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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:53 pm 
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Out of curiosity, is that note ALWAYS in english, or is it localized by language settings like the dialogue?


Also, it's possible you know Yeesha was trilingual. If Atrus for example spoke French as a first language, Yeesha would know french and D'ni. However, at the time she was born, english was moving up as a language, so it's possible she learned it too so she'd know all 3. In turn for all we know he wrote in english for practice for both of them.


If RAWA notes Atrus spoke english primarily aside from D'ni, we'd know... however just speaking/writing it doesn't mean much as the fact that he knows D'ni doesn't indicate it's his primary language (in fact his primary is whatever Ti'ana spoke and taught him, which we ALSO have to note could be more than one)


I'm gonna file the language idea under 'needs RAWA confirmation' for now :?
Just knowing a language does not mean anything, as that letter was long after he was an adult and had time to learn any given languages. Sorry. But if we could find his primary language, it'd give us Ti'ana's. As I noted there could be more than one, and considering how she grew up knowing more than one language would be a real benefit for her.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:47 pm 
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It is true that RAWA confirmed that Anna and Atrus's first languages were indeed English (http://www.mystcommunity.com/board/index.php?showtopic=19149), but of course accepting that as evidence just leads to the next question: how does RAWA know this to be the case?

He presumably knows things about Atrus and Anna that we have not yet learned; but still there are, it seems to me, several published facts that point to their being English speakers. The most obvious is the Age-name Myst. This is clearly intended to evoke the word "mystery," which is ultimately of Greek origin and would be understandable as such to an educated speaker of any European language; but the fact that it was shortened to a single syllable was clearly intended to suggest the English word "mist." This is meaningless in French or Spanish, and in German it would mean 'muck' or 'rubbish'. Possibly if one searched through many languages one might find another plausible meaning for the name, but it seems that Atrus being fluent in English is the simplest explanation.

And there is an even clearer piece of indirect linguistic evidence. This is the fact that when speaking in D'ni Yeesha refers to the "Cleft" using this as though it were a proper name, rather than translating it by a D'ni word of similar meaning. This seems to prove that this is the actual word that Atrus used when referring to the place where he grew up, and that Yeesha learned it as a name, perhaps before she understood what the name means.

It is true, by the way, that the Spanish had been in the New Mexico area for about a century at the time of Anna's birth; but I believe their foothold was still somewhat precarious. Their treatment of the natives eventually led to the Pueblo revolt in 1680, driving the Spanish settlers out of Santa Fé and back to El Paso, and 12 years of fighting before they reoccupied the region. The Cleft must be in the Pecos River watershed, across the mountains to the east of the Spanish settlements, where their explorers had gone in the previous century but they had never settled. Perhaps the Spanish had hired Anna's father to investigate whether there was any gold or silver in this area.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:43 am 
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Out of curiosity, is that note ALWAYS in english, or is it localized by language settings like the dialogue?

Localized, as badly as everything else and with a sentence missing btw, but does it matter? The localized versions make no sense in-universe: surely the DRC don't write their journals in Italian. Besides, Uru is not afraid to throw long texts in D'ni at its players, I don't think it would shy away from a simple letter in Spanish/German/French/Klingon if it were the case.

And I don't think that anyone would write letters as private as those (the Atrus-to-Yeesha intro and the virtually-Yeesha-to-Atrus at the end of tPotS) in any language that's not their first. They were practically ripping their hearts out :(


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but of course accepting that as evidence just leads to the next question: how does RAWA know this to be the case?

RAWA, 'cause he co-plotted the thing... Watson, 'cause he spoke to Atrus? It seems pretty solid to me either way... Catherine's diaries could also have mentioned it.

