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Ishmael Commoner | joined 24 May 2005 | 6 posts


China Mieville posted 25 May 2005 in Literature DiscussionChina Mieville by Ishmael, Commoner

I can tell from the dates that it is coming on to a year and this is old news for you but I would be interested in reading about your interview. view post


Achamian vs. Kellhus: faith vs. certainty posted 26 May 2005 in The Warrior ProphetAchamian vs. Kellhus: faith vs. certainty by Ishmael, Commoner

As a reader I found Akka's character to be dynamic. Bakker transformed Akka through torture and loss. I was pleased that Akka thought himself different and I expected him to be portrayed differently when he and Xin rejoin the Holy War. I was a little disappointed (as reader I had different expectations of what Akka's character was going to do) when Akka reunites with Esmi and filled w/ jealousy and self doubt. His selftalk and how he imagines Esmi talking about him was a "disconnect" from his purged-no weakness- post torture persona.

As a reader I had expectations for Akka to perform differently when he addresses the council, I expected others to notice a change in him. He stumbles then hints at being different than he was before when he tells his story (which he doesn't seem so embarrased about ) but the resulting ridicule seems to place Akka back to an ineffectual position.

I can't believe that Akka didn't turn the city into ruin trying to find Elazaras. He seems fixated on Iokus (understandable- his torturer- who gave him time to escape (hey MacGyver Im going to lock you in this metalshop))but he lets Elazaras off the hook?? His character demonstrated a capacity to destroy everything in his path and I thought that he woud demonstrate that character change.

I also expected the end of the Siege of WP-- to feature more of Akka and Cnauir in the battle over the pajaradja. They weren't mentioned as far as I could tell. Just depictions of mal nourished wraiths beating a well fed foe because they had "conviction"

I can imagine that the book would much longer if Bakker decided to address these themes. view post


Does Akka waver?Where was he at the End? posted 26 May 2005 in The Warrior ProphetDoes Akka waver?Where was he at the End? by Ishmael, Commoner

As a reader I found Akka's character to be dynamic. Bakker transformed Akka through torture and loss. I was pleased that Akka thought himself different and I expected him to be portrayed differently when he and Xin rejoin the Holy War. I was a little disappointed (as reader I had different expectations of what Akka's character was going to do) when Akka reunites with Esmi and filled w/ jealousy and self doubt. His selftalk and how he imagines Esmi talking about him was a "disconnect" from his purged-no weakness- post torture persona.

As a reader I had expectations for Akka to perform differently when he addresses the council, I expected others to notice a change in him. He stumbles then hints at being different than he was before when he tells his story (which he doesn't seem so embarrased about ) but the resulting ridicule seems to place Akka back to an ineffectual position.

I can't believe that Akka didn't turn the city into ruin trying to find Elazaras. He seems fixated on Iokus (understandable- his torturer- who gave him time to escape (hey MacGyver Im going to lock you in this metalshop))but he lets Elazaras off the hook?? His character demonstrated a capacity to destroy everything in his path and I thought that he woud demonstrate that character change.

I also expected the end of the Siege of WP-- to feature more of Akka and Cnauir in the battle over the pajaradja. They weren't mentioned as far as I could tell. Just depictions of mal nourished wraiths beating a well fed foe because they had "conviction"

I can imagine that the book would much longer if Bakker decided to address these themes. view post


As a husband and father... posted 26 May 2005 in Author Q & AAs a husband and father... by Ishmael, Commoner

The world you have created is majestic. It is filled with end of the world struggles.

Many of your characters Xerius, Conphas, Akka, Cnauir have significant childhood motivations for their present state. I appreciate their added depth.

It seems you have created a world where everyone is raised in what we would consider to be a dysfunctional environment.

What I am leading up to is the end scene of WP. The sranc and nonman abduct a village/family for interrogation purposes. I know that the world you created is a harsh place and epic things are afoot but I was repulsed.

Your writing was effective and I did some major projection. The man in this scene does not reflect like "I'll never sing my children asleep again"--(it seems that sort of domesticity does not take place in these grand stories- it would only make things more tragic.) Still my experience was akin to a nauseous stomach. I lost my appetite for all grand conflicts. I didn't care whether the character was the prophet or if anyone gets their revenge. I was saddened by what was portrayed and inflicted upon that fictional family. This tragedy was greater than anything in the previous books to me (except Cnauir slaughtering the infant daughter of his tribesman)

Its odd in a way that this stuff is just background noise. The kind of thing that happens in this fictional world-- now lets move on to the real story. But to me those things are the real stories and as in real life no one is accountable. The old quote paraphrased "kill one person and your a despicable murderer - a menace to society. Kill Ten thousand people and you will be remembered as a great leader"

I was in the military long ago. Its my opinion national pride/religious fervor all work to serve the needs of those groups that never have your best interests at heart. I don't care much about what happens to Canada/US or the EU the Christian/Jews/Muslims---My concerns are much closer to the hearth. I want my two boys to be safe and happy. Families and children are the real victims of such grand designs. Every time an army "fictional" or real rolls through a city families, women and children are slaughtered/displaced/victimized. Every time I shudder, thinking of all the kids that are going to wonder about their mom. the missed games, the walks and lessons parents teach their children everyday.

I wonder if you are a father and how you are able to disconnect that part of yourself - if possible - when you write. The emotional immediacy of writing those scenes would be more truthful for me, than all the battles , fights, and subterfuge.


Peace in our time
Derek view post


As a husband and father... posted 29 May 2005 in Author Q & AAs a husband and father... by Ishmael, Commoner

I am heartened that you are cognizant of the way "generic narrative can file away the sharp edges" and that violence should be disturbing. Though you might be uncomfortable with some of the things you write you realize their importance and their truth. I.e. you display the insight that characters like Esmenet are haunted by the decisions that they have made in the past.
You have my encouragement as your life changes and your family grows. Be uncomfortable and continue to write and there will be truth in what you are saying. Many of us decide we can't write about certain things or censor ourselves becuase of what others might think about us.

I just wanted to reiterate that I found your writing to be effective and uncomfortable. (congrats) I also found myself invested more in a man and his children than I was in a sorcerer and his school, etc.

Peace
Derek view post


Does Akka waver?Where was he at the End? posted 31 May 2005 in The Warrior ProphetDoes Akka waver?Where was he at the End? by Ishmael, Commoner

These are excellent insights and observations. I had not recalled Akka's quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I expected him to bring buildings down to rubble to get Elazaras since that was what he did trying to get Iyokus. I realize that is not a realistic thing for this character to do but I thought maybe he had been through enough to throw caution to the wind.

I thought that the suffering and changes he experienced would bring about different reactions from him at the end of the story.You're right about there being no space to show it at the end. TTT, I imagine, will resolve and expand these character developments. My thoughts weren't focused on the next novel so much as the end of this one. view post


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