Problems with Bronso: Interview vs Analysis of History

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Problems with Bronso: Interview vs Analysis of History

Postby SandChigger » 05 Apr 2009 10:40

The US edition of Dune Messiah begins with a prologue entitled "Excerpts from the Death Cell Interview with Bronso of IX", followed immediately by a short chapter composed of an excerpt from Analysis of History: Muad'dib, written by the same Bronso of Ix.

Statements in the interview text by both Bronso and the Qizarate priest indicate that Paul-Muad'Dib and Chani are both still alive and Emperor. Both also refer explicitly to Bronso's Analysis of History, and do so more than once.

The problem is that the Analysis excerpt reads as though written years afterward. It begins

Muad'dib's Imperial reign generated more historians than any other era in human history. Most of them argued a particular viewpoint, jealous and sectarian, but it says something about the peculiar impact of this man that he aroused such passions on so many diverse worlds.

Towards the end we read

Other histories say Muad'dib was defeated by obvious plotters—the Guild, the Sisterhood and the scientific amoralists of the Bene Tleilex with their Face-Dancer disguises. Other histories point out the spies in Muad'dib's household. ...

And still later

Yet, they delineate the Qizarate cabal guided by Korba the Panegyrist. They take us step by step through Korba's plan to make a martyr of Muad'dib and place the blame on Chani, the Fremen concubine.

Can anyone come up with an explanation or timeline that allows a historian to be condemned to death during Muad'Dib's reign for a book that isn't written until after his reign is over?

Besides, of course, the "erroneous in-universe texts (of historians)" interpretation that would require the content of both texts to have been altered.

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Postby Ampoliros » 05 Apr 2009 12:10

I think we need to also look at the time line of Korba's conspiracy. Korba himself was not actually a part of the Bene Gesserit/Guild/Tleilaxu conspiracy. The Fremen conspiracy wanted to return to the old ways, the triumvirate conspiracy wanted to control or usurp Muad'dib, not martyr him.

At best, I'd say that the Analysis of History probably came out very soon after the Stone Burner attack and the trial of Korba. Even today we have historical works published very quickly after some person or event comes into the media spotlight. The Qizarate would have active agents seeking out unpopular works and destroying the authors. If Bronso's book came out right at that moment, and was widely publicized, the Priesthood would grab him quickly.

While it's impossible to prove without a doubt that Bronso was executed while Paul was on the throne (it would have to be after the stone burner to fit with the excerpt) i believe his execution would have had to come very quickly after Paul walked into the desert, too quickly for him to make a big fuss. Otherwise his death interview would include:

Questions on his 'rebellion' not just his 'heresy'
Questions on his personal relationship with Muad'dib. (If there was one, I'm sure either the priests or Bronso would have mentioned this: "How could you betray someone you knew so intimately"; "I know Paul, I grew up with him...etc etc.") Actually, if Bronso was such a pal of Pauls, the interview would have had to mention this.

I'm thinking we'll see "Part II of the Bronso of IX, BFF of Paul Muad'dib, x years after he walked into the desert" as the first chapter of Winds of Dune.

Hmm. Winds....

I'm wondering if KJA will cook up a Wind Burner atomic devise that ignites a coriolis storm and makes it even more fanboy-boner exciting.
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Postby Ampoliros » 05 Apr 2009 12:31

I posted this on the Chiggerblog:

One idea we might suggest is that Bronso could have been writing his history while in prison. Even if he was in the cell for Heresy, the priests might allow him to continue writing, as his works would only appeal to people the Priests would want to suppress and could follow that trail to more insurgent people.

It's not any more far-fetched than KJA wanting him to be a rebel leader. (BTW, Kev, how does Bronso get around? is he flying Guild-Airlines? Are you going to have Alia take 4 years to realize the guild is helping the rebels again?) It also seems like KJA might be planning on having Paul himself organize the stone burner attack.

However, if he was writing from a death cell, (perhaps he isn't going to be executed, he's just in that cell till he dies, sort of like an oubliette) he could have been jailed for heresy and still be alive to see how the conspiracy worked out. Even his analysis doesn't reveal the real conspiracy that destroys Muad'dib, only the attempt by Korba and the Fremen Naib's to martyr him. It also fails to mention the Stone Burner attack.

