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2012 Reads > TIG: Dianora & Baerd *spoilers*

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Richard | 221 comments Too many spoilers in 1st impressions (including this one), so a new topic just for this. I know I'm jumping ahead a bit, but I'm up to page 244 (chapter 8) & I need to say something.

(view spoiler)


Ctgt | 329 comments It sure did taint my view of Dianora as a character. In the Brandin vs Alberico thread we talked about how far you might go if something happened in your own life. Is this another situation to put yourself in Dianora and Baerd's shoes? I don't know, but it did make me very uncomfortable and unhappy when I read it.


message 3: by Nimrod (last edited Jun 04, 2012 12:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments There was one scene that made me more uncomfortable than this one... But... Didn't kings and nobility feel that incest kept the bloodlines pure? So wouldn't this again be more an issue we have with this taboo?

Don't get me wrong, I can't entertain the thought at all, but when two people have only each other for comfort, is this not the same as two couples that are not related?


Richard | 221 comments If either tyrant were wed to his own sister, it would be a different context, but these are the children of a craftsman, not a noble, & the context suggests that she should have felt a deep shame about it but did not. Perhaps it was meant to show just how downtrodden the people of Tigana were, that sex with her own brother was the only comfort she could find, but I only lost sympathy for the character because of it. For me, it was the literary equivalent of having a dog take a dump on your blanket in the middle of a picnic.

In terms of incest & context, I had no problem with the suggestion of it in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"


Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments It seems to me that pity for an action that should not have happened (incest in this context) is different than someone doing something that pisses you off (dog)...

Unless you mean it pissed you off that they had sex?


message 6: by David Sven (last edited Jun 04, 2012 01:37PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 1582 comments I was disappointed with this as well - it wasn't really necessary. But one of Kay's themes is how deep loss or shame or tragedy can twist a person or culture - even sexually. Part of the loss is loss of intimacy or a feeling one does not deserve intimacy. I don't really buy it but that's part of his thing.


Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments The one that upset me was (view spoiler) at least Baerd and Dianora were close enough in age...


Michal (michaltheassistantpigkeeper) | 294 comments I thought after A Song of Ice and Fire y'all would've been used to incest by now.


David Sven (gorro) | 1582 comments Michal wrote: "I thought after A Song of Ice and Fire y'all would've been used to incest by now."

yes but at least its frowned upon by the narration somewhat more in GOT.


P. Aaron Potter (paaronpotter) | 585 comments The 'cultural relativism' defense doesn't work here, Nimrod, as Dianora explicitly notes that the act is considered even more unacceptable in Tiganese culture than it is in ours, since it's blasphemy there.

Beyond the (considerable) eww-factor, the fact that Dianora and Baerd seek "comfort" in sex really badly undercuts their supposedly close relationship as siblings. How close could they have been, if that was the only way they could think of to distract themselves from the admittedly brutal occupation? That's too bad, as Kay's whole theme, about how strong the social bonds are -or were - in Tigana is key to his whole plot. Undercutting that seems a narrative misstep.


Scott | 45 comments Richard wrote: "Too many spoilers in 1st impressions (including this one), so a new topic just for this. I know I'm jumping ahead a bit, but I'm up to page 244 (chapter 8) & I need to say something."

I'm very much in tune with you on this, Richard. Since I've finished the book myself, I'm afraid I might give something away inadvertently, So I'd better hide the rest of my reply beneath the enchanted cloak of spoilerage.

(view spoiler)


Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments My problem with saying that it was a cheap thrill to add this in is that again, we are judging in our nice comfy chairs while reading...

Again, I am not defending incest, nor was I using my examples of kings doing this as a way to explain it... My point was that while we have a sociological need to feel appalled by this, the fact is that it is no different than resorting to canobolism to be able to survive. Just because it makes us uncomfortable, doesn't mean that it would never happen... We do have a word for it don't we?

I feel other scenes were worse than this one, and to be honest, it is the least descriptive sex scene in the entire book.


P. Aaron Potter (paaronpotter) | 585 comments Nimrod wrote: "...My point was that while we have a sociological need to feel appalled by this, the fact is that it is no different than resorting to canobolism to be able to survive. Just because it makes us uncomfortable, doesn't mean that it would never happen... We do have a word for it don't we?"

