on how the latter fails to grasp his own inability, as a finite subject, to know God. We can have access to God, but this access is only indirect, which is why Christianity requires the leap of faith on the part of the subject. Unlike Hegel, Kierkegaard gives the subject a task—accomplish the leap and become an authentic Christian—but the cost of this task is prohibitive.

And further:
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The fundamentals of the critique originate with Søren Kierkegaard, who mounts it soon after Hegel’s death. For Kierkegaard, the problem with the whole is double: it is always only an illusory totality, a conceptual whole that fails to capture the actuality of the particulars, but the very attempt to conceptualize the whole has the effect of violently altering the status of the particulars. For critics of Hegel like Kierkegaard, the conceptual inadequacy of the whole augments rather than mitigates its violence. The thought of all particulars in light of their relationship to the whole distorts their particularity by framing it in terms of an illusion—the totality—and does not do them justice. The whole can never become whole enough to include the variegations of multiplicity that constantly escape it.
(Bolding added by me.)

Now, granted, I do take a sort of Hegelian Absolute (i.e. that contradiction is inextricable and is constitutive) to generally be the case, so where Koringhus does make some fair points, I think ultimately he does fail in some regard.  But he, I think, does give us something to think about in regards to just what we should even consider the Absolute to even possibly be.  That, of course, is situated very much astride what Kellhus' (and the rest of the Dûnyain) consider as the "achievable" Absolute.  There is a lot more here though, how the Kellhus/Dûnyain program adheres very much to a Logocentric idea, where I think Koringhus well and abandons that sort of thought.

In any case, I have likely rambled on enough with tangential nonsense at this point.
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