“Enduring Silence: The Impossible Sound of Stolen and Sacred Names in Fantasy Fiction”
I've been digging back through old work and came across this recording that I forgot I had. I LOVE the two books it's analyzing (Tigana is one of my top favorites of all time) and I miss working with straight up fantasy. Maybe I need to get back to that a bit now that the dissertation is done. This was back when I was but a young Ph.D. candidate and had just passed my comps the semester before. I'm pretty sure I murder half of the names and place names and words from the authors' invented languages. It sounds like I know exactly what I'm pronouncing but that just wasn't the case and I feel terrible for whatever injustice I did to these authors' imagine worlds.
From the introduction:
In Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana, a conquering sorcerer strips the country of Tigana of its name in retribution for its Prince killing his son. In Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Avatar, Phèdre searches for and then holds within her the vast complexity of God’s name, needed to save her oldest friend. One name stolen, the other sacred, both are lost throughout the majority of these texts to a silence that defines characters and drives plot. Even at their climaxes, when these silences break and these names are once again heard, both texts strain under the impossibility of representing an unrepresentable sound: all the stories, the tragedies, the meanings these singular names have come to hold.Continue reading