Author Topic: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?  (Read 455261 times)

Cain

  • Alea iacta est
  • Chekha
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 105309
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2775 on: August 22, 2016, 09:20:59 am »
I'm allllllmost done reading Lewis Hyde's Trickster Makes This World. I did a quick forum search, and I see a reference to this work by Cain. I thought maybe I'd seen a reference to the book here and that's why I picked it up, but it must have been elsewhere.

All I can say is that I wish I had read this book years ago. Not only is its prose beautiful, many of it's themes reinforce my understanding of Discordianism.

...the loser is that person who chooses a single side of a contradiction. The sign of such singlemindedness is contradiction without humor rather that contradiction with a smile. Here it may help to resurrect the old meaning of "humor": the word once referred to fluids (this the bodily "humors") and comes ultimately from a Latin root (umor) having to do with moisture, liquid, dampness. To treat ambivalence with humor is to keep it loose; humor oils the joint where contradictions meet. If humor evaporates, then ambiguity becomes polarized and conflict follows.

Absolutely stellar. Recommended reading for all. My closest friends will probably be getting a copy of this book from me for Christmas this year.

It's a great book.  I think it was actually part of the recommended reading by R U Sirius on his Maybe Logic course on pranks and hoaxes throughout history

Cain

  • Alea iacta est
  • Chekha
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 105309
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2776 on: August 22, 2016, 09:22:10 am »
I got the book a month ago, but I'm digging into R Scott Bakker's The Great Ordeal in earnest now.

As always, Bakker treads the line between "absurdly overwrought" and "lovingly crafted" writing. I can see a lot of people getting into this series and wanting to smash Bakker's keyboard. I'm a fan.

I need to get the Kindle version.  I have the hardback, but since I read all the others on the Kindle, it feels...wrong.  I can't highlight things or compare notes easily.

That said, eating Sranc was a fucking terrible idea.

Cain

  • Alea iacta est
  • Chekha
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 105309
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2777 on: August 22, 2016, 09:24:18 am »
I don't know what to read now. I still have five weeks and I feel like I should be using it to read things that are 100% unrelated to science and academia during this brief window when I CAN. But what would those things even be?

I recommend The Black Company series by Glen Cook.

To everyone.  All the time.

Until they beg me to stop.

Pure entertainment though, in contrast to much of the... heavier stuff ITT.

If you like The Black Company, you really need to give The Malazan Books of the Fallen a read.  Though it does get somewhat heavy in places (Midnight Tides was clearly penned in the lead up to the Iraq War, and it really shows, and Toll the Hounds is about as depressing a book as you can get)

Cain

  • Alea iacta est
  • Chekha
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 105309
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2778 on: August 22, 2016, 10:27:29 pm »
I've been re-reading Joe Abercrombie's First Law trilogy and the First Law world novels.

My personal favourite is without a doubt Best Served Cold, but perhaps his overall best is Red Country.  After deconstructing staple fantasy tropes in some very brutal ways for the previous few books, he finally starts deconstructing his own work.  Nicomo Cosca's mask, as an affable if somewhat unscrupulous and completely untrustworthy mercenary finally falls away to reveal what should've been obvious from the very start - that Cosca is a man who would trample over an army of corpses to make money, so long as those corpses were in no position to fight back in the first place.  The Company of the Gracious Hand make the Thousand Swords look like a well behaved, professional outfit by comparison.

A lot of the story seems to be about the tales people tell themselves to justify their own cruelty.  Papa Ring thinks his cruelty and violence is justified because he always keeps his word.  He may employ a small army of thugs, killers and child-snatchers, may use threats against loved ones to make someone throw a bout, but he keeps his word.  Cosca, by contrast, thinks because he acts like he's above it all, and that he is upfront about his dishonesty, treachery and lust for coin, that makes him superior than the "hypocrites" within the Inquisition.  The Dragon People justify their kidnapping on driving out the outlanders and defending their "way of life" (which mostly seems to revolve around kidnapping and brainwashing children in preparation to wage war against the outlanders).

