[LMB] Warrior's Apprentice BD -- kicking things off

Natali natali.vilic at zd.t-com.hr
Mon Apr 19 21:50:41 BST 2010


On Monday, April 19, 2010 4:40 PM nikohl nikohl wrote:

>Hi all! Today begins the list's discussion of 
>The Warrior's Apprentice, our first contact 
>(for both internal and publication chronologies) 
>with an adult (or near->adult) Miles.
>I'll be sending out some questions later today, 
>but for the moment, I just wanted to open with a 
>topic to ponder across the novel.
>tWA is a bildungsroman, or a novel about a young protagonist's 
>journey to maturity as he (and it is *usually* a he) learns to 
>navigate one or more areas of society. 
>In this novel, we watch Miles' "apprenticeship" as he grows up 
>in a number of areas across the novel.
>So, with that in mind, some things to think about:
>
>-Who is Miles at the beginning of tWA? Is he different 
>from Miles in our last contact with him (DI, ca. age 32)? 
>-In what ways does he still seem a child/adolescent? In 
>what ways does he already seem an adult?

Most resemblance between Miles and Mark
may be IMHO found in Miles from the beginning of
tWA and Mark from the beginning of MD. They
are both so angry, edgy, frustrated, easily
put out of balance. These are common characteristics
of an adolescent. 
The difference is though in their upbringing
and training, that makes their decisions and
coping different, and determine their paths.

Mostly I found the way Miles reacts to failure,
and to (real or imagined) criticism, childlike
or even more, adolescent-like. He reads judging
in everything, and hence is very vulnerable. 

Of course Miles at the age of 17 is different
from Miles at the age of 32. It would be a
very sad business if he would not be. He is 
different in all kinds of ways; he is more settled,
he prioritize differently, his forward momentum
is more mindful. But at the age of 17 his 
intellect was equally sharp, his mind was
equally strategic, and he had the same sense
of consciousness and basic decency. Only, with
age, he added integrity. He integrated both
aspects of his personality into one.

>-Does anything seem particularly striking or jarring 
>about him in the context of our greater knowledge of 
>him across the series?
>-The bildungsroman theme also applies to Elena. How 
>does she appear initially in tWA, and how is her 
>coming-of-age set up?

Nothing really jarring, that would not be expected
from a teenager, an one that is very aware of 
his own intelligence and education, and is somewhat
inclined to theatricality.

The way he occasionally falls into pits of horror and 
insecurity is also to be expected - we do judge
others through ourselves, even he cannot
escape *that*, so from time to time he cannot 
believe that others do not see what he sees, and
hence see through himself and ambush him where he
least expects it. And then it really happens.
Elena Visconti does it, although he was absolutely
marginal to her. 

The way he hypnotizes everyone around him is what 
astounds me. Loved that association to Pied Piper
of Hamele, I think it *was* in tWA (?)

For Miles, the bildungsroman spreads all the way 
into Memory, and the books that follow are adding 
meat to the bones of his atonement.
And I would not wish to anyone to go through what
Elena Bothari did. It is not actually what I 
would identify with growing up. I don't believe
that horrible experiences are needed for the 
process. Things can be learned in a gentler
way too. She was wrenched out of her ground,
remorselessly. I don't say that living a lie,
as she was before this, is better. It all just 
makes me sad, because she bore no guilt, and yet 
all the consequences battered down on her. Bothary 
was dead, but it was far more merciful for him to 
be dead than to have to face Elena who now knew.

She also found her balance, eventually. We just
did not get to see the process. 
Her urge to prove herself worthy dies away 
till the beginning of Memory, while it takes
Miles that whole book to conquer his. 

Natali

 

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