SPOILERS: Inconsistencies in the Secret History of Twin Peaks

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AXX°N N.
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Re: SPOILERS: Inconsistencies in the Secret History of Twin Peaks

Post by AXX°N N. »

DoppelBocker wrote:Just a thought I wanted to add concerning grey aliens that we see in this book yet not so much in the series.
I think it was in the show, actually. The description of the alien that is seen verifiably by a character and described to us is very, very similar to the Experiment as we see it in Part 1. Plus much of the rest of the book seems to be presenting information familiar to us in our reality, while winking and inbetween the lines suggesting that the actual case is simply the mythology of the Black Lodge as we see it in the show. Albeit, interpreted into greys, much like owls in real life have been posited as the inspiration for greys and the Flatwoods Monster.

As for the rest of your post, extremely interesting stuff, though I'd reccomend more punctuation. :o

It's clear Frost is aware of these tropes and furnishes the mythology with it. It reminds me a great deal of the Tulpas when you talk about clones that don't feel right, and the Doppelganger when he tries to be convincingly human in the prison interview and fails miserably. In fact so much of what you wrote makes me think of Doppelcoop's behavior, though he's more of a renegade than part of a hivemind.

The talk of ascension reminds me of Kabbalah, which is my preferred lens through which to view the TP mythos. It is, after all, a philosophy of analysis for the Bible, and lends itself well to analyze lots other stuff; just ask Joseph Campbell and Jung! The description (or belief) that greys are unable to ascend fits very well with the idea in Kabbalah of those that travel the tree of life, and those that are merely golums filled with darkness. It's of course worth noting that in Kabbalah the whole framework of reality is like that of buddhism, which is that the surface world is an illusion; and that, like Laura and Sarah, the body is merely a vessel filled with either light or dark, and ascension is a matter of casting off outer reality (a 'transformational' view of death exactly mirrored in when the Log Lady's death is treated in such a powerful and fulfilling way) as opposed to those who calcify, refusing to let go, and festering, literally becoming a demon out of stubborn will to cling (ala Sarah, who is tormented and imprisoned in grief).
Recipe not my own. In a coffee cup. 3 TBS flour, 2 TBS sugar, 1.5 TBS cocoa powder, .25 TSP baking powder, pinch of salt. 3 TBS milk, 1.5 TBS vegetable oil, 1 TBS peanut butter. Add and mix each set. Microwave 1 minute 10 seconds. The cup will be hot.
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Re: SPOILERS: Inconsistencies in the Secret History of Twin Peaks

Post by Jonah »

I have both books but haven't read them yet. Not sure if I will. Though beautiful-looking, something about them (maybe the epistolary style) sort of puts me off. I have skimmed them but mainly read bits and pieces on the TP wiki and posts on here.

Couple of questions:

1) Is there a summary of the most important info anywhere/have any fans compiled one?

2) Have any of the inconsistencies or choices I've seen discussed been explained - the tattoo, making Norma's mother her stepmother (very intrigued by this, considering she calls her mother in the show - was she raised by her?), etc? Were they conscious choices by Mark Frost (and, if so, has he ever said why he made them?) or oversights/goofs?
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Re: SPOILERS: Inconsistencies in the Secret History of Twin Peaks

Post by mtl »

happy GOOFS
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Re: SPOILERS: Inconsistencies in the Secret History of Twin Peaks

Post by MoondogJR »

I initially enjoyed reading the books, but in retrospect (and with the return in mind) I don't like them much anymore.

In fact I kinda wish i never read them. Too much inconsistenties and differences in tone between The Return and these biooks for my taste.
They just don't feel as if they're from the same 'universe', sort of speak.
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Re: SPOILERS: Inconsistencies in the Secret History of Twin Peaks

Post by mtl »

they're not inconsistencies anyway
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Re: SPOILERS: Inconsistencies in the Secret History of Twin Peaks

Post by eyeboogers »

The last episode of the season - as well as the last chapters of the book, ends up with many things we thought we knew, being altered due to Cooper/The Magician tampering with the past. F.ex. Leland is still dead, but not how we thought we knew that it happened. So that is one possible explanation. Most likely it is a bit of this, a bit of purposeful retconning and a bit of mistake making.

