Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Page 8, Paragraph 8; Page 9, Paragraphs 1 and 2; Notes

Page 8, Paragraph 8 (ends at the top of page 9):

The sun travels high above us, with the sky-beasts* running in front of it, in fear that it may burn them all away to nothing and that there wil be only sky left. I dig, and the wise man becomes agitated at my slowness, and says, "Stop now - the hole's deep enough," and so forth, even though I'm only belly-deep in the hole. He says, "Jump out and cast her down."

Page 9, Paragraph 1 (first full paragraph):

Out I come, grey to the knees with dirt, and look at her. Nothing but white. Nothing but bare, and the life is all gone out of her. I take one step, and then another. Her hair is grey like the dirt. "Be quick about it," says Feather-Ass, and, "Come now. Pick her up," and so forth. I take another step and I'm right next to her. [?]

Page 9, Paragraph 2:

I bend over to grab her foot. She's colder now, and there's no light on her. I lift mother's legs, which are all white on top, and see that the back side of her is dark, as though filled with blood.** I pull, which makes her move a little ways from the puddle, and drags her hair like seaweed behind her, and makes her fart. This is the way we come to the hole, my mother and I. "Cast her in," says Feather-Ass, "and cover her up."


*I'm no longer going to translate "sky-beast" as "cloud", because it doesn't capture the sense that the narrator appears to truly think of clouds as living things, not just things that resemble living things.

** A condition known as livor mortis, or postmortem lividity.(

1 comment:

  1. In some older cultures at least clouds were conceived of as 'rain beasts' with the rain itself being their legs (it's discussed in a book about Neolithic consciousness, The Mind on the Cave.