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  • Survivor's Guilt

    About a decade ago, there was a post on the newsgroup about Survivor's Guilt being a recurring theme in JMS characters, and if something happened to JMS as a result. At the time, he asked for discussion to stop.

    In the last 10 years, JMS has released the original outline of the B5 arc, and there was some discussion of an autobiography as well. Perhaps he may be more open given where he is in his career? I've always been curious if the question below, and the recurring use of the name David in his writing, are related?
    http://www.jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-16468&query=

    >I've noticed that in a number of JMS's works (B5, Crusade, Tribulations, and
    >now B5:LotR) that one character occurrs frequestly. It's the Character that
    >lives through something tramatic and sees either alot of people or someone
    >close to them die. For lack of a better term I call it Survivor's Guilt.
    >But does anyone know why Sinclair, Marcus, Gideon, Galen, Raymond (from
    >Tribulations), and now the new captain in LotR. Does anyone know if like
    >something happened to Joe where he's compelled to write about (or at least
    >it seems to me like he's compelled to write about) those that survive and
    >continually ask why they were left alive?

    All things considered I would rather this discussion not go any further than
    this.

    jms

  • #2
    Could it be just a great dramatic device?


    Also, there was a thing, and I'm sorry I'm so unclear about details, but I read somewhere (sorry) that JMS mentioned some tragedy that affected him when JMS was discussing Captain Power and how Pilot was killed in action in the series final episode. He was on the phone with the person that died right before or during it occuring? He said he still starts to cry thinking about it.

    I'm sorry my brain is full of cobwebs.
    "And what kind of head of Security would I be if I let people like me know things that I'm not supposed to know? I mean, I know what I know because I have to know it. And if I don't have to know it, I don't tell me, and I don't let anyone else tell me either. " And I can give you reasonable assurances that the head of Security will not report you for doing so."
    "Because you won't tell yourself about it?"

    "I try never to get involved in my own life, too much trouble."

    Comment


    • #3
      It's quite possible that JMS will address this in his autobiography. I can certainly understand his reluctance to talk about it, though, mostly because people have a (perfectly natural) tendency to analyze the author rather than the work itself. While autobiographical details can be very interesting, they can also distract from the story: i.e. yes, JMS was in a cult, but the Byron episodes aren't about JMS, they're about how cults function.

      Which doesn't mean I'm not interested myself. I love reading autobiographical works and trying to see how people were affected by their experiences.
      Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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      • #4
        Interesting - just found what you were referring to on Captain power.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain..._of_the_Future

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Len B View Post
          Interesting - just found what you were referring to on Captain power.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain..._of_the_Future
          Oh, good. So I didn't imagine it. I know I like to be silly and joke around but sometime my memory likes to play tricks on me. And that would predate those other projects you mentioned in your first post of this thread.

          So there's that. And you didn't mention Sheridan, (not nitpicking, just saying) who had lost his wife, so there's that, too.

          JMS having an autobiography would probably be one of the rare autobiographies I'd actually want to read. I've liked so much of his work in tv and now movies.

          That always floors me when Tank was from the Babylon 5 genetic engineering facility , I guess why waste a good name, right?
          Last edited by Marsden; 01-06-2012, 12:28 PM.
          "And what kind of head of Security would I be if I let people like me know things that I'm not supposed to know? I mean, I know what I know because I have to know it. And if I don't have to know it, I don't tell me, and I don't let anyone else tell me either. " And I can give you reasonable assurances that the head of Security will not report you for doing so."
          "Because you won't tell yourself about it?"

          "I try never to get involved in my own life, too much trouble."

          Comment


          • #6
            As far as the theme: I don't feel comfortable discussing the hypotheticals of this matter when JMS said he'd prefer not to have it discussed.

            As far as David: JMS is also very prone to use biblical references in his work. I think that the use of David is probably more related to that aspect of his writing.
            Flying Sparks Web Comic - A Hero and Villain In Love. Updates on Wednesdays
            True Believer Reviews: Comic Reviews and Interviews on Wednesdays and Fridays - Or Your Money Back!

            Comment


            • #7
              Nice to see you back, Len B!

              Originally posted by Len B View Post
              I've always been curious if the question below, and the recurring use of the name David in his writing, are related?
              I tend to doubt it. JMS has certain names (first and last) and sounds that he re-uses a *lot*. David is one. Various forms of Elizabeth is another. Obviously, he uses characters with the initials JMS a lot (can't imagine why ) and there are more ___ankowski last names than you can shake a stick at. And that's just for the humans.

              As for the original question, I think this post may sum it up:

              Basically, I have this theory that there are five kinds of truth. (This
              is Joe's Theory of the Five Truths.) There is the truth you tell to casual
              strangers and acquaintances. There is the truth you tell to your general
              circle of friends and family members. There is the truth you tell to only one
              or two people in your entire life. There is the truth you tell to yourself.
              And finally, there is the truth that you do not admit even to yourself. And
              it's that fifth truth that provides some of the most interesting drama.....
              Jan
              "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jan View Post
                As for the original question, I think this post may sum it up:

                Oooh that's a sexy quote. I hope I can be that smart some day.
                Flying Sparks Web Comic - A Hero and Villain In Love. Updates on Wednesdays
                True Believer Reviews: Comic Reviews and Interviews on Wednesdays and Fridays - Or Your Money Back!

                Comment


                • #9
                  It might be a good idea to just read the whole post where Joe talked about that Captain Power episode. A lot of his writing comes out of his personal past; it's like he's already given us an autobiography in story-form. (it's pretty long so I'll just link it):

                  http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-9843

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    woah,

                    I have even in my jms obsessed mode not actually seen Captain power or to be honest knew a lot about it, that post is just... woah.

                    A quick rummage online shows me the dvd 22 episode set was released in the US last year, no region 2 alas which bmeans I will have ti finegale it in to my ps/3 via the same method I use for the Jeremiah DVDs.

                    I shall purchase when my credit card is fully recovered from christmas.
                    Phaze
                    on the "had a nice chat with our Jan via facebook last night, was lovely to connect interactively" ID
                    "There are no good wars. War is always the worst possible way to resolve differences. It degenerates and corrupts both sides to ever more sordid levels of existence, in their need to gain an advantage over the enemy. Those actively involved in combat are almost always damaged goods for the rest of their lives. If their bodies don't bear scars, their minds do, ofttimes both. Many have said it before, but it can't be said to enough, war is hell. "

                    Comment

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