Other than that, at the time of reading the first book, I thought that there had been a third person involved in compiling the dossier. First the archivist, then Tamera Preston's notes, and then a third person who had changed certain details in order for something specific to be hidden. My main theory was that it was about hiding any information about the existence of Annie Blackburne. As we know that is not the direction the season took at all.

In general, the books are wonderful, and I consider "The Secret History" to count as one of the best episodes of the show. I also don't think anyone can fully enjoy - or understand, TPTR without having the information about Jack Parson, Marjorie Cameron and their cult's mission in the back of their head.
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Re: SPOILERS: Inconsistencies in the Secret History of Twin Peaks

Post by Mr. Reindeer »

I like the books, and in particular I like TSHoTP a lot. I don’t consider them essential to TR, but also certainly don’t think they detract from it. They’re just their own thing with a little bit of overlap (more overlap in TFD, where my personal head canon admittedly ignores certain things I feel are overexplained). I enjoyed the parts of the book involving historical figures and Dougie Milford more than the parts involving the series characters, honestly, and it seemed like Mark was more enthusiastic about that stuff.

I’m of the mind that a lot of the inconsistencies were unintentional. He’s said that given the epistolary form of the novel, he didn’t care about consistency and mostly went off his own memories of the old episodes. Mark’s a really smart guy and I’d like to think he understands that this isn’t a true excuse for a lot of the inconsistencies. It’s one thing for two people’s accounts of something to differ; but when a contemporaneous source like a newspaper gives a date that differs from what we saw on the show, or Robert Jacoby dies twice decades apart in varying accounts, those aren’t covered by “unreliable memory.” I think the whole Norma/Annie backstory in TFD is one of those instances where he just plain messed up in TSH, and then bent over backwards to try to make it look intentional with this super-long convoluted soap opera backstory which still leaves a ton of inconsistencies. (Not that I’m complaining—I’m actually probably one of the few people who really enjoys that section of TFD, it’s probably my favorite part—but I do not personally believe that was his plan when he wrote TSH.)

Of course, there’s the argument that the inconsistencies are all the result of Cooper messing with time, even though many occur way before Laura’s disappearance/death. I guess the argument is that his very act of messing with time caused all of time to become wibbly wobbly, as my Doctor Who fan friends say. I’ll give Mark the benefit of the doubt that this is indeed why he was OK with the inconsistencies, but I do not believe that he went through each inconsistency and figured out what ripple effect from Dale’s actions caused it. If he had, I think the books would have dropped some breadcrumbs in this regard. I think perhaps, knowing that he was operating under the theory that time was unstable, he was just comfortable writing what he felt like and using that as an excuse to not have to worry about consistency.

I’ve also written at length elsewhere that I think Mark may be using the unstableness/changing of time/events as a sort of extended metaphor for memory loss, as we know Warren was dealing with this at the time. He’s never said this directly, but it seems like a major subtextual theme to me, and an explanation for why he found this approach interesting at this stage in his life.

Anyhoo. I’d definitely recommend that you at least start TSH, Jonah, and see how it grabs ya. I remember devouring that in a day. I barely slept and had a colossal headache, but I couldn’t put it down. I couldn’t wait to finish it and discuss on here. Good times!
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Re: SPOILERS: Inconsistencies in the Secret History of Twin Peaks

Post by Jonah »

Mr. Reindeer wrote: I think the whole Norma/Annie backstory in TFD is one of those instances where he just plain messed up in TSH, and then bent over backwards to try to make it look intentional with this super-long convoluted soap opera backstory which still leaves a ton of inconsistencies. (Not that I’m complaining—I’m actually probably one of the few people who really enjoys that section of TFD, it’s probably my favorite part—but I do not personally believe that was his plan when he wrote TSH.)
So Frost never explained that choice?
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Re: SPOILERS: Inconsistencies in the Secret History of Twin Peaks

Post by Mr. Reindeer »

Jonah wrote:
Mr. Reindeer wrote: I think the whole Norma/Annie backstory in TFD is one of those instances where he just plain messed up in TSH, and then bent over backwards to try to make it look intentional with this super-long convoluted soap opera backstory which still leaves a ton of inconsistencies. (Not that I’m complaining—I’m actually probably one of the few people who really enjoys that section of TFD, it’s probably my favorite part—but I do not personally believe that was his plan when he wrote TSH.)
So Frost never explained that choice?
Uhh which part? Lol.

