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Cu'jara Cinmoi Author of Prince of Nothing | joined 26 January 2004 | 836 posts


Karma? posted 27 July 2004 in Author Q & AKarma? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Well now, logocentrism is a different story (so long as you take it in the expanded sense)! What is the darkness that comes before if not differance? view post


Karma? posted 27 July 2004 in Author Q & AKarma? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Would you mind expanding on what you mean by this? Especially the bit about a 'self-moving soul'.


If that which comes before determines that which comes after, this means every thought is moved by something stemming from the 'darkness', and that agency and purposiveness are illusory. What the Dunyain are after, in effect, is free will - which they see as an accomplishment rather than a pre-given faculty.

What impresses them so much about the Logos (and its brethren, geometry, mathematics) is it's its timelessness, the fact that it does not seem to fall within the 'circuit of before and after.'

That's the thing though, trying to master thought with even more thought (Reason) just isn't going to happen. I guess you could say it's like trying to wash off mud with mud.


Only if you look at thought in performative terms. If thought is representational (or something like it), then this isn't the case. Just think of the way various insights over the course of your life led you to greater self understanding and self-control. This is implicit in your comments regarding the Buddhists achieving mastery by 'seeing through.'

But if they truely wish to be free from all that comes before, should not they also try to rid of themselves of this very need to be certain? Of this need to be in control of everything around them?


For the Dunyain, certainty or knowledge is just a means to the end of becoming the Absolute - or a self-moving soul. In more philosophical terms, you might say their primary concern is ontological (the attainment of a certain mode of unconditioned (which is to say, transcendent) being), and that the epistemology has value only as a primary means to this end.

Excellent questions as always, Replay! Does this answer them? view post


Karma? posted 27 July 2004 in Author Q & AKarma? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

But I'm slowly beginning to grasp part of what Derrida is saying there. It's going to take a while to retrain my mind to think that way. I'm still in my Foucault stage, ya know Something about archaeologies of knowledge appeals to me more than what Derrida wrote


I actually think that the Archaeology Foucault is the worst of the many Foucaults - still too caught up in the structuralist backlash against phenomenology (Sartre was too popular to be cool). Otherwise, though, I agree: there's a formalism to Derrida that I (now) find very problematic.

If you want help deciphering him, though, just throw some questions/quotes my way. It'd do me some good to shake the rust off! view post


Locus Poll posted 27 July 2004 in Author AnnouncementsLocus Poll by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Just received my spanking new issue of Locus this afternoon. Somehow TDTCB made it to number eight for best first novel on the Locus Poll... Not bad, considering the book had only been released in Canada at the time!

Cheers to all! Hopefully this makes an American ppbk deal more likely. view post


When is TDTCB being released in paperback in the US? posted 27 July 2004 in Author Q & AWhen is TDTCB being released in paperback in the US? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I literally have no idea. Though my agent received several calls following TDTCB's review in Publisher's Weekly, Overlook actually owns the US ppbk rights, which they intend to sub-licence. I've heard that Tor might be interested (which at once excites and worries me: excites because they are the bomb marketing-wise, and worries because of the covers they slapped on US release of Erikson's GotM - yeesh!)...

It's a waiting game now. view post


Statistical Sprirtuality posted 28 July 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionStatistical Sprirtuality by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I see a couple points of consolation. First, with regard to 'fate,' that you determine your own fate yet have one. I would like to be able to say to my loved one 'we are fated to be together.' But are we? I think yes, but only because of the many small decisions we have made over the course of our lives.


I'm not sure how this works, because if everything is random, then there's no real such things as 'decisions' - or anything intentional - is there?

The second point of consolation is the elimination of certainty this brings about. If we acknowledge that events only have the significance we give them, then we no longer have the bolstering of one's own argument by way of events.


This actually strikes me as an argument against consolation, since we humans seem to be hard-wired to find comfort in certainty and to be anxious when uncertain (which explains why there's so much faux certainty out there).

