Jihadicus

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inhuien
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Re: Jihadicus

Postby inhuien » 02 Nov 2012 14:06

I've stayed out of this thread so far due to lack of interest, But can I just confirm what's going on. There are a couple of members who feel that the events subsequent to the end of due taint with foreknowledge the victorious Fremen ascension. And there is other camp who contest that it's all part of the ride and get over it.

A couple of things should be held in mind here, #1 Dune the novel was never intended as a standalone piece, Dune, Messiah and Children of Dune should be viewed as one story. There are many sources to supporting this, least of all the author himself saying so. Corruption of the Hero archetype and illustrating the social pitfalls of following an overly charismatic leader/figurehead are the two of the main themes of these novels, and don't take my word for, he said it himself during a BBC soundbite promoting the 84 movie.

The Jihad was a known and accepted consequence of Paul and Jessica taking sanctuary in Stilgars sietch, as Paul relates himself on the trek to the Cave of Bird the only way of preventing it from that point on would be the death of the whole party, the Fremen as a culture had been waiting for their Mahdi for possibly thousands of years. Who knows for sure when/if the Bene Gesserit implanted that myth.

If you're upset by what befalls the Duneverse after the 1st novel, then good, because that was the authors intention.
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Re: Jihadicus

Postby Hunchback Jack » 02 Nov 2012 20:17

While reading through the thread (still catching up after a long absence) my mind snagged on the question of whether Dune had a happy ending.

Personally I find the ending mixed - did so even on first reading. Paul has enacted revenge on his father's murderers and has ascended - along with his House - to be Emperor, in complete control of the spice. So for Paul, things are just dandy. But he chose that route knowing that it would result in Jihad - something he originally balked at - and to me, his choice to proceed with his plan anyway seemed a selfish and self-serving one. So Paul's character at the end of Dune is compromised, at best.

Dune Messiah is, to some extent, about Paul's redemption.

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Re: Jihadicus

Postby Cpt. Aramsham » 03 Nov 2012 07:05

Naïve mind wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:After a long silence, Paul said: "The end adjusts the path behind it. Just
once I failed to fight for my principles. Just once. I accepted the Mahdinate. I
did it for Chani, but it made me a bad leader."

~Children of Dune

:wink:


Even that may be a forty-year old rationalizing the decisions he made as a child.

Yes, up to a point. (He sees himself as having been prematurely aged by his experiences from possible futures seen in visions, so he wasn't altogether a child, but still.) Or we might say that actions are determined by many different motives and circumstances, and that offering a "reason" for them is always relative to what alternatives one is willing to consider.

Dune Messiah wrote:
"No mentat knows what I believe!" She took two deep, shuddering breaths. "How dare you judge us?"
"Judge you? I don't judge."
"You've no idea how we were taught!"
"Both of you were taught to govern," he said. "You were conditioned to an overweening thirst for power. You were imbued with a shrewd grasp of politics and a deep understanding for the uses of war and ritual. Natural law? What natural law? That myth haunts human history. Haunts! It's a ghost. It's insubstantial, unreal. Is your Jihad a natural law?"
"Mentat jabber," she sneered.
"I'm a servant of the Atreides and I speak with candor," he said.


I think Hayt's analysis is the one most shorn of flattery. While the Atreides (until Leto II, at least) are regularly seen doubting how they must rule, they rarely question why they must rule; they are raised to expect obedience; they are conditioned to take responsibility.

Good point. The Atreides take their their right to rule, and the rightness of them being the rulers, for granted. It has been deeply conditioned into them, so that while they may question other aspects of the social and political order, they never question their own ambition: "A creature who has spent his life creating one particular representation of his selfdom will die rather than become the antithesis of that representation."

This may be the influence of the "old duke" that Jessica despises; the upbringing that makes it impossible for Leto Atreides to do what every one of us would do in his position; take his wife and son and run to Tupile, and let Arrakis sort itself out. It makes it impossible for Paul to seek employment as a guild navigator, retiring to obscurity between the stars, and throw away his father's signet ring. Or live out his life as any ordinary Fremen. The Atreides upbringing doesn't allow them to accept insignificance.

Well, remember that Jessica is more zealous than Paul in asserting his aristocratic rights and trying to gain positions of authority among the Fremen. She's as ambitious as any of the Atreides on her son's behalf. (She'd always hoped he might be the KH.) I think she understood completely and sympathized with the reasons of honor, pride, responsibility of leadership etc. that made it impossible for Leto to flee from the Dune challenge, although she regretted it (just as the Duke did).

It may be that force and boyish pride, a desire for revenge, that causes the Jihad; blaming Chani sounds like rationalisation.

