mrsschwab

Flowers

11 posts in this topic

Before I ask my question I have to admit that I am guilty of reading too fast and so I often miss little details. That may very well be the case here. Also I only discovered Brandon Sanderson's books last week and I've already read the first 4 Mistborn books and am starting my 5th one in a few hours. :) I'm very new here so if this has been addressed in earlier discussion threads, I apologize. 

I couldn't help but be very confused when in The Well of Ascension (pg 430)Breeze tells Clubs "We're thieves and scammers. We shouldn't care. I mean ... I've gotten so bad that I Soothe scullery maids so that they'll have a happier time at work! I might as well start dressing in pink and carrying around flowers. I could probably make quite a bundle at weddings." 

How does he know what a flower is if the only flower that any of them have ever seen is the small paper that Mare used to carry? How does he know that flowers are popular at weddings? How does he know that they're a sign of happiness and good times as opposed to the dark and dead world that they currently live upon? 

TIA

Edited by mrsschwab
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Good point!

I think while flowers themselves (as we know them) might have not existed on Lord Rulers Scadrial, some other plants might have taken the name. In chapter 17 of Mistborn Vin sees garden with plants of coloured leaves - I think that might be the ones passing for flowers in this world ( sauce: https://books.google.pl/books?id=F8u01NaEZU0C&lpg=PT275&ots=WhXCaSy50C&dq=mistborn noble plants&hl=pl&pg=PT275#v=onepage&q=mistborn noble plants&f=false )

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It's also possible that Sazed told other members of the crew about pre-Final Empire wedding customs in the course of discussing religions with them and one or more of them had an association of flowers and weddings.

Though it's fun to see Scadrial in Era 2 and learn that the Church of the Survivor uses ash instead of flower petals, despite the latter most definitely existing by then. Neat touch.

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Posted (edited)

I had this same question and forgot about it until I got to this part in Hero of Ages, chapter 10:

 

(Breeze speaking) “...Well, I think a little variety would be nice. Fields of green . . . little specks of color . . . what did Kelsier call those?”

“Flowers,” Sazed said. 

 

The reference to flowers at the wedding seemed like a mistake to me. *shrugs*

 

Edited by Anm
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4 hours ago, Anm said:

(Breeze speaking) “...Well, I think a little variety would be nice. Fields of green . . . little specks of color . . . what did Kelsier call those?”

“Flowers,” Sazed said.

The plants during the era of ash must have reproduced by some method. And people ate corn and fruit. For all we know they had flowers that just weren't colored or delicate.

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Posted (edited)

I think the real answer is, "that one got by the editors". Heh.

But yeah, the in-world justification could simply be "translation error", as in what you are reading on the page in real-world English is meant to be a translation of what "really" happened on Scadrial. This is one of the Original Conceits of Fantasy Writing in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The Professor goes into great detail in one of the Appendices about how he "translated" a place name like "The Brandywine River(1)" as his attempt at conveying how the Hobbits turned the Sindarin Elvish name for it, Baranduin, into a pun involving alcohol in their native language, Bralda-hîm.

So when Breeze talks sarcastically about making a second career of providing floral bouquets to weddings, that's supposed to stand in for "the plant-based decorative cultivation of the Final Empire associated with festivity and would require an entire paragraph in an explanatory appendix to explain, so, flowers it is."

I'm pretty sure I've read some essay or annotation of Sanderson where he adheres to this model (which is conveniently also an excellent boilerplate excuse for things like this).

 

(1) Footnote: I was about 30 years old when I learned there was a real Brandywine River in Delaware, while planning my first family vacation as the head of a household and deciding to stop at Longwood Gardens to break up a drive from NY to Washington DC. I kept joking about hobbits like Sam Gamgee secretly working the grounds.

Edited by robardin
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Agreed @robardin.

If the nature of the translation is changing jokes to ones that have a similar feel (English puns often don't work outside English) minor fills like this make sense. 

Quote

unknown

How come they're still called EARTHquakes in Mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson

I know it's a joke, but I actually have an answer! One I stole from Tolkien, who mentioned all his books are "in translation" to English from an original language--so the translator takes liberties. They're called earthquakes for the same reason that Shallan's puns work in English--the one taking them from the original language to English came up with something that works for us, even if it isn't a one-to-one translation. :)

/r/fantasy AMA 2017 (Feb. 13, 2017)

 

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2 minutes ago, not an Evil Librarian said:

What if...  Breeze is a worldhopper!

"X-Files theme plays"

If he was, then he was a pretty bad one, considering he's dead. Or at the very least, handless.

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Posted (edited)

On 3/22/2019 at 10:27 AM, robardin said:

I think the real answer is, "that one got by the editors". Heh.

But yeah, the in-world justification could simply be "translation error", as in what you are reading on the page in real-world English is meant to be a translation of what "really" happened on Scadrial. This is one of the Original Conceits of Fantasy Writing in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The Professor goes into great detail in one of the Appendices about how he "translated" a place name like "The Brandywine River(1)" as his attempt at conveying how the Hobbits turned the Sindarin Elvish name for it, Baranduin, into a pun involving alcohol in their native language, Bralda-hîm.

So when Breeze talks sarcastically about making a second career of providing floral bouquets to weddings, that's supposed to stand in for "the plant-based decorative cultivation of the Final Empire associated with festivity and would require an entire paragraph in an explanatory appendix to explain, so, flowers it is."

I'm pretty sure I've read some essay or annotation of Sanderson where he adheres to this model (which is conveniently also an excellent boilerplate excuse for things like this).

 

(1) Footnote: I was about 30 years old when I learned there was a real Brandywine River in Delaware, while planning my first family vacation as the head of a household and deciding to stop at Longwood Gardens to break up a drive from NY to Washington DC. I kept joking about hobbits like Sam Gamgee secretly working the grounds.

This being Tolkien, he actually wrote the two other languages (Sindarin and Westron) before the actual stories! So depending on where and when he decided on the names it may have actually been translated... from two different languages he invented! (And lets not forget the original Quenya that Sindarin originated from, nor that it is Adunaic from which Westron derives...)

Benefits of being a philogist; he really loved his languages and roots. (But then, the elves fell from grace, in part, over the matter of a shibboleth...) I don’t think anyone else using that convention has ever done it as well.

Old Quenya, Noldorin, Sindarin, Vanyarin?, some variations for the Falmari and the Teleri...and that’s just the Elves! Adunaic and Westron, the Black Speech, Khuzdul, and Valarin! And I’m fairly certain I’m missing at least one... Some more complete than others, some simply better recorded... Translation convention works so much better when you’ve actually written all of the languages you’re ‘translating.’ He actually write some things in his languages! (Some are complete enough to be spoken, though I keep running into grammatical issues when attempting Noldorin.)

And when I visited Brandywine I, too, could not stop joking about the Shire... obviously, some hobbits emigrated from the hills of England.

Edited by Kingsdaughter613
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