Multidimensional Dune

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Multidimensional Dune

Postby Ampoliros » 14 May 2011 20:35

I posted this on the Amazon "Dune and Philosophy" discussion page:

I must make this argument because of certain articles in this book which do not. While it might be labeled as such, this is not so much an Orthodox Herbertarian argument against the new books but more specifically an attempt to begin to define how to interpret Dune in a scholarly manner.

We are dealing with a universe that has elements from 3 different writers, 4 if you take into account McNelly's Dune Encyclopedia. Where it might be accused of being an OH argument is where I submit that the works by Frank Herbert, and the books added by Kevin Anderson and Brian Herbert must be seen as mutually exclusive Dune universes. Incidentally, the primary evidence I have for making this argument actually comes from Kevin and Brian themselves. This comes from the fact that they have stated within their own books that the Frank Dune Books are nothing more than historical texts, prone to error. This creates a schism, in which we have seemingly parallel universes that rapidly head in different (and on occasion opposite) thematic and philosophical directions.

Duniverse Prime: Frank's 6 books. This Duniverse only considers the original books, from the point of view that they are not historical narratives, but truthful representations of events.

McNelly's Dune Encyclopedia: Not considered canon, but recognized as being what it is: a spurious and biased interpretation in the theme of Frank's discussion of error-prone historical documents. The book can exist just as easily as not in Duniverse Prime as long as it is taken for what it is. Herbert himself recognized the work but did not admit the book as canon.

Brian and Kevin's Duniverse: Interesting in that they claim canon and legitimacy through Brian's primogeniture and the apocryphal notes yet defend their own works tangential relationship to Duniverse Prime by claiming that Frank's Books are flawed historical documents. Essentially they claim their new books to be the actual Duniverse Prime, (something necessary to maintain their legitimacy for writing them) and relegate Frank's books to the same status as McNelly's Dune Encyclopedia.

In effect this creates a paradox: How can they be given legitimate status as canon when they are claiming the canon texts to be false for the express purpose of justifying the things they changed?

Compound this with the fact that the changes they made very much effect the philosophical themes of Dune which will be explored by scholars studying them. Leto II's Golden Path is delegitimized if we consider the new books as part of the same universe. The same must be done for Frank's thematic warning against allowing a singular "charismatic" leader from dominating all of Humanity: Chapterhouse: Dune ends with Duncan Idaho and Sheeana leaving the known universe behind, seemingly forever, and the Golden Path having been secure and successful from as early as the Scattering which guaranteed that no singular force would ever endanger humanity as a whole.

With the addition of "Books Seven" Hunters of Dune and Sandworms of Dune those themes are completely reversed and effectively ignored: Leto II's Golden Path failed to protect Humanity from the machine threat, And Duncan Idaho becomes the supreme human-machine hybrid to lead humanity into the future under one banner. This is just one of many major differences in how the separate works approach Dune's philosophical treasures.

As such, in any scholarly argument the schism caused by this vast difference in the thematic elements of the different author's universes must be at least mentioned if not fully explored. Out of full disclosure it is my personal belief that the new books do not bring any content of a scholarly value to the Duniverse but that should not prevent other readers from presenting arguments including elements from those books. I simply make the argument that because of the weight of the thematic differences between authors, those differences must needs be noted in any scholarly study that draws from multiple sources.

http://tinyurl.com/3o2xgeb
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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby Freakzilla » 14 May 2011 22:26

:clap: :text-+1:
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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby SandChigger » 14 May 2011 22:30

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Good job. :)

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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby Robspierre » 15 May 2011 00:18

That will blow Conway and Jizzydam's minds. Imagine, having to think about a books possible messages.

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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby SandRider » 15 May 2011 02:42

god-damn, them's some awful big words in there ...
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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby Serkanner » 15 May 2011 05:15

SandRider wrote:god-damn, them's some awful big words in there ...


I had to look up a few in the dictonary :( ... I learned some new words today ... :D
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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby Ampoliros » 15 May 2011 10:32

Well if I had been paying attention earlier, I would have fleshed something like this out to submit.

Not to bring it back up...but when you look at Dune like this as a text worthy of study you see immediately that the OH have already won their arguments against the new books. No matter how many copies they sell, they will always be nothing more than pulp entertainment (for those who are entertained by such). The second it became obvious that the notes, if they ever existed, were not being used in any real sense, the new books lost all merit of study in the vein of Dune significance. And in all honesty, if they had actually been written with more depth, the new books might have added something even with the changes they made: If the authors had tried to make an argument about how Ultra-Duncan was the "perfect leader/hero": there is an argument to be made about such, but the new books did not bother with that kind of detail. That argument wasn't relevant for the narrative's purpose, whereas it would very much be relevant if Frank had been writing it.

