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Levitas
Kabalite Warrior
Levitas

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PostSubject: Lost in translation   Lost in translation I_icon_minitimeTue Apr 24 2012, 17:31

I just finished reading Path of the Warrior and couldn't help but compare it to Path of the Renegade. Specially in regard to how communication is illustrated in both books.

In Path of the Warrior it is alien, fluid and sophisticated, while Renegade seems far too human. Psychic differences aside, their craftworld kin seem to use gestures and body language more. So, do you guys see this difference as writer style, or have DE lost some of how Eldar communicate with each other?




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Cavash
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Cavash

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PostSubject: Re: Lost in translation   Lost in translation I_icon_minitimeTue Apr 24 2012, 18:25

I haven't read the books, but I imagine it would change drastically.
If you look at American history, at one point they woul have all spoken with English accents, but look at how different their accent and even their language is, now.
Over ten thousand years it has most likely changed greatly.

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Lady Malys
She Who Must Be Obeyed
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PostSubject: Re: Lost in translation   Lost in translation I_icon_minitimeTue Apr 24 2012, 19:24

I have read both; laying my cards on the virtual table, I'm not a fan of Gavin Thorpe's writing, and in fact, this was the book that convinced me that I would never read another by him (and it can't be underestimates how hard I tried to like it! Smile I've been waiting for good Eldar fiction for a long, long time.). I don't personally find his Eldar anything but 100% Human. That said, he makes real effort at the start and near the end to include the fact that Eldar communicate with body language and gesture to a high degree. This doesn't come up at all in Path of the Renegade. I think that this is down mostly to differences in writing style, and in types of stories being told.

Gavin Thorpe is a reporting writer. "This happened and then this happened and they did this. She felt like that.". Andy Chambers is a narrative writer; he shows how people are feeling by their reactions, what they do and how they act next. The first can probably be more immediate, while I prefer the second as I find it engages me much more fully. Whichever you prefer may not agree with my own tastes, of course! But context is important, so I've given my own position.

It's fair to say that the lack of any reference to body language being used to communicate in blunt terms "his stance conveyed this, her eye-glance said that" in Path of the Renegade might suggest that there isn't any. But I think that 'Lost in translation' is a perfect way to describe this situation: we're not reading a book in Dark Eldar, but a Human-written story about them. I think that actually, it might have been nice to be able to point to specific instances where the Eladrith Ynneas communicated non-verbally, but it didn't occur to me at the time. After all, if, for example, we know that Xelian is angry by the way she moves and speaks, rather than being told "Xelian was angry", what is that but communication through body language? Smile

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Levitas
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Levitas

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PostSubject: Re: Lost in translation   Lost in translation I_icon_minitimeTue Apr 24 2012, 21:40

I agree Lady M. Neither book truly captures what we would expect in the way of communication, and ultimately the feel of eldar society. I actually quite enjoyed Path of the Warrior, but more so that xenos books are rare and a change of pace in a marine filled hobby. Dirty water in a desert if you will.

There is the question as to whether the Black Library can truly do a good xenos book, or whether they just choose to pump out marine junk to fuel the marketing machine. We can't know until they have let loose their best writers. Gav Thorpe and Andy Chambers are certainly not their elite.

I'd like to see Abnett or ADB pull off a novel following the exodus before the fall....

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Cavash
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Cavash

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PostSubject: Re: Lost in translation   Lost in translation I_icon_minitimeTue Apr 24 2012, 21:48

I do not want to blaspheme, but, even though Abnett is my favorite 40k author, he wrote the script for the Ultramarines movie. He was able to make Superhuman soldiers, who should have no sense of humour and be made only for war too human. If he made Marines too human then i don't see how he could do any better with Eldar.

I think the problem with writing about xenos is that we, as humans, cannot comprehend their cultures fully or understand how their minds work, making it very difficult for us to write books about them.

I do like the idea of the Exodus. I could see it leading up to 'The Torturer's Tale'.

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CaptainBalroga
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PostSubject: Re: Lost in translation   Lost in translation I_icon_minitimeWed Apr 25 2012, 05:35

In response to Cavash, I would suggest that Dan Abnett is not alone in making Space Marines have human emotions and motivations- much of the Horus Heresy series revolves around the premise of Space Marines acting like 10-ft tall versions of regular people, and being no less proud, vain, arrogant, petty, or caring than anyone else. Whether that contradicts other fluff or not is not my domain.

With that aside out of the way, as I have read it, Dark Eldar read body language not because it's some mystical talent that stems from their race, but because they live longer in their society if they can guess the intentions of those around them. There's a good story in the 3rd Edition codex dealing an assassination attempt that has a section where it details the thought process of an aspiring Dracon as she reads the room around her and gives barely noticeable signals to her warriors to attack.

Path of the Renegade did not have scenes as memorable as that, though I only read it once, as opposed to devouring the codexes from time to time. I do remember straight up telepathy being used at certain points, by Eldar, not to divulge any critical spoilers.

This topic does remind me of a favorite quote of mine from a certain animated show:

Robot Devil: "Your lyrics lack subtility! You can't just have your characters announce how they feel! That makes me feel angry!"

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PostSubject: Re: Lost in translation   Lost in translation I_icon_minitime

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