Friday, July 31, 2009

Page 11, Paragraphs 3 - 6; Note

Page 11, Paragraph 3:

I run one way around the bush and then the other so I can see where the grass is flattened and therefore which path I came here by. Now I see that it's rained so hard that the path I took has been obscured because all the grass is flattened. I run beneath the trees and smell nothing except grass. Now I run this way and that, by tree and briar, and yell for the foot, and yell for my mother. I run all around, down in the ditch, up the hill with moss thick on the stones, and here I fall in the dirt, and I don't know where I am.

Paragraph 4:

I don't see the foot anymore. Likewise, the red-berry bush is gone; I can't find it anymore. This is how I come out of where I was, and I walk for many days and nights, and the whole time I'm walking I don't know where they are.

Paragraph 5:

I walk on open grass and jump over a stream. I walk through trees, with leaves* all around my feet, and I find a circle of mushrooms growing on the grass - they're dark on the underside, which means they're the kind that are good to eat. Awhile goes by and I find nothing at all, and I walk on and still don't find anything; a couple of days pass this way.

Paragraph 6:

I walk to where the grass is so high I can't see above it, and I find a dead bird. I'm so hungry that I eat it, but it's filled with maggots. Now I throw up and shit down my legs, and another day and night passes, and I walk.

*An initial reading of "dry-up skins" would seem to indicate the narrator's talking about bark, but I'm pretty sure he actually means leaves. (You can leave (no pun intended) a comment if you want me to discuss my rationale for this.)


Bad news: I work all day tomorrow, so I won't be posting at all.

Good news: I'm on vacation starting Sunday, so I should be able to post every day after that. :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Page 10, Paragraphs 5 and 6; Page 11, Paragraphs 1 and 2; Notes

This passage is a good example of what Neil Gaiman refers to in the introduction as the narrator's "inability to tell dreams from reality".


Page 10, Paragraph 5:

Now for a time no thoughts come, and then everything becomes strange. I am no longer in the briar cave. I'm beneath some trees, and all is dark except where the white-wood stands bright. I don't understand how it got dark so quickly or how I got here. I'm frightened as I look around and see a shape standing in between the trees. It's my mother. She moves lazily, putting one hand on a tree, and looks at me. [It is that good*] I walk closer to her, and I can now see her leg. It ends in a bloody string with nothing below her ankle. I look from the stump to Mother's face. She looks vexed, as if she's unhappy with me. "Where'd my foot go?", she says.

Paragraph 6:

At this, I scream so big and loud that it throws me up in the sky and out of the dark, and I fall back in the briar-cave, where it's light already. This happens instantly, and I don't understand how. I don't hear the rain as it's gone a ways off, and I stand up stooped over the [entry] hole; that's how I come out of the bush.

Page 11, Paragraph 1:

It's wet everywhere, and there are puddles all around on the ground. The water brings up the smell of the earth and the grass, and it's a good smell, strong and fresh.**

Paragraph 2:

I can't smell my shit. The rain has washed away my shit and I can't smell it. My shit where the tree is; where the foot is.

*I have no idea what this means in this context.

**I liked this so much in the original that I almost hated to change it: Wet rise up sniff of dirt and grass, and sniff of they is good, and strong, and is not old.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Page 10, Paragraphs 2 - 4

Moving along.

Page 10, Paragraph 2:

Sunrise comes and my belly's empty. I say, "Foot, stay here. I'm going away to forage , after which I'll come back with food for us." Now the foot is quiet, as if to say she's heard this before, but she's never seen it happen. I walk slowly away from her, and many times I come to a tree and stop and look back, and there's the foot. I lift my arm and make the sign for "all's well", and walk on.

Paragraph 3:

The trees are getting closer together and the briars are getting thicker. I follow a path around the briar, where I look back and don't see the foot, but I can still find it by smelling for my shit, and I'm not afraid. I walk on through the trees and briars and so forth.