But Best Served Cold...ah, a tale of revenge and betrayal and how, once you start killing people, it's hard to keep it to a set number. 

Quote
‘Revenge. If you could even get it, what good would it do you? All this expenditure of effort, pain, treasure, blood, for what? Who is ever left better off for it?’  His sad eyes watched her slowly stand. ‘Not the avenged dead, certainly. They rot on, regardless. Not those who are avenged upon, of course. Corpses all. And what of the ones who take vengeance, what of them? Do they sleep easier, do you suppose, once they have heaped murder on murder? Sown the bloody seeds of a hundred other retributions?’ She circled around, trying to think of some trick to kill him with. ‘All those dead men at that bank in Westport, that was your righteous work, I suppose? And the carnage at Cardotti’s, a fair and proportionate reply?’
‘What had to be done!’
‘Ah, what had to be done. The favourite excuse of unexamined evil echoes down the ages and slobbers from your twisted mouth.’  He danced at her, their swords rang together, once, twice. He jabbed, she parried and jabbed back. Each contact sent a jolt of pain up her arm. She ground her teeth together, forced the scowl to stay on her face, but there was no disguising how much it hurt her, or how clumsy she was with it. If she’d had small chances with her left, she had none at all with her right, and he knew it already.
‘Why the Fates chose you for saving I will never guess, but you should have thanked it kindly and slunk away into obscurity. Let us not pretend you and your brother did not deserve precisely what you received.’
‘Fuck yourself! I didn’t deserve that!’ But even as she said it, she had to wonder. ‘My brother didn’t!’
Ganmark snorted. ‘No one is quicker to forgive a handsome man than I, but your brother was a vindictive coward. A charming, greedy, ruthless, spineless parasite. A man of the very lowest character imaginable. The only thing that lifted him from utter worthlessness, and utter inconsequence, was you.’ He sprang at her with lethal speed and she reeled away, fell against a cherry tree with a grunt and stumbled back through the shower of white blossom. He could surely have spitted her but he stayed still as a statue, sword at the ready, smiling faintly as he watched her thrash her way clear.
‘And let us face the facts, General Murcatto. You, for all your undeniable talents, have hardly been a paragon of virtue. Why, there must be a hundred thousand people with just reasons to fling your hated carcass from that terrace!’
‘Not Orso. Not him!’ She came low, jabbing sloppily at his hips, wincing as he flicked her sword aside and jarred the grip in her twisted palm.
‘If that’s a joke, it’s not a funny one. Quibble with the judge, when the sentence is self-evidently more than righteous?’ He placed his feet with all the watchful care of an artist applying paint to a canvas, steering her back onto the cobbles. ‘How many deaths have you had a hand in? How much destruction? You are a bandit! A glorified profiteer! You are a maggot grown fat on the rotting corpse of Styria!’

That said, Monza, like Glotka, like Caul Shivers, like Logen Ninefingers (when he's not caught up in the battle frenzy) and like a few other characters, isn't anywhere near as dark as she makes out, or her reputation suggests:

