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Tattooed Hand Auditor | joined 12 May 2004 | 110 posts

The Destruction of the Dunyain posted 02 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Destruction of the Dunyain by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

It seems unlikely to me that the Dunyain would side with the Consult. Not because they would be repulsed by the Consult's evil, but because the Consult's methods and goals would get in the way of the Dunyain mission. Remember, during the last Apocalypse, no babies were born (or were still born) for 11 years. This would get in the way of the breeding program. (Although we have yet to see any female Dunyain and they could possibly have babies in other ways... gulp).

But still, the Consult seems to run roughshod over anyone and everyone it likes I don't see them tiptoing around the Dunyain or leaving them alone. I also don't see the Dunyain making compromises with the Consult. I feel like the Consult would try to out and out destroy them if met with resistance (although they might be in for a nasty surprise). I doubt the skin spies are the only good in their bag of tricks. view post

Some Random Thoughts on TTT posted 17 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtSome Random Thoughts on TTT by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

Kelhus creeped me out, yes... those sermons were weird and I would hate to be in the audience, lapping it up with the rest (as I am sure I would inevitably do...)

But I don't find his "taking" Esmi away from Akka any more reprensible than anything else he's done. Esmi is a grown woman has about as much chance of resisting him as anyone else. Why not get annoyed with Kelhus for convincing Akka he is a genius such as the world has never seen (and worthy of the exception of teaching him sorcery). Women aren't objects or posessions. She thought he was dead. She got with the most charismatic and hot guy out there who actively pursued her. Big deal.

Personally, I found Serwe highly annoying. there seems to be nothing remarkable about her except for her looks. Otherwise she is a spoiled, stupid, slightly insane brat. Vain and petty, I might add. I thought she was the innocent only so far as the bad parts of child-like-ness. I could sympathize with Esmi's annoyance.

When is this book coming out!!! view post

Some Random Thoughts on TTT posted 21 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtSome Random Thoughts on TTT by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

Esmi is more of a working girl. Her profession is not a pathology, it's a way to feed herself. She was left with little choice, since she begins by being raped by her father and then given by him to his friends. She's not exactly marriage material in a world obesessed with chastity and virginity in a bride.

Her profession has certainly affected her view of sexual relationships, but she did not become a whore because of some quirk in her personality that made her want to jump into bed with anyone. The Emporer's mother is more of a pathological whore, in my opinion. She uses sex to manipulate and jockey for power, even on her own son.

Maybe Esmi's a whore in so far as the preservation of her chastity to maintain her repuation is not an issue for her since her reputation is as irrevocably marked as her hand is... that doesn't mean sleeping with someone means nothing to her. view post

The Logos/Dunyain posted 23 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Logos/Dunyain by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

The face-training specimens come from outside. The Dunyain maintain some contact with the nearest human tribes, and sometimes people simply wander too close to Ishual and are captured. This is also a source of trade for the advanced goods the Dunyain can manufacture in exchange for food, when it's needed.

I have to disagree with this, White Lord. I don't think the Dunyain have had ANY contact with the outside world. The face specimens were failed Dunyain who as a result of physical and/or mental defects (probably from too much inbreeding) were unable to complete training and were used for training purposes such as these. I am pretty sure this is outright stated that they are failed Dunyain in TWP.

I also think that the Kelhus's physical abilities and mental abilities are naturally quite elevated and have had the benefit of being honed even further by Dunyain training. But what we see in the book is unique I think because no Dunyain (except Moengus and we don't know the extend of what he's managed yet) has ever been tested the same way Kelhus has. They have never had to put the Probability trance in the service of taking control of a holy war and they don't have all the information that Kelhus has (like the existence of sorcery). Remember that Kelhus was tripping out over the variety of leaf patterns when he first leaves the stronghold of the Dunyain... his natural abilities and his training have been even further honed by the challenges he has faced in the outside world, which none of his brethren have.

I personally think that Moenghus has also received this honing, but in a different way, as per his own experiences in the world. I think this is considerable, since I also think that he is the driving force behind this whole holy war... and the taking control of it by Kelhus.

