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Exhausted, wounded, and starving during his hellride toward the Courts of Chaos, Corwin takes a much-needed break. She had long, dark hair and wild, dark eyes, and she was smiling. She offers him wine, a meal, and her body. Courts Corwin shares the food and drink but reluctantly declines her offer to be the dessert:.

The passage is strange and dreamlike. Readers have speculated that the strange woman is Dara, seeking a last fling with Corwin or the Jewel of Judgment that he bears. He awakens alone but depressed, unable to leave because he still wants her. This is unlike the knight-at-arms of the poem, who remains trapped in his melancholy and longing. Corwin certainly is refreshed and reinvigorated by this encounter.

Also, an expression suggesting chaos is especially fitting since he is close to the Courts when this picnic takes place. Corwin has just finished dispassionately reevaluating his feelings about his relatives and himself when he abruptly says:. After he deserts the army at her insistence, she grows bored with him and takes another lover. And so in this way Corwin acknowledges that Dara is his femme fatale, he has avoided a downfall, and it is best they stay apart lest he end up killing her and regreting it.

There are numerous differences between the novella and the opera, including that Carmen appears even more manipulative, wanton, and indiscreet in the novella, and so allusions to the character as portrayed in the novella may also be implied. His fate and whereabouts are unknown until the end of the last of the Merlin books, Prince of Chaos.

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This controversial novel is best known for its depiction of a middle-aged professor who is sexually obsessed with a year-old girl, becomes her stepfather, and consummates the relationship. After all, he had always wanted his sister Deirdre but his father Oberon forbade it, and he spent much time worrying that Benedict would kill him for having sex with Dara. The quote may also imply that Corwin considered Dara to be sexually precocious, as the character in Lolita is often considered to be. It also reinforces the notion that Dara is his femme fatale whom he may be tempted to kill.

But there is one more aspect to this allusion that Zelazny doubtless intended. Lolita is also famous for its use of an unreliable narrator who draws on fragmented memories to tell the tale after the fact, gain the sympathies of his readers, and exact revenge. So too throughout The Chronicles of Amber we have heard from a narrator who began with no memories at all, admitted repeatedly to being confused about what really happened due to persistent amnesia, who tells us that not even he can be trusted, and who is recounting the tale to his son Merlin after key events have concluded and certain characters are dead.

It is a multilayered allusion indeed. Theodore Sturgeon had warned Zelazny to be more careful about his use of allusions and vivid turns of phrase:. How many readers were tripped up wondering who Carmen was, and how many realized that it was actually a quote from Lolita and what it implied? Throughout The Chronicles of Amber , there are numerous instances where myths, legends, and aspects of our culture are interwoven in ways to suggest Corwin and his siblings have influenced the Shadow that is our Earth.

Zelazny took much care in building the Amber universe, from its trappings the Pattern, Trumps, Shadow-walking, Jewel of Judgment, etc. Corwin and his siblings quote lines that appear in various Shakespeare plays, but his siblings cannot all have met the Bard from our Shadow Earth. Does this imply that Shaxspur borrowed lines and plots from tales told by Corwin over a few draughts? Corwin encounters Ygg, a sentient tree that Oberon planted ages ago to mark the boundary between Chaos and Order, who is likely Yggdrasil, the central world-tree of Norse mythology.

He has other adventures which recall myths, such as the Isle of Skye legend of a man lulled to sleep by fairies who awakens alone and elderly, hundreds of years later. He also fought with Napoleon during the disastrous winter assault on Russia. Other casually dropped references indicate that Corwin was formerly a very ruthless man with whom we would not sympathize if we truly knew all that he had done. He rode into the Western Reserve and took three scalps one day.

