Malazan Empire: Why Garden's of the Moon as a Title? - Malazan Empire

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Why Garden's of the Moon as a Title?

#1 User is offline   L'oric 

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 06:28 PM

There were one or two parts where they were mentioned. Something about wars and such but why do you think he chose this as a title of a book that would start the series?

Can anyone summon the quotes from book 1? I am starting to think that the main adversary has something to do with the book 1 title and will start rereading book 1 to see if I can find anything myself.
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#2 User is offline   Imperial Historian 

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Posted 24 December 2007 - 11:18 PM

It's a common question, and not one we have a definitive answer too.

I don't have the books with me, but the main quote concerns a tale of apsalars about the lord of the moon grallin? who tends gardens there, and one day everyone would go and live in happiness there. I think it's when she and Crokus travel together in chapter 16 or just before or after, so someone should be able to find it from there.

There's another one about gardens dying, something along the lines of 'one by one gardens died' around the climax in darujhistan, linking I think violence to a loss of innocence and the death of the gardens.

There's several more links to the moon in moon spawn, the year of the moon's tears from icariums clock and another reference to the year of the shattered moon.

As to why it was chosen as a title, probably because it just sounds quite cool, SE doesn't generally link strongly between titles and the books content. For example I don't think (reapers gale spoilers):
Spoiler

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#3 User is offline   Kurt Montandon 

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Posted 25 December 2007 - 02:47 AM

Imperial Historian;237099 said:

As to why it was chosen as a title, probably because it just sounds quite cool, SE doesn't generally link strongly between titles and the books content. For example I don't think (reapers gale spoilers):
Spoiler


Actually, "Memories of Ice" is very relevant to the storyline - just look at the context in which the phrase was used.
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#4 User is offline   thesalus 

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Posted 26 December 2007 - 04:53 PM

GotM might also refer to there being life/a city inside Moon's Spawn. One of the mages seemed rather surprised at that fact.

And SE starts out with a theme and the title when writing the book:

Quote

I have talked with many other writers and I find my approach is rather unusual, since I start with theme. That would be THEME. And title.

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#5 User is offline   Zelech 

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 10:02 PM

Obviously all the different terms relating to "moon" allow a lot of room for opinion.

I personally like to believe it stems from what Imperial Historian stated.

I think so, because the beginning of the book has young Paran being reprimanded for naively thinking that he wants to be a soldier, a hero--and that plot certainly gets fleshed out in an un-naive way! Tie that with Apsalar's tale of a blissful after-life at the gardens of the moon. Then toss in the fact that its the starting book and will therefore have a sweeping scope.

Combine those 3 factors, and I think it culminates in a worthy title of "Gardens of the Moon", a theme of how everything begins with innocence and naivete, but blooms into life.
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#6 User is offline   Aptorian 

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 10:09 PM

I think that it most likely that it's just a random tittle. Did the original script about the guys in Darjistan have the same tittle?
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#7 User is offline   Folken 

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 02:11 AM

There is a reference to gardens on the moon in the novel. A conversation takes place between Crokus and Apsalar where she tells him of tales her father used to tell her of a Lord G that took care of huge underground gardens and that he would one day come pick his chosen and take them there. There was no war no one died...a paradise so to say.

Why is Gardens of the Moon the title of the first book? I haven't the faintest idea, but seeing as how the myth, where these gardens are mentioned, describes a rather Utopian world it seems almost the perfect title for the first novel in a series that takes place in a world that is essentially one big hell hole.

I think I may have just come up with the best explanation for why this is the title of the novel...after 3 years of thinking I actually feel content with this explanation.
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#8 User is offline   Mcflury 

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 10:38 AM

hmm, maybe we should ask SE though :D
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#9 User is offline   Folken 

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 05:41 PM

gee how come no one else thought of that in 4 years...lol. You honestly believe you will get a straight forward answer from him?

Besides as it says in the quote above he goes for Theme and then title. Makes perfect sense to me, the entire novel is essentially everyone trying to find some form of peace at a personal level or at a grander scale. So why not have Gardens of the Moon as the title? The one place where there is supposed to be peace
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#10 User is offline   Mcflury 

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 08:06 PM

off course other people thought of that. I was just pointing out there really isn't any good use of discussing why a certain book is called the way it is called, since basically only the writer can be sure (and those who know because the writer told them).
I'm not saying you can't make a (good) guess, but you can only be sure if SE would tell you really.
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#11 User is offline   Zelech 

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 06:35 PM

Epic fiction is IMO all about the reader connecting dots in his own brain; some of the connections are given by the author, but many are not, or are left to be embellished by the reader's mind.

