Teckla, etc

Fri Jun 7 14:47:15 PDT 2002

On Friday, June 7, 2002, at 05:32 PM, Gregory Rapawy wrote:

> --- "Michael S. Schiffer" <mss2 at attbi.com> wrote:
> [of Cawti in _Teckla_]
>> Half her conversations with Vlad come across as her
>> ignoring (or rather, willfully choosing to ignore)
>> the physical reality of the Cycle and the raw power
>> at the disposal of the  Empire and the noble Houses,
>> not to mention her own personal experience with
>> Imperial politics (or at least with people who are
>> involved in Imperial politics).
> Well, they certainly do come across that way, and that
> is certainly how Vlad feels and how many others feel.
> I wonder if this is one of the places that we really
> do need to take Vlad's perceptions with a grain (or a
> shaker) of salt, though.
One of the first things you learn in lit class in college is that 
sometimes you have to decide if the narrator is trustworthy or not. I 
really like Vlad but I don't entirely trust him sometimes, I know there 
are things he's not saying, glossing over or outright lying about. 
Teckla is one of  those books where you have decide how truthful he 
really is being.
> Many historical and current cultures and regimes have
> made and now make extravagant claims about how their
> particular structure is (1) an inevitable consequence
> of physical reality or other natural law; (2) too
> well-entrenched ever to be shaken; (3) supported by
> overwhelming  force too great to exist.  At any given
> point in time these claims may appear from an internal
> (or even a contemporaneous external) perspective to be
> true, and then may either suddenly or gradually come
> to be not true.
Rome? The United States? These seem to be two good examples off the top 
of my head.
> Vlad's perception of the Empire as something too big
> to fight realistically, rather than as merely a very
> big thing that would be difficult and dangerous to
> fight, could be explained by (1) his desire (having a
> comfortable position in the system) not to fight it;
> (2) his reliance on sources of information friendly to
> the established order of things (Aliera, Morrolan,
> Verra, the Jhereg, maybe Sethra -- her allegiances are
> complicated, though); (3) his temperament (Virt's
> comment in _Dragon_ that Vlad is a tactician and not a
> strategist, or Sethra's in _Issola_ that Vlad really
> isn't comfortable with root causes, which two
> observations come to a similar thing).
Hmmm...sounds reasonable.
> It might be, of course, that the author does view the
> Cycle as a simple and unalterable physical reality, as
> Vlad almost describes it in _Taltos_ (though even Vlad
> says that a sufficiently strong person could move the
> Cycle -- and that raises the question: what kind of
> strength, and how much of it?).  I sort of doubt it,
> though.
God like strength, probably. The Cycle does seem simplistic, at least on 
one level but then again, sometimes that's the way it is is the best 
answer of all.
>  It seems more likely to me that Vlad's
> conviction of the utter unreasonableness of Cawti's
> position is a combination of these sorts of things and
> as well of his predisposition at the time to think
> that Cawti is being utterly unreasonable.
Ummm....yep -:)
> -- Greg
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