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Author Topic: Midkemia + Kelewan Compared to Earth  (Read 6642 times)

locky

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Midkemia + Kelewan Compared to Earth
« on: April 25, 2006, 06:56:41 AM »

I don't know if it's been done before but it occurs to me a lot when I'm reading. What parts of Midkemia are like  Earth?

I would like to know other people's opinions and I am also worried that my ignorance of other coultures may verge on the insulting, for that I ask forgiveness in advance and I am wide open to an education here.

I always imagine the West Kingdom as England cos it's medievil with a little sun, rain and forests, kings, barons and knights. It all seems to me like England and West Europe before gun powder. Like King George and the Crusades. And King Aurthur and Merlin being like Arutha and Pug.

I'm see Dwarves as scottish. Elves: Eledhel like Scandanavians and Moredhel like Northern Russia(not cos they're evil or anything, just because it next to scandanavia really) and it's cold!

Kesh is like a mixture of pre-gunpowder Africa and connecting to the east to SaudiArabia, Iran, then India and Pakistan areas.
I'm guessing this from the descriptions of the clothing and buildings.
Jal-Per is like the Arabian desert to me, like I've seen in films.

I don't know anyone who hails from any of these areas of the world or even visited, I am curious for more educated opinions to help make mine more accurate.

I see novindus as a bit of an Australia as it seems to have something of everything and it's global position.

I see Kelewan as generally Asia. From my limited knowledge of Chinese and Japanese coulture (Ninja films), the Empire's highly disciplined and honour lifestyle. Also I think some of the descriptions relate in my head.
Again I'm not knowledgeable about that part of the world and I would appreciate an education here.
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Alrin

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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2006, 07:11:22 AM »

When imagining accents, Ray uses the following as a guideline...

Novindus = India
Roldem = Poland
Winet = Greek
Queg = Ancient Rome/Italy
Natal = Boer/Dutch
Rillanon = English
Krondor = America
Far Coast (Crydee) = Australia
Bas Tyra = France
Rodez = Spain
Hadati = Apache

As a sidenote.. "Nova Indus" is latin for "New India".

And here's some quotes from Ray....

[!--quoteo--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]Hey, isn't <some province> in the Kingdom a lot like <some country> on Earth?

> From: raymond@cts.com (Raymond E. Feist) > Date: Wed, 31 Jan 1996 15:03:23 -0800 > Subject: Re: Ever annoying news! Well, it's an easy way to give familiar references without getting really convoluted about it. Assume the Kingdom is really like 17th Century France (about the time of Louis 13th) in the East. In the west, it's a lot more like England of roughly the same time. The Far Coast has a mind-set a lot like frontier America or 19th Century Australia. Bas-Tyra is very French. Assume the "King's Tongue" is a linqua franca, which literally meant "language of the Franks," or "French" during the early Crusades. It's a bastard tongue which includes both eastern and western dialects. But the "pure" language of "Bas-Tyra," is "French." Rodez is Spanish. Ran is something akin to Flemish/Dutch. Salador is a very cosmopolitan city that is very international. Krondor somewhat less so. Darkmoor is obviously German in language but very French in culture, or at the least Alsasian. The Free Cities is very Lebanese/Jewish (think of Beruit and Jerusalem before they got bombed to hell), trading centers much like those ancient eastern Mediterranean city states of old. Oueg is Rome as an Island Nation, with Imperial Romans as nobles, Italians as peasants. The Jal-Pur is Arabic, and Kesh is a mix of many nations: Isalani is China, there's some other eastern cultures, as well as the Brijainers who are essentially Vikings, the Ashuta who are essentially Cheyenne (with a very different attitude toward women), and the "Pure Blood" themselves are a mix between Egyptians and Pathians. That's off the top of my head. I probably have missed a few others.

> From: raymond@CTS.COM (Raymond E. Feist) > Date: Wed, 27 Mar 1996 08:21:41 -0800 > Subject: Re: Dave, I've always thought of Hadati as something of a cross between Highlanders and Apaches, sort of "highland" Apaches. [/quote]
[!--quoteo--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--quotec--]What are the various Midkemian accents like?