I understand that they're under enormous pressure. But to equate incest to survival cannibalism is, I think, not quite supportable. The very reason Baerd is in such agonies, just prior to this scene, is his fierce devotion to his culture and country that he has lost. So he reasserts this fierce devotion by...breaking one of that culture's most stringent taboos?
Nah, sorry. I don't think it was added strictly for 'cheap thrills,' but I do think that in his zeal to portray Dianora as a (dramatic forearm across brow) 'tormented soul', he simply upended his own story, briefly.


message 14: by Nimrod (last edited Jun 04, 2012 09:08PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments I don't mean incest is a form of survival, I just meant in this case it was their way to survive... The other issue is that they were both young... Baerd moved on, Dianora being older did not...

Either way, people are not perfect... Just because we can't imagine we would ever do that doesn't mean it can't happen... I don't think this was an error on Kay's writting, more of an error the characters themselves experienced. One they both handled in their own ways.

There are many things that we do that society dictates is wrong... We may feel shame, but that still does not change the fact we did them.


Tiffany Scott (tjscott978) | 31 comments Even though the incest scene was distasteful I think I understood why it was there. At that point in their lives they were at their lowest and most vulnerable. They're foundation and support structure was completely gone.
They didn't commit incest to "get their rocks off" , but because they needed to feel close and comforted by each other.


P. Aaron Potter (paaronpotter) | 585 comments Needed to feel close and comforted...and had *no* way in which to do so as brother and sister? Again, seems to undercut any notion that they were a particularly supportive family...


Anthony | 16 comments I'm going to put all this under the spoiler tag, because it's so early in the month and I don't want to ruin anything. I'll be talking about stuff all through the book; you have been warned.

(view spoiler)


message 18: by Nimrod (last edited Jun 05, 2012 05:54AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments P. Aaron wrote: "Again, seems to undercut any notion that they were a particularly supportive family..."

I think that was it... they really weren't a supportive family anymore... (view spoiler) it was just Brother and Sister in a world that had abandoned them. They were young and stupid and as such did stupid things...


Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments Darren wrote: "I mean, it STILL says we're discussing Hyperion..."

It also says the end date was May, 31st 2012...


Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 888 comments Scott wrote: "Apparently Kay was intrigued by Kundera's hypothesis that, in an oppressed and dehumanizing condition, people will plunge into aberrant sexual practices. An emerging insight Devin shares with Alienor certainly seems to imply that this descent is more or less inevitable.

First, I don't at all accept a necessary causal relation between oppression and ... altered behavior in the boudoir. Do some people in those circumstances experience this? I suppose so. But you can't say that one causes the other, because there are plenty who aren't in such circumstances who nonetheless do some strange things."


Correct me if I'm wrong, but your argument seems to be, "Kay suggests a people's reaction to oppression might manifest as aberrant bedroom practices, therefore he believes all aberrant sexuality is the result of oppression". That's a logical fallacy, and not what Kay's saying at all.

Anthony wrote: "All through the book, people are doing things they themselves find surprising and distasteful. {Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there was one sexual encounter in the book that could be considered really 'normal'.}"

As Kay stated in this interview, "there is no 'healthy' or nurturing sex until the Ember Night - which is the 'turn' of the book. This was entirely deliberate, inspired by some musings of Milan Kundera in 'Laughable Loves'."


Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 888 comments Even though the incest/aberrant sexuality theme isn't handled as well as I think it could have been, I think Kay does set it up well.

Consider Valentin's promise in the prologue: that Tigana might fall to Brandin's might, but their name would never be forgotten. That one ray of hope is taken away from them by Brandin's magic. Then their religious institutions fold like a deck of cards before the might of the Tyrants.

So if their culture has been all but extinguished, and their gods (or their gods' representatives) have failed them, and they continue to be ground down by oppression, it's easy to see that the Tiganese may no longer see the value of the cultural and religious mores that failed them. So what if the priests consider incest one of the greatest sins? They sold out to our oppressors, their word is dirt.


Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments Technically, the ember nights scene was not normal either... (view spoiler)


message 23: by Vance (new) - added it

Vance | 362 comments Flawed people in difficult situations making choices and taking actions we would not take strikes me as more "real" than a full cast of characters whose actions and motives are pure. When creating layers of past lives and experiences, you will inevitably, and definitely should, have morally ambiguous actions in some of the characters.

And I don't see Kay as condoning or putting a positive spin on it. I think he was stepping back, remaining non-judgmental, much like Allesan's speech about not judging those in a different situation.


Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments Vance wrote: "And I don't see Kay as condoning or putting a positive spin on it. I think he was stepping back, remaining non-judgmental, much like Allesan's speech about not judging those in a different situation."

Better way of phrasing what I meant when I said that it was the least descriptive sex scene in the book...