Some clues hint at the similarities: for instance, when Kelhus meets Cnauir, it's about the same stage in his experience with the world as Moenghus was when he was captured by the tribe. The first thing he tries on Cnaiur is the trackless steppe line, which his dad tried too... the only difference is that Cnaiur has already heard it. So Kelhus and Moenghus see the same kinds of openings at about the same point in their honing in the outside world. What happens next is very different though and I am interested to see how this is reflected when we meet Moenghus... the standardization of Dunyain life and the diversification brought on by time in the outside world... view post

The agenda of the skin spies and the Consult posted 25 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe agenda of the skin spies and the Consult by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

The even more scary possibility is that Moenghus is willing to let the Cishaurim and Scarlet schoolmen kill each other just to get Kelhus to Shimeh. Maybe he figures that once Kelhus learns sorcery, either on the way, or though him, that they won't need the other schools. (Except maybe the Mandate, which might fall into line once they figure out who they are dealing with...)

I personally don't think that the Consult started the war between the Scarlet Spires and the Cishaurim. The method of the attack was Pushke - the whole forehead lights coming from the outside business. I wonder though if the nature of the Pushke is what the Consult finds threatening - maybe the Pushke is as mysterious to them as it is to the rest of the Three Seas and therefore must be destroyed or appropriated.

Is there a discussion about the Pushke anywhere on the forum? I am not a huge metaphysics person, so I miss alot of this stuff, but I wonder if the lack of sorcerous mark and the way it looks, as if straight from Outside has something to do with why the Consult has its panties in such a twist. They don't seem terribly stressed out by the other schools (except the Mandate, which has effectively been neutralized through evasion and making them a laughing stock). view post

kellhus == good guy?? posted 25 May 2005 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

Kelhus is definitely evil from the Three Seas point of view. He's even evil from Cnair's point of view and I think that takes some doing!

I don't think he'd necessary disagree with the concept of good and evil (how ever it may be historically constructed) but he's probably think it's irrelevant, a world born construct. Although there is that interesting moment when he watches Serwe get raped the first time that (I don't have the book with me now) his head spins and he has this new inkling that this might be wrong. Maybe the fact that he is starting to have emotional reactions (like crying at Serwe's death) might link him up with the concept of good and bad and right and wrong in a new way. view post

Like father like son? posted 25 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtLike father like son? by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

I definitely get the feeling that he is not just a pious Joe Shmo. The two times we have seen him, through the very different eyes of Akka and the Emperor, he is most impressive. I just wish Kelhus had seen him, that would have been telling.

I want to say he seems Dunyain trained because he's rooted out all outside human spies. He could have left the skin spies in place because it wasn't time to reveal their existence to the world... which would mean he is part of a greater plan. (I still think he is working with Moenghus). Or, he could be just a more awesome man because of some Nonman heritage and be able to sniff out spies, but not read faces and thus root out skin spies.

anyone else get the feeling that Nilnamesh is sort of India on the map... having some Inrithi there somehow reminds me of the legend of Prester John which was rampant in medieval Europe... view post

The agenda of the skin spies and the Consult posted 25 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe agenda of the skin spies and the Consult by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

I think you are right that making a skin spy who can practice sorcery is theoretically possible, but I am not sure the consult knows how to do this with skin spies. While the Inchoiri (I always butcher spellings when far from my book) could practice it on themselves, does this mean that they can do the same with new creations. "the thing that passes for a soul" in the skin spies makes me wonder what these things are. Are they created souls? Does making a skin spy from scratch and transmuting one's soul from different bodies involve the same technology?

I guess the question comes down to intellect. Is that genetic or does it have to do with cultivation? If so, can the Consult make skin spies that are intellectual matches of the sorcers they need to replace. And how, beyond the potential to wield sorcery, and the intellect to be of matching strength, do they acquire the practical knowledge of each school's training, which begins training quite young. It seems that kind of skin spy planting requires major foresight, which might not make it as practicable. view post

Like father like son? posted 26 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtLike father like son? by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

I agree with you, although I think Maithanet could be persuaded to aid Moenghus willingly (what ever that means with a Dunyain) due to the common threat of the Consult. The Consult is definitely a bigger problem than infidels or sorcerers. It would also explain how Maithanet knows about the war between the Scarlet Spires and the Cishaurim. He's only been Shirah for two years before the start of the war, which would mean he was still in the south when the attack on the Spires took place.