I don't think he blames Chani; he blames his own desire to be with Chani, and his unwillingness to sacrifice her for the greater good. And I don't think it's a rationalization, it fits too well with how events unfold, both in Dune and Dune Messiah. But like I said, a reason given for an action is always going to be a selective explanation, sensitive to assumptions and to what alternatives are considered. Muad'Dib says, "What do you despise? By this are you truly known." We might read that loosely as "What possible actions do you reject out of hand?"

Ambition set his overall course, but each time he's at a point of maybe doing something to stop the Jihad, he holds back for personal reasons: first when he joins the Fremen, when he sees the possibility of life with Chani; second at the "nexus" after the final battle of Arrakeen, when he's bitter, vengeful and hopeless after the death of his son; third in Dune Messiah, where he's let the Jihad rage on for a decade because the alternative would be Chani ending up as a scapegoat for the collapse of his cult.

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Re: Jihadicus

Postby Cpt. Aramsham » 03 Nov 2012 07:49

What's with the weird non-quotes, lotek?

lotek wrote:
Cpt. Aramsham wrote:Serkanner is saying that when you read Dune, you don't have to worry about Dune Messiah, you can just ignore it and take events and endings of the first book on their own. You're saying Dune "can't exist" without Messiah, that it's somehow incomplete, insufficient. Opposite arguments.

That's not what he said.

Serkanner wrote:Because time is linear ... you are at one moment in the story. The characters at the end of Dune are not yet characters of Dune Messiah. Hence you have to take the climax of Dune as it is at that moment.

I know that's what he wrote. But since you asked for a clarification, I restated it to make the contradiction obvious. Could you explain what significant difference of meaning you see between the two? Or maybe Serkanner wants to pitch in?

lotek wrote:And what I meant is that they can't exist without each other, because FH time and again said that ths story was about charismatic leaders and their fall from grace, so taking Dune as just an adventure story is a partial view of the whole picture.
Dune is not incomplete without DM, but the message is.

FH often said it was about the dangers of charismatic leaders, but I don't remember him usually including the bit about their fall from grace (e.g. neither in "Dune Genesis" nor "When I was writing Dune"), so I would question how essential it was to his message. I would anyway argue that Dune is a story first and a message... well, it ranks somewhere below. (As he says in "How to build a world," he always would refer to Dune as a story rather than a novel: "If I don't tell a good story, even if I create a world, there's nothing novel about it.")

inhuien wrote:A couple of things should be held in mind here, #1 Dune the novel was never intended as a standalone piece, Dune, Messiah and Children of Dune should be viewed as one story. There are many sources to supporting this, least of all the author himself saying so.

"Least of all"? Are there any others?

Authors are not always the most reliable testimony to their own initial intentions and the writing process. FH said in 1980 that he planned the three books together as one story, but that doesn't necessarily mean his version of events, written down almost twenty years later, is accurate. Certainly the first two sequels develop ideas that are already in Dune, and shows some event and developments FH had anticipated in Dune, but when FH and his agent were shopping the first book around, was he already planning to write another two books, and did he know what would happen in them? I doubt it. (For example, it's clear from earlier drafts of the DM ending that FH intended Paul to die for real. So that whole part of CoD was something that came later.)

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Re: Jihadicus

Postby inhuien » 03 Nov 2012 08:14

Cpt. Aramsham wrote:
inhuien wrote:A couple of things should be held in mind here, #1 Dune the novel was never intended as a standalone piece, Dune, Messiah and Children of Dune should be viewed as one story. There are many sources to supporting this, least of all the author himself saying so.

"Least of all"? Are there any others?

Authors are not always the most reliable testimony to their own initial intentions and the writing process. FH said in 1980 that he planned the three books together as one story, but that doesn't necessarily mean his version of events, written down almost twenty years later, is accurate.

No, not that I know of, just a bit of Hyperbole on my part. If you are unwilling to accept the documented words of Frank Herbert his self regrading the 1st three books, then nothing I, or I suspect anyone else, can say will influence you. So before I spent anymore of my valuable time on this matter I'll just say. Over and out.
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Re: Jihadicus

Postby Freakzilla » 03 Nov 2012 08:34

Cpt. Aramsham wrote:
It may be that force and boyish pride, a desire for revenge, that causes the Jihad; blaming Chani sounds like rationalisation.

I don't think he blames Chani; he blames his own desire to be with Chani, and his unwillingness to sacrifice her for the greater good. And I don't think it's a rationalization, it fits too well with how events unfold, both in Dune and Dune Messiah. But like I said, a reason given for an action is always going to be a selective explanation, sensitive to assumptions and to what alternatives are considered. Muad'Dib says, "What do you despise? By this are you truly known." We might read that loosely as "What possible actions do you reject out of hand?"

Ambition set his overall course, but each time he's at a point of maybe doing something to stop the Jihad, he holds back for personal reasons: first when he joins the Fremen, when he sees the possibility of life with Chani; second at the "nexus" after the final battle of Arrakeen, when he's bitter, vengeful and hopeless after the death of his son; third in Dune Messiah, where he's let the Jihad rage on for a decade because the alternative would be Chani ending up as a scapegoat for the collapse of his cult.