> From: "Raymond E. Feist" > Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 07:33:43 -0700 > Subject: Re: Feisty film buff OK, here's a general guideline I use to write dialogue. It's so I have "accents in my ear" when I write, so that characters "sound" different. The King's Tongue is English (obviously), so I play that as the dominant set of accents. In the East, it's English English, as spoken in Knightsbridge or Mayfair. What you'd hear from the wait staff at the Ritz. The father west you go, the more it changes. By the time you reach Krondor, they sound American and by the time you reach the Far Coast, Austrlian. Then there's classes. People in the working class in each region sound very much like working class people in the respective areas, so while you'll never hear "Oy!" from the Duke or Duchess of whatever, you will hear it in the west from dock workers. And then there's the indigenous nations. Bas-Tyra is French, Rodez is Spanish, so when speaking the King's Tongue, that's sort of what they speak like. The Hadati are a mix of highlanders and mountain Apache, so they probably don't have a Norwegeian accent. I'm saving most of the other European accents for the Eastern Kingdoms. Roldem, for example, is pretty clearly Polish to me, and their court is about as formal as the Polish Kingdom at its height. For another court which I think is clearly influenced by that nation/era, check out Joe Straczinsky's Centauri homeworld on Babalon 5. The Poles were among Europe's most interesting people in the last five hundred years. But I digress. . . Novindus is like India, with a thousand regional tongues and one major trading language, which again is based on Yabonese, as the original founders of the area were people who fled from Yabon during the last great Religious war. I'm pretty sure that Rich Spahl's Wynetians are all speaking some sort of Greek, as I remember his characters usually had amazing names that few of us could ever pronounce. Queq is obviously a blend of Roman/Italian. Natal is kind of a blend of Boer, Dutch, or "generic" lowcounty-ish. One of the things happening in Rage/Shards is the development of The Common Tongue, which is a pastiche of Keshian, the version spoken by those newly come from Novindus, which is an ancient version of the Yabaonese/Keshian dialect, and the King's Tongue. It's a "linqua franca" and will get you by in most areas of Triagia. Anyway, these are guidlines, not hard and fast rules, and the cultures are not one for one correspondences Rather these are ways for me to keep speech and a few cultural landmarks clearly in sight when I write a character like John Vinci or Lord Vasarius, or Baru or someone else who is not "Kingdom mainstream." [/quote]
« Last Edit: April 25, 2006, 07:24:34 AM by Alrin »
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locky

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Midkemia + Kelewan Compared to Earth
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2006, 08:38:50 AM »

It's nice to know how the boss did it.

My imagination definitely agrees with the Hadati Apache thing.
And I can just about see the Bas Tyra France thing.
but I didn't really feature America at all. Maybe cos I have no pre gunpowder knowlegde of it. I start and the wild West really.
The West Kingdom still seems more English to me than Rallion. Rallion seemed a bit Roman to me actually.
But I suppose the inbred years or the royals and lords. I'm thinking more about the dark ages of England and not the three muscateers, which is silly really as Arutha and Jimmy have got a Rapiers.
I'd forgotten about the Islani, I pictured Nakor like a Ghandi type bloke, with his robes and his nose. I remember that they are all ninjas but I don't imagine Nakor as Chinese, I think it's the nose!

It would still be nice to see how other people related to it in their imaginations.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2006, 10:16:11 PM by locky »
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The Squire Of Forest Deep

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Midkemia + Kelewan Compared to Earth
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2006, 02:13:32 AM »

The US has no pre-gun powder history. The Continent of North America, and the land that is now considred the USdoes, but not America. I don't think Ray meant that Krondor has any similarities with America, it's just the accent. For some reason i HATE any other accent than English in fantasy. It just sounds wrong. I mean that for english speaking cultures though. I can't stand american or australian accents in fantasy, so I'll just continue imagining english accents for krondor and the far west.
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Suli Abul

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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2006, 01:53:56 PM »

Quote from: The Squire Of Forest Deep
The US has no pre-gun powder history. The Continent of North America, and the land that is now considred the USdoes, but not America. I don't think Ray meant that Krondor has any similarities with America, it's just the accent. For some reason i HATE any other accent than English in fantasy. It just sounds wrong. I mean that for english speaking cultures though. I can't stand american or australian accents in fantasy, so I'll just continue imagining english accents for krondor and the far west.

Of course, I can definatly imagine Amos or someone from Kesh speaking in the old English style... *wishes there was a backhand emoticon*
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The Squire Of Forest Deep

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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2006, 03:16:53 PM »

that's not what I meant... whatever.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2006, 03:38:36 PM by The Squire Of Forest Deep »
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Boldar Blood

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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2006, 06:12:22 PM »

Quote from: Suli Abul
Of course, I can definatly imagine Amos or someone from Kesh speaking in the old English style... *wishes there was a backhand emoticon*


Amos speaks PIRATE

Arrrrr Matey!
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xancithus

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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2006, 07:54:10 PM »

yeah! Obviously...
I tend not to worry about these things... when I'm reading it all makes perfect sense and when I've stopped it doesn't need to...
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locky

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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2006, 10:30:02 PM »

In my opinion...
Every author, writer, painter whatever, person with imagination; end up relating what they come up with to their world somehow. It could be subconciousely, on purpose or tries to avoid on purpose.
Also, when picturing something non-visual, which is natural, your imagination automatically tries to relate it to images you already have.
I was more curious as to how other people's imagination reacted...

I still see Novindus as Australia!
Compare Austrlia to the rest of the world. It's got snowy mountains, hot beaches, a desert, mainly English speaking. It's the new land of opportunity!
In Midkemia, Novindus is a little bit of everything that the West Kingom's got. And their own quirks. And a slightly different outlook/perspective.

