Tuesday, February 17, 2009

CSFF Blog Tour: Cyndere's Midnight Day Two

One of the reasons why I was looking forward to reading Cyndere's Midnight by Jeffrey Overstreet was because I wanted more data to work with on one of the enduring mysteries in the series, namely the identity of the Keeper. If you were around my blog a year ago when we toured Auralia's Colors and you have a phenomenal memory, you might remember that I originally believed that the Keeper was some sort of Christ-figure. Then our wonderful blog tour overlord Rebecca Miller said that Overstreet has said to hold off on identifying the Keeper as a God figure.

This has left me a little puzzled, because to be honest, that identification became a bit more solid. More than that, though. After reading through Auralia's Colors before reading Cyndere's Midnight, I'm beginning to wonder if the Keeper isn't supposed to be the Father and Auralia is supposed to be the Christ figure. Given Auralia's role (limited though it may be) in Cyndere's Midnight, and especially given the way that the ale boy interacts with her memory, that seems more and more likely.

But I'm still tripped up over what Rebecca Miller said. So I've come up with a whacky alternate theory: Auralia isn't Christ. The Keeper isn't God. Instead, the Keeper is the Church. Auralia is a "generic Christian." And the Expanse and its denizens are the unsaved world.

The Keeper is seen as a horrific monster by the denizens of the Expanse. And let's be honest, the Church is seen that way by many non-Christians. Auralia is sent in to confront House Abascar and its lack of color and vibrancy, much the same way that we Christians are sent in to do the same for our friends and neighbors who don't have a relationship with Christ.

Part of the reason why I wonder about this is because there's something missing so far in these books, and that's a codified religion that is an obvious parallel to Christianity and/or Judaism. As such, it's hard to really make everything fit.

Not that that's a complaint. I tend to overthink stuff like this. You don't have to agree with my new, silly theory. But you can bet I'll be waiting for Cal-raven's Ladder to see what further brushstrokes are added to the theological portrait.

Go and see what the other tourists have to say this month:

Brandon Barr
Keanan Brand
Rachel Briard
Valerie Comer
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Shane Deal
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Andrea Graham
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Timothy Hicks
Jason Isbell
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
Wade Ogletree
John W. Otte
John Ottinger
Steve Rice
Crista Richey
Alice M. Roelke
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Fred Warren
Jill Williamson


Rachel Starr Thomson said...

Overthinking it may be, but that's rather fascinating. I'm just reading Auralia's Colors now because I couldn't bear to read the sequel first. Speed reading and a late night it shall be, but at least I'm enjoying it so far!

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

I don't know if I told you last year or not, John, but I originally saw Auralia as a type of Christ and the Keeper as a type of God the Father. Until I read that post of Jeffrey's, which I think he might have taken down. Either that, or I read it in an interview with someone else, because I couldn't find it.

The thing is, he said pretty plainly that what he intended was a story about life without art and about it being rejected by the powers that be, even though it brought joy to the common man.

I'm sure I added a lot to that. But that made sense and in that context, I wonder if the Keeper isn't Imagination.

With that backdrop, I wondered if Cyndere's Midnight was saying that art could set the beastman free. But no, what changed Jordam was a process that Auralia's colors brought him to and what the water from the well began in earnest.

Make of it what you will. I thought the pictures could be intentional. But who knows.

What I really hate is the idea that the connections I see might just be accidents of happenstance. Makes me feel like I shouldn't bother to read for a deeper meaning because whatever deeper meaning I find wasn't really something the author was intending to convey.

Ah, for a return to belief in themes as part of well-crafted fiction.


Robert Treskillard said...

Very fascinating, John! I've thought of the Keeper more as a Seraphim/Angel type creature, but its only a guess.

I think a lot of these mysteries will be solved "beyond the Forbidding Wall" where the NorthChildren are from, so we just have to wait.

Great review here!