Oh, and Myst's etymology is indeed puzzling. I tell myself that it's a proper noun from Anna's or Catherine's past that just happened to be so very convenient for Uru!Cyan's marketing. *shrug* Either that, or the two writers were referencing an actual mist that... wasn't really there... unless realMyst counts as retcon in this case... and we have a brilliant case of ante litteram bad teenager spelling, according to which everything is better with more Ks and Ys.
Sort of. :P

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:51 pm 
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Another thing to consider on language, I will explain with an example: the generations before my parents (those who were able to learn to write) all did that in the official writing language, not the language they spoke. I've got some very personal and emotional letters from a great-aunt to her father (and v.v.) in perfect Dutch, although they spoke Frisian and a city dialect to each other in person (and: they didn't know how to write in Frisian, it wasn't taught and not used in written communication then).

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:00 pm 
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OK, HOW do we know she spoke English? Is it possible her father was from Spain. His being in the New Mexico province wouldn't be as far a stretch as an English person would.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:02 pm 
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Again, we know Anna spoke English because she and Atrus called the place in which she raised him "the Cleft." If she and he spoke Spanish and not English they would not use an English word as a name. We know this is the actual name they used and not a translation from Spanish (or some other language), because Yeesha uses this name without translating it when she is speaking D'ni -- she says rekooahn treCleft preniv legloen b’rem = 'once again the stream in the Cleft has begun to flow'.

While it would have been unusual for an Englishman to be in New Mexico in 17th century, it's not completely implausible. Spain and England were enemies for the most part through the whole colonial period. But it just happens that right when Anna was born the two countries were part of the so-called Grand Alliance in the Nine Years War against Louis XIV of France, from 1688 to 1697. Someone attached to the English forces during the conflict in the Spanish Netherlands might have become known to a Spaniard stationed there and been hired to go to New Spain, if he displayed a particular knowledge or skill that was needed. This might actually provide a clue to the identity of Anna's father.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:26 am 
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Well, if RAWA says such, that means until he contradicts himself by changing his mind it's canon. Or something. RAWA remains the arbiter of Cyan canon, still, I think. (Someone has to try to herd the facts!)

Then that raises the question.. Anna spoke the language, and at the time it was Spanish so she would have naturalized to *that* not english.
Unfortunately I don't know much about the history of that area.. if the two were at war at the time, isn't it more likely her father *wasn't* a soldier because then it'd be tougher for him to fit in?


Well, one problem for another. How much of BoT was pure Wingrovianism about how associated with others was her father? Could be he was an iterant prospector for a group there who were ok dealing with an englishman because he did good work, went to them, and they got a better deal or something. Or same for trading.


Eh.. I get the feeling we're starting to hear the canon creaking a bit as it twists under this (again) without a good resolution or plot-hole-patch. Everything just feels off.. but maybe that's just me.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:07 am 
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I don't know of any case where RAWA has contradicted himself with regard to D'ni history. He has pointed out the "artistic" reasons behind the inconsistencies, occasional mistakes, or misdirections in Cyan's published "historical fiction," but those explanations have been self-consistent. It seems to me that it is why RAWA has become a trusted authority -- and so I am not sure that he is actually free to "change his mind" about the D'ni history he has already described.

To a lesser extent I think the same sort of argument can be applied indirectly to David Wingrove's collaboration on the novels. Recently RAWA has acknowledged that Rand Miller was perfectly aware of the so-called "Wingrovisms" in The Book of Atrus and The Book of Ti'ana and authorized their inclusion in order to disguise the actual location where the events in the novels took place. That made it possible to reveal the location via "puzzles" in anticipation of the original opening of the Cavern to explorers.

I think there is an interesting implication to this. Certain details of the novels, such as the mentions of "camels" and "Allah" and the fake place-name "Tadjinar" and the personal name "Amanjira," contribute to this acknowledged misdirection about the setting of the story. But there is no real motive for the events that are described to have been fabricated. Anna's father must have been doing something in the desert in New Mexico, and that he was hired by a Spaniard to search for silver seems perfectly plausible; as do most of the other logistical details. Change "camels" to "horses" or "mules"; "Allah" to "Dios"; and "Tadjinar" to "El Paso" or "Santa Fé"; and so on -- and the stories as told seem otherwise quite realistic for where and when we now know they took place.

