the honing of Vlad

Jon_Lincicum at stream.com Jon_Lincicum at stream.com
Fri Feb 3 06:46:00 PST 2006

Felix Eisen <felixeisen at yahoo.com> 
Sent by: dragaera-bounces at dragaera.info
02/02/06 07:37 PM

dragaera at dragaera.info

Re: the honing of Vlad

>>Jon_Lincicum at stream.com wrote:
>>  This raises (yet again) the question: who's more unreliable, Vlad or 
>Paarfi.   By a factor of a multiplier of a power.  Paarfi, for all his 
'claims', should be read as entertainment, not as 'history'; we all  >know 
how many differences there are between what Paarfi 'states' and  what Vlad 
relates to the little silver box as being told to him by  >various 
personages.  The one that pops immediately to mind is the  differences 
between where Paarfi says Morrolan is when Zerika descends  >Deathgate 
Falls, and where Vlad says Morrolan says he was.
"...where Vlad says Morrolan says he was..." So, the information is 
third-hand, coming from one individual with no corraburation. 
>  Remember, Paarfi is writing so that he can make money so that he can 
live in a manner to which he has become accustomed -- i.e. wenching, 
>drinking, carousing, and most importantly never answering direct 
questions as to whether or not his writing is actually historically 
Paarfi seems to be concerned at least with the pretense of being 
historically accurate. As such, any inventions or distortions he makes are 
likely to be in very muddy areas (such as the conversations of the gods) 
where no one will be able to prove him wrong later.

Major information, such as "Where was Lord Morrolan's army on such and 
such a date, and was he present in camp at that time?" are going to be 
matters of public record, therefore much harder to fudge without 
sacrificing his penchant for "history".
> Vlad, on the other hand, is just telling a story;  he's guaranteed paid 
(apparently a whole heap o' gold for each tale),  he doesn't -need- >to 
shade things to make himself look good.  Or  to make the story look good. 
If that were necessary, wouldn't  Phoenix read differently, >instead of 'I 
can't remember a damn thing  about what happened during those few days, 
but when I read so-and-so's  pamphlet about it, I >found myself saying, 
'oh yeah''??  He'd just  tell US what happened, and steal the woman's work 
for his own.
Just because Vlad has no motivation to lie, doesn't mean he has any 
particular motivation to tell the truth, either. Why bother to steal Maria 
Parachezk's work when he can just be lazy and say "some stuff happened 
that I'm not going to get into" and save himself the effort?
I wouldn't say this makes him any *more* reliable. 

>  Hell, half the stuff Vlad does is virtually guaranteed to make him look 
 like a bastard, a heel, a spiritually worthless son-of-a-bitch. 
>Everything that Paarfi writes is intentionally slanted to make a good 
story, where his chosen characters are noble and honorable, or at >least 
not all that bad.  (Hell, even his bandits are courteous and  generous...)

Vlad is somewhat self-deprecating, it's true. At the same time, Vlad 
doesn't have to worry about his facts fitting in with what actually 
happened on such-and-such-a-date, since he knows (implied in /Athyra/) 
that no one else is going to be reading his works. 
> Paarfi is good for a 'well, these events  happened in ABOUT this way'. 
Vlad -- and through Vlad Sethra,  Morrolan, Aliera, and the rest -- >is 
far, far better for the specifics.

Well, we never actually hear from any of the rest of them, (with the 
exception of Kiera) it's all channeled through Vlad. (Except for /Athyra/ 
I suppose, we never get the clear on who exactly is narrating that one.) 
Is Kiera more reliable than Vlad? Or less? How about Kiera vs Paarfi? 
(Here's where Philip Hart jumps in and says "They're the same!" right?)
> In fact, I can't really comprehend why anyone would try to prove a point 
using Paarfi, when he's so clearly possessed of an agenda ...
If for no other reason than his series of events are the only one we have 
to go on in many cases. Something is better than nothing. 
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not really convinced that Vlad is less 
reliable than Paarfi--just that the question is more complex than you