In my opinion, the best way to reconcile the two time lines would be to have Bronso publish his work within a few days of the Stone Burner attack, after Korba's involvement was revealed. The Quizarate immediately arrests him for heresy. He would be executed shortly after this, possibly during the events when Chani gives birth and dies. The Death-cell interview would have to take place during this time. He doesn't need to know for a fact that the Bene Gesseritt, the Guild, or the Tleilaxu would be conspiring against Muad'dib. Anyone with a decent mind, especially a Historian, would assume that they were conspiring, seeing how much they had lost under Muad'dib.
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Postby Redstar » 05 Apr 2009 13:06

I can understand your reasoning behind this, and it does seem possible for Bronso to have done what KJA is implying. But a story where something can only be done in a 1 in a 1,000,000 shot, under certain circumstances, or a minuscule time frame is really weak writing. Perfect! :lol:

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Postby Drunken Idaho » 05 Apr 2009 15:46

Hmm, it does seem to contradict itself. I just read both the interview and the excerpt. My best guess is that both take place after Paul Atreides walked alone and blind into the desert, but in an effort not to totally spoil the ending of the book, Frank Herbert wrote the interview in such a way that only suggests that Muad-dib is still on the throne. He wanted to hint only that Paul was conspired against. But if you look closely...

A: Beware lest you make a martyr of me. I do not think Muad'dib... Tell me, does Muad'dib know what you do in these dungeons?


Notice how Frank puts the emphasis on "me" implying that there has been some other martyr. Then, Bronso begins an incomplete sentence, before re-phrasing it. Was he about to speak in the past tense? And did he re-phrase the question perhaps to appeal to the priestly sense that Muad'Dib can never die?
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Postby SandRider » 05 Apr 2009 18:20

wait, wait ....

Bronso of Ix was a childhood friend of Paul's ?

So now Paul is from Ix ?
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Postby SandChigger » 05 Apr 2009 19:38

No, but according to The Hack in PoD, Bronso is the son (sort of) of Rhomboy the Amazing Injunction Defying Cyborg, and since Rhomboy and Duke Leto are so close, naturally the young Paul and Bronso knew each other. (They were almost killed in the Grumman assassin attack on Castle Caladan.)

Everybody knows or fucks everybody, remember? :roll:

(And no, Paul is still from Kaitain out of Caladan. :P )

Anyway, I wondered if maybe things would work if you assumed that they had hidden the fact that Paul had walked, Fremen-style, into the desert and that Chani had died in childbirth. But that doesn't really do it, either.

Rather than make the texts and interpretations jump through hoops just to try to get things to jibe, it seems easier just to chalk this up as another FH mistake/inconsistency.

Maybe Messiah wasn't proofed as carefully as it should have been? After all, it's the book which gave us Farok's magical arm. ;)

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Postby SandRider » 05 Apr 2009 19:53

Chigger wrote:No, but according to The Hack in PoD, Bronso is the son (sort of) of Rhomboy the Amazing Injunction Defying Cyborg, and since Rhomboy and Duke Leto are so close, naturally the young Paul and Bronso knew each other. (They were almost killed in the Grumman assassin attack on Castle Caladan.)



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Postby SandChigger » 05 Apr 2009 22:40

Me, neither. I'm just parroting. :P


It all takes place in the La-La-La NeverLand of Kevin's Houses of Dune books and the Young Paul sections of Paul of Dumb. ;)

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Re: Problems with Bronso: Interview vs Analysis of History

Postby blowholesofdune » 06 Apr 2012 01:54

Paul and Bronso were friends? And here I thought Bronso was just a prisoner in a deathcell, explaining to the audience the climate of the things going on in that time period.
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Re: Problems with Bronso: Interview vs Analysis of History

Postby Freakzilla » 06 Apr 2012 04:18

In KJA's books, everyone knows everyone else. His universe is as small as his mind.
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Re: Problems with Bronso: Interview vs Analysis of History

Postby pcqypcqy » 25 Jul 2017 06:07

I posted this in the chapter 00 thread in the DM reading group, posted here as well to generate some discussion :


I think it's possible to interpret the Bronso of IX interview as occurring at any point between the end of DM and the start if CoD.

It's a linguistic stretch, but possible.

First, you have to consider that any reference to Paul Atreiedes or Muad'dib is to a dead man, but due to the mythos surrounding their emperor/god they still talk about him as if he were alive (similar to how Christians refer to Jesus).