Anna and her father lived out in the middle of the desert, so if they spoke English it would be because that was his native language. The Spanish claimed the region where the Cleft is but their nearest settlement was around 100 miles east at El Paso. Anna and her father may have spoken Spanish when dealing with whoever had hired them, but this would have been infrequent. Similarly with the Apache natives in the region, who must have tolerated Anna and her father being there, but would not have had constant communication with them.

As for how Anna's father ended up there, I see this as a puzzle, but hardly a "plot-hole" that needs to be patched. Without someone digging around above the Cavern and accidentally finding a way down, there would be no "plot" in the first place. The Spanish Empire was very hierarchical and they did not sanction "free enterprise" as we understand it. The King of Spain considered all the mineral wealth in New Spain to "belong" to him already, before its location was discovered or it was extracted. And everything official was documented and reported on up the hierarchy. So the idea that someone hired Anna's father unofficially and "off the record" to search for minerals in the unexplored territory actually makes sense -- though we may be unlikely ever to find evidence to corroborate it :--)

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:02 am 
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On the opposite end of heritage, can someone link to the exact source from which we know she died in one of Catherine's ages?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:23 am 
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It's from different journals in Myst IV. We also learn that after Anna's death, Catherine stopped writing ages.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:46 am 
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I think there is an interesting implication to this. Certain details of the novels, such as the mentions of "camels" and "Allah" and the fake place-name "Tadjinar" and the personal name "Amanjira," contribute to this acknowledged misdirection about the setting of the story. But there is no real motive for the events that are described to have been fabricated. Anna's father must have been doing something in the desert in New Mexico, and that he was hired by a Spaniard to search for silver seems perfectly plausible; as do most of the other logistical details. Change "camels" to "horses" or "mules"; "Allah" to "Dios"; and "Tadjinar" to "El Paso" or "Santa Fé"; and so on -- and the stories as told seem otherwise quite realistic for where and when we now know they took place.

Now I am very confused. I have had this jumbled in the back of my head after reading the books... that how can she have been in a fictitious "Moorish? type setting when she went to trade, and yet the cleft later be in New Mexico? Did the cleft move because it was written into a different place? And I assumed that they may have spoken some other language, but because I am reading in English that is what it is to me... like when you watch an English made movie of a foreign place - the actors speak English but you are pretending in your mind that they are speaking their language and you just understand them. That Rand had reasons for doing this doesn't make it less annoying. People talk about "canon" yet the edges are rather blurry anyway - if it suits.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:03 am 
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A brief history of Anna is also mentioned in the fan based book called "Myst : Book of Ti'Anna"

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:07 pm 
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lzoetje wrote:
Now I am very confused. I have had this jumbled in the back of my head after reading the books... that how can she have been in a fictitious "Moorish? type setting when she went to trade, and yet the cleft later be in New Mexico? Did the cleft move because it was written into a different place?

I'm not great at explaining these things, but here goes: From an in-character/In-Cavern perspective, Uru is "real", as are the events that have happened there and the people and places that are described; it is canon. From that same perspective, the Myst series of games and the associated trilogy of books are fictional works produced by Cyan, based loosely on the journals of Catherine, etc., and subject to creative licence; these things are not canon.

So, the cleft was always in New Mexico, but since David Wingove was never given that specific bit of information, he used what information he did have and wrote of a middle Eastern desert instead. Maybe he found that easier to imagine.

Using the IC/Uru frame of reference as the "real world" makes it easy to explain away any inconsistencies between Uru and the other games and books - they're simply errors on the part of the ill-informed people who made the games and wrote the books.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:31 am 
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Forgive me for dredging up an old thread (though it's still on the front page so I'm not sure if that counts as 'dredging'). The history of Myst as it relates to the main story (beginning with Anna and leading down to Atrus and his sons) is something I've been quite interested in, especially when it comes to figuring out plot holes and retcons. Also, forgive me for dispensing with any IC viewpoints as I think they only confuse the lore, especially for those reading the threads for storyline clarity or those who don't understand the nature of roleplay.