(I mean how would a universe with Paul, Leto II and Ultra-Duncan evolve? Paul and Leto won't just bend the knee to Duncan because he's all shiny now.)
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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby Lundse » 15 May 2011 10:45

Succinct. True. Relevant. Philosophy approves :-)

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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby PaxVass » 16 May 2011 08:41

Thanks for that excellent summary. I have so far avoided the new books and if that is the direction they go in then I am glad I stayed away. The golden path is a superb SF idea so if the new books basically downgrade it then I would not be at all happy to read that. I also totally agree with the interpretation that the Dune Encyclopaedia is basically a work of bias and contains errors because it is not written as actual fact but instead as a simulation of what a certain section of that society would write. Anyone who has read old history books will recognise that a lot of them are not objective and are written to support a certain world view, or ideology. I think the first three books are effectively the word of god (except for the excerpts from other books such as Irulias writings etc) so that if a character is narrated as doing something they do it. For me there is no question of unreliable narrator at least not in the first three books which are far in away my favourites. Frank Herbert is not Gene Wolfe!!

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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby Hadi Benotto » 16 May 2011 09:37

Brian and Kevin's Duniverse: Interesting in that they claim canon and legitimacy through Brian's primogeniture and the apocryphal notes yet defend their own works tangential relationship to Duniverse Prime by claiming that Frank's Books are flawed historical documents. Essentially they claim their new books to be the actual Duniverse Prime, (something necessary to maintain their legitimacy for writing them) and relegate Frank's books to the same status as McNelly's Dune Encyclopedia.


I know I might be asking for much, but where do they claim that Frank's books are "flawed historical documents" and that "their new books to be the actual Duniverse Prime..."? Is it documented somewhere within the depths of Jacurutu, or in other publications/ interviews? If someone could link me some reading material that would be very helpful. I'm still in the process of discovering the full scope/ range of lies/ deception(?) these guys are fostering out to the general public. Thanks!
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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby Ampoliros » 16 May 2011 10:14

Its in Paul and Winds. Somewhere around here is the direct quote, its a discussion between Paul and Irulan (and later Alia) about Irulan embellishing or hiding things in her texts. The sole purpose of which is to whitewash all of the Young Indiana Atreides adventures and his being born on Kaitain: in effect anything they changed can be attributed to the fact that Irulan changed it, not that it was an error in continuity.

So in the KJA Dune: Irulan was Frank Herbert, and the first three books are historical documents she produced from her own flawed perspective or at the orders of one of the rulers. This gives them creative license to change ANYTHING they want while simultaneously allowing them to sweep under the carpet any discrepancies they create. It was just Irulan (i.e. Frank) getting it wrong, not them.

Extrapolating from the condition that they consider their books 'more correct' and Frank's to be flawed, they pointedly considering their texts to be 'Canon, and some canon is more equal than others.'

IIRC there is also at least one quote somewhere where KJA boasts that they have added more to the Duniverse than Frank did, since they have written more books, which solidifies KJA's conviction of quantity over quality
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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby Sev » 16 May 2011 10:30

Chig had an email exchange with KJA back in November 2008 which I hope he doesn't mind me transcribing here:

Chig to KJA: I find myself in another one of those “gives me heartburn and keeps me awake at night” situations. I’m dying to know how you’re going to retcon Paul traveling to both Ecaz (twice, no less) and Grumman given that, three or four years later, both he and his father seem to think the move to Arrakis will be his first trip off Caladan. As Frank Herbert wrote in Dune:

The Duke looked at him [=Paul]. “This will be your first time off planet,” he said.

Come on, Kevin, be a mensch and share the joy!

KJA to Chig: Your complaints have been incessant, but that one is even sillier than most. It doesn’t seem possible you could ask such a question having actually read PAUL OF DUNE, which is about the inaccuracies and liberties taken in Irulan’s purported histories of Muad’Dib. This is addressed several times in the novel, but most specifically to your question, see pp 102-103:

One morning she went to Paul’s Imperial office to talk with him, holding a first-edition of The Life of Muad’Dib. She dropped the deep blue volume on his desktop, a plane of polished Elaccan bloodwood. “Exactly how much is missing from this story? I’ve been talking with Bludd. In your accounts of your life, you left out vital details.”

He raised his eyebrows. “Your publication has defined my life’s story.”

“You told me you had never left Caladan before your House moved to Arrakis. Whole parts of your youth have been left out.”