Second, with this in mind, take note of this passage:


Q: There are deaths and there are deaths.
A: Beware lest you make a martyr of me. I do not think Muad'dib . . . Tell me, does Muad'dib know what you do in these dungeons?
Q: We do not trouble the Holy Family with trivia.
A: (Laughter) And for this Paul Atreides fought his way to a niche among the Fremen! For this he learned to control and ride the sandworm! It was a mistake to answer your questions.



Note that the priest only referred to the Holy Family. If the Jesus comparison above is taken into account, this passage makes sense.

Lastly, and this is the hardest inconsistency to rationalise, we have the following passage:


Your Jihad only took twelve years, but what a lesson it taught. Now, the Empire understands the sham of Muad'dib's marriage to the Princess Irulan!
Q: You dare accuse Muad'dib of sham!
A: Though you kill me for it, it's not heresy. The Princess became his consort, not his mate. Chani, his little Fremen darling -- she's his mate. Everyone knows this. Irulan was the key to a throne, nothing more.
Q: It's easy to see why those who conspire against Muad'dib use your Analysis of History as their rallying argument!



It's the "she's his mate" that's difficult. If we are generous, we could say this contraction should read "she was his mate" rather than "she is his mate". However, even if it is "is" rather than "was", using the Jesus comparison above and considering that Chani must have a special role in their religion, this could still work. Consider how Catholics revere Mary.

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Re: Problems with Bronso: Interview vs Analysis of History

Postby Freakzilla » 25 Jul 2017 07:03

Sounds to me like it occurs during Dune Messiah.
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Re: Problems with Bronso: Interview vs Analysis of History

Postby georgiedenbro » 25 Jul 2017 09:22

Freakzilla wrote:Sounds to me like it occurs during Dune Messiah.


Yeah, that's my take on it now too. The idea of speaking of Chani and Paul in the present tense even after their deaths is interesting but I don't see that usage as being what's happening here. I just think I was thrown off before by the term "conspiracy" and assumed they were referring to the Edric/Mohiam/Scytale conspiracy. But looking at it again that doesn't fit at all, and they must be talking about some ongoing movement of people who won't accept Paul's religion.
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Re: Problems with Bronso: Interview vs Analysis of History

Postby Freakzilla » 25 Jul 2017 11:22

georgiedenbro wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:Sounds to me like it occurs during Dune Messiah.


Yeah, that's my take on it now too. The idea of speaking of Chani and Paul in the present tense even after their deaths is interesting but I don't see that usage as being what's happening here. I just think I was thrown off before by the term "conspiracy" and assumed they were referring to the Edric/Mohiam/Scytale conspiracy. But looking at it again that doesn't fit at all, and they must be talking about some ongoing movement of people who won't accept Paul's religion.


Rebel Fremen would be my guess.
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Re: Problems with Bronso: Interview vs Analysis of History

Postby georgiedenbro » 25 Jul 2017 12:15

Freakzilla wrote:Rebel Fremen would be my guess.


I suppose it's the same group that produced the stone burner? Or should we assume that Edric, Scytale, and Bijaz were behind that?
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Re: Problems with Bronso: Interview vs Analysis of History

Postby Freakzilla » 25 Jul 2017 12:18

It was in the house of a Fremen Jihad veteran so I'm sure they had to be in on it. And of course the Guild would have to brought it to Arrakis.
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Re: Problems with Bronso: Interview vs Analysis of History

Postby Serkanner » 25 Jul 2017 14:13

Freakzilla wrote:It was in the house of a Fremen Jihad veteran so I'm sure they had to be in on it. And of course the Guild would have to brought it to Arrakis.


Is that an assumption or is it supported by text? I don't remember any explanation what a stoneburner actually is (which doesn't say much because it is far too long ago I last read the books).
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Re: Problems with Bronso: Interview vs Analysis of History

Postby georgiedenbro » 25 Jul 2017 14:36

A stone burner is a nuclear weapon, whose output is a directed energy burst rather than a radial explosion. It's capable of shattering a planet from the inside out when used at full power.

"The Naraj defenders used a stone burner," Farok said. "My son was too close. Cursed atomics! Even the stone burner should be outlawed."
"It skirts the intent of the law," Scytale agreed.


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"I think it's dying down a bit," someone said.
"It's just digging deeper," Paul cautioned. "Stay put, all of you. Stilgar will be sending help."
"Stilgar got away?"
"Stilgar got away."
"The ground's hot," someone complained.
"They dared use atomics!" a trooper near Paul protested.
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Re: Problems with Bronso: Interview vs Analysis of History

Postby Freakzilla » 25 Jul 2017 14:47

Serkanner wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:It was in the house of a Fremen Jihad veteran so I'm sure they had to be in on it. And of course the Guild would have to brought it to Arrakis.