Basically what happened is that in the first book Frost says Norma’s parents (no mention of Annie whatsoever) were Marty and Ilsa Lindstrom, who founded the diner. I think he just forgot about the whole Vivian arc and that they had introduced Norma’s mother who HATED the diner, and a lot of fans later reminded him of this. That’s the skeptic in me, I know a lot of people disagree. In any event, Vivian is not mentioned anywhere in TSH.

TFD then has this long baroque plot explaining these very complicated family dynamics. This is where Vivian becomes Norma’s “stepmother,” I guess, although Norma is a fully grown adult by the time she meets Vivian, never lives with her, and only has a begrudging relationship with her when Norma learns Annie exists and Norma wants to be part of her life. So it’s not really a stepmotherly relationship at all. This attempt to clear things up just creates a bunch more inconsistencies with the show (such as the backstory about Annie’s suicide attempt which becomes totally different, and, as you point out, Norma calling Vivian “mother” and acting like they actually had a familial relationship). It’s all very strange.
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Re: SPOILERS: Inconsistencies in the Secret History of Twin Peaks

Post by Jonah »

Yeah, I might have bought it had it been written that she raised her or something, but what you laid out doesn't make much sense.
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Re: SPOILERS: Inconsistencies in the Secret History of Twin Peaks

Post by Mr. Reindeer »

I checked to see if maybe the Vivian episodes were during the period when Frost was away doing preproduction on Storyville (he’s said there were a few scripts in there he never read), but nope! She’s in Eps 15 and 16. Weird that he seemingly forgot that whole arc. I guess 25 years is a long time.

Anyway, I still recommend that you try TSH, even though this has been a pretty negative conversation. :lol:
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Re: SPOILERS: Inconsistencies in the Secret History of Twin Peaks

Post by Jonah »

Is there a list of all the inconsistencies anywhere that includes the second book? There's one linked at the start of this thread that covers the first book, but I figure the second book addresses some of those or tries to but fails (as in this example we've been discussing) or introduces more. If not, what would you consider the major ones overall (for both books)?
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Re: SPOILERS: Inconsistencies in the Secret History of Twin Peaks

Post by Mr. Reindeer »

Jonah wrote:Is there a list of all the inconsistencies anywhere that includes the second book? There's one linked at the start of this thread that covers the first book, but I figure the second book addresses some of those or tries to but fails (as in this example we've been discussing) or introduces more. If not, what would you consider the major ones overall (for both books)?
The Twin Peaks Wikia entries for the books list a lot, although the one for TFD is missing many that could have been included. IIRC, the Norma/Vivian/Annie background is the only time TFD tries to “clean up” an inconsistency from the first book. There are way too many inconsistencies to list, but another big one is that Ed/Norma/Nadine’s backstory is entirely different from the story Ed tells Cooper in Episode 8. TSH weirdly changes Ben’s timeline, claiming that he still owned Ghostwood at the time of Episode 29 and that Audrey was actually protesting her father when she chained herself to the bank vault, leading to his subsequent guilt and reform (as opposed to him becoming “good” much earlier on the show). I’m sure there are some other major ones I’m not thinking of at the moment. A lot of characters’ ages fluctuate weirdly (Annie is said to be born in 1973 and is 12 in 1985, which would make her 16 when Cooper sleeps with her!). A lot of the dates are inconsistent with the show; Josie’s death is off by like a month IIRC. The books are also internally inconsistent on certain things, like Jacoby’s brother (whose age fluctuates by decades) dying twice, decades apart.
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Re: SPOILERS: Inconsistencies in the Secret History of Twin Peaks

Post by Jonah »

Mr. Reindeer wrote:Annie is said to be born in 1973 and is 12 in 1985, which would make her 16 when Cooper sleeps with her!
:shock:
Ironic considering Heather Graham was already several years younger than Fenn when she was brought in to replace her as Cooper's love interest when Audrey was considered by Kyle to be too young (and the LFB stuff too).
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Re: SPOILERS: Inconsistencies in the Secret History of Twin Peaks

Post by Mr. Reindeer »

Oh, and I still find it hilarious that Mark reveals that Andrew Packard grew up in Twin Peaks as an all-American boy scout, who presumably acquired an inexplicable English accent at some point. :lol:
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