Monday, August 10, 2009

Page 14, Paragraphs 7 - 9; Page 15, Paragraph 1; Notes

Page 14, Paragraph 7:

Here there's a clearing with only tree stumps. There are so many stumps all the way off down the hill that the sky has become bigger where the top of the world has become bare.* I sit down on this stump here for a look.

Paragraph 8:

I'm above a big valley that goes from here to the horizon. Here and there are trees, yet there's more stumps - the area is frighteningly open. In the valley below is a river, and far off there's a bridge that looks like it crosses the river, which is how the shagfoal come to these whereabouts. Between the river and me is another, lower hill, where I see something I've never seen before.

Paragraph 9:

There's a building on that hill that's bigger than I would have thought possible. It's made with walls that spiral around it like a dried up worm lying on grass. By the walls, there's a lot of holes dug up in the dirt, more than twice as deep as the hole I dug for my mother. I think that the dirt from the holes was used to make the walls.

Page 15, Paragraph 1 (first full paragraph):

There are walls in the building like others with many animals inside them, all of which are white. Now the wind's changed direction and I can smell them, their shit and so forth, and figure out that they are aurochs**, but there are more of them there than my people would see in a whole year. In the middle of the innermost wall is a wooden hut with aurochs all around it. A little while goes by and out from the hut comes a man all wrapped up in skins to take a piss, after which he goes back in. Maybe he sits there in the hut because he's the animal's keeper.

*We would say "I can see more of the sky now that there aren't all those trees in the way". Our narrator gets a similar idea across in his own inimitable phraseology (which actually isn't as weird as it seems - here in the States, for example, we refer to Montana as "Big Sky Country")

**Once again, Wikipedia is our friend


  1. I'm reading "The Atlas of Lost Cities", which shows Babylon's Ishtar Gate, which is covered "with alternating rows of sirrush (dragons) and aurochs".

    It's interesting how you never hear of a thing, then suddenly it's everywhere. Wikipedia calls this the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon; my family calls it 'the VW phenomenon', because we bought a VW bus and suddenly it seemed like every fourth car on the road was another bus.

  2. Did you read that Wikipedia article I posted a link to? Aurochs are frickin' everywhere. On the Ishtar Gate, in the cave paintings at Lascaux, in the Bible (Numbers 23:22, et al.), in the last lines of freakin' LOLITA... everywhere. Who knew?