Excerpt from the Kingkiller Chronicles for a memorial
February 28, 2018 5:55 PM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend. She's looking for a reading for her dad's memorial and thinks there might be something good in the Kingkiller Chronicles books by Patrick Rothfuss. Can the hivemind help narrow it down to a passage?

The reading should take 2-3 minutes. Key ideas that show up in it might be (not necessarily all of these at once): teaching, learning, mentoring, being interested in stories and people, and humor. (This guy was like the emperor of dad jokes.)

They already looked at a poem from Tolkien but it wasn't quite right: "...about being old and sitting in front of the fire and being ready to die. The sitting in front of the fire part was good, but not so much the being ready to die part."
posted by clavicle to Media & Arts (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
In The Name of the Wind, there's a poem that Kvothe's parents share as a duet; his mother sang the first verse and his father replied with the second:
In evening when the sun is setting fast,
I’ll watch for you from high above
The time for your return is long since past
But mine is ever-faithful love.

In evening when the light is dying
My feet at last are homeward turning
The wind is through the willows sighing
Please keep the hearthfire burning.
It's harder to find a text piece, but there's a bit from the night before Kvothe goes to the university. (It has nothing to do with the specific terms you mentioned, though.)
I touched the last string and tuned it too, ever so slightly. I made a simple chord and strummed it. It rang soft and true. I moved a finger and the chord went minor in a way that always sounded to me as if the lute were saying sad. I moved my hands again and the lute made two chords whispering against each other. Then, without realizing what I was doing, I began to play.

The strings felt strange against my fingers, like reunited friends who have forgotten what they have in common. I played soft and slow, sending notes no farther than the circle of our firelight. Fingers and strings made a careful conversation, as if their dance described the lines of an infatuation.

Then I felt something inside me break and music began to pour out into the quiet. My fingers danced; intricate and quick they spun something gossamer and tremulous into the circle of light our fire had made. The music moved like a spiderweb stirred by a gentle breath, it changed like a leaf twisting as it falls to the ground, and it felt like three years Waterside in Tarbean, with a hollowness inside you and hands that ached from the bitter cold.

I don’t know how long I played. It could have been ten minutes or an hour. But my hands weren’t used to the strain. They slipped and the music fell to pieces like a dream on waking.

I looked up to see everyone perfectly motionless, their faces ranging from shock to amazement. Then, as if my gaze had broken some spell, everyone stirred. Roent shifted in his seat. The two mercenaries turned and raised eyebrows at each other. Derrik looked at me as if he had never seen me before.

Reta remained frozen, her hand held in front of her mouth. Denna lowered her face into her hands and began to cry in quiet, hopeless sobs.

Josn simply stood. His face was stricken and bloodless as if he had been stabbed. I held out the lute, not knowing whether to thank him or apologize. He took it numbly. After a moment, unable to think of anything to say, I left them sitting by the fire and walked toward the wagons.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 8:04 PM on February 28, 2018 [3 favorites]

Longer passage, from The Wise Man's Fear, related to learning:
Elodin knocked on a pane of glass as sharply as if it were a door. Looking around, I realized we were standing atop the Masters’ Hall.

After a moment, I saw the tall, thin shape of Master Lorren block the candlelight behind the window. He worked the latch and the entire window swung open on a hinge.

“Elodin, what can I do for you?” Lorren asked. If he thought anything odd about the situation, I couldn’t tell from looking at his face.

Elodin jerked a thumb over his shoulder at me. “The boy here says he’s still banned from the Archives. Is that so?”

Lorren’s impassive eyes moved to me, then back to Elodin. “It is.”

“Well let him back in,” Elodin said. “He needs to read things. You’ve made your point.”

“He’s reckless,” Lorren said flatly. “I’d planned to keep him out for a year and a day.”

Elodin sighed. “Yes yes, very traditional. Why don’t you give him a second chance? I’ll vouch for him.”

Lorren eyed me for a long moment. I tried to look as responsible as I could, which wasn’t very, considering I was standing on a rooftop in the middle of the night.

“Very well,” Lorren said. “Tomes only.”

“Tombs is for feckless tits who can’t chew their own food,” Elodin said dismissively. “My boy’s a Re’lar. He has the feck of twenty men! He needs to explore the Stacks and discover all manner of useless things.”

“I am not concerned about the boy,” Lorren said with unblinking calm. “My concern is for the Archives itself.”

Elodin reached out and grabbed me by the shoulder, pushing me forward a bit. “How about this? If you catch him larking around again, I’ll let you cut off his thumbs. That should set an example, don’t you think?”

Lorren gave the two of us a slow look. Then he nodded. “Very well,” he said, and closed his window.

“There you go,” Elodin said expansively.

“What the hell?” I demanded, wringing my hands. “I ... What the hell?”

Elodin looked at me, puzzled. “What? You’re in. Problem solved.”

“You can’t offer to let him cut off my thumbs!” I said.

He raised an eyebrow. “Are you planning on breaking the rules again?” He asked pointedly.

“Wh—No. But...”

“Then you don’t have anything to worry about,” he said. He turned and continued up the slope of the roof. “Probably. I’d still step carefully if I were you. I can never tell when Lorren is kidding.”
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:02 AM on March 1, 2018

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