And more, there's a vicious circularity here as well. In a sense, what you're trying to do is to give what are essentially meaningless occurances the patina of human significance - in other words, the very thing you saying your view allows others to do, so offering the consolation of uncertainty! By your very own lights, it seems, you have no real way to argue your position.

The knives were there all along, Jack! <!-- s:twisted: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_twisted.gif" alt=":twisted:" title="Twisted Evil" /><!-- s:twisted: --> view post


Nearing Nuptials posted 29 July 2004 in Author AnnouncementsNearing Nuptials by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Well, the wedding is two days away ( <!-- s:shock: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_eek.gif" alt=":shock:" title="Shocked" /><!-- s:shock: --> ), and the avalanche has started. I look forward to seeing what madness has been brewing come mid-August. view post


Do You Play Any MMRPG's? posted 09 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; ADo You Play Any MMRPG's? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Welcome to the board, Skotch! I've never played Everquest (or 'Evercrack' as my brother calls it), nor any other computer/online RPG. As a teenager I was a massive D&amp;D junkie, though, before graduating to bookcase wargames.

I try to avoid all such games now for precisely the reason Legatus gives. The things are like morphine or something. view post


Fight! Fight! Fight! posted 09 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; AFight! Fight! Fight! by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

It's awesome that you guys have been able to find Lamb's book - I've only ever seen it in used bookstores. Even after all this time I still go back to reread IMaIS (I don't find his other works nearly so engaging), and almost every time I feel as though I learn more about narrating epic events. Something about the story and teller really come together in that book. view post


Language posted 09 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

C's can be either hard or soft, depending on the word. This might sound sloppy on my part - why not simply use K's for the hard C's (as in 'Kishaurim')? - but I wanted my nomenclature to mirror the inconsistencies you find in so many historical accounts. For instance, since most readers crinkle their noses at kyklops, writers tend to go with the conventional, latinized 'cyclops,' even though elsewhere they'll transliterate names directly from the Greek. Likewise, many of the names I use are presented in the 'Sheyic' as opposed to the 'native' version. Since I actually go into this at some length in the Encyclopaedic Glossary in TTT, I'll leave it at that for now.

Since the books literally swarm with new names, I decided to avoid neologistic titles and honorifics, save those that struck my ear in the right way (I had no real system in this regard). I think renaming everything is a mistake, because it either leaves you with a plethora of names that carry little or no semantic weight (I think Steve Erikson falls into this trap at times when he starts naming flora and fauna), or it burdens the narrative with a lot of exposition. Even as it stands, I'm not sure I struck the right balance.

At different periods I've studied German, Spanish, French, ancient Greek, and Latin - though I remain obscenely monolingual! I thought I was going to be a philosophy professor, and as such, you need to find your way around these languages in particular (to check on translations and the like). That was the theory anyway <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

I hope that covers your questions, Aiturahim... Lemme know! view post


Language posted 10 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

to establish psuedo-historical authenticity seems rather superfluous here


Perhaps, but then I suspect you can say that about pretty much every choice I've made when taken in isolation. All I can say is that I try to aim for the mediocra firma!

The term Padiraja rather suggests some blending of Indian and Persian characteristics the culture of the Fanim. Is that a valid assumption?


Sounds fair to me! though personally, I'm not too keen on laying down canonical association-sets for my readers - or pronunciations for that matter. Afterall, it is pseudohistorical authenticity I'm trying to conjure. <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

Do the names of your characters and places have meanings in their own languages?


Many place names are descriptive/incident names in other languages. Most of these will be given in the Encyclopaedic Glossary. view post


Fight! Fight! Fight! posted 10 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; AFight! Fight! Fight! by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Cool beans, JH! It's certainly not to everyone's liking, though. Most people skip the orders of battle in the Illiad I suspect. view post


Critique this phrase posted 10 August 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionCritique this phrase by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

But recent historiography is starting to view this in a different light, concentrating more on how proles expressed themselves in music, wine, and song and this increased scrutiny has led to reconsiderations about the importance that fantasy can play in real-world situations.