The holy war is more a means of gathering the Three Seas under one banner. Of course, the staggering loss of life in the cause of the greater good is rather revolting... it would mean that Moenghus is one persuasive teacher! view post

Serwe/Esmenet as Mary Magdalen? posted 27 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtSerwe/Esmenet as Mary Magdalen? by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

I think elements of the Jesus story are mixed in with parts of the history of the first Crusade. Kelhus's age, his relationship with Esmi (which especially jives with the Mary Magdalene of the Gnostic Gospels more than the gospels that made it into the New Testament) all point to the Jesus story, but a kind of second Jesus. But I think Shimeh is Jersusalem... and the Emporer is the ruler of what is suppose to be Byzantium. The stories are layered and edited and melded together so that the resemblance is loose. view post

Serwe/Esmenet as Mary Magdalen? posted 27 May 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtSerwe/Esmenet as Mary Magdalen? by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

Scott has said that the lead characters in the Prince of Nothing are all inspired directly from common fantasy archetypes. Esmenet isn't Mary Magdalen and Mary Magdalen isn't Esmenet. Instead they both come from the same idea, the prostitute. The prostitute seeking salvation is an old idea. Mary Magdalen is one of its oldest examples. Esmenet is a much newer one.

Semantically, I don't believe that "Esmenet stands for Mary Magdalen." Esmenet and Mary Magdalen share a common thought of origin. This common idea connects the both characters with each other as well as many other characters.

OK, so all the representations we have of Mary Magdalene draw from mythological archetypes. Fine. But the pairing of archetypes in Bakker's books, creates a particular resonance - a possibly prophetic Kelhus, a redeemed whore, the circumfix as punishment that then becomes the symbol of the creed of the prophet risen from it... this is no accident. Not every whore resonates with MM, but one framed in all these ways sure does. That's all I really mean. They are not the SAME person because we are not reading a rendition of the Jesus story.

BTW, we don't know that Mary Magdalene was actually some one who sold sex for money. She was a fallen/unrespectable woman, which throughout most of history could mean any woman who lived alone, acted on stage, or who went out on the street with her hair uncovered or unescorted (this is not just a Muslim thing, it Greeks, Romans, Jews, Byzantines, etc practiced as well).

She was also a little looney tunes/touched in the head/holy. That's what the Gospel of Mary says, at least.

the Redeemed Whore archetype is another story, a nonprophetic version of this is the representation of Justinian's wife, Theodora, who was an actress/dancer in her youth. She returns to the religious fold, becomes reformed and meets the not yet emporer... Most historical accounts indicate that her relationship with Justininian was based on mutual respect and shared intellect, as well as emotions. view post

The agenda of the skin spies and the Consult posted 01 June 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe agenda of the skin spies and the Consult by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

As far as I remember, the Anasurimbor prophecy only says that an Anasurimbor will return again, but not what the Anasurimbor will do. That doesn't mean that an Anasurimbor will necessarily be the good guys, or the only one that can stop the Consult. Besides, Celomas (name butchering here, I don't have my books and my memory is not as good as WL's) didn't do so hot against the Consult. How is the world the same as the Apocalypse? I get the feeling that the present of the Holy War is something of a fallen state from past pre-Apocalypse grandeur.

In most forms of Buddhism, reincarnation does not depend on consciousness of past lives. Everyone is reincarnated, but only the souls well advanced to enlightenment get their memories can access their past lives.

The Seswatha thing is fascinating though. It's almost like a piece of his spirit controls certain things in all Mandate schoolmen. Apparently, you can screw over your order by withholding information and breaking the rules (running off with a woman). It even seems like he can teach Kelhus the Gnosis if he wants to. But he can't have the Gnosis forcibly extracted from him.

But I wonder if this is an imprint of the dreams - all the torture Seswatha has undergone rendering any torture a Mandati undergoes less effective - or if there is an active princicple of Seswatha that actually intervenes at those moments. I think that the thing passing for Skeaos' reaction is indicative here, the thing actually seemed to see Seswatha in Akka. Why? And, if they are not sorcerous creatures, how? view post

The importance of being Kellhus posted 20 June 2005 in Author Q & AThe importance of being Kellhus by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

I like Kelhus too because of intellect and his strategic jockeying... I suspect it's because I'm an intellectual snob and I have a soft spot for guys that get away with things - I dated enough of them in college.

From an "objective" point of views (i.e. just relating who he is and what he does to someone who has not read the books), Kelhus is a monster. But he's very seductive to read. view post

Your less favourite characters posted 28 July 2005 in The Darkness That Comes BeforeYour less favourite characters by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

I have to say that I for one hate Ikurei Conphas. I hate reading about him, I hate the idea of him. He's like some smart, cynical guys who thought they walked on water that I went to college with. Yick. view post

Best character posted 28 July 2005 in The Darkness That Comes BeforeBest character by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

Cnair would be among my favorites but I just can't stomach his unmitigated brutality toward women.

Akka is a up there, because he has a perplexed and conflicted quality that yields interesting though and deliberation.

