Imperial Transitions (How much can we trust Paarfi)

charles_sumner at harvard.edu charles_sumner at harvard.edu
Fri Jun 20 11:08:12 PDT 2003

At 01:34 PM 6/20/2003 -0400, Alexx wrote:
> >  We know that Vlad and Cawti read Paarfi's works and consider them
> > to be romantic fiction, not a history of the events they're set
> > around.  Based on that, we have to be careful about taking anything in 
> them
> > as fact just because the books are as real to us as the Taltos books are.
>Textev on that is a bit weak.  The Paarfi books that we have access to
>were definitely published well after the references in the Vlad books.
>And what we know of Paarfi's previous publishing history suggests that
>it was for a far more scholarly market.  Of course, we only have Paarfi's
>own word for that.
>My personal feeling is that the Vlad-period references to "Paarfi romances"
>are jokes put in by Brust, on the theory that the amusement value was
>worth the anachronism.

That'll teach me to post a long note without checking the timeline first... :-)

However Alexx, don't you remember our Oz rule, Brust clearly had Vlad 
reading Paarfi, therefore it's our responsibility to make that fit rather 
than write it off as a joke.

ISTR, that Vlad doesn't mentioning the titles of the Paarfi books they were 
reading, so it could have been something he wrote pre-Phoenix Guards.

In fact, although the introductions that Paarfi wrote for himself showed 
him in a scholarly light ("Phoenix Guards" was a short thing he wrote for 
fun while working on his epic history, "Toward Beginning a Survey of Some 
Events Contributing to the Fall of the Empire"), it could be that he was 
always a hack who wrote historical romances and he was just trying to make 
himself sound better than he was.  TBaSoSECttFotE may be the important work 
that he dreams of accomplishing some day, but all he really does is write 
popular novels.


Charley Sumner               charles_sumner at harvard.edu

"Let's not jump to any conclusions."
"I didn't jump. I took a tiny step, and there conclusions were."
      Buffy the Vampire Slayer - "Phases"