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Another endorsement for Atuan

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  • Jason Fisher
    ... I completely agree that Atuan is a wonderful book and absolutely worthy of following Wizard; I certainly enjoy Atuan (and Wizard) more than The Farthest
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 25, 2007
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      > --- Grace Walker Monk wrote ---
      > I missed this, since I tend to skip Mr. Rateliff's posts. Just want to state
      > for the record that "The Tombs of Atuan" is a fantastic book, absolutely
      > worthy of following "A Wizard of Earthsea" and an excellent compliment
      > to it. Far from diminishing from Wizard, it adds immeasurably to the
      > development of Ged and shows more of the Earthsea world and its
      > inhabitants.
      >
      > Just had to show Atuan some love -- now back to the debate about
      > Pullman, whom I care nothing for and think very little of his writing, and
      > certainly not enough to argue about him when others are doing such
      > heavy lifting for me, so to speak.

      I completely agree that Atuan is a wonderful book and "absolutely worthy of following" Wizard; I certainly enjoy Atuan (and Wizard) more than The Farthest Shore . But I can't say I think it "adds immeasurably to the development of Ged" � who, after all, doesn't enter the picture until the novel is half over. The novel does advance our understanding of his character to some extent (particularly how his experiences in Wizard have made him quieter, more introspective, more patient, more concerned with the Balance), but Arha / Tenar is the protagonist, to whom Ged is very clearly secondary. In fact, I think Ged's playing second fiddle is the main reason a lot of readers don't like Atuan as much.

      But I also have to ask (or maybe I shouldn't) � why on earth would you "tend to skip Mr. Rateliff's posts"?

      Jason Fisher

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    • Walkermonk@aol.com
      In a message dated 6/25/2007 11:05:52 AM Central Daylight Time, visualweasel@yahoo.com writes: I completely agree that Atuan is a wonderful book and
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 25, 2007
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        In a message dated 6/25/2007 11:05:52 AM Central Daylight Time,
        visualweasel@... writes:

        I completely agree that Atuan is a wonderful book and "absolutely worthy of
        following" Wizard; I certainly enjoy Atuan (and Wizard) more than The Farthest
        Shore . But I can't say I think it "adds immeasurably to the development of
        Ged" — who, after all, doesn't enter the picture until the novel is half over.
        The novel does advance our understanding of his character to some extent
        (particularly how his experiences in Wizard have made him quieter, more
        introspective, more patient, more concerned with the Balance), but Arha / Tenar is the
        protagonist, to whom Ged is very clearly secondary. In fact, I think Ged's
        playing second fiddle is the main reason a lot of readers don't like Atuan as much.

        ------------

        All your points about when Ged enters the story are technically. I guess I
        see it differently. He is far more compassionate and much more powerful in Atuan
        than he is in Wizard. For me, although Tenar is the main character for the
        first part and even though the perspective remains hers in the second part, Ged
        is so immensely powerful and attractive and enthralling to her that he becomes
        *her* focus that I find him becoming mine as well. How he acts in labyrinth,
        his power in keeping the dark forces quiet, his kindness to her (I especially
        think of his illusion showing her what she looks like in a beautiful dress,
        without even moving or blinking or speaking -- but also his acknowledgment that
        she is a vessel made for light), all show me more about him than I thought I
        learned in Wizard.

        But I acknowledge that may be a personal experience that isn't shared by
        others.

        Grace Walker Monk



        ************************************** See what's free at http://www.aol.com


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      • Merlin DeTardo
        ... Maybe it would be best to let old arguments rest? Those people determined to know more about past interactions here can always use the search function at
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 25, 2007
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          >>---Jason Fisher <visualweasel@...> wrote:
          >>But I also have to ask (or maybe I shouldn't)...

          Maybe it would be best to let old arguments rest? Those people
          determined to know more about past interactions here can always use
          the search function at the group's archives:

          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mythsoc/


          As for _The Tombs of Atuan_, I haven't read it or the other two
          Earthsea novels (as they then were) in twenty years, but I do
          remember it being quite jarring to have the sequel to _The Wizard of
          Earthsea_ not feature Ged for so long. But the horror of the tombs
          was very effectively portrayed, I thought.

          Has anyone else read the comments by Michael Powell (director of _The
          Red Shoes_ and _Stairway to Heaven_) on the student film of _The
          Wizard of Earthsea_ that he supervised, with LeGuin's approval? (Has
          anyone seen that film, for that matter?) As I recall, Powell took a
          swipe at Tolkien while praising LeGuin.

          -Merlin DeTardo
        • Jason Fisher
          ... I don t disagree with you on any of this, except to say that I, just speaking of my own personal reading experience, continued to see Tenar as the main
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 25, 2007
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            > --- Grace Walker Monk wrote ---
            > For me, although Tenar is the main character for the first part and
            > even though the perspective remains hers in the second part, Ged
            > is so immensely powerful and attractive and enthralling to her that
            > he becomes *her* focus that I find him becoming mine as well.
            > How he acts in labyrinth, his power in keeping the dark forces
            > quiet, his kindness to her (I especially think of his illusion showing
            > her what she looks like in a beautiful dress, without even moving
            > or blinking or speaking -- but also his acknowledgment that she
            > is a vessel made for light), all show me more about him than I
            > thought I learned in Wizard.

            I don't disagree with you on any of this, except to say that I, just speaking of my own personal reading experience, continued to see Tenar as the main focus even after it was clear who was trapped down in the labyrinth. All the way to the end, where, when they arrive at Havnor, Ged selflessly puts the Ring of Erreth-Akbe on her arm and recedes into the background, letting Tenar take the accolades of the people. But of course, these actions themselves help to develop his character further, too. Atuan is where we really see the excess of ego from Wizard disappearing, and by the time of Farthest Shore, there's almost no ego left at all.

            Jason
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