Quote
You could forget about revenge. You could compromise. You could . . . be merciful.’
‘Mercy and cowardice are the same,’ she growled, narrow eyes fixed on the black gate at the far end of the blasted gardens.
Cosca gave a sad smile. ‘Are they indeed?’
‘Conscience is an excuse not to do what needs doing.’
‘I see.’
‘No use weeping about it. That’s how the world is.’
‘Ah.’
‘The good get nothing extra. When they die they turn to shit like the rest of us. You have to keep your eyes ahead, always ahead, fight one battle at a time. You can’t hesitate, no matter the costs, no matter the—’
‘Do you know why I always loved you, Monza?’
‘Eh?’ Her eyes flickered to him, surprised.
‘Even after you betrayed me? More, after you betrayed me?’ Cosca leaned slowly towards her. ‘Because I know you don’t really believe any of that rubbish. Those are the lies you tell yourself so you can live with what you’ve done. What you’ve had to do.’
There was a long pause. Then she swallowed as though she was about to puke. ‘You always said I had a devil in me.’
‘Did I? Well, so do we all.’ He waved a hand. ‘You’re no saint, that much we know. A child of a bloody time. But you’re nothing like as dark as you make out.’
‘No?’
‘I pretend to care for the men, but in truth I don’t give a damn whether they live or die. You always did care, but you pretend not to give a damn. I never saw you waste one man’s life. And yet they like me better. Hah. There’s justice. You always did the right thing by me, Monza. Even when you betrayed me, it was better than I deserved. I’ve never forgotten that time in Muris, after the siege, when you wouldn’t let the slavers have those children. Everyone wanted to take the money. I did. Faithful did. Even Benna. Especially Benna. But not you.’
‘Only gave you a scratch,’ she muttered.
‘Don’t be modest, you were ready to kill me. These are ruthless times we live in, and in ruthless times, mercy and cowardice are entire opposites. We all turn to shit when we die, Monza, but not all of us are shit while we’re alive. Most of us are.’ His eyes rolled to heaven. ‘God knows I am. But you never were.’

Q. G. Pennyworth

  • Slimy Thing Who
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 83211
  • QUEEN BITCH OF FLYERS
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2779 on: August 22, 2016, 10:53:28 pm »
We got the kids The Time Traveller's Almanac (a short story anthology) and I've been digging through it bit by bit. The following from Adrian Tchaikovsky's "The Mouse Ran Down" stuck out as very relevant:
Quote
There had indeed been a war. Did we win? The question has no meaning. It was a cold war. Nobody was actually fighting, because that would have been boorish and uneconomic. Instead, competing commercial and ideological interests -- one of them ours -- were spinning the wheels frantically behind the scenes to find a way to beat the others without ever having to fight.
You heard about all sorts, from those who remembered those lost, last years. There were gene bombs and attack memes. There were viral ideas gone feral, adverse mental programming on a vast scale. You didn't know what to believe, they said, and even when you did, you didn't trust your own faith because someone might have slipped it into your drink. It was a strange war. It killed ideas but left people standing. Every day our society was written and rewritten.
Overheating Pheremone Pustule of Last Saturday's Jiggle Fun| _xgeWireToEvent: Unknown extension 131, this should never happen.

Don't fucking judge me, I've got tentacles for a face.

Freeky

  • Can't breathe anymore.
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 187814
  • wat
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2780 on: August 22, 2016, 11:40:06 pm »
I don't know what to read now. I still have five weeks and I feel like I should be using it to read things that are 100% unrelated to science and academia during this brief window when I CAN. But what would those things even be?

I recommend The Black Company series by Glen Cook.

To everyone.  All the time.

Until they beg me to stop.

Pure entertainment though, in contrast to much of the... heavier stuff ITT.

I've got the first three compilation books of that series.  I concur, it is good, but there is some depressing/weird/fucked up shit in it, but then it is the chronicles of a mercenary outfit so...
If someone does the “Fine, you’re right, I’m clearly a terrible person, I’m Satan, I’m the worst person alive, I should just die” thing in response to criticism of their harmful behavior, they are trying to manipulate people and flip the situation around so that they look like a victim.

As a neuroscientist I have to disagree with the perception that anyone is doing mathematical modeling of cognitive intelligence, yet; intelligence as an economist defines it, yes, but economists are worlds away from actual cognition.


Although it is outside the purview of this organization to offer personal advice, we can say -- without assuming any liability -- that previous experience indicates (and recent market studies corroborate) that given the present condition of the marketplace, continuing with your present course of action is likely to result in substantial in

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

  • v=1/3πr2h
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 687093
  • The sky tastes like red exuberance.
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2781 on: August 23, 2016, 03:16:59 am »
I don't know what to read now. I still have five weeks and I feel like I should be using it to read things that are 100% unrelated to science and academia during this brief window when I CAN. But what would those things even be?