Is that an assumption or is it supported by text? I don't remember any explanation what a stoneburner actually is (which doesn't say much because it is far too long ago I last read the books).


Actually, it was Korba who had it brought to Arrakis for defense of the Qizarate and stolen by the traitors. But I assume the Guild would have had to ship it there and if not being in on the plot would have known the contents of their hold.
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Re: Problems with Bronso: Interview vs Analysis of History

Postby Serkanner » 26 Jul 2017 05:13

Freakzilla wrote:
Serkanner wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:It was in the house of a Fremen Jihad veteran so I'm sure they had to be in on it. And of course the Guild would have to brought it to Arrakis.


Is that an assumption or is it supported by text? I don't remember any explanation what a stoneburner actually is (which doesn't say much because it is far too long ago I last read the books).


Actually, it was Korba who had it brought to Arrakis for defense of the Qizarate and stolen by the traitors. But I assume the Guild would have had to ship it there and if not being in on the plot would have known the contents of their hold.


If it was brought to Arrakis it had to be the Guild indeed.
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Re: Problems with Bronso: Interview vs Analysis of History

Postby Freakzilla » 26 Jul 2017 06:43

Serkanner wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:
Serkanner wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:It was in the house of a Fremen Jihad veteran so I'm sure they had to be in on it. And of course the Guild would have to brought it to Arrakis.


Is that an assumption or is it supported by text? I don't remember any explanation what a stoneburner actually is (which doesn't say much because it is far too long ago I last read the books).


Actually, it was Korba who had it brought to Arrakis for defense of the Qizarate and stolen by the traitors. But I assume the Guild would have had to ship it there and if not being in on the plot would have known the contents of their hold.


If it was brought to Arrakis it had to be the Guild indeed.


My only other guess is smugglers. Something I've never completely understood is how smuggling works. I assume they have frigates that ride on Guild ships. How does the Guild NOT know there's a smuggler ship with weapons grade nuclear fuel on board?
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Re: Problems with Bronso: Interview vs Analysis of History

Postby georgiedenbro » 26 Jul 2017 09:05

Freakzilla wrote:My only other guess is smugglers. Something I've never completely understood is how smuggling works. I assume they have frigates that ride on Guild ships. How does the Guild NOT know there's a smuggler ship with weapons grade nuclear fuel on board?


Maybe it's the same situation as with the Fremen and the lack of weather satellites. Pay them enough spice and they will overlook almost anything. In this case it would be obvious the Guild allowed it, but assuming the plan was successful maybe the expectation was that Alia wouldn't go after the Guild for retribution.
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Re: Problems with Bronso: Interview vs Analysis of History

Postby pcqypcqy » 02 Aug 2017 05:28

georgiedenbro wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:Sounds to me like it occurs during Dune Messiah.


Yeah, that's my take on it now too. The idea of speaking of Chani and Paul in the present tense even after their deaths is interesting but I don't see that usage as being what's happening here. I just think I was thrown off before by the term "conspiracy" and assumed they were referring to the Edric/Mohiam/Scytale conspiracy. But looking at it again that doesn't fit at all, and they must be talking about some ongoing movement of people who won't accept Paul's religion.


I agree the conspiracy could refer to ANY conspiracy, rather than THE conspiracy, but reading the excerpt of the Analysis of History, it doesn't feel right. The level of detail about Korba for instance, and the general FEEL of the passage makes it sound like these events are some time before the writer. Also the references to Muad'dibs failure, and that total prescience is lethal, makes it seem to me that Paul is dead at this point.

I'm not saying my linguistic justification above is the reason, but to me it does feel like Bronso was sometime between DM and CoD.

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Re: Problems with Bronso: Interview vs Analysis of History

Postby georgiedenbro » 02 Aug 2017 09:27

pcqypcqy wrote:I agree the conspiracy could refer to ANY conspiracy, rather than THE conspiracy, but reading the excerpt of the Analysis of History, it doesn't feel right. The level of detail about Korba for instance, and the general FEEL of the passage makes it sound like these events are some time before the writer.


I was discussing the interview with Bronso of Ix. Are we talking about the same passage?

Also the references to Muad'dibs failure, and that total prescience is lethal, makes it seem to me that Paul is dead at this point.


Are there two versions of the interview in different editions or something?
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