And I still think of Elves as Scandanivian. Not accent, although I'm not sure if Algharama (?spell check -Elf Queen) would sound like...erm.. the Queen? or Elizabeth the First in BlackAdder (Amanda richardson). But then I don't know of anyone who speaks with a faint echo!
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The Squire Of Forest Deep

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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2006, 02:17:21 AM »

I agree that Novindus and Australia share some geographical similarities, but culturally, they are immensely different. Partially because of the fact that Australia has no medieval/renaissance history (inhabited by aborigines but they didn't establish a medieval society). Mostly though, because the people of Novindus are descendants of ancient Keshian-speaking peoples. Also, Australia doesn't have a long history and little definitive cultural traits. Up until 50 years ago we were still obsessed with imitating England, and now it seems many of us are trying to do the same thing with the U.S.

So anyway, yeah...
« Last Edit: April 28, 2006, 02:35:50 AM by The Squire Of Forest Deep »
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Alrin

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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2006, 02:30:26 AM »

While Australia may share geographical similarities with Novindus (for the reasons listed by others) it's quite obvious that it's meant to parallel India.

Apart from the obvious translation of the name - Nova Indus = New India - one need simply look at a map of the two nations to see that, while not identical, there's an obvious resemblance. Add to that the fact that Ray has specifically said that he imagines Novindus to be "like India, with a thousand regional tongues and one major trading language, which is based on Yabonese, as the original founders of the area were people who fled from Yabon during the last great Religious war."

[div align=\"center\"]<img width="245" height="352" src="http://www.jcsoft.cz/fantasy/images/feist/novin_b.jpg"></img> <img src="http://www.carlaking.com/motorcyclemisadventures/indiansunset.com/index_map.gif"></img>[/div]
« Last Edit: April 28, 2006, 02:44:16 AM by Alrin »
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locky

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Midkemia + Kelewan Compared to Earth
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2006, 03:04:58 AM »

isn't that what you said earlier Alrin?
The diagram does help make it clearer though!
It doens't change the face that what Ray was thinking and intending as he wrote isn't neccessarily what every reader gets!
even though an author may want to convey their meaning and the images which they have when they are writing, the last thing any author wants to do structure the audience's experience so much that their imagination is restricted.
Many people had that same problem with LotR, too much desription!

It is definitely good know what the boss had intended because then we can all compare Ray's pictures when he wrote and our own when we read!
« Last Edit: April 28, 2006, 03:07:53 AM by locky »
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Alrin

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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2006, 06:25:30 AM »

Quote from: locky
isn't that what you said earlier Alrin?
Aye. I pretty much reiterated what I'd said previously. I didn't want to just toss out a few images, is all, so I figured I'd copy/paste some text to fill the post out a bit (since I'm too lazy to come up with anything original).
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Halfniak

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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2006, 12:57:56 AM »

just something interesting:
Durban (almost Durbin) is the Capital of a province called Natal in South Africa...
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« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2006, 12:05:03 PM »

I think geographicallly there's no real relation. A lot of different cultures are represented in the book, but many them are classified under one Nation. Kesh, is most certainly a rep for many races.
Islani's - Mongoloids
Jal Purians - Negroids
Islesman - Caucasians

eh
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« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2006, 09:30:29 AM »

Robert E Howard started this kind of stuff, superimposing the countries of Conan's time with Europe and Middle East

and instead of Kesh, it was Kush...

a literary convention for Africa

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« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2006, 12:29:06 PM »

Novindus the land mass is pretty much an exact copy of Tasmania (the large island at the bottom of oz)


Cant see how Crydee can be seen as Australia though, the only people i have read that have used any aussie lingo is Jomey (sp?) and I think Amos both with the usage of the word "mate".


By the way Australia kicks arse and Amercia is the devil's playground full of stupid people, i mean look at Bush, how can those morons not be up in arms at having such a clown as a leader?


I always saw Kesh as a black Rome and Queg as a Spanish/Mexican Greece kind of place.
Rodez as purely Spanish
Yaboon as Scottish/Irish but with swords not unlike a samurai (Kevin mentions hadati swords being not unlike Tsurani swords)
Islani as China
And most of the Kingdom as English/ Middle ages europe
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coeshaw

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« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2006, 12:49:48 PM »

I don't think Ray is saying people from Crydee are speaking like Austrialans, he says they have a mindset like 19th century Aussies. So I would guess being the furthest DUtchy / colony from the centre of the Kingdom (British Empire). Also to be one of the most loyal to the crown throughout the kingdom / empire. Also people there must have a pioneering spirit to move to what is an undeveloped wilderness.
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« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2006, 01:07:35 PM »

I must admit that I see Kesh indeed as an african variant on the Roman Empire. Not so much because of the culture, which mainly seems to be from north africa, but more because of the way the place is run. Large aristocratic families struggle for power, the armies are divided into legions, carrying a short sword and a large spear, who can march for ages, and the place is huge, covering half the known world and a lot of civilisations.

 
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TheSCRanger

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Midkemia + Kelewan Compared to Earth
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2006, 10:35:22 AM »

I would have thought the Keshans would be based on the Ancient Egyptians?
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