Many times what an author intends is not what I myself think--sometimes I'm wrong (obviously SE had a reason for naming it as he did), but if I enjoy my explanation better then I'm keeping it.

Its a difficult line: when is having opinions (and discussion of them) a waste of time, and when isn't it a waste? I don't think discussing a deep & complex series such as this is a waste of time (else I'd be a hypocrite for posting on this forum)--because SE doesn't tell us everything discretely.
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#12 User is offline   Mcflury 

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 10:00 PM

no, off course not, but the TRUE meaning why a book is called whatever it is called, imo, is the meaning the writer gives it... Sure, are points of view are equally important, and off course it doesn't really harm to discuss it, but there is no right or wrong... (okay this may sound crap to you guys, but in my 4th year in high school we learned about poetry, and then one of the questions always was 'why do you think the poem's called the way it is?', so you give your own idea, or whatever you think the writer thought it to be, but at the end it was only the idea of the teacher that was found correct... I hated that, since basically only the writer knows if you really want to work in terms of right and wrong... I don't know if this made any sense to you guys, but it did to me, so just ignore this if it didn't :) )
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#13 User is offline   Folken 

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 08:10 AM

i like my explanation im sticking with it. Been trying to answer this myself ever since I started reading the series and I am finally satisfied with this one...I don't require someone telling me otherwise:p even if it is SE. To me it's the perfect title now:)
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#14 User is offline   ch'arlz 

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 02:24 PM

I think for most books the editor/publisher has as much to do with the choice of title as the author - particularly first novels. That's not an answer to the question, but...
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#15 User is offline   Folken 

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 04:48 PM

The titles of the novels were planned out by SE long ago. We've known the title of all 10 books from the very start as far as I know so there is no editor/publisher influence here.
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#16 User is offline   BalkanPower 

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 02:24 PM

Hi,

first time poster:)

Well I've been wondering the same. There was a part in the book (as mentioned above) where it is explained that the gardens of the moon is a place of peace and happiness.

the things happening in this book have nothing to do with peace..it's hell on earth.

The gardens of the moon as a title suggests that the happenings in this book are "peaceful" compared to what's coming...things will only get worse. I havent read all books yet, reading deadhouse gates now, but if things really get nastier as the story unfolds, then the title is a perfect one. The gardens of the moons is the most "peaceful" period in the story of the malazans, hence the title. At least, that's how I interpret the title. It's like SE wants the reader to know this: "if you think the world is in a state of war right now, then better prepare for whats to come, cause you have seen nothing yet"
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#17 User is offline   Beliar 

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 02:45 PM

i'll Go along with you on that view Balken, i must say your view has been the 1st idea i've heard regarding that i've actually thought 'that fits perfect with the whole scope of the series' as it does only get worse and more hectic as it goes on.
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#18 User is offline   The Crow 

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 02:34 AM

View PostKurt Montandon, on Dec 25 2007, 03:47 AM, said:

Actually, "Memories of Ice" is very relevant to the storyline - just look at the context in which the phrase was used.



Most of the titles are relevant to the storyline, just think of Deadhouse Gates, House of Chains and The Bonehunters. All of those things feature prominently in each book. You could also make connections through the other titles, although those generally aren't as obvious.

Though, on the other hand, ICE's titles are much easier to understand ;)
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#19 User is offline   Knight of Darkness 

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 04:13 PM

I agree with Folken that the conversation between Crokus and Apsalar is probably important concerning the title. For those who don't remember the conversation, here's a quote of it:

'Look at the moon,' Apsalar breathed, from the far side of the platform.
Crokus shivered. She was still a cold one, at times. 'Which one?' he asked, rising
'The shining one of course'

........

'Do you see its oceans?' Apsalar asked
'What?' He turned
'Its oceans. Grallin's Sea. That's the big one. The Lord of the Deep Waters living there is named Grallin. He tends vast. beautiful underwater gardens. Grallin will come down to us, one day, to our world. And he'll gather his chosen and take them to his world. And we'll live in those gardens, warmed by the deep fires, and our children will swim like dolphins, and we'll be happy since there won't be any more wars, and no empires, and no swords and shields. Oh Crokus, it'll be wonderwul, won't it?'

Page 567 in the UK paperback edition.

This post has been edited by Knight of Darkness: 23 June 2009 - 09:48 PM

'None could guess my confusion, my host of deluded illusions and elusive delusions! A mantle of marble hiding a crumbling core of sandstone. See how they stare at me, wondering -all wondering- at my secret wellspring of wisdom...'
'Let's kill him,' Crokus muttered, 'if only to put him out of our misery.'
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#20 User is offline   Dredge 

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 07:07 PM

It's not surprising that the title causes trouble, being hard to recognise as an identifiable thing or character or idea within the book. Most of the titles of the later books are easier to grok in that regard.

