in memoriam

I ended up feeling a lot quieter after I heard about Robert Jordan than I would have predicted I would.

Here’s what it boils down to, and why I don’t feel bad that my thoughts more or less immediately went to his unfinished book.

I never met the man. I saw him at World Fantasy once, but didn’t stand in the enormous line of people with wheeled carts full of eggcrates full of books for him to sign. I didn’t know him personally. All I knew were his books, and the occasional interview or blog post I came across.

The Eye of the World was the one book I took with me to Costa Rica. I took it because it was big and thick and looked like it might keep me busy through two and a half weeks of semi-rough living where I had to carry all my worldly possessions in a backpack for the duration (and I was a scrawny fourteen at the time). I left that book in Costa Rica after I finished it because the series didn’t grab me then (and see above about having to carry everything); later I went back, because my friends were reading it, and then it did grab me.

I know a lot of people got fed up with the Wheel of Time at one point or another, and I’ll cop to having my own problems with it. But ultimately? The core of the story was something I never stopped being interested in. Through all the subplots and complications and so on, I always was curious to see how the main stuff was going to wrap up. That was my connection to Robert Jordan: the story he was telling.

In a sense, then, the end of that story will be the end of my relationship with the man. Whether it ends here, incomplete, or whether they find someone to finish his work . . . either way, that’s how my connection ends. And I know which one I would prefer.

So I don’t feel bad that I’m wondering what will happen with the last book.

My sympathies, of course, are with everyone who did know him — the people who have lost James Oliver Rigney, Jr., instead of Robert Jordan. I don’t expect them to deal with this question any time soon. There are more important things for them right now.

0 Responses to “in memoriam”

  1. querldox

    Reports are that he left a lot of notes/outlines and spend the last few months taping information about how he wanted the series to end and the like. Odds are strongly in favor of some sort of resolution book, be it someone else fleshing out what he left into a novel or just putting the raw info he left in coherent shape.

  2. kitsunealyc

    Ah. I was surprised that it hadn’t hit LJ yet, but it just turns out I didn’t go back far enough.

  3. unforth

    I certainly don’t hold it against anyone to be concerned about the last book. I think it’s worth being concerned about. I’m still all about the sceance, if it comes to that. ๐Ÿ™‚ I will not live the rest of my life not knowing if Rand lives or dies (or, perhaps I should say – given my suspicians – that I won’t live the rest of my life not knowing how Rand manages to avoid dying, since there have been hints in that direction. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I think that it wasn’t meeting him that caused me to be so upset, but the fact that WoT was such an important part of my life for so much of my life. I feel like Jordan was part of my life because WoT was part of my life.

  4. diatryma

    The best comment I’ve read was on Making Light, so you’ve read it too, probably, and it said more or less that whatever you think of his books, they have to be dealt with. If you write fantasy, you deal with Tolkien and you deal with Jordan.
    I stopped reading the books a while ago, and tried to reread once, but between the car ride and the fact that I still remembered what was going on– first book syndrome, where I reread and cannot care what happens to the family farm because in eighteen hundred pages, it’ll be forgotten– it didn’t hold. I’ll probably reread them soon, but I have a foot and a half on my to-read shelf, and very little of that is mass-market tall.

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