[LMB] Shards to Cryoburn - Aral's life and death
paal at filker.org
Wed Jun 11 17:29:30 BST 2014
Aral's coping mechanism was booze. He explicitly said to Miles about Camp
Permafrost, "I stayed drunk all the time."
To me, there -is- a distinction. There are authors who decide how a story
is going to go, and -force- it to go that way, despite all. There are other
authors who get surprised by where stories go. Writing the Crystal books,
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller discovered that Cantra yos'Phelium had been
lying to them in her diaries quoted in the previously written and published
It makes a difference because if they had forcefit the Crystal books to have
Cantra's diary contents in the other books be accurate historical reporting,
the Crystal books would have not been the books they are, and Cantra would
have been a different character in her thoughts and actions and backstory.
The backstory for long-dead Cantra in the far up the timeline books, and the
backstory of Cantra in the Crystal books, don't match, and the reason why it
works in the series, is that Cantra was lying in what she wrote in her
diaries... but the people hundreds of years later up the timeline, have no
realization/awareness of that, they take Cantra's diary backstory content as
I think it's also notable that there are -two- authors involved, and that
both of them had the same reactions/responses regarding what Cantra had to
be like, when they were writing the Crystal books. They have a almost
seamless collaboration as authors, which other writing teams who know them,
are extremely envious of.
In real life, the talent who play Sid and Nancy in the film, said that when
they were working on the film, their recreation of the characters, persuaded
them that what had to have happened was what the film showed as recreationg,
that in portraying the characters, they got into the head of the two doomed
people and their mindsets (but the acting talent did retain the separation
to not become submerged and self-destructive channeling the people they were
Jack Nicholson warned Heather Ledger about portraying the batshit crazy
Joker, to keep some distance from the character he was portraying, or else
playing the Joker might be lethal. Alas, playing the Joker turned out to be
lethal for Ledger.
Those sorts of things support the assertion that some things logically -do-
drive others in fact and fiction as regards people
's/characters's lives and even deaths. Social expectations can,
also--Romans suiciding out of honor, Japanese committing seppuku for
honor... culture and personal values and inculcation, can drive people to
actions and perspectives, which are envelope sorts of things and even mass
movements, and someone channeling those influences, may generally come up
with the same conclusions/perspectives/direction of action and actions
The ugly sorts of examples are "I turned into one of them" where someone got
into a position where the person wondered or was averse to what previous
people in such positions had done, and wound up behaving/doing the exact
A friend took a job and discovered that the files left by the previous
person were sparse. The friend worked diligently, but kept being
stonewalled/obstructed by the stuck-in-the-19th-century mindset owners/top
management of the company from making changes, including changes to improve
the working conditions for the low level staff, and eventually went
jobhunting and found a less frustrating position, and left files in a
parallel condition to what had been there when the friend got hired in--the
conditions the friend was in in the position, led the friend to the same
conclusions and ultimate actions, that the predecessor had taken, withuot
ever having known or been in any contract with the predecessor!
Would -everyone- write Aral the way Lois did, and have his story go forward
the same way? I doubt it, but, I expect that there were be very strong
similarities, and that many, or even most, writers of the type of genres and
voices which Lois writes in, would have the same or similar outcome
Consider things such as Jungian archetypes, and compliance to them, or the
end imposed on the film El Cid, in reality Rodrgio Diaz de Bivar survived
that final battle and rule Valencia as a principality for a number of years,
before dying in peacetime. But for the film dramatic impact and from the
source material used with its dramatic impact, he had to die in battle and
as the symbol....
From: mmjustus at mmjustus.com
Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 05:03 PM
To: Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold.
Subject: [LMB] Shards to Cryoburn - Aral's life and death
> Practical? Now I don't understand your question. It's conceptual, not
> practical in any way. People were saying Aral had to die because he's
> old, had a weak heart, etc., and that's all within the text.
> I'm saying he died because (Doylistically) that's the way Lois wrote it,
> and the way she wanted it to be. Not a whim, but an overarching part of
> the stories that she set up carefully over many books. She *could* have
> written books in which less time passed (so Aral was still fairly young in
> Cyroburn), or he was younger to start with, or in which medical advances
> were so great that his physical problems were overcome. Or he could hae
> gone through the Weapon X program and become practically immortal.  She
> didn't write that. She wrote what she wanted and intended to write, and
> Aral's death was a thematic part of that.
Yes, but the only difference between what you're saying and what other
people are saying is on the theoretical level. What I'm asking is what
difference making that distinction is on the practical level, as in how
making that distinction has changed the books as they are. Saying that Aral
had to die because of what's within the text or because that's the way the
author wrote it both have the same result. Aral died. I'm afraid that
unless it makes sense on a practical level, it doesn't seem like a useful
distinction at all.
> He doesn't get blinded by depression, but, occasionally, by drink.
I think the drink is a result of depression. A vicious spiral.
> Being bisexual in a society that disclaims bisexuality leaves a mark on
> the personality too, even if just in a sense of being an outsider. And
> Aral had a leaning towards art - to an appreciation of the visual - that I
> don't see in Miles.
Good points, both.
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