But I'm going to nod my head to the genius of the title, "Gardens of the Moon", for as perverse as it seems to name a book after a seemingly obscure reference in a single conversation, that reference encompasses a theme of enormous importance in the book and the series.

1. The story of the 'gardens of the moon', as told by Apsalar, offers the hope of future bliss. More broadly, you can read redemption or salvation for bliss.

To all those struggling in their day to day lives with the seemingly eternal problems of societies (war, injustice, tyranny[1]) and personal existence (heartbreak, illness, hunger), any hope of future salvation and bliss is obviously of enormous appeal. Readers of later books will recognise where this idea goes.
Spoiler


2. Apsalar's telling of the story of the 'gardens of the moon' frames it as a kind of fairy story or children's tale or fantasy.

In other words, it requires a certain naivety or wilful self-delusion to buy into it wholly, so there's actually two opposed themes derived from it:
( a ) subservience to - or faith in - a wilful self-deception or illusion offering the hope of future bliss,
-- versus --
( b ) clearer-eyed experience (or cynicism) teaching a truer but harder reality that hope is often transient (unless you struggle to hang on to it) and bliss elusive (unless you lower your expectations of it).

And that opposition is the crux of the drama in the entire series. Most (almost all?) of the major characters in the series embody the struggle between these notions in some way, and their experiences and personal evolution are an examination of these two competing ideas. (Consider Paran's path in GotM[2].) That's what makes the choice of title of the first book so brilliant.

Few, if any, characters perfectly attach to either end of this philosophical spectrum, but waver around the spaces in between. Naturally, it's the wavering that's interesting. However, in a very general way, in the first book, you might view some of the Malazans as falling into the first category at the beginning, at least to the extent that - jaded soldiers though they are - they believe that they are serving some kind of higher purpose in hope of reward. Naturally, experience can teach otherwise (again, consider Paran).

Of course, the longer someone has been around, the closer to the second category they generally fall. In terms of groups, rather than individuals, the embracing of the second ideal isn't often the result of revelation, but entropy and experience, and although groups don't encompass the free-will aspect of this idea (see note [1]), the important factor is that they are (largely) without the hope of reward or bliss. Think of the ennui that permeates the Tiste Andii and what led them to that (much of which only comes out in later books, admittedly), or more amusingly, Tool's often quoted ruminations about the T'lan Imass:

"Tell me, Tool, what dominates your thoughts?"
The Imass shrugged before replying, "I think of futility, Adjunct."
"Do all Imass think about futility?"
"No. Few think at all."
"Why is that?"
The Imass leaned his head to one side and regarded her, "Because Adjunct, it is futile."

(In one of those twists that makes the series so great,
Spoiler
.)

Oh, and finally,
Spoiler


Just my long-winded nickle's worth,
Dredge.

--------------------------


[1] One of the more amazing notions that appears in the series is that all forms of society, even the smallest community - is a form of tyranny. From anyone else, this'd sound like pure cynicism, but from an anthropologist (as Erickson is), it is - at least in the context of the Malazan series -something to bear in mind. Now I think this idea is first spelled out, albeit in passing, in MoI (
Spoiler
), although it utterly dominates some later books. What's of interest (to me, at least) is the way in which this notion of tyranny as a social force appears reflected in the two opposed themes of the 'gardens of the moon' story: a personal subservience versus a rejection of the consolations of companionship.

[2] Paran has given over control of his life to an ideal of service to the Adjunct (early on in GotM) - in part a wilful self-delusion; that by following rather than making his own choices he can be absolved of the myriad challenges of free will. But new friendships undermine his isolation, casting him adrift as a pawn of other powers who test him sorely, and only by finally seeking to break his subservience to them does he begin to leave behind his illusion of hope granted by unthinking service; and now has to face the nasty idea that redemption (of any kind) will not come from any self-deception, and that new forms of more freely given service to others (and other ideals) - while being more ethically true to his heart - are without (illusory) guarantees of redemption. It's the hard road - no more gardens of the moon for him... apparently.

Many other characters touch upon this idea in different ways. Compare Lorn's path with Paran's: after being tested, and tempted to leave her illusions behind, she appears to return to the path of the gardens of the moon - in action at least, but what about her heart?

Or consider Whiskeyjack, Toc the Younger, and Rallick Nom (what do they really trust in? and how have their outlooks evolved with their allegiences/friendships and experiences?).

And in later books, consider the opposed themes of the 'gardens of the moons' with reference to... jeez, the list could be damn near endless... um,
Spoiler
etc.

This post has been edited by Dredge: 11 August 2009 - 08:25 PM

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