“Painful parts.” He frowned at her. “But, more importantly, irrelevant parts. We’ve streamlined the story for mass consumption, just as when you wrote that I was born on Caladan and not Kaitain. It sounds better that way, doesn’t it? We eliminated unnecessary complications, cut off unnecessary questions and explanations.”

She could not hide her frustration. “Sometimes the truth is complicated.”

“Yes, it is.”

“But if I tell a part of the story that directly contradicts what has been published before –”

“If you write it, they will believe it. Trust me.”


Come on, at least TRY to look for an answer before railing about the books.

Chig to KJA: So your position really is that the entire narrative text of Dune and all of Frank’s books was also written by Irulan?

Simple question, simple answer: Yes or No.
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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby Freakzilla » 16 May 2011 10:43

Does he know Paul doesn't talk like that?

Oh, wait... I guess what I remember Paul talking like in the original books is filtered through Irulan's perspective.

She sure did a good job of making Paul seem much more interesting than he actually was.

:wink:
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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby Ampoliros » 16 May 2011 11:41

Funny how Paul is also a lot smarter and much more prescient in her "histories". In fact, its amazing the insight Irulan had in to Paul in her histories that she never notices outside.


The best part of that quote is that it is KJA doing several things:

-Calling his own additions irrelevant (the parts Muad'dib 'left out' of Irulan's books)
-Admitting that the new books are "streamlined for mass consumption...We eliminated unnecessary complications, cut off unnecessary questions and explanations.” i.e. less chin-stroking, more pew-pew
-Directly responding to OH complaints in the text
-Calling fanboys idiots who will buy anything with DUNE on the cover, and more so, expecting them to defend it.
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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 16 May 2011 12:59

Ah gods, I'd forgotten about that email from KJA, it literally makes my stomach upset just to skim read it again, what an epic piece of shit KJA is...
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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby Serkanner » 16 May 2011 13:16

Freakzilla wrote:Does he know Paul doesn't talk like that?

Oh, wait... I guess what I remember Paul talking like in the original books is filtered through Irulan's perspective.

She sure did a good job of making Paul seem much more interesting than he actually was.

:wink:


Wait ... wait ... wait ... This means that a fictional character is a better writer than The KJA! :mrgreen:
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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby Freakzilla » 16 May 2011 13:47

Serkanner wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:Does he know Paul doesn't talk like that?

Oh, wait... I guess what I remember Paul talking like in the original books is filtered through Irulan's perspective.

She sure did a good job of making Paul seem much more interesting than he actually was.

:wink:


Wait ... wait ... wait ... This means that a fictional character is a better writer than The KJA! :mrgreen:



Yeah, Keith's characters are better writers than he is. :lol:
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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby Hadi Benotto » 16 May 2011 15:34

Amp & Sev- Thanks. I haven't read Paul or Winds, nor will I. After all the prequels, then Hunters and Sandworms, I just couldn't take it. I vowed never to read another word of what those two idiots wrote and I haven't.

Wow, so Irulan (Frank) whitewashed/ hid all the back story of Paul, along with all the rest of his history during his reign, intentionally left things out... all due to her skewed perspective and/ or being forced... the balls on those two, the ginormous balls on those two! I mean, I knew that they were retconning left and right, but then to write it into the actual story... it's literally leaving me speechless.

I think George Lucas has slipped to #2 on my poll of people who should be instantly lobotomized if I ever become king for a day. :x
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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby SandRider » 16 May 2011 17:47

sure, Brian is already lobotomy-equivalent ... but Keith ain't all that sharp, neither;
best thing to do there is cut out his fucking tongue ... asshat would never "write" again ...
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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby Nekhrun » 16 May 2011 18:47

SandRider wrote:sure, Brian is already lobotomy-equivalent ... but Keith ain't all that sharp, neither;
best thing to do there is cut out his fucking tongue ... asshat would never "write" again ...

He should get his vocal cords insured.
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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby SandChigger » 16 May 2011 19:36

Remember, folks, you can see the full Anderson-Chigger email correspondence here!

http://www.hairyticksofdune.net/topix/infidel.html

:lol:

(Oh, wait, this wasn't the shameless plug thread, was it? :oops: )

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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby Hadi Benotto » 17 May 2011 03:06

SandChigger wrote:Remember, folks, you can see the full Anderson-Chigger email correspondence here!

http://www.hairyticksofdune.net/topix/infidel.html

:lol:

(Oh, wait, this wasn't the shameless plug thread, was it? :oops: )

Shameless!

Another quick question: what's the "Amazon incident"?

One of the things that continues to get to me is how he continually spoke of how the series had dwindled in readership to almost nothing, and that most people basically gave up after GEoD. He continually trumpets how his/ their books have brought people back. I agree that they probably did, but how many of them stayed for the long haul? I think an even better question is how many of them will pick those specific books up again to re-read them later on down the road?

