How does someone get a link to the Orb

charles_sumner at harvard.edu charles_sumner at harvard.edu
Wed Jun 25 12:53:16 PDT 2003

At 08:50 PM 6/24/2003 -0700, Philip Hart wrote:
>We don't know much about who Paarfi has interviewed, but he claims to have
>read notes or correspondence from the principals and to have gotten
>information from Sethra.  Tazendra, Pel, Aerich, and Khaavren were present
>at the decreation, and if you don't trust the former two to quote Adron
>correctly, surely the latter two are fair witnesses.

Paarfi is not writing an historical account of the disaster, he's writing a 
romantic novel about it that features people who were present during key 
events.  We have no assurance that he has related whatever quotes he may 
have gotten from Aerich or Khaavren (or found in their letters) verbatim, 
and every reason to believe that he has not.  IIRC, the introduction to TPG 
explains how Paarfi's adjusted the style of language to give it more of an 
old-fashioned feel as was used in the plays of the period.

Whatever real facts Paarfi has collected about the disaster would appear in 
his great unfinished work "Toward Beginning a Survey of Some Events 
Contributing to the Fall of the Empire" and it'll probably be a while until 
we see that in print.  For his historical romances, he may have tweaked the 
facts to make Adron seem more noble than he actually was (it helps them 
sell better after all).

>I think _Jhereg_ is not exactly canon - Vlad says some funny stuff about
>reviving beheaded people, for example - and Aliera's account seems both
>muddled and likely to be biased.

If Paarfi did "read notes or correspondence from the principals," that 
would have to include Aleria and _Jhereg_ (as well as _Issola_).  Yes, her 
account is biased, but if she consented to talk to Paarfi about the 
details, you can bet that she'd have happily spun her account of the events 
to shed a more positive light on her father and perhaps Paarfi bought into 
it.  Also, if Paarfi had written that Adron was an idiot, he might not have 
survived to write the later books.

I think that FHYA is an excellent primer about the events surrounding the 
disaster, but just as everything in the Taltos books is colored by Vlad's 
point of view, the "historicals" are colored by Paarfi's (and the 
information that the players were willing to write down or otherwise give 
to Paarfi) so you have to be careful before accepting them as canon.

All of the Dragerea books have a bit of Rashomon to them in that the 
accounts are colored by the person telling the story.  The fact that the 
Paarfi books are told from a third-person perspective doesn't make them any 
more truthful than the Vlad books since they are very much told from 
Paarfi's point of view (and SKZB is happy to remind us of this throughout 
the books by drawing attention to Paarfi's style).

Charley Sumner
charles_sumner at harvard.edu

"That's brilliant!  They've hid the information in
plain sight by disguising it as a web page."