Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Malazan book of the Fallen

I write this, not as a review of the novels, many of those can be found on amazon.com, I write instead my feelings about the characters, yes ... the writer was so successful that I have strong feelings for most of his characters.

Anomander Rake, … who cannot feel awe when Rake is involved? The dark, tall, silver haired, almost immortal lord of the Tiste Andii, with a formidable black sword that is more than just a sword, a sword that exudes power, power that Rake totally controls, and uses to extract justice, cold justice, … who can not feel awe? And yet after a while, after you get to know what his motivations, after you see that how he values honor, friendship, and the lives of mortals, you feelings of awe must change, evolve into a more subtle much stronger thing.

Captain Wiskeyjack, the beloved commander, the man with unshakable integrity, who cares for his soldiers, and everybody, even those who are suspected to be evil or criminal, and whose soldiers will follow through just about anything. And yet, ... after getting old, after seeing so much wars and deaths, after being betrayed, he can see and assume the good in people, can love and be loved, stands fast to defend the life of someone because he simply believes she doesn't deserve to die. It broke my heart when he died. Really, I guess that if not for Rake, I would have stopped right there.

Quick Ben, the mysterious witty wizard, with only hinted at powers, knowledge and vision, who more than once challenged gods (ascendants) with his wits and not his powers.

Korlat, ... the female Tiste Andii leader, second only to Rake, from the first moment you can feel compassion coming out from her, and after a while you feel love, love that binds between her and the old all mortal Wiskeyjack, who values her greatly and loves her back. The sheer ammount of silent romance in this relationship almost crushed my soul, made me feel insignificant.

Caladan Brood, the giant warlord with a giant hammer that can shatter the earth and end life as we know it. Despite is still wise and restrained and goes through all those wars for the liberation of mere mortals.

Toc the Younger, ... .

Tattersail, ... .

Captain Paran, ... .

Picker, ... .


I'm just tired of writing, .. may continue later!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ain't Humanity spiraling down?

I got this idea some months back while I was reading about Socrates, the man that long long ago, so bravely died for his ideas, while he could easily avoid it. It struck me hard that this man who lived thousands of years ago (and is no prophet nor claims any divine inspirations), surpasses me (and just about anyone I know, and anyone I can think of in our current days) in the scale of humanity, if intellectual integrity did count at all. I mean, .... shouldn't humanity be ascending? Increasing, maturing, what's the point at all then from living and dying, dying and living, reading and arguing, learning and building? ...

Let the philosophers aside, ... let's look for effective people, (i.e. people with great effect in history, or culture) , can you think of anyone to compete with Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, or even Hannibal? ... let's see, ... Hitler? Bill Gates? Any suggestions anyone?

So I was thinking that maybe for the last millennium, human culture was descending, spiraling down.

Then I though of another metric, ... the advancement of science (esp. humanistic sciences) like philosophy, sociology, etc. Can the maturing of such sciences be used as a metric for the advancement of the human culture? Are those sciences mature at all? And if so, does that mean that humanity is advancing as a whole while individuals are getting less and less remarkable?

Or is it simply waves of flourishing and thriving, between periods of failing and darkness? Such waves being the Greek Culture, Roman Culture, Islamic Culture, European Renaissance.

So are we now in a time of darkness? Am I making any sense at all?