But, in the end, Kelhus has me completely transfixed. view post

kellhus == good guy?? posted 29 July 2005 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

Remember that what gave Cnair away when Moenghus rode away was that he cried. So everyone thinks he was Moenghus's lover (plus according to them, a very "unmanly" thing to do). Thus the betrayal of his father and the breaking of traditions is always in the shadow of the suspicion of homosexual behavior. That is part of why his tribe treats him with underlying contempt and disgust. If that makes him evil is another story.

And probably why he strives to be uber masculine by beating his wives and killing the most men.

In the middle ages, the accusation of sodomy was not often leveled at the actual instances of anal sex, rather during instances of "heresy", whether political or religious. This is one of those instances where the ambiguous charge applies. There is some homoerotic tension between Moenghus and Cnair, which Moenghus works to get Cnair toward the betrayal. And the muttering of his tribe afterward link the two inextricably. view post

question about achamian? posted 29 July 2005 in The Warrior Prophetquestion about achamian? by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

I thoought that whether that was telepathy was left ambiguous - we could also assume Kelhus is hallucinating and that Akka is out of his mind with emotion over Esmi.

I think it's meant to be ambiguous because we are supose to have this building feeling about some big change but not actually have a handle its actual contours.

And, I agree, WL, no where from Kelhus's point of view do we actually hear that he intends to kill his father. He is suppose to do so, but the conversations he has with his father in his head are more about figuring out what dad is up to. To what he wants to know this is anyone's guess. Kelhus's motivations remain a big mystery. view post

kellhus == good guy?? posted 29 July 2005 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

Personally I'd rather live in a happy little delusion than a repeat rape filled horror fest. So it's Kelhus for me. view post

kellhus == good guy?? posted 29 July 2005 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

OK, but Cnair "loved" his wife Anissi too. But now he's fogotten who she is and seems to have replaced her in his mind with Serwe. I think Cnair is too insane to really love anyone. He's obsessed with Serwe more than anything, which you could argue is Kelhus's doing. I am not trying to argue that Kelhus actually loved her or what not, but I don't think that what you see with Serwe is real love. It's mentioned that he even beats Anissi. Count me out!

I guess this is a long winded way of saying I agree with you, there is just not black or white here. Sure, maybe we could say Akka "really" loves Esmi, but at the end of the day, he left her before and now, even after all his pretty promises, he left her again. view post

kellhus == good guy?? posted 30 July 2005 in The Darkness That Comes Beforekellhus == good guy?? by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

And so you have! You have more posts than me and I've been a lazy lurker for a while now...

it's an interesting forum, more interesting than most. I'm checking in after a while and perhaps I will see what's been said recently. The wait between books is brutal.

Yes, I agree. Black and white is boring and trite. I like to live in the world of the book too, but I have always thought that you can never totally leave yourself behind. Thus is the curse (and blessing, if acknowledged) of the historian, no? Thus when I read history, I know the sources aren't just speaking for themselves, there is the mediation of the historian. And Bakker is in the here and now and what ever rendition he has given us of his world has an element of our time inevitably as the lens... view post

eXXXtremely Important questions which require answers. posted 30 July 2005 in Author Q & AeXXXtremely Important questions which require answers. by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

May I point out that the peaches of women of different colors are, well, different colors... it's not all pink and peach...for those of you who have encountered multi-cultural peaches, you'll know what I am talking about.

Personally, I find the word peach annoying. Sure, it's a great fruit, but it's something you gobble down and then throw the pit away. So I imagine a peach is appropriate if you only encounter it once. <!-- s:oops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_redface.gif" alt=":oops:" title="Embarassed" /><!-- s:oops: --> view post

eXXXtremely Important questions which require answers. posted 30 July 2005 in Author Q &amp; AeXXXtremely Important questions which require answers. by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

You can see it in European contexts too, but most common in darker, more olivey types. One hint is the color of nipples. Some are pink and some are darker, almost brown. Well, that usually indicates darker colors down under too. Like black red and purple. I have a Scandanavian friend who is like that - with brown hair and green eyes - who swears its the Finnish blood. view post

A few questions . . . posted 30 July 2005 in Author Q &amp; AA few questions . . . by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

I knew it. Who the people in the face room are has been a point of wrangling for a while now. I knew it had to be the genetic "failures." The Dunyain reaction to the "pollution" of the dreams and their initial cause for sending Moenghus out in the first place - to see how far the security of Ishual had been breeched - made me think they were not in the habit of taking in wanding humans, not even as training fodder. And why would they muddy their breeding program with wild cards?

