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Okay - I just have to ask posted 27 Dec 2004, 05:12 by Annabel, Peralogue

Scott: I really enjoyed TDTCB (haven't read the Warrior Prophet yet) but why are both of the main female characters exploited for their sex? This is not a moral judgment or anything in that realm. Frankly, as a female sci-fi fantasy reader, I'm just happy when there are some female characters who have something interesting to do in the novel. But, I can't help but ask - a whore and a concubine. Will there be any female schoolmen (yeah, that's kinda oxymoronic) in future novels? Thanks! view post

posted 27 Dec 2004, 12:12 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Hi, Annabel. Welcome to the board! As a culture, our fascination with epic fantasy worlds, I think, stems from a yearning for all those things modern mass society has stripped from us: moral certainty, an unambiguous place in our social and cosmic orders, the meaningfulness of individual heroism, and so on. But in the course of losing these things, we also lost much of what was horrible, including institutionalized sexism. What I wanted to do was to explore the good with the bad, to have a thoroughly 'unsanitary' fantasy world. Since women throughout much of history have been treated as sexual resources, I opted for the 'tale of two women' you find in Esmenet and Serwe. I think this becomes more clear in TWP, but I'll let you be the judge! view post

posted 27 Dec 2004, 16:12 by Annabel, Peralogue

Okay. I will try to purchase the Warrior Prophet today. I understand what you were trying to do and, frankly, I think you do a good job of fleshing out Esmenet's despair/hope about her rather brutal circumstances (you make her a real person). Even her mercenary ambivalence in staying with Sarcellus for a while is understandable. However, I could not resist raising the point. And, here's how much I got wrapped up in the story! I really wanted to cheer for Esme when she gets out of Dodge and tries to find Akka to warn him. Finally, an active decision instead of her remaining beaten down by circumstances (even if the proximate impetus was a run-in with the Consult). As for Serwe, she's so delusional but I am hoping she'll wise up in TWP. If not, does she get whacked by the skin spies?? :wink: Keep writing and we'll all keep reading! Thank you, thank you for your efforts. - Annabel view post

posted 11 Jan 2005, 23:01 by Annabel, Peralogue

So I just finished TWP -- Wow! Serwe DOES get whacked by the skin spies at the end. But, I felt sorry for her by that point. Poor, stupid, misguided Serwe. :cry: But I guess that's where blind and unquestionning faith gets you in the end, oh and depending on a MAN to make everything right in your world. :wink: view post

posted 12 Jan 2005, 05:01 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I self consciously picked three mysogynistic types for my female characters (just as I picked fantasy cliche types for my male characters): the whore, the waif, and the harridan. Earwa is a brutally patriarchal world, much as our own was (which makes our own fascination with fantastic versions of our past that much more peculiar), and I wanted to explore the significance of those types in such a world. Serwe is obviously the waif, the frail innocent wronged by the machinations of a cruel world. As such she had to die. But it was the innocence part, that struck me as the most significant and the most redemptive. Without giving too much away, there is a manner in which Serwe is the most important character in the book. Most people shake their head when I say that... Hell, even I shake my head. :wink: view post

posted 13 Jan 2005, 19:01 by Annabel, Peralogue

Actually, I get the point. Kellhus is the central figure of the books but by the end of the TWP his motivations remain a mystery (though you give us clues). Is he good? Is he bad? Does it matter? I like that. His character is like a rorschach test for the other folks in the story. I'm waiting to see how the differing personality types end up in relation to our man of mystery. What we do know of Kellhus through the end of TWP - Serwe is his polar opposite. He is opaque. She is completely transparent. He "rationalizes". She "believes". He leads. She follows. This recapitulates so many gender stereotypes - I can only assume you meant to do this? (And, then there's poor Cnaiur. He's the self-aware slave - the weeping gorilla. He was happier - and sane - when he remained an ignorant barbarian. What does it imply that he has been "used" like a woman?) Another angle (non-feminista) -- Serwe and Kellhus's relationship represents the eternal battle between reason and faith. Seems like the Logos is winning. But, is there a hint of human emotion from Kellhus as he hangs tied to Serwe's rotting corpse? Is her death going to affect him more than Kellhus can foresee in the end? Will Kellhus come to some enlightenment concerning the limitations of human rationality? Of course, I don't expect you to answer any of these questions!! IMHO that's not your job. Hmm, reconsidering, maybe you are supposed to answer these questions in the next novel?? You've packed the story with wonderful questions, controversies and ambiguities -- terrific! Can't wait for the final installment. Write faster! :wink: view post

posted 13 Jan 2005, 20:01 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

No comment... :wink: view post

posted 14 Jan 2005, 02:01 by Erthaelion, Candidate

I think I've asked you something similar before, but I'm sure you won't mind me asking the same thing with different words... Can you speak briefly on the cliche archetypes you used for your male characters? Besides Cniaur, who is effectively straightforward. view post

posted 14 Jan 2005, 13:01 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Kellhus is an inversion of 'the Young Man who would be King.' My UK editor calls him the 'Anti-Frodo.' He is of course, far more than that besides. Cnaiur is the All-conquering Barbarian (who cannot conquer himself). Achamian is the Wise Sorcerer (who continually fools himself). The idea was to take these types and fill them with real people with real problems. For better or worse, alcoholism, depression, violence, and bitterness are far more common human reaction to sustained stress than blithe hope is. The idea was to write something thoroughly unsentimental. We humans are very dark animals. In various studies of preliterate societies, for instance, the death by violence rate for men runs anywhere from 15-65%! view post