I recommend The Black Company series by Glen Cook.

To everyone.  All the time.

Until they beg me to stop.

Pure entertainment though, in contrast to much of the... heavier stuff ITT.

I'll give it an eyeball!

I feel like I should stop buying books and start reading some of the piles I have backed up around here, but...
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Cainad (dec.)

  • Houseplant Supreme
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 93295
  • The Emperor's Hairy Right Hand
    • View Profile
    • Internet Forum Safari
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2782 on: August 25, 2016, 04:52:42 am »
I got the book a month ago, but I'm digging into R Scott Bakker's The Great Ordeal in earnest now.

As always, Bakker treads the line between "absurdly overwrought" and "lovingly crafted" writing. I can see a lot of people getting into this series and wanting to smash Bakker's keyboard. I'm a fan.

I need to get the Kindle version.  I have the hardback, but since I read all the others on the Kindle, it feels...wrong.  I can't highlight things or compare notes easily.

That said, eating Sranc was a fucking terrible idea.

 :horrormirth:

I am formulating hypotheses. In a world where morality is physics, none of these hypotheses work out well for our heroes.

Cain

  • Alea iacta est
  • Chekha
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 105309
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2783 on: August 25, 2016, 12:56:05 pm »
Well, at least Sorweel should come out of things OK.  Unless he literally runs into the No-God or goes on to kill Kelhus, that boy's unstoppable.

Or, if the theories are correct at least, he runs into Kelmonas.  The fan theory is that Kel's a narindar of Ajokli, and thus stands outside the sight of the gods, including Yatwer and her White Luck Warrior.  He sacrified that beetle as an offering, a murder done for no other reason than "because". 

Ajokli is the god of tricksters, thieves and assassins...a description that fits Kel to a t.  I also wonder if Ajokli can see the No-God and Consult..."He only seems such [the Fool] because he sees what the others do not see... What you do not see ... The blindness of the sighted".  Which also makes me wonder if there is a link between Ajokli and the Solitary God of the Cishaurim...the reference to the blindness of the sighted, the fact that the Psukhe is undetectable by other magi and even unknown to the Consult, and that the Cishaurim wage war against the followers of the Tusk.  Ajokli, via the nameless narindar in the White Luck Warrior notes that his cult alone is persecuted by the Tusk. 

I'm also somewhat amused by the many parallels one can draw between Ajokli, narindar and our favourite inscrutable trickster god, the Anticipation of Mephala himself, Vivec.  Narindar are holy assassins the gods send, but narindar of Ajokli are ritual assassins for whom the act is holy, and are asked to kill without reference to their own cares.  Of course, Vivec is the Tribunal replacement for Mephala, whom the Morag Tong assassins (and maybe the Dark Brotherhood, if the Night Mother is Mephala.  Of course, one reading of the 36 sermons suggests Vivec is in fact the Night Mother).  Assassins remove the act of emotion from murder, which in turn makes it an act of destruction...and destruction is another form of creation.  Murder and enlightenment, combined.

Incidentally, narindar = narinder = narendra = "lord of men" in Sanskrit.  Just putting that out there. 
« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 12:59:30 pm by Cain »

Freeky

  • Can't breathe anymore.
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 187814
  • wat
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2784 on: August 25, 2016, 11:11:38 pm »
Daedric Princes are fucking weird, man.
If someone does the “Fine, you’re right, I’m clearly a terrible person, I’m Satan, I’m the worst person alive, I should just die” thing in response to criticism of their harmful behavior, they are trying to manipulate people and flip the situation around so that they look like a victim.

As a neuroscientist I have to disagree with the perception that anyone is doing mathematical modeling of cognitive intelligence, yet; intelligence as an economist defines it, yes, but economists are worlds away from actual cognition.