I'd be interested to check this out, Aldarion. What madness are you reading now? <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> view post


Critique this phrase posted 10 August 2004 in Philosophy DiscussionCritique this phrase by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Sound very cool! I definitely need to check out that Darnton and Foucault.

Don't get too lost in the categorization question: those who attack on this front typically do so because it's an easy place to set up strawmen. All you need do is qualify your position regarding 'generic family resemblances' and the like. You might even want to use the good old genetic analogy to rough out the relationships: even though the Aeneid and tLoTR share many of the same genotypes, the way these genotypes are expressed - their phenotypes - is a function of historical context. view post


Language posted 11 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

My only real complaint is when they start dabbling in fields about which they know almost nothing.


It seems that this is pretty much all I do when I write fiction! Don't get me wrong, I'm a fellow grognard junkie myself, but I rarely make it a primary criterion when reading fiction. Take all those who criticize Tolkien for the absence of plagues, etc. in his fictional armies: since this kind of verisimilitude obviously didn't interest Tolkien, isn't taking him to task on this and like issues simply missing the point? I guess I'm not clear on what makes this a matter of quality rather than taste.

More later... <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


Just a totally stupid question, but I have to ask! posted 11 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; AJust a totally stupid question, but I have to ask! by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Monty Python is an old disease that I've suffered a long, long time. The Moderns vs the Ancients soccer match is precious - I think they actually redid that sketch for And Now For Something Completely Different, didn't they?

I actually use them for Neuropath. <!-- s8) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_cool.gif" alt="8)" title="Cool" /><!-- s8) --> view post


Concerning Chapter Quotes posted 11 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; AConcerning Chapter Quotes by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I spend an inordinate amount of time crafting those bloody things! <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> Every single one has a 'point' - sometimes narrative, sometimes thematic - but I use many of them as ciphers for the deeper, more philosophical layers of the book. Clues... view post


Language posted 11 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I see your point regarding Martin, but what makes it an obvious matter of quality is the issue of consistency - which is quite different. Truth be told, from the grognard side of things, I actually have some problems with Westeros as well, but I view these misgivings the same way I view my misgivings regarding the physics of Star Trek: all things being equal, I prefer my fiction be 'hard.' I too dislike ad hoc settings in of themselves, but if they can be made to really work, as Westeros and Federation physics obviously do, then I no longer worry about it.

As you might imagine, I've spent quite a bit of time considering just these issues. After reading tLoTR for the umpteenth time in my teens, I started puzzling over just what it was that gave the book so much impact. I came to the conclusion that it was some combination of scale, depth, and authenticity, and afterwards I decided I'd try to do the same, to create a world as broad, deep, and authentic as Middle-earth. Once you make a commitment like that, the question immediately becomes one of how far do you go?.

I quickly realized that the answer for this would be different for different readers. Take the names, for instance. On the one side, many think I went too far, whereas on the other side, I'm sure some specialists think I didn't go nearly far enough. I have had equesterians question my handling of horses, martial artists question my handling of hand-to-hand combat, and so on and so on.

I could have worked on the story and world for another ten years, and this would still happen. Earwa is an illusion, and since I'm no polymath, there's always going to be people either possessing knowledge that renders them immune to parts of that illusion, or lacking the minimal knowledge for parts of the illusion to work. I see this as inevitable. I mean, if old JRRT couldn't do it...

Given this, how do you think I should respond to linguists 'baying for my blood'? Should I say, 'Damn, I guess I dropped the ball,' or should I just shrug my shoulders and just acknowledge that I didn't write the book for them? view post


Concerning Chapter Quotes posted 11 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; AConcerning Chapter Quotes by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Pickled tink indeed! <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


Concerning Chapter Quotes posted 11 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; AConcerning Chapter Quotes by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Like manure, profanity is most effective when it's spread. <!-- s:twisted: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_twisted.gif" alt=":twisted:" title="Twisted Evil" /><!-- s:twisted: --> view post


Language posted 12 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I'm excited and apprehensive about seeing the first translations of TDTCB. My agent has already told me to admire the cover, but never dare open and start reading translations. Supposedly they're notoriously bad.