He did it so he could be with Chani, it was completely selfish.
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Re: Jihadicus

Postby Cpt. Aramsham » 03 Nov 2012 13:59

inhuien wrote:No, not that I know of, just a bit of Hyperbole on my part. If you are unwilling to accept the documented words of Frank Herbert his self regrading the 1st three books, then nothing I, or I suspect anyone else, can say will influence you. So before I spent anymore of my valuable time on this matter I'll just say. Over and out.

Very sensible of you, your time being so valuable and all.

Of course FH's word carries weight; I just don't think it's conclusive in itself, and I find internal evidence from the books that they were composed independently with very little forward planning more compelling. (We have Heretics and Chapterhouse to compare what the result is like when he clearly had them planned out as a continuous narrative.)

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Re: Jihadicus

Postby Naïve mind » 03 Nov 2012 14:06

Cpt. Aramsham wrote:Well, remember that Jessica is more zealous than Paul in asserting his aristocratic rights and trying to gain positions of authority among the Fremen. She's as ambitious as any of the Atreides on her son's behalf. (She'd always hoped he might be the KH.) I think she understood completely and sympathized with the reasons of honor, pride, responsibility of leadership etc. that made it impossible for Leto to flee from the Dune challenge, although she regretted it (just as the Duke did).


I was going to point to the scene where Jessica spits out "A thousand deaths are not enough for Yueh!" as Paul finds the Ducal signet ring in the thopter. I'd always taken that as contempt for the feud that took her husband, and anger at the man who betrayed her poisoning her son's future by giving him the means to continue it. But then I realised that although it's a powerful scene, it's not in the novel; it's in the Lynch movie, and even then, open to a different interpretation.

Cpt. Aramsham wrote:I don't think he blames Chani; he blames his own desire to be with Chani, and his unwillingness to sacrifice her for the greater good. And I don't think it's a rationalization, it fits too well with how events unfold, both in Dune and Dune Messiah. But like I said, a reason given for an action is always going to be a selective explanation, sensitive to assumptions and to what alternatives are considered. Muad'Dib says, "What do you despise? By this are you truly known." We might read that loosely as "What possible actions do you reject out of hand?"


I don't think we disagree on this fundamentally, but when Paul, in DM and CoD, talks about the paths now closed to him, it is from the perspective of the Mahdi, the Emperor of the known universe. Obviously, every decision he makes at that point will impact millions. Obviously, too many people hate him, or love him, or want to manipulate him for Paul ever to know peace after the conclusion of Dune.

But would he have been so bound if he'd accepted insignificance? I don't think so. The universe would've continued its natural course, oblivious to Arafel being around the corner. But he would've had a lifetime with Chani, seen his children grow up. This, I think, is an option that the young Paul rejected out of hand, and one that the older Paul wished he would've taken.

Cpt. Aramsham wrote:Ambition set his overall course, but each time he's at a point of maybe doing something to stop the Jihad, he holds back for personal reasons: first when he joins the Fremen, when he sees the possibility of life with Chani; second at the "nexus" after the final battle of Arrakeen, when he's bitter, vengeful and hopeless after the death of his son; third in Dune Messiah, where he's let the Jihad rage on for a decade because the alternative would be Chani ending up as a scapegoat for the collapse of his cult.


A very sharp summation of the emotional (and very human) nature of his failings, although to be honest, I don't see what options Paul had at the second nexus you mention.

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Re: Jihadicus

Postby Freakzilla » 03 Nov 2012 14:32

I think aristocracy was too ingrained in Paul for him to ever chose that path, Chani or not. This is why Leto was needed, to make a Fremen choice of doing harm for the greater good.
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Re: Jihadicus

Postby inhuien » 03 Nov 2012 15:06

Cpt. Aramsham wrote:
inhuien wrote:No, not that I know of, just a bit of Hyperbole on my part. If you are unwilling to accept the documented words of Frank Herbert his self regrading the 1st three books, then nothing I, or I suspect anyone else, can say will influence you. So before I spent anymore of my valuable time on this matter I'll just say. Over and out.

Very sensible of you, your time being so valuable and all.

I don't think you know whether to you know to flush or sip any more, fuck off you condensing cunt.
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Re: Jihadicus

Postby Naïve mind » 03 Nov 2012 16:22

inhuien wrote: you condensing cunt.


Like the fast coagulation of Fremen blood, that sounds like a valuable moisture-preserving mutation.

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Re: Jihadicus

Postby Robspierre » 03 Nov 2012 19:12

SandRider wrote:this machine kills fascists ....


Love that quote, i have a pic of Woodie and his guitar somewhere on my comp.