Also please forgive me if I don't trust his figures concerning the amount of readers they've brought back as stated by all of those numerous "letters" from the fans. I'd like to see some actual concrete figures, because the ones I can pull up at this moment from Amazon show that Chapterhouse the paperback is still outselling all of the prequel material by at least a 3 to 1 margin. I chose Chapterhouse because apparently that book was where the readership was a "mere trickle". If Chapterhouse and Heretics were so hard to read, shouldn't their respective rankings have fallen and the prequel material risen up to take it's place, or reached some level of equilibrium across the board?
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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby SadisticCynic » 17 May 2011 06:36

:clap:

Exactly. People here have commented on the dubious nature of those letters as well.
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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby SandChigger » 17 May 2011 11:01

Hadi Benotto wrote:Another quick question: what's the "Amazon incident"?

Supposedly (I wasn't involved in the online Dune community at the time and have no firsthand experience of this, and only know what I've read) a bunch of people went on Amazon and posted one-star reviews of House Atreides before it even came out. (This was, what, more than ten years ago, and the Amazon system was considerably different from what it is now. I've been an Amazon customer pretty much since the company started up in the late 90s, but never posted any reviews until 2004 or so, so I also can't vouch for what was really possible and what wasn't using their system earlier than that.)

I happen to agree that posting reviews of a book you haven't read is a lousy thing to do (although I approve of the satirical ones that have been posted by members here; I posted about four or five really silly five-star ones ("This book turned my nipples green!") a year or two ago, on other KJA books, but the KJASF heavy hitters ("Mommy, why is that man so fat?" "Never mind, Jimmy, just stay on this side of his event horizon!") probably reported them and got them pulled. (DazzyJim actually once boasted that the first thing he did every morning was log onto Amazon and vote my reviews down. In addition to calling customer service a few times. I think he wants me. :dance: As second breakfast or elevensies, probably. :shock: )

Anyway, that's what Kevin was referring to. He's such a baby: somebody does something bad to him and he whines and moans about it for the rest of his life. And of course anyone who criticizes him is somehow guilty of all the wrongs anyone has ever done him. :roll: (I've never seen anyone here admit to having taken part in that "incident", but I'm sure he associates us with it.)

[quoteOne of the things that continues to get to me is how he continually spoke of how the series had dwindled in readership to almost nothing, and that most people basically gave up after GEoD. He continually trumpets how his/ their books have brought people back. I agree that they probably did, but how many of them stayed for the long haul? I think an even better question is how many of them will pick those specific books up again to re-read them later on down the road?[/quote]
I would actually phrase it like, his books have probably DRIVEN people back to original/REAL Dune! :lol:

I also can't personally vouch for this aspect of it, either. I did stop at God Emperor (read it whenever it came out in the Science Fiction Book Club), but only because I became preoccupied with other matters (working on a second masters that I eventually chucked and preparing to come to Japan; I honestly can't say that I remember hearing when FH died :( ). I did eventually read Heretics and Chapterhouse over here in Japan, in 1988 or early 89.

I can't imagine anyone intelligent enough to be worth bothering with ever picking up KJA's McDune books again to re-read them. Purely for the pleasure of it, I mean. They read even more shittily the second time around.

Also please forgive me if I don't trust his figures concerning the amount of readers they've brought back as stated by all of those numerous "letters" from the fans. I'd like to see some actual concrete figures, because the ones I can pull up at this moment from Amazon show that Chapterhouse the paperback is still outselling all of the prequel material by at least a 3 to 1 margin. I chose Chapterhouse because apparently that book was where the readership was a "mere trickle". If Chapterhouse and Heretics were so hard to read, shouldn't their respective rankings have fallen and the prequel material risen up to take it's place, or reached some level of equilibrium across the board?

I wouldn't believe anything he told me even if his life depended on it (like if he were on fire and hoping I'd piss on him). :snooty:

Talk's cheap. I think he gets something like $0.05 per word. ;)
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Re: Multidimensional Dune

Postby Ampoliros » 17 May 2011 11:32

SandChigger wrote:I can't imagine anyone intelligent enough to be worth bothering with ever picking up KJA's McDune books again to re-read them. Purely for the pleasure of it, I mean. They read even more shittily the second time around.


I can personally vouch for this. I had a short lived thought of going back to do Amp's PoD notes. I didn't get past the first chapter before I decided I really didn't want to do that to myself right then.

I wasn't part of the Amazon Incident, but the second I heard "Dune & Kevin J Anderson" in the same sentence my blood pressure rose. I've been ranting ever since.
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