Name of the Wind

Discussion in 'Book Club' started by tenthousand, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. ExTended

    ExTended Hired Nicomo Cosca, famed soldier of fortune

    I've found something very interesting in one of my computer's folders:

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    Now there's a person in a dire need of a mirror.
     
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  2. R.E.M. Verberg

    R.E.M. Verberg A farm boy with a sword

    Ha ha, Kvothe is a Mary Sue - this is EXACTLY what I was thinking. He's Super Good at everything AND modest about it! And just in case you didn't get how Super Good he is at everything because he downplays it, there's always a handy dandy supporting character around to point it out, so it still works out!

    From what I understand about tropes, a Mary Sue is a character who is both amazing at everything AND still modest enough for everyone in the story (and the reader) to like him or her. Traditionally female, this is the proverbial stunning and talented girl who is shy, altruistic and thinks she's mediocre at best (thus simultaneously giving her enough underdog appeal for the reader to root for her AND giving her true hero qualities). I do think that seen in this light, Kvothe is kind of a Mary Sue.

    In my opinion, that is one of the main problems with the frame story construction of KKC. Yes, Kote could be unreliable in his telling of the story of Kvothe and deliberately bragging - but he is simultaneously self-deprecating and humble in his interactions with Chronicler. Not only that, but the 'bragging' takes places in traditional Mary Sue form: Kvothe doesn't think much of rescuing Fela from the flames in the lab, it's everyone else who sees him as a hero afterwards. Logically, this would mean that while Kote is trying to endear himself to Chronicler by acting humble (something he doesn't seem very bothered about from the intermezzos, but let's go with it), he is ALSO trying to appear like a hero by embellishing his life story AND doing it in the form of an elaborate humblebrag where his *friends* think he's so great while he himself doesn't see it.

    Sorry, no. That's not clever plot construction - that's plain confusing. It could have been clear if a) Kote was trying to prolong the myth of Kvothe by being a traditional unreliable narrator in the telling of his life story, b) Kote was trying to get the truth out to Chronicler and reflecting on what a naive windbag he was as a boy, c) Kote was trying to deflate his own myth and telling his tale in a way that made clear that he *really* was nothing special, d) Kote was trying to nuance his myth by being clear about the ways he was special AND the ways he wasn't.

    The way it's written, it's just confusing on too many levels at once, in my opinion. I think this is why many people here find themselves annoyed by Kvothe and are unsure of why he's portraying himself the way he is. Also, why many people (including me) are more endeared by Kote: he's not trying to be more than he is. C'mon - he's literally described as a man 'just waiting for his death' - why would such a man bother to set the record straight before he passes, and then childishly brag to his biographer? It doesn't make any sense.

    My other major bone to pick with the story are the supporting characters. Previously I ranted on this forum about how underdeveloped (but mainly objectified/put in the story solely to support Kvothe's arch) most female characters are, but come to think of it, so are some of the male characters. His friends at the University merely seem to exist to make Kvothe into a normal student who has friends. No individual action of any of them (motivated by that individual's arch) moves the story forward, apart from 'bunch of friends Kvothe gets to pull off cool stuff with'.

    The worst of them all being Denna. She's Manic Pixie Dream Girl from head to toe. I'm sorry @Darth Tater , I'm going to quote you unfavorably here (even though I'm crudely pulling your quote out of context to make a point, and I'm sorry:))

    I think that this is how a lot of men, nice guys included, unwittingly still objectify women, even women they see as 'complicated'. I mean, take that quote above. This is not a real person. This is not somebody doing the dishes and alternating thoughts of that unfinished sudoku with echoes of the aching loneliness she felt this morning when the dentist turned her head towards him with inadvertently tender fingers.

    And by not seeing such women as real women, but as nice packages that appeal to the exact qualities you'd like to boast; 'pretty, in need of rescue and support, mysterious and intelligent'; you think you are putting them on a pedestal, but you're really doing them a disservice. They don't get to be fully realized persons.

    All this is of course not directed at you @Darth Tater , but at Rothfuss who is using this exact same template on Denna (and Fela, if you take away the mystery part) when he is obviously capable of creating complex characters. It's so outdated, sexist and just plain DISAPPOINTING it makes my skin crawl. And not just for personal reasons, but mainly for literary ones. These books could have been so much more awesome with a truly empowered female lead who played a role in Kvothe's (story's) development (other than him chasing after her; she could have been an antagonist, for example).