Rob

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Re: Jihadicus

Postby Serkanner » 04 Nov 2012 07:41

lotek wrote:
Cpt. Aramsham wrote:Serkanner is saying that when you read Dune, you don't have to worry about Dune Messiah, you can just ignore it and take events and endings of the first book on their own. You're saying Dune "can't exist" without Messiah, that it's somehow incomplete, insufficient. Opposite arguments.

That's not what he said.

Serkanner wrote:Because time is linear ... you are at one moment in the story. The characters at the end of Dune are not yet characters of Dune Messiah. Hence you have to take the climax of Dune as it is at that moment.

I know that's what he wrote. But since you asked for a clarification, I restated it to make the contradiction obvious. Could you explain what significant difference of meaning you see between the two? Or maybe Serkanner wants to pitch in?


My comment should be read as simple as possible.

The question whether Frank planned Dune, Messiah and Children in advance is, to me, irrelevant to the debate. I just meant to say that when I read the books I "unthink" the fact I have read all of them numerous times and know what will happen. I am "in" the story when reading. At the end of Dune I am with the characters at that moment in time and don't know what will happen later.

So what we have at that moment is a "happy" victorious end for the Fremen and Atreides present. Whether this moment is indeed a happy ending can be discussed of course and should be done, in my opinion, without the knowledge of the later books.

Discussing about how Frank envisaged his story is a different discussion. I think we should take his word for it that he planned ahead. How detailed that plan was we don't know.
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Re: Jihadicus

Postby Cpt. Aramsham » 04 Nov 2012 14:49

Great! I think I understood you correctly, then.

And I think it's a very reasonable position to take. Since I prefer to approach each book as a more-or-less independent novel, I also for the most part put the later books out of my mind in experiencing the ending.

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Re: Jihadicus

Postby lotek » 05 Nov 2012 05:52

Cpt. Aramsham wrote:What's with the weird non-quotes, lotek?




It's easier to to it that way than to copy paste every single part I need to refer to.

But they are quotes, aren't they ?
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Re: Jihadicus

Postby georgiedenbro » 18 Sep 2014 16:19

Streaksy wrote:People see different things in stuff, have different FEELINGS about how two stories in a canon connect. Chill out lotek. You barge around telling people that their perspective is wrong. To be honest it seems like your opinion about stuff is the less universal one here. Not that that should matter. Its up to you how you enjoy what amounts to entertainment. The only solid facts being discussed are what plot elements were intended by the author. When I said that endings can be retroactively become anticlimatic by sequels that say "actually they didnt' live happily ever after", that's totally up to the person, and it's wonderful that you can seperate yourself from that and take each book for what it is, but that's not everyone's feeling. And feeling is the part of it that's up to each person. It's not about right and wrong.


Not sure if Streaksy is still around, but I'll take the position that there is a such thing as right and wrong when reading. There is also a right and wrong in doing many other things. I think that in any act it is necessary to invest the mind's attention on the present reality and not to be thinking of what's to come while something is happening now. It can definitely be hard to do this, and at times we try to remove the grim knowledge of what's to come from our minds so that we can enjoy the present. After all, how could you enjoy a night out with friends if you are keeping in mind that it will be over later that night? How can you enjoy a kiss if you are thinking about how you don't know if the person will be in your life next year? How can you enjoy life at all if you know you'll be dead some day? The answer is that one must allow this knowledge to fade beyond thought's horizon, to forget it temporarily.

Dune has a particular drive and effect. If it does its work on you there will be a result if you let it. Having read the series before definitely will change the experience of re-reading Dune, but the knowledge of the events in book 2 shouldn't be on your mind while reading the conclusion to Dune, unless you're reading it to study it. But reading for pleasure or to experience the story is completely different. We do analysis on these books and need to look at the contents of the story as a whole. But when reading one book, we have to read that book as the story comes, and to take what we're given by Frank word by word. The ending of Dune doesn't include anything from Messiah. As a scholar we care what's in Messiah, but as a reader we have to respect the book we're on and read that one. Is the ending of Dune happy? Sad? Maybe it feels happy even though you know there are hints it isn't 'happily ever after.' That doesn't mean the happy feeling is a lie, that's how it's written! Frank meant for there to be a shadow of doubt at the end of Dune, but all of the anti-victory that comes in Messiah - that's not meant to be felt during Dune.

I tend to agree with Freak, as it happens, that Dune definitely feels to me like a happy ending, even though I know full well all of the reasons to question that. Everyone I know who's read it comes out unequivocally feeling the happy ending, and I think that's Frank's intention. I'd suggest letting the book do its work on you, rather than worrying about what's next and how you should feel. Is it embarrassing to come out of Dune happy and then feel like a fool in Messiah? Good, you are meant to get sucked into the victory in Dune. The book won't work it you outsmart it.
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