I kind of have to leave it at that for the moment, but I am sure those of us who have finished can remember the absolutely last sex scene...


message 25: by Scott (last edited Jun 05, 2012 10:03AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Scott | 45 comments Joe wrote: "Scott wrote: First, I don't at all accept a necessary causal relation between oppression and ... altered behavior in the boudoir. Do some people in those circumstances experience this? I suppose so. But you can't say that one causes the other, because there are plenty who aren't in such circumstances who nonetheless do some strange things."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but your argument seems to be, "Kay suggests a people's reaction to oppression might manifest as aberrant bedroom practices, therefore he believes all aberrant sexuality is the result of oppression". That's a logical fallacy, and not what Kay's saying at all.


Nope, not what I was saying. That would be a logical fallacy. In fact, in the second paragraph you quoted, I said, "there are plenty who aren't in such circumstances who nonetheless do some strange things." Thus I rather clearly said that the group which gets into more taboo practices is populated by far more than those under oppression.

Rather, I was looking at it completely the other way round. Kundera's hypothesis, to which Kay apparently subscribes, is pretty shaky in my opinion. You hear Devin giving voice to it in his post-bedroom chat with Alienor. Some excepts of it:

"Is this what happens to us?" Devin said..."When we are no longer free. Is this what happens to our love?"

..."an admission somewhere in the soul that we deserve no more than this, nothing that goes deeper. Since we are not free and have accepted that."


The idea that oppression carries a unique potential for causing people to engage in what Kay calls "unstable sexuality" is, for me, not believable. In my original post I stated that I suppose that some of those engaging in these behaviors are in an oppressive context, but oppression can hardly be said to cause that behavior. Indeed, I think the opposite can just as likely, and perhaps more likely, be true. I have read several biographies of those who have endured very demoralizing/dehumanizing circumstances. Far from abandoning their sense of self and their values, such oppression has brought out the very best and noblest in these people. They find a moral center, and a capacity for selflessness, that quite dwarfs anything that I have been able to attain to personally. So instead of saying, "oppressed people will likely fall into unstable sexuality," it could just as confidently be said "oppression will likely forge a noble and selfless character." Kundera's assertion, to which Kay ascribes, seems to me to be quite cynical and unconvincing.

But my other points are that quite aside from the merits of the assertion, Kay does not meaningfully integrate the "insurrections of night" motif into the story arc or big ideas of the book, in my opinion--and that instead they are a distraction which had the effect of taking me out of the epic sweep of Kay's otherwise tremendous tale. It's like Bob Ross painting a beautiful landscape, and then brushing in a big tree at the last minute that obstructs my view of it. (I always hated it when he did that!)


Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments Scott wrote: "It's like Bob Ross painting a beautiful landscape, and then brushing in a big tree at the last minute that obstructs my view of it. (I always hated it when he did that!)"

I subscribe to the idea that when an artist is still not finished with a work of art, it is still not for us to judge... I have seen many works of art ruined (in my opinion) by changes done before the work was finalized but I do not hod judgement with that in mind. By this I mean that while I feel that at an earlier point, the artwork seemed better, I still take in the finalized artwork as a whole.

In the case of a story, an author is an artist, to say that "insurrections of night" are a distraction, is, as you put it Scott, telling an artist his/her art was better before it was actually finished.

Would I have rather the sex scenes not be included... yes... would I have rather not recommended a book to my sister that included incest? Of course... I still enjoyed this book immensely though and I wasn't going to let my personal feelings on the matter get in the way. It's not like Baerd and Dianora felt right by doing this... That means Kay is not telling us incest in some scenarios is ok...

That being said, there is always an exception to the rule... George Lucas needs to leave Star Wars alone... but that's another rant entirely... :-D


P. Aaron Potter (paaronpotter) | 585 comments Joe wrote: "...if their culture has been all but extinguished, and their gods (or their gods' representatives) have failed them, and they continue to be ground down by oppression, it's easy to see that the Tiganese may no longer see the value of the cultural and religious mores that failed them..."

If so, then what, precisely, are people like Baerd and Dianora fighting for? It's not for family, as that has been perverted beyond redemption, or else lost to Brandin's depradations. It's not their culture, as they're busy perverting that themselves each night, apparently. So what? Revenge? How does that make them any more admirable protagonists than Brandin himself?


message 28: by Nimrod (last edited Jun 05, 2012 10:32AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments P. Aaron wrote: "If so, then what, precisely, are people like Baerd and Dianora fighting for?"