Speaking of the name thing, I came across an absolutely hilarious pan of TDTCB on amazon.com! I always thought the book was the 'love it or hate it' type... <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

I didn't come to break you on the rack over linguistic inconsistencies. I've actually been pleasantly surprised by how much you've said.


I hope I didn't come across as defensive - I've actually appreciated the opportunity to work out my opinions in text! As I said, I've encountered the concern before and I have no doubt I'll encounter it again.

Regarding your question about editorial pressure to 'keep things simple,' I think it was my profound good fortune to be picked up by Penguin Canada first, and to work with artistically-minded editors. There was no pressure whatsoever, even though I was told by others 'in the know' that the best I could hope for was a Wolfe-like niche audience because of the complexity. view post


Great Book posted 13 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; AGreat Book by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Thanks steve! Welcome to the board! Just watch out for those muck-rakers in the philosophy section <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


Language posted 13 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

This is an opinion given after reading only the first novel, so don't take offense, but there is nothing in TDCTB, except more philosophy, more linguistic and historical work than usual, and possibly, a more Oriental-flavored backdrop, that should put it far outside the mainstream.


Actually this is exactly what I was aiming for: something that walked the line. view post


Great Book posted 14 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; AGreat Book by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Just who are you calling a muckracker? Hrmm?

*throws muck at you*


*ducks muck and flips Larry the bird*

Oh, no one in particular... <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


Language posted 14 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; ALanguage by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I like to think so!

Thanks, Steve - and feel free to call me Scott. view post


Will be there an italian edition? posted 16 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; AWill be there an italian edition? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Hi Adres - thanks for the kind words and welcome to the board! Unfortunately, no one in Italy has shown any interest in the translation rights to TDTCB - yet anyway. From the sounds of it, the situation there is similar to the one in Spain.

Your English is excellent, by the way. view post


What is your position on science vs philosophy? posted 16 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; AWhat is your position on science vs philosophy? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Just for the record, I've officially hung my professorial spurs this summer. I am now a fulltime writer. *insert circus drum roll here*

Holy moly, but this question is BIG, Grantaire! So let me give you the short answer. Since 'taking as true' reflects a type of commitment to a claim, I'll talk in terms of the latter instead of the former.

Claims regarding this or that are made all the time; the question is always one of what our commitment to those claims should be. Since we humans seem marvelously adept at duping ourselves, I've become something of a miser when it comes to committing myself, and I don't believe in unconditional commitment to anything. I also believe that our commitments should always reflect the reliability of the claim, and not our wants or hopes (as is most often the case, I think).

It's all on a continuum. Science, given an understanding of its institutional and methodological weaknesses, certainly tops the list. My commitment to philosophical claims, I'm afraid, falls quite short this mark - thus my commitment to interpretative pluralism regarding philosophical subject matter. Philosophy provides heuristic ways of understanding explananda that exceed the reach of science.

Does this answer your question? view post


Scott, have you heard of this journal? posted 16 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; AScott, have you heard of this journal? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

First time I've heard of it... Do they have a website?

As far as submissions go, you should start at the top (SFS), then work your way down. view post


Scott, have you heard of this journal? posted 18 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; AScott, have you heard of this journal? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Any others to suggest for me to consider? I need to know so I can purchase an issue or two.


SFS is the only one that comes immediately to mind. I think the SFRA and the IAFA have once-yearly publications, but don't quote me on that. Are you planning on attending Worldcon in Boston in a couple of weeks time? view post


The appearance of the Sranc? posted 18 August 2004 in Author Q &amp; AThe appearance of the Sranc? by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

If I'm ever in the mind for a long vacation, Legatus, I might just have to give you a call! <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: --> view post


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