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(April 19, 2002)

READIN

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Disbelief is more resistant than faith because it is sustained by the senses.

Gabriel García Márquez


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Lyra and Will

It occurred to me while we were reading just now, that Will's role in this story is comparable in some ways to Lyra's in The Golden Compass. The parallel is not exact, obviously; but as I read about Will realizing that his father had found a dimensional window like the one Will found, I'm responding in a similar way to when I read e.g. about Lyra making the connection from the General Oblation Board to the "Gobblers."

Some nice idle free-associations from tonight's reading:

Lee had once seen a painting in which a saint of the Church was shown being attacked by assassins. While they bludgeoned his dying body, the saint's dæmon was borne upwards by cherubs and offered a spray of palm, the badge of a martyr.
This somehow reminded me very strongly of the church scene from Saramago's Blindness. On the next page, Lee is trying to get information from Imaq, an "old Tartar from the Ob region":

"What happened to [Grumman]? Is he dead?"

"You ask me that, I have to say I don't know. So you never know the truth from me."

"I see. So who can I ask?"

"You better ask his tribe. Better go to Yenisei, ask them."

"His tribe... You mean the people who initiated him? Who drilled his skull?"

"Yes. You better ask them. Maybe he not dead, maybe he is. Maybe neither dead nor alive."

"How can he be neither dead nor alive?"

"In spirit world. Maybe he in spirit world. Already I say too much. Say no more now."

I asked Sylvia if Imaq was reminding her of anyone, thinking as I asked her about Hagrid. She said yes, he was reminding her of "the detective from Moominvalley" -- nice association! I had forgotten about him, he's a character in one of the Moomin comic strip stories, whose signature line is "I shall say no more."

posted evening of Monday, January 5th, 2009
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