He was at Nuremberg, and saw the paper skins and stick-like bones of the dead at Auschwitz, but was he with the Nazis or the Allies? That part of me is. Casual mention of these incidents serves to underscore how much Corwin has changed over the centuries, just as he changes from the first book determined to seize the throne and kill his brother Eric to the last book satisfied to undo the damage he did to reality and not wanting the throne at all. It is a wonder that some critics have claimed that Corwin is a flat, unchanging character. Corwin voices his self-realization at the end about how much he has changed, although he minimizes it in his typical self-mocking manner:.

At its heart, The Chronicles of Amber is an adventure, a sword-and-sorcery tale with its own unique blend of magic or fantasy, taking place in a well-crafted universe with its own set of rules and paraphernalia. But it has far greater depth than originally conceded by critics and readers who dismissed it as lacking substance. How many modern fantasy novels have characters credibly discussing complex philosophical concepts in between or during their adventures, or complex allusions that reveal more about the characters or intent once they are understood?

Like any multi-layered work, more remains to be discovered and enjoyed upon rereading. Posted by:.

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In Nine Princes in Amber , Corwin is initially pleased that his curse has caused troubles for Eric, but when he sees the wasted Vale of Garnath he is dismayed by what he has done: There was something evil present in that great wood, I knew, and then I recognized it. It was myself. I had done this thing with my curse. I had created a new entranceway into the real world. Garnath was now a pathway through Shadows. Shadows dark and grim. Only the dangerous, the malicious might walk that pathway.

If I won out in Amber one day, I might have to cope with my own handiwork, which is always a devilish thing to attempt.

I lowered the glass and sighed. So be it, I decided.

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Nine Princes In The Guns of Avalon , Corwin encounters hellcats and other strange and violent creatures which have come out of Chaos. It was you who gave us this passage, this way. But Corwin reaffirms that he is the quester destined to heal the land: The damage to the Pattern had laid Amber open to this access, and I believed that my curse had provided the precipitating element. I felt now that it would have come to pass without me, but I was certain that I had done my part. The guilt was still partly mine though no longer entirely so, as I had once believed. I thought then of Eric, as he lay dying on Kolvir.

He had said that as much as he hated me, he was saving his dying curse for the enemies of Amber.

Why Amber Heard Said She Was "So Wrong, Just So Fucking Wrong"

In other words, this, and these. His curse to cancel my curse, me as the agent. Fitting though, perhaps, in some larger sense. Hand 76 In the concluding novel, The Courts of Chaos , competing variations of the Wasteland myths are presented as King Oberon plans to restore the land through efforts that will result in his own death, while Corwin seeks to heal the land and die in his stead. He tells Oberon that he is more than willing to sacrifice himself to heal Amber but no longer wishes to be crowned its king: I still felt that the black road owed something of its final form to the strength my curse against Amber had given it.

I wanted to wipe that out, too. Dad would do a better job of putting things together after the war than I ever could, anyway. I realized, at that moment, that I no longer wanted the throne. I began collecting them—odd decks, old decks, tarots. I found them in junk shops, antique shops, hobby shops. I read books on them. What they were all doing in that special place in my mind is hard to say. And when Flora mentioned Amber, I saw it, I suddenly knew what it was, what it had to be. Solipsism Solipsism is a philosophical theme interrogated throughout the novels.

But in Sign of the Unicorn , Corwin specifically addresses solipsism: Solipsism, I suppose, is where we have to begin—the notion that nothing exists but the self, or, at least, that we cannot truly be aware of anything but our own existence and experience. I can find, somewhere, off in Shadow, anything I can visualize. Any of us can. This, in good faith, does not transcend the limits of the ego.

It may be argued, and in fact has, by most of us, that we create the shadows we visit out of the stuff of our own psyches, that we alone truly exist, that the shadows we traverse are but projections of our own desires. Namely, we are toymakers and they, our playthings—sometimes dangerously animated, to be sure; but this, too, is part of the game.

We are impresarios by temperament, and we treat one another accordingly. While solipsism does tend to leave one slightly embarrassed on questions of etiology, one can easily avoid the embarrassment by refusing to admit the validity of the questions.