Thursday, July 16, 2009

Page 7, Paragraphs 1 - 3; Note

We now return you to our regularly scheduled blog post.

Page 7, Paragraph 1 (first full paragraph):

I think of my mother hitting my legs, and now I'm thinking of lying by her and everything being good. The back of my big head lies on dirt which feels gritty and dusty. It prickles on the skin of my head through my baby hair, which is as thin as that on a berry. My mouth is full of breast milk that hangs in strings around my tongue, and I don't want to go anywhere or be anywhere else.

Paragraph 2:

I'm inside blanket-skins, by my mother, warm in her smell, and can smell sour-root on her breath. She is big and I'm as little as one of the [Urk-kine*].

Paragraph 3:

Now I have another thought, where I become big and my mother is smaller. We are beneath trees. It's sunrise and I open my eyes and see my mother, sitting with her back against a white-wood tree. Little bits of light fall on her face and on her eyes through the branches above us and she doesn't move or look away from it. I say, "Mother, get up," but she doesn't make a move. Her eyes fill up with light. I'm frightened.

*Note: I'm not real clear on what Urk-kine means. Kine means "kind". The narrator discusses them on page 12:

I is hear say as many markings is that old as they is make by Urks and people of that kine in big ice-whiles. Now Urk-kine is no more in world, yet many say they little people is in low of hill, deep of they caves, and hide for catch of we above.

So they appear to be some kind of tiny race of subterranean beings, like hobbits or dwarves or something. Maybe Urk-kine means "Earth-kind". If anyone has a better guess, please feel free to comment.


Did anyone listen to Neil Gaiman yesterday? I thought it was kind of interesting. They actually talked about Alan Moore, albeit very briefly.

1 comment:

  1. The Urk-kine are what we would today call neanderthals, who were wiped out in the last ice age ("in big ice-whiles"). Culturally, our narrator is one of the "walking people", scavengers who are suspicious of the "setting people" who build and raise animals and stay in one place. But his people have tales of other people from before, people who lived (and made marks in) caves, people who disappeared after the most recent ice age. Our narrator's inability to tell dream from reality and memory from current event would fill in the blanks about these missing people: they lived in caves, or "under the ground", until the long "ice-whiles" drove them... where? We know the answer is "to death", but Hob's soon-to-be-Hog-boy would probably think they had just moved father underground. For a nomadic people who walk and sleep in the open air, caves would have been a ripe source of boogey-man tales... and the occasional relic or cave-painting would just reinforce the idea that these other not-quite-humans disappeared, so of course they become the monster in the closet or hiding under the bed, as it were.

    'Orc' is cognate with 'ogre', as well... this fits in with the idea of seeing the Urk-kine as scary bugaboos.