The Folding Knife Reread: Ch.3

Tor tackles Chapter 3 of K. J. Parker's The Folding Knife:
Are we led to believe this is the “right” way of looking at Basso’s story? I don’t think so—if anything, what we get in this chapter is a precarious balancing act. It begins with the historical picture, then focuses in on a few key actions. Is Basso a man or a “Great Man” in the way he handles the war, or the shipyard or the cockfighting? By the end of the chapter, Basso’s questioning his own motives. The shipyard is an immediate success and incredibly significant to the Vesani Republic. Does it matter that Basso only hit on the idea as a thinly-veiled “homage” to his own father’s failures? The question of intent—how much we can ever understand how a character thinks—is critical throughout The Folding Knife, but only in this chapter do we start to see it on such a vast scale.
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