    Ehm, does all this sound like I didn't like the books?:D Because I did. I think their praises just had been sung so loudly that I had built them up to incredible heights in my head. Not fair, really - poor books. It's just that I see all of Rothfuss' talent and all the potential in the books and then it gets me worked up about every point where it falls even a little short of that potential.

    Can you guys tell I'm way too passionate about writing?
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
  3. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    I've got a running list of names here of people libeling Kvothe (me too now:stop:) and it grows daily. How many people have a freakin' pet demon following them around addressing them as that worlds equivalent of Kemosabe??? A DEMON!! In the flesh. You need to do some pretty awesome things to get demon riding shotgun with you. And those creatures ambushing travelers. I suppose he made those up too? Instead of donning a mask he goes incognito by changing his name. PLUS poor Denna IS a sweet lovely street smart hooker...errr...damsel in distress. What self respecting male wouldn't be in love with her? I hope they get married in the end and have kids named Dvothe and Jenna. Maybe (I'm not conceding this point) he tells a couple teensie weensie war stories about his love life over a beer to the guys. That's not atypical. :p

    You guys are speculating about all of this stuff. Something broke him down. I think maybe Auri gets turned over (by that one girl who Kvothe leads to Auri) to that kid heavy (king to be) and she gets locked up and Kvothe explodes and does some heavy damage and decides never to use magic again. Mr. Ash/Cinder is going to pay too.

    AND feel free to keep on quoting me. Just gives me more ammunition. I am gonna talk so much trash when the truth is finally revealed. :snaphappy:

    Plus I don't care if the females are fully realized. I fully realize that they are hot and if that is good enough for Kvothe who am I to argue?

    This third book will be beyond awesome. If it turns out (it won't) that Kvothe is lying the book goes from a classic to bull crap. Which will sell more? My confidence in this on a number scale is 10/10. Seriously. I'm planning on opening an Kvothe and Darth Apology Get In Line Thread for you guys to stand in. :hilarious:

    We've got all this on record and accountability is a beotch. Unfortunately, my fantasy football draft is tomorrow and my confidence level in that is only around 6/10.
     
  4. Alucard

    Alucard In the name of the Pizza Lord. Charge! Staff Member

    I would add scissors and a comb. :D

    J/k.

    But, maybe he wrote that on his hand as a personal reminder. I did that in high school and still do sometimes, even though there's bunch of note paper around lol
    It works for me, but maybe not for him?
     
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  5. R.E.M. Verberg

    R.E.M. Verberg A farm boy with a sword

    Well, that must be why you like those books so much, then. Because hot they certainly are - to the point that there isn't a single non-hot female in all of KKC, come to think of it. Even Kvothe's mother is hot. Dang! :)

    But again, I apologize if I veered too much off your quote @Darth Tater, I was referencing a proverbial 'you' and sort of venting my annoyance about lazy stereotypes - not YOUR lazy stereotypes. :) Sorry if that came out wrong.

    As to your first paragraph - I must confess I don't understand who is 'libeling Kvothe' or who's trying to make the argument that he's lying about the scrael (if that's what you mean).

    Also, does anybody else thinks it's kind of inefficient for a living legend to go incognito by changing two whole letters of his name? Maybe it's pronounced differently?
     
  6. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Journeyed there and back again

    My posts on this subject are with tongue firmly implanted in cheek. ;) But I truly DO believe he's a reliable narrator. Maybe Bast was locked in that vault?
     
  7. R.E.M. Verberg

    R.E.M. Verberg A farm boy with a sword

    Well, me too - that was my whole argument. It just also makes him a huge Mary Sue, because if we truly take the way he is telling the story at face value, we have to accept, *from the exact way he is telling it*, that he DOES humblebrag his way through. 'And then I did this thing, you know, no big deal, but my friends kind of all fainted with admiration. So then they thought I was like a big deal or whatever, but I was just little old me because I still sucked at math.'
     
  8. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Journeyed there and back again

    Has anyone read Slow Regard of Silent Things - in which he completely nails a female character.
     
  9. Silvion Night

    Silvion Night Sir Readalot Staff Member

    Whom do you refer to when you say "he" in this sentence?
     
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  10. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Journeyed there and back again

    Rothfuss :)
     
  11. R.E.M. Verberg

    R.E.M. Verberg A farm boy with a sword

    I've heard that multiple times now, @jo zebedee . Must check it out! I'd love to be wrong on this one, Rothfuss seems like a super nice and conscientious dude.
     
  12. jo zebedee

    jo zebedee Journeyed there and back again

    It's very different. I found it one if the moving portrayals of a person with an anxiety disorder I've read.
     
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