Did you ever stop to think that maybe part of why they hated Brandin was because they blamed him for this?

People make heat of the moment mistakes... why would Baerd and Dianora not be allowed to move past their mistake?


message 29: by Molly (last edited Jun 05, 2012 02:17PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Molly (mollyrichmer) | 128 comments I think we can all pretty much agree that incest is icky. That said, in some fantasy novels, I don't mind it. For example, the twincest in ASOIAF. I think my biggest problem with this scene in Tigana is that it comes totally out of the blue. We don't see the Baerd-Dianora relationship pre-incest. If I remember correctly, the sex scene was the first time Kay even showed them in the same room together. He writes that they were always 'close,' but he doesn't show the relationship and its dynamics.

I just didn't find it very believable, I guess, despite their desperate circumstances. A poorly executed plot twist.


message 30: by Anthony (last edited Jun 06, 2012 09:37AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anthony | 16 comments One could say that whole theme of the book is identity (memory) and how identity is malleable and fragile.
Tigana was close to being erased from existence due to Brandin. Where as before the war, their Tiganan identity was a source of pride, for most of them after the war it was just a painful reminder of what was lost. For many of them, ignoring that identity was easier than dealing with it.
When you are denying aspects of your own identity, with no emotional support apart from your sibling, the slide into a deviant relationship does not seem so difficult. (As others said before, incest is blasphemous because the church said so, but the church rolled over and let Brandin erase Tigana's identity from the world, why should they care what the church says? [Like the candle on the Ember nights.])
Their identities were so messed up by what happened, deciding that incest for comfort was ok is not a huge leap. (I think it's an important point that it wasn't to get their rocks off, but because it was the only human comfort they thought they could find.)


I don't think that the 'insurrections of the night' idea is that EVERYONE becomes more deviant; I think that it's more that subjugated people will be driven to extremes, whether positive or negative, because the status quo is not working out for them.


Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 888 comments P. Aaron wrote: "If so, then what, precisely, are people like Baerd and Dianora fighting for? It's not for family, as that has been perverted beyond redemption, or else lost to Brandin's depradations. It's not their culture, as they're busy perverting that themselves each night, apparently. So what? Revenge? How does that make them any more admirable protagonists than Brandin himself?"

When both of them started out on their respective journeys to kill Brandin, did either of them have anything other than vengeance on their mind?

Baerd's perspective was tempered by his association with Alessan, a man who'd lost just as much as Baerd if not more, yet sought something more than simple revenge. So possibly by some combination of inspiration and shame, Baerd hitched his wagon to Alessan's noble mission and that's why he's worthy of admiration as a protagonist.

Is Dianora supposed to be an admirable protagonist? I think she can be sympathetic without being a figure worthy of admiration.


Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 888 comments Scott wrote: "Nope, not what I was saying."

Apologies, then.

Scott wrote: "The idea that oppression carries a unique potential for causing people to engage in what Kay calls "unstable sexuality" is, for me, not believable. In my original post I stated that I suppose that some of those engaging in these behaviors are in an oppressive context, but oppression can hardly be said to cause that behavior."

Why would trauma born of oppression be so radically different from any other form of trauma?


Scott wrote: Indeed, I think the opposite can just as likely, and perhaps more likely, be true. I have read several biographies of those who have endured very demoralizing/dehumanizing circumstances. Far from abandoning their sense of self and their values, such oppression has brought out the very best and noblest in these people."

I have as well. But aren't those people represented by the likes of Alessan? I think Kay did a decent job of covering his bases.


message 33: by Michael (last edited Jun 08, 2012 11:15AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Michael (michaelbetts) While reading this thread, the comments about Kay inserting the sex scenes for prurient motives struck me as on the mark. At first. I recalled the closet scene with Devin and Catriana, which seemed quite bizarre at the time and only got worse as it became clear who Catriana was. Really, this is how she loses her virginity?

However, Anthony's first post here puts me into another mind. He's correct in observing that the sex in the book is all very strange, deviant, and "wrong" up until the Ember Nights. Whether or not we can imagine an incestuous relationship being typical of an oppressed people is completely beside the point, and I think trying to determine how realistic it is diminishes what it's doing in the narrative. The deviant sexual relationships between the characters reflects the destruction of Tigana and is intended to make us feel uncomfortable. More to the point, it reflects the characters themselves. I don't see Kay making a comment on sexual deviancy in hard times, I see him using it as a comment on just how broken the world was. Tigana and her people were diminished to such an extent that even their intimacy was ruined. As the world becomes right again, or rather as the characters come to terms with their world and find compassion again, their intimacy also changes.

