(urth) WK psychological cosmology

Chris rasputin_ at hotmail.com
Fri Nov 11 15:09:07 PST 2005

I may be imagining things, but I got the impression that the bow string was 
not full of entire lives, but only certain pieces of the lives of various 
people. Heroic moments, to be particular. So I don't see any reason to think 
that Art Ormsby is any one of them, though you might say they're all Able.

>I'm still not certain that the boy who fights off highjackers is 
>necessarily Able, just as the girl who goes into childbirth is certainly 
>NOT Able.  They are just more dwellers in the string of Parka.  Able could 
>just as easily be the boy who loses his dog and chokes on a rabbit 
>(although that particular vision accompanies the scene of Toug losing his 
>voice until Arthur/Able retrieves the sword).
>Good job, Chris.
> >
> > From: "Chris" <rasputin_ at hotmail.com>
> > Date: 2005/11/02 Wed PM 05:26:52 EST
> > To: urth at lists.urth.net
> > Subject: (urth)  WK psychological cosmology
> >
> > I am pretty sure I am not inventing this idea myself - though I didn't 
> > it in a cursory search of the archives - but one semi-obvious way to 
>look at
> > the layered worlds in the Knight is as a sort of map of the human mind, 
> > sort of psychological theater. I couldn't tell you where to find it, but 
> > am pretty sure that I've read someone, somewhere, present this as a way 
> > explaining certain myths.
> >
> > In any event, just looking at the lower realms, you have:
> > Aelfrice, the level of base desires (as represented by the Aelf)
> > Muspel, a subconscious level filled with massive, ancient and 
> > urges (as represented by the dragons)
> > Niflheim, the layer of the id itself (the Most Low God)
> >
> > It is more difficult to place the higher realms, especially since I 
> > have any background in psychology. Mythgarthr seems to a layer 
> > to the conscious will or ego. Skai seems a layer populated by our higher
> > ideals of virtue, and Kleos seems an inherently religious realm. I can't
> > even begin to speculate about that.
> >
> > Certain things become intuitively obvious when you look at the universe 
> > the Knight this way. For instance, the problem with "worshipping" in the
> > wrong direction - action is led by base desire instead of rationality or 
> > higher impulses. Also, the seeming omnipresence of the mother figure, 
> > at least one other poster here has commented on.
> >
> > Able's relationship with Disiri becomes correlated with erotic or 
> > love, which compels him more than any other type of love in his life. 
> > that there is no question of marriage, offspring, or families when it 
> > to their bond; it is an overly romanticized love, eternal and free of
> > consequence. They wander the gardens of Aelfrice as playmates and 
> > children, in a certain sense. This also puts Able's act at the end of 
> > Wizard in a different - and I think better - perspective. It is not that 
> > is lifting up or redeeming the woman: in my mind there have already been 
> > many stories of "the good man who steps in and redeems the helplessly 
> > woman". What he is elevating is his own love from something base and 
> > to something... well, at least *slightly* higher.
> >
> > Incorporated as well is a theme of the need for self-restraint that runs 
> > the way through the story, in different ways, from beginning to end. 
> > has the power to impose his will on the events of the story - it is not 
> > question of whether he CAN (whether he is Able), it is a question of 
> > he MAY. And the difference between the questions of "can" and "may" is
> > constantly being brought up by Able throughout both books.
> >
> > But this does bring up some other questions. First of all why does the
> > Valfather demand that Able not use his power, and yet when Able does 
> > his promise at the end he does so with the Valfather's blessing? Perhaps
> > this is some indication that we cannot tame our baser instincts by 
> > that the issues must be wrestled with at their own level first. I don't 
> > whether this counts as an adequate answer or not.
> >
> > Another question is where the giants (of all levels) fit into this 
> > It seems an important fact that they can love, but cannot be loved (and 
> > are fundamentally at odds with each other), but I am at a loss as to 
>what to
> > make of it. Similarly I find it difficult to place Kullili, even though 
> > know quite a bit about her relationship with the Aelf. And, for that 
> > what is Able's nature? He seems to inhabit Skai, Aelfrice, and 
> > equally well. Perhaps this is some reflection of the different roles 
> > the knightly ideal has played, from some perspectives being something to
> > aspire to and yet also (at least for many on this list) something to 
> > down upon. It is interesting that after Able restores Berthold and 
> > to Aelfrice, he sees him again from below; it is Berthold (a more modern
> > heroic ideal) and not any knight who slays Schildstarr.
> >
> > This post is quite scattered, and much of what's in it will be either
> > painfully obvious or staunchly denied, but I wanted to throw some of 
> > out there and see if anyone else could help elaborate on it.
> >
> > Regards,
> > Chris
> >
> >
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