And so, as a result of some major inbreeding, where the stakes rise with every generation, you are bound to get some major failures. As some of the kids get quicker and better, the possibility for the flip side increases as well. Witness European nobility - the Iberian royal families in particular. The Hapsburgs too. They were practically retarded by the end, punctated by hot, smart heirs.

I second WL on the abysmal interval of finished book/waiting for publication. And it comes out two weeks before my general exams. So I have to wait even longer! <!-- s:evil: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_evil.gif" alt=":evil:" title="Evil or Very Mad" /><!-- s:evil: --> view post

A few questions . . . posted 30 July 2005 in Author Q &amp; AA few questions . . . by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

No, we had yet to see hide or hair of female Dunyain and Bakker has been extremely tight lipped about it. Which leads me to think that we are going to see/hear something in TTT. We have to assume Dunyain have women since - aside form the obvious fact that Kelhus was most likely not hatched from an egg - he seems to understand things like signals of female physical attraction. view post

Will Esmi Cause Mandati/Warrior-Prophet Drama? posted 30 July 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtWill Esmi Cause Mandati/Warrior-Prophet Drama? by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

I've been out of the country for a while now... so what Blurb? Please direct me to the TTT blurb! view post

Will Esmi Cause Mandati/Warrior-Prophet Drama? posted 31 July 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtWill Esmi Cause Mandati/Warrior-Prophet Drama? by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

Thanks for this...

and no, I hadn't heard of the search function... view post

Ages posted 01 August 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionAges by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

I turn 30 in November, but since I already starting lying months ago and telling everyone I was already 30 - it sounds so impressive - that let's just say I am 30.

But to answer the question, 29. view post

Erikson? posted 01 August 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionErikson? by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

Look, my husband is a MAJOR literature snob. He's all comp lit and theory and all that. One of his favorite writers, who he claims is a techical master is Tolstoy. Tolstoy makes me want to cry. His books are so boring that I don't care if he is a technical master, I still can't get through the three page description of LACE at the bottom of women's dresses without gagging.

And when I gave him TDTCB to read he kept spluttering about how it was not technically good writing - limited is what he called it. But he finished the book and snuck TWP off my shelf and speed read it while I was out of town. So even though it didn't fall into his category of high literature, he couldn't put it down in spite of himself.

I'm going to give him Erikson soon and I expect to have to hear complaints and criticisms, but he's be a hostage to the series, I know it already.

As for me, I do think that Erikson's writing style is - according to my standards - tighter than Bakker's. But I think Bakker's thought is more developped and focused than Erikson's. There are moments in Erikson's books where I am not sure I like what is being implied about power and empire. Sometimes I think the ethical dimensions he is flushing out are ideologically motivated rather than exploratory. But it's still pretty complex and hard to pin down and I always end up second guessing my own suspicions. Still, I sometimes think the hard to pin down part is more a result of clumsiness than purposefulness.

Still, Erikson is one of my favorites. I like Kay too, as different as they are. The man can tell a pretty good story. view post

More about Erikson books... posted 01 August 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionMore about Erikson books... by Tattooed Hand, Auditor


I'm re-reading Midnight Tides at the moment and am totally confused about the timeline. The second scene in the prologue takes place in 1159 of Burn's Sleep, which corresponds to three years before the Seventh Closure. The main body of the book begins a year before the Seventh Closure, meaning 1161 of Burn's sleep. The book takes place over a year, and so ends 1162 of Burn's sleep.

And the main action of Gardens of the Moon- the fall of Pale -begins in 1163.

What I don't understand is how Trull can be shorn and chained to the wall in the drowned world in the House of Chains prologue in 1159 of Burns Sleep if he is running around with his brothers in 1161!!!!

Erikson timeline errors make Bakker's seem minor. Was there some later corrections that I don't know about that can ease this headache of mine? view post

A few questions . . . posted 02 August 2005 in Author Q &amp; AA few questions . . . by Tattooed Hand, Auditor

What! no Dunyain females until AE! When Father and Son get together they don't ever even THINK how they are connected, via the all important MOM?


Yes, general exams, which are pretty stupid and ridiculous. You have to prepare a list of 50 books and 20 articles in 4 four fields and then each field supervisor has 30 minutes to ask you what ever they want about it. The reading is basically background prep for my dissertation and as a pool from which to draw syllabi material. Anticipating questions is basically knowing your professors. So yes, some thousand fold thinking would come in handy. Unfortunately, I only think in tens at the very most... view post


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