Although it is outside the purview of this organization to offer personal advice, we can say -- without assuming any liability -- that previous experience indicates (and recent market studies corroborate) that given the present condition of the marketplace, continuing with your present course of action is likely to result in substantial in

Cainad (dec.)

  • Houseplant Supreme
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 93295
  • The Emperor's Hairy Right Hand
    • View Profile
    • Internet Forum Safari
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2785 on: August 26, 2016, 11:00:00 pm »
Well, at least Sorweel should come out of things OK.  Unless he literally runs into the No-God or goes on to kill Kelhus, that boy's unstoppable.

Or, if the theories are correct at least, he runs into Kelmonas.  The fan theory is that Kel's a narindar of Ajokli, and thus stands outside the sight of the gods, including Yatwer and her White Luck Warrior.  He sacrified that beetle as an offering, a murder done for no other reason than "because". 

Ajokli is the god of tricksters, thieves and assassins...a description that fits Kel to a t.  I also wonder if Ajokli can see the No-God and Consult..."He only seems such [the Fool] because he sees what the others do not see... What you do not see ... The blindness of the sighted".  Which also makes me wonder if there is a link between Ajokli and the Solitary God of the Cishaurim...the reference to the blindness of the sighted, the fact that the Psukhe is undetectable by other magi and even unknown to the Consult, and that the Cishaurim wage war against the followers of the Tusk.  Ajokli, via the nameless narindar in the White Luck Warrior notes that his cult alone is persecuted by the Tusk. 

I'm also somewhat amused by the many parallels one can draw between Ajokli, narindar and our favourite inscrutable trickster god, the Anticipation of Mephala himself, Vivec.  Narindar are holy assassins the gods send, but narindar of Ajokli are ritual assassins for whom the act is holy, and are asked to kill without reference to their own cares.  Of course, Vivec is the Tribunal replacement for Mephala, whom the Morag Tong assassins (and maybe the Dark Brotherhood, if the Night Mother is Mephala.  Of course, one reading of the 36 sermons suggests Vivec is in fact the Night Mother).  Assassins remove the act of emotion from murder, which in turn makes it an act of destruction...and destruction is another form of creation.  Murder and enlightenment, combined.

Incidentally, narindar = narinder = narendra = "lord of men" in Sanskrit.  Just putting that out there.

Now THERE'S some food for fucking thought.

The themes of sight and blindness are rampant in this series and especially in this trilogy. Khellus's children are constantly described as having inherited their father's sight to varying degrees. One of them had to be chained up because he could see deeply but lacked the dispassionate conditioning. Minor spoiler: Serwa in The Great Ordeal makes a statement to the effect of "light is our birthright."

The entire Dunyain philosophy revolves around the eponymous Darkness that comes before, and the Logos is the way to be able to "see" the origin of one's own thoughts. Plus, the Probablity Trance.

The Few have their own form of sight, and Mimara's Judging Eye represents a kind of sight that perhaps no other living person possesses, except perhaps Khellus during the Circumfixion. What little we know about Cishaurim sorcery revolves around themes of sight and blindness.

Then there was that guy in the cave, with the heart.

The various asides about how the Nonmen perceive the world comes to mind as well: they can't "see" two-dimensional images, so they sculpt. I forget if it was a character or in one of the pre-chapter quotes, but it's stated that Men fear and hate the darkness because it is ignorance made visible, while the Nonmen see it as holy.

The No-God is, apparently, invisible to Heaven. And, it seems, somehow invisible to itself ("WHAT DO YOU SEE?")

I don't have a real thesis here, but it will surprise me greatly if the conclusion of this series is not somehow related to sight and blindness.

LuciferX

  • Metanoia
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 28773
  • fripping moncrey!
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2786 on: August 27, 2016, 10:03:55 pm »
Well, at least Sorweel should come out of things OK.  Unless he literally runs into the No-God or goes on to kill Kelhus, that boy's unstoppable.