Ultimately, however, I think the answer is quite simple and everyone is looking too far into it.

Regardles of location, we can all agree Anna and her father are in the desert looking for precious metals under the employ of foreign interests. Assuming that the retcons are as minimal as possible (otherwise, what's the point of writing the novel if you're going to say "Oh, yeah, nevermind, it didn't actually happen") then, as suggested above, you can just transpose all of the specific words referring to the Middle East (presumably the Ottoman Empire at this point in time) to colonial New Mexico. The suggestion that Tadjinar is Santa Fe is a good one. For example, traders could be Spanish or even Native American (though, in reference to the novel, presumably Spanish since Native Americans wouldn't likely be trading domesticated kittens).

I'm not really sure why the conviction that Anna must not be of English descent. It seems to me that her father is a devoted geologist (which is, I might add, a very new field of study in the early 18th century). Her father would also likely be a contemporary of other great scientists and philosophers of the time such as Isaac Newton and John Locke (both also Englishmen). As a devoted man of science, I very highly doubt he cares much about what country is doing what - the Spanish government likely gave him the opportunity to study rocks in an area where no one has before and he took the job. I can't imagine early 18th century Europe is exactly brimming with would-be geologists anyway. While it is his job to discover the existence of precious metals (which are the very reason why Spain is in New Mexico in the first place), it is very clear in the book that he is also performing many studies and experiments of his own and that his work for (presumably) the Spanish government takes a back seat to his own studies.

He could also be out there of his own free will - a freelance scientist, perhaps - but I find it more likely that his trip out to the desert was financed by a government entity.

Taking a further step back, there's always human error as well. Discrepancies could be written off by simply assuming that the decision to move the Cleft to New Mexico rather than keeping it in the Middle East was made to give the storyline of Uru better complexion and cohesion. After all, it makes more sense for explorers to freely wander up to an expanse of desert in the middle of an American desert in 2003 than it would for them to casually fly in to Saudi Arabia for an archaeological adventure. In that case, maybe nobody went back and researched the inconsistencies that this retcon might generate.

I honestly don't find it likely that the "Wingrove was purposefully misinformed" storyline had been planned since Riven's release and was simply an amusing IC way of justifying a retcon that made better sense for a game released 8 years after the book's publication. If the Millers had intended for the desert to be New Mexican, I doubt they would let the book be published without changing what was a glaring error had they actually planned, at that point, to change the storyline accordingly.

I realize, of course, answers like that aren't exactly satisfying, but I feel it's worth considering when studying the lore. Did Wingrove or Rand actually pick through history to make the novel/game as accurate as possible? Unlikely. They just wanted to tell a story - one which, largely, takes place in a fictional - and, sorry to say, magical - alternate reality where you can travel to other places through books. And it is for this reason that I think assuming a cascade of changes to the lore must take place following the announcement that the desert was New Mexican rather than Middle Eastern is a bit unfair to the creators.

Off topic slightly, but for sake of example - take the "trap books are actually ages with no linking books" retcon regarding Myst. I find it odd to think that, during the development of the game, the Millers sat down and said, "Well, we'll make the books like this but it's really just a gameplay mechanic and won't be a real part of the story!" At that time, that's how the books worked and it wasn't until the storyline developed that they realized this contradicted the setting they were trying to develop (especially since Riven, released a few years later, features a trap book that works the same way).

Forgive the wall of text, folks. I'm a huge Myst fan and I've been putting considerable thought into the storyline, particularly in the face of the various changes and retcons that have filtered down from Cyan since Uru's release. (You can't imagine my confusion when I found myself in New Mexico rather than the Middle East once I fired the game up - surely, someone had made a terrible mistake! Haha.) There are many other gaps in the storyline that intrigue me - particularly, the events that occured after Anna's escape from D'ni and Gehn's abandonment, the events that occured to twist and corrupt Atrus's sons, and the nature of the stranger. Maybe I'll post another wall of text some other time with my own theories and thoughts.


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