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Literary psychoanalysis posted 15 December 2005 in The Warrior ProphetLiterary psychoanalysis by Artful, Candidate

Well, as interesting as it is to speculate on the author, what about the story itself?

The style of writing is dark fantasy. The best known example of dark fantasy is the horror movie. It's marked by several factors; foremost is the relatively casual treatment of sex and violence. Also, the sense of doom, of the inevitable coming to pass. Nowhere is this better illustrated than the epilouge, in which horrors are dryly and dissociatively recounted in an almost dream-like quality.

However, the key point of dark fantasy is a deliberate distension, stretching a point of human nature in order to highlight our own basic flaws. In horror movies we curse the woman for entering the dark room to investigate the strange sounds. She does so to exaggerate our own illusions of security and safety in a dangerous world.

In the same way, Prince of Nothing distends the basic sense of credulity and tendency of people to believe. Doubt is luxiourious and rare, with many not questioning themselves, and in fact strenulously avoiding doing so. This motif is repeated throughout the story, most noticably in the title of the first book. Sure, it's unrealistic to have such a dearth of cynicism in an army of all places, but such is the nature of the art form.

Which leads us to our title character, Kellhus. Kellhus is, symbollically, a psychological prototype, that of a sociopathic cult leader. There are so many examples of this all I can do is offer to educate anyone who disagrees. Similarities can be found to Charles Manson, Jim Jones, and Jesus. (Apologies to any offended by that.)

This analysis illuminates all of his actions. Given his immense physical prowess, he doesn't need Cnauir to help him across the steepe; what he needs is someone to play off of. He's in constant need of an audience and looks for one even when he's by himself.

His treatment of women is two-fold; firstly, he feels more comfortable in the company of the opposite gender for several reasons. Physical and sexual dominance are the most obvious, as well as any number of male-female relationship factors which I will not enumerate here. If you've been in love, you know.

Secondly, cult leaders commonly take women for themselves and drive away their men. Kellhus specifically state he seduced Serwe to get to Cnaiur, and similar reasoning can be applied to Esme and his tutor Akka. Degrading the authority of a man by taking his woman can be found broadly in human expression dating back to Eve and the serpent, and in fact is found in almost all social animals. It's a straightforward power play.

Of course, all of the power-gathering is to cover up the underlying flaw, which is paranoia. In this case it's hard to see, but upon reflection the Logos can been seen as an extremely refined form of paranoia. It focuses on eliminating the unknown by analyzing every possible detail, and whether its admitted or not the root logic is that of fear. The best example is Kellhus repeatedly saying that he needs to learn the factors involved in war from Cnauir, when everything else seems to fall so easily to his analytical talents.

This prototype supports the entire work. Kellhus is furnished with ideal situation, a war of fanaticism, in which to exercise and examplify prototypical behavior. Enemies, terrible and subtle, are created as antagonists and trials to pit it against. The whole story rotates around this axis. In my opinion. view post


Literary psychoanalysis posted 17 December 2005 in The Warrior ProphetLiterary psychoanalysis by butlersr, Candidate

Which leads us to our title character, Kellhus. Kellhus is, symbollically, a psychological prototype, that of a sociopathic cult leader. There are so many examples of this all I can do is offer to educate anyone who disagrees. Similarities can be found to Charles Manson, Jim Jones, and Jesus. (Apologies to any offended by that.)

Yes - i'm offended by the reference to Jones and Manson!
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This was a pretty well thought out post.
I like the idea of distending.
All very fitting to the time we live in - it's like he's responding to these times we're in by reminding us of the folly of our own holy wars. Sort of allegorical
Oh - there I go again making judgements about the author - sorry. view post


Literary psychoanalysis posted 19 December 2005 in The Warrior ProphetLiterary psychoanalysis by Artful, Candidate

No, you weren't making personal judgements, so it's cool.

I'd put it more as a case of opportune timing than social commentary... if there are any allegories to modern times I can't spot them. There's been a lot of focus on the Crusades recently (note Kingdom of Heaven), so that's probably why the publishing went forward now. view post


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