Or, if the theories are correct at least, he runs into Kelmonas.  The fan theory is that Kel's a narindar of Ajokli, and thus stands outside the sight of the gods, including Yatwer and her White Luck Warrior.  He sacrified that beetle as an offering, a murder done for no other reason than "because". 

Ajokli is the god of tricksters, thieves and assassins...a description that fits Kel to a t.  I also wonder if Ajokli can see the No-God and Consult..."He only seems such [the Fool] because he sees what the others do not see... What you do not see ... The blindness of the sighted".  Which also makes me wonder if there is a link between Ajokli and the Solitary God of the Cishaurim...the reference to the blindness of the sighted, the fact that the Psukhe is undetectable by other magi and even unknown to the Consult, and that the Cishaurim wage war against the followers of the Tusk.  Ajokli, via the nameless narindar in the White Luck Warrior notes that his cult alone is persecuted by the Tusk. 

I'm also somewhat amused by the many parallels one can draw between Ajokli, narindar and our favourite inscrutable trickster god, the Anticipation of Mephala himself, Vivec.  Narindar are holy assassins the gods send, but narindar of Ajokli are ritual assassins for whom the act is holy, and are asked to kill without reference to their own cares.  Of course, Vivec is the Tribunal replacement for Mephala, whom the Morag Tong assassins (and maybe the Dark Brotherhood, if the Night Mother is Mephala.  Of course, one reading of the 36 sermons suggests Vivec is in fact the Night Mother).  Assassins remove the act of emotion from murder, which in turn makes it an act of destruction...and destruction is another form of creation.  Murder and enlightenment, combined.

Incidentally, narindar = narinder = narendra = "lord of men" in Sanskrit.  Just putting that out there.

Now THERE'S some food for fucking thought.

The themes of sight and blindness are rampant in this series and especially in this trilogy. Khellus's children are constantly described as having inherited their father's sight to varying degrees. One of them had to be chained up because he could see deeply but lacked the dispassionate conditioning. Minor spoiler: Serwa in The Great Ordeal makes a statement to the effect of "light is our birthright."

The entire Dunyain philosophy revolves around the eponymous Darkness that comes before, and the Logos is the way to be able to "see" the origin of one's own thoughts. Plus, the Probablity Trance.

The Few have their own form of sight, and Mimara's Judging Eye represents a kind of sight that perhaps no other living person possesses, except perhaps Khellus during the Circumfixion. What little we know about Cishaurim sorcery revolves around themes of sight and blindness.

Then there was that guy in the cave, with the heart.

The various asides about how the Nonmen perceive the world comes to mind as well: they can't "see" two-dimensional images, so they sculpt. I forget if it was a character or in one of the pre-chapter quotes, but it's stated that Men fear and hate the darkness because it is ignorance made visible, while the Nonmen see it as holy.

The No-God is, apparently, invisible to Heaven. And, it seems, somehow invisible to itself ("WHAT DO YOU SEE?")

I don't have a real thesis here, but it will surprise me greatly if the conclusion of this series is not somehow related to sight and blindness.

Lacking all context for the above, let me miopically state how awesome that sounds. :lulz:  "circumfixion" :lulz:
Hic Salta?
________
Constant Eso-Opthamologist of Elicited Stopped-Clock Illusions, brings it back, or sinners just repent______

Cain

  • Alea iacta est
  • Chekha
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 105309
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2787 on: August 28, 2016, 01:38:22 am »
Well, at least Sorweel should come out of things OK.  Unless he literally runs into the No-God or goes on to kill Kelhus, that boy's unstoppable.

Or, if the theories are correct at least, he runs into Kelmonas.  The fan theory is that Kel's a narindar of Ajokli, and thus stands outside the sight of the gods, including Yatwer and her White Luck Warrior.  He sacrified that beetle as an offering, a murder done for no other reason than "because". 