We could also argue that Dianora's sexual deviancy (sleeping with her family's murderer) never corrects itself. I believe that is significant as well.


Linguana | 148 comments Holy shit! I did not see that coming!
I am somewhat surprised to see the discussion going into this direction here, however. I mean, sure, incest is not exactly easy to be comfortable with but let's face that we're reading a story here and this story just got a whole lot more interesting to me.

Mike wrote: "I don't see Kay making a comment on sexual deviancy in hard times, I see him using it as a comment on just how broken the world was."

Exactly that's why it worked for me. Everything goes to shit and there's literally nobody else to hold on to than your brother/sister. The revelation that it's Baerd gave the whole story a nice twist and reconciled the two story lines.

A lot of people said they didn't like Dianora's part as much as Devin's. I agree that it's different but I found it just as appealing (yes, also because she's majorly messed up with the whole incest thing and the sleeping with the enemy going on). Call me crazy but this is the point for me where I am going from really liking to absolutely loving this book.


Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments Mike wrote: "However, Anthony's first post here puts me into another mind. He's correct in observing that the sex in the book is all very strange, deviant, and "wrong" up until the Ember Nights."

(view spoiler)


Charles (CAndrews) | 60 comments Nimrod wrote:

It was just an appearance thing, like an avatar in an online world.


message 37: by Scott (last edited Jun 09, 2012 05:18PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Scott | 45 comments Anthony wrote: "I don't think that the 'insurrections of the night' idea is that EVERYONE becomes more deviant; I think that it's more that subjugated people will be driven to extremes, whether positive or negative, because the status quo is not working out for them. "

Now THAT I can get on-board with. Good insight, Anthony. Viewed through these lenses, the pity for me is that he focused too heavily on the negative extremes to which people can be driven in oppressive circumstances. If I had seen more of the positive to counterbalance the negative, I'd have been happier.


Anthony | 16 comments Scott wrote: "Now THAT I can get on-board with."
I'm glad that I'm not the only one that thought this :).

I too think a bit more of the positive might have been nice, but I had no problem with it how it was. (Alessan was a bit too grey to be a great example.)

As for Baerd on the Ember night, I think the fact that he was shaped like a 15 year old was way less weird than the fact that it was happening in another world :P. But, unlike the previous stuff, this was a good weird; like Darren said, it's a sign of him moving on and allowing himself something nice, to have something more than just his quest to restore Tigana.


Meowmiau | 6 comments David Sven wrote: "I was disappointed with this as well - it wasn't really necessary. But one of Kay's themes is how deep loss or shame or tragedy can twist a person or culture - even sexually. Part of the loss is lo..."

I just thought I would add to your observation on loss and "twisting" as connected to Alienor.


Meowmiau | 6 comments Linguana wrote: "Holy shit! I did not see that coming!
I am somewhat surprised to see the discussion going into this direction here, however. I mean, sure, incest is not exactly easy to be comfortable with but let'..."


I honestly loved Dianora's character. She and Baerd, in my mind, are the two most complex and tragic characters in the entire novel (save one, but I will avoid additional spoilers). Even Alessan doesn't come close, his path is clear from beginning to end.


message 41: by David Sven (last edited Jun 11, 2012 01:54PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

David Sven (gorro) | 1582 comments Meowmiau wrote: "I honestly loved Dianora's character. She and Baerd, in my mind, are the two most complex and tragic characters in the entire novel"

I agree.



Meowmiau wrote: "I just thought I would add to your observation on loss and "twisting" as connected to Alienor"

It does. I just don't buy it. Western culture has been stretching the definitions of "normal" sex for a while now in particular when it comes to the sexualization of children. It appears one doesn't need too much of an excuse for lack of restraint. Though maybe we finally do have an excuse, now that the whole economic machine is starting to crumble under the weight of its own affluence.


message 42: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 34 comments I interpreted their incest as a sort of defiance - one of the only ways they had left to them. They couldn't fight back, they couldn't speak out, they couldn't even gather in public. But here's one thing they can do - break a taboo.

No, it's not entirely logical. But people act out in illogical ways all the time, especially when their lives have been disrupted to the extent that Dianora and Baerd's lives were.


Richard | 221 comments Rachel wrote: "I interpreted their incest as a sort of defiance - one of the only ways they had left to them. They couldn't fight back, they couldn't speak out, they couldn't even gather in public. But here's one thing they can do - break a taboo."