posted 14 Jan 2005, 22:01 by Annabel, Peralogue

Yes, we are all a little bit evil and a little bit good. And a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll . . . Hrrm, Arendt (Banality of Evil) showed this so very well. Are we really any more enlightened or civilized in the real world than the brutal world depicted in TDTCB or TWP? Are orphans being kidnapped in the wake of the tsunami and being sold into sexual slavery? Did the U.S. really invade another country and kill thousands with no (okay overt) provocation? Civilization is a thin veneer and truth is often stranger than fiction. view post

posted 14 Jan 2005, 22:01 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Yes. Yes. Yes. And Yes. But all and all I'd say we're better managed. :roll: view post

posted 31 Jan 2005, 19:01 by Annabel, Peralogue

Just as brutal but better managed. What a frightening thought! Indeed, I bet those slavery rings are exceptionally organized. And, hey, we can destroy the world instantly with this incredibly efficient high-tech missile system we developed here in the U.S. I guess its a sign of the times - we value efficiency, economy and scientific/economic progress over things like, oh, reflecting on the human soul, social values, etc. Jumping off on that point (and maybe this should be on another part of the board), but do you think humans can improve large scale? Or will we be monkeys forever? Forever and ever having to relearn things like toleration and how to live together peacably with each generation (despite what all the scholars, philosophers and poets have written). I'm afraid for me that the answer is no, I don't think humans improve. Individually maybe but we just seem to get really nasty in groups - nation-states, religions, social clubs, high school cliques, soccer fan clubs - whatever kind you want to mention. Its actually a very weird thing - the wisdom of the ages is available to all - but we don't bother with it. Or, for those of who try, we're so retarded that we'll pick up a book by Aristotle or whomever and, by the time we get to the end, we forget what was written in the first few chapters! And, even if someone has the intelligence and memory to slog through it, who knows? Maybe you end up with a Machiavelli - he was awfully well educated. Intelligence is not wisdom is not morality. (Which of course, you illustrate in your book by Kellhus character. See, I'm not on too crazed a tangent). view post

posted 01 Feb 2005, 00:02 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I'm a leftist, which means that I think we at least have to [i]try[/i] to improve - which is just another way of saying I'm a big believer in education. The thing is we humans are hardwired to thrive in small, technologically backward, communities of a couple hundred souls. What this means is that the cognitive skills and attention preferences we have are horribly mismatched to the mass consumer society we find ourselves in today. Just check out the TV Guide Channel or your local magazine rack for a gander of our overriding priorities at present. The vast bulk of it makes sense if you think in terms of promoting your genetic material in stone-age communities, but now it often strikes me as nothing short of tragic. This makes me pessemistic... view post

posted 01 Feb 2005, 02:02 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

I completely agree, I wish we could make the bets of both worlds, but we need a major technological revolution, mainly in energy I think, to go completely green to go where I want to go. Blending technology into more traditional life styles. I doubt my utopia will be here anytime soon. view post

posted 01 Feb 2005, 16:02 by Annabel, Peralogue

I'm a leftie too. Go green - yeah! One day soon we'll have no option except to go green. As for pessimism, whenever philosophical discussions wander too far into the dark, I just stop and go shopping. Okay maybe that only works for girls - its the gathering thing we females perfected when we lived in technologically backwards mini-communities. Except that I prefer to gather overpriced high heels instead of nuts and berries. view post

posted 02 Feb 2005, 12:02 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

I've been meaning to set up an Apocalypse thread in the PD forum... My guess is that high heels will be free after the end of the world, Annabel! view post

posted 02 Feb 2005, 19:02 by Annabel, Peralogue

Free shoes? Sounds like my kinda apocalypse. Supposing there are survivors, I could stand the end of the world as we know it as long as I'm well-shod. Stilettos make you more physically imposing, double as weapons and in desperation you can eat them (I swear, you can learn to run in them too with practice). Ditto for steel-toed combat boots. Start the new thread, please. It sounds provoking . . . view post

posted 03 Feb 2005, 16:02 by Mithfânion, Didact

How does one go about eating a stiletto heel Annabel? btw are all women truly shoe-obsessed or just 90% of them? It sometimes seems as if twenty pairs is nothing special. view post

posted 03 Feb 2005, 23:02 by Annabel, Peralogue

Well, Mith, you just had to ask . . . guess that's the name of the thread. Hmmm. I suppose you would cut off all the metal bits. Definitely boil the leather for a few hours until all the tannin came out . . . Toss in a teaspoon of black sesame seeds, oh, some shallots, some bok choy and a little love oil, stir and stir AND . . . yes, I know it, I'm totally full of crap. [Sigh] So, I can't have free shoes after the Apocalypse? Scott? As for most women being obsessed with shoes (heels in particular), Mith, umm, HELLO! Yes, we are all obsessed with shoes. Even those of us who aren't clothes-conscious. Patiently take a women shoe-shopping, give a reasonable opinion, insist that she buy the sexiest pair of heels in the place and you'll win her heart (or at least another date to wear those heels). They are like babies to women - its sick. I equate it to the male obsession with speed and cars. view post

posted 04 Feb 2005, 00:02 by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

[quote:2uoqv2ee]So, I can't have free shoes after the Apocalypse? Scott? [/quote:2uoqv2ee] Since so many shopping centres lie in the outskirts of major cities, I imagine you should have no problem - so long as you don't mind rubbing shoulders with radiation burn victims... :shock: view post

posted 04 Feb 2005, 02:02 by Annabel, Peralogue

You would have to face them. Shoes are important. To illustrate - in TDTCB, Esme hits the road to find Akka. Esme breaks her sandal. Esme ends up sleeping with a Consult member. That's what happens when you only have one pair to your name. :wink: view post


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