Ajokli is the god of tricksters, thieves and assassins...a description that fits Kel to a t.  I also wonder if Ajokli can see the No-God and Consult..."He only seems such [the Fool] because he sees what the others do not see... What you do not see ... The blindness of the sighted".  Which also makes me wonder if there is a link between Ajokli and the Solitary God of the Cishaurim...the reference to the blindness of the sighted, the fact that the Psukhe is undetectable by other magi and even unknown to the Consult, and that the Cishaurim wage war against the followers of the Tusk.  Ajokli, via the nameless narindar in the White Luck Warrior notes that his cult alone is persecuted by the Tusk. 

I'm also somewhat amused by the many parallels one can draw between Ajokli, narindar and our favourite inscrutable trickster god, the Anticipation of Mephala himself, Vivec.  Narindar are holy assassins the gods send, but narindar of Ajokli are ritual assassins for whom the act is holy, and are asked to kill without reference to their own cares.  Of course, Vivec is the Tribunal replacement for Mephala, whom the Morag Tong assassins (and maybe the Dark Brotherhood, if the Night Mother is Mephala.  Of course, one reading of the 36 sermons suggests Vivec is in fact the Night Mother).  Assassins remove the act of emotion from murder, which in turn makes it an act of destruction...and destruction is another form of creation.  Murder and enlightenment, combined.

Incidentally, narindar = narinder = narendra = "lord of men" in Sanskrit.  Just putting that out there.

Now THERE'S some food for fucking thought.

The themes of sight and blindness are rampant in this series and especially in this trilogy. Khellus's children are constantly described as having inherited their father's sight to varying degrees. One of them had to be chained up because he could see deeply but lacked the dispassionate conditioning. Minor spoiler: Serwa in The Great Ordeal makes a statement to the effect of "light is our birthright."

The entire Dunyain philosophy revolves around the eponymous Darkness that comes before, and the Logos is the way to be able to "see" the origin of one's own thoughts. Plus, the Probablity Trance.

The Few have their own form of sight, and Mimara's Judging Eye represents a kind of sight that perhaps no other living person possesses, except perhaps Khellus during the Circumfixion. What little we know about Cishaurim sorcery revolves around themes of sight and blindness.

Then there was that guy in the cave, with the heart.

The various asides about how the Nonmen perceive the world comes to mind as well: they can't "see" two-dimensional images, so they sculpt. I forget if it was a character or in one of the pre-chapter quotes, but it's stated that Men fear and hate the darkness because it is ignorance made visible, while the Nonmen see it as holy.

The No-God is, apparently, invisible to Heaven. And, it seems, somehow invisible to itself ("WHAT DO YOU SEE?")

I don't have a real thesis here, but it will surprise me greatly if the conclusion of this series is not somehow related to sight and blindness.

Well, the gods are literally "the darkness that comes before".

The nonmen call themselves the ji’cûnû roi, “the People of Dawn”.

Cainad (dec.)

  • Houseplant Supreme
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 93295
  • The Emperor's Hairy Right Hand
    • View Profile
    • Internet Forum Safari
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2788 on: August 31, 2016, 12:05:02 am »
And they, particularly the Quya mages, seek to make their souls invisible to the gods (or something to that effect, I think it's covered in The False Sun).

The Half-Eaten Waffle

  • A Fairy-Tale Princess Trapped in a Viking Manbear's Body
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 52988
  • Nordic Freakshow Armada of Sexhurt™
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2789 on: October 05, 2016, 02:32:56 pm »
I'm on my third or fourth attempt at Wheel of Time. Finally made it through book 1 (well, almost, I've about 100 pages left). I'm liking it more this time around. I think Sanderson's Stormlight Archive has gotten me ready for the slow pace fantasy.
"At first I lifted weights.  But then I asked myself, 'why not people?'  Now everyone runs for the fjord when they see me."


Horribly Oscillating Assbasket of Deliciousness
[/b]