I'm up to the BDSM in chapter 10 now, and Kay does voice this philosophy behind behind all the inappropriate & self-distructive sex in the book. It is also beginning to look like my real problem is that the quality of Kay's prose drops when he is writing about sex. I can believe the passion in the politics, but I can't believe the passion behind the passion, neither love nor self-loathing. The sex scenes are beginning to feel like bad slash fanfic. Who will be next? Will it end with a Brandin/Alberico suicide pact?


Brian (herkamur) | 24 comments Meowmiau wrote: I honestly loved Dianora's character. She and Baerd, in my mind, are the two most complex and tragic characters in the entire novel

Certainly. Dianora's internal struggles were very compelling to me.


Charles (CAndrews) | 60 comments Richard wrote: "It is also beginning to look like my real problem is that the quality of Kay's prose drops when he is writing about sex."

Are there any high-quality ways of writing about sex?!


Nicole | 9 comments I believe the whole thing with the sex is just a way to show Kay that not everyone fits into a box. He's coloring everyone grey as he goes along, showing that they have more depth to them than just the hero going off to slay the evil tyrants. These are people who have done things they regret, things that eat away at them like we all have inside of ourselves as we go through lives. We're human, and so are these characters.

About Dianora and Baerd, I had no problem with it, as Kay talked about, people who cannot rebel or do not know how to rebel can go different ways, usually to extremes, in finding a subtle way to rebel. They did so by breaking taboo in having sex with one another. Plus, with their father dead and their mother having gone insane, they needed to find comfort in some way, something to hold onto, an anchor. They found that in one another and unfortunately was marred by them sharing a bed, but at the time, it was the only way they could figure out how to do it.

Not all sexual deviant behavior is caused by oppression, that is very evident in today's society, people have fetishes and their likes and dislikes. But things can go more extreme when people are put in a situation where they don't know how to get out, they don't know how to fix it.


Meowmiau | 6 comments Darren wrote: "Exactly. Should he have been more graphic? Used more colour adjectives? Or should he have used metaphors about the clouds or blacksmiths hammering away at anvils?"


*LOL* Now I will be picturing hamering and anvils all day today.


message 48: by Erick (new)

Erick Taggart | 71 comments Nicole wrote: "About Dianora and Baerd, I had no problem with it, as Kay talked about, people who cannot rebel or do not know how to rebel can go different ways, usually to extremes, in finding a subtle way to rebel. They did so by breaking taboo in having sex with one another."

That's an interesting way to look at it. I had thought, like others, that it was just a reflection of how things had gone so wrong for them in their world that they were looking for some sort of comfort. I don't think Kay was trying to justify incest; it didn't seem right when I was reading it. But it underscored the tragic nature of both characters and the messed up world they were stuck in; I remember thinking after that scene that they definitely weren't getting completely happy endings after that. Now, thinking of it in Nicole's light, it shows how tragic and defiant they both are, which makes a lot of sense for them.

Darren wrote: "I think the point there was that Baerd was finally moving on from what happened to him when he was 15. But that's a weird scene for me, as well."

Agreed, it seemed like a very cathartic moment for him. For all its weirdness, it was the most natural and loving of the scenes. For some reason, I thought they both turned back to their normal forms when I was reading it, but I guess it was just in my head.


Rhenus I think the trait that we are managing to miss is nihilism when you truely are depressed, (as someone taking away your identity does) nothing matters, not rules, not faith nothing.
You feel hollowed out, the only solace you can really take is in oblivion aka distraction.

I think that sex in a way is the ultimate distraction, as everyone involved is usually concentrating on pleasure.
Much like drug taking or book reading it is escapism, to distract ourselves from how intolerable real life is.
This is why I can understand and sympathise (not condone) Beard and Dianora's actions.
A Freudian would say it was indicative of longing in the author, however I would not.... although I just did....oops


message 50: by Skaw (new) - rated it 2 stars

Skaw | 116 comments While I agree that the Dianora / Beard thing was creepy and didn't add to the overall plot, I believe it added to the depth of their characters. It gave them a darker aspect just as Brandin was given a lighter aspect.

For me it brought home just how devastated their lives after Tigana was conquered, not just economically and physically, but emotionally. The non-resolved nature of their relationship also helped make them more realistic characters for me.

For those who didn't like those parts of the book, is any graphic description of sex 'unnecessary' and 'distracting' or was it the way that he wrote it that bothered you? (I don't mean to include the incest scenes in this question - obviously they were supposed to be disturbing).


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