Paragraph 4:

The way I remember it now, it was when I came upon the red berries that the rain began to fall; it fell hard like all the sky-beasts were taking a piss. I quickly stoop down into a hole in the berry bush where there's a cave formed by the briars. There I sit and eat a lot of the red berries. Outside my cave the rain falls hard, yet in it it is quiet and dark, and my belly feels good. Now I rub berry juice off my chin. I shut my eyes, lick my hand, and listen to the rain.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Off-Topic: 100 Wild Little Weird Tales

I'm currently reading a book called 100 Wild Little Weird Tales. It's a collection of "short-short" stories that were originally printed in Weird Tales magazine between 1923 and 1954. I thought it would be a good book to dip into between blog posts. Here's the table of contents (complete with links!), courtesy of the Locus magazine website.

xvii · Introduction · Stefan R. Dziemianowicz · in
1 · Across the Gulf · Henry S. Whitehead · ss Weird Tales May ’26
9 · Alice and the Allergy · Fritz Leiber · ss Weird Tales Sep ’46
16 · Anton’s Last Dream · Edwin Baird · ss Weird Tales May ’37
23 · The Archfiend’s Fingers · Kirk Mashburn · vi Weird Tales Aug ’32
27 · Berenice · Edgar Allan Poe · ss Southern Literary Messenger Mar, 1835
34 · The Black Madonna · A. W. Wyville · ss Weird Tales May ’28
37 · The Black Monk · G. G. Pendarves · ss Weird Tales Oct ’38
44 · The Boat on the Beach · Kadra Maysi · ss Weird Tales Dec ’30
50 · Burnt Things · Robert C. Sandison · ss Weird Tales Dec ’30
58 · Cat’s Cradle · E. W. Tomlinson · ss Weird Tales Jan ’52
63 · The Cavern · Manly Wade Wellman · ss Weird Tales Sep ’38
70 · The Chain · H. Warner Munn · ss Weird Tales Apr ’28
78 · The Church Stove at Raebrudafisk · G. Appleby Terrill · ss Weird Tales Feb ’27
85 · The Closed Door · Harold Ward · ss Weird Tales Dec ’33
92 · Country House · Ewen Whyte · ss Weird Tales Sep ’49
99 · The Cracks of Time · Dorothy Quick · ss Weird Tales Sep ’48
108 · The Cripple · Maurice Level · ss Weird Tales Feb ’33; “L’infirme”, Le Journal 1919.
112 · Cross of Fire · Lester del Rey · ss Weird Tales May ’39
119 · Dark Rosaleen · Seabury Quinn · ss Weird Tales Jan ’50
127 · The Death Mist · Captain George H. Daugherty, Jr. · ss Weird Tales Sep ’32
131 · The Disinterment of Venus · Clark Ashton Smith · ss Weird Tales Jul ’34
138 · The Doom That Came to Sarnath · H. P. Lovecraft · ss The Scot Jun ’20
143 · Dream Justice · E. W. Mayo · vi Weird Tales Feb ’32
145 · A Dream of Death · Andrew Daw · ss Weird Tales Feb ’36
150 · The Dream of Death · Elwood F. Pierce · ss Weird Tales Jul ’25
154 · Eric Martin’s Nemesis · Jay Wilmer Benjamin · ss Weird Tales Mar ’37
161 · Escape · Paul Ernst · ss Weird Tales Jul ’38
167 · The Extra Passenger · Stephen Grendon · ss Weird Tales Jan ’47
174 · The Feast in the Abbey · Robert Bloch · ss Weird Tales Jan ’35
180 · Fidel Bassin · W. J. Stamper · ss Weird Tales Jul ’25
187 · The Fifth Candle · Cyril Mand · ss Weird Tales Jan ’39
194 · The Finishing Touches · Renier Wyers · ss Weird Tales Jun/Jul ’31
199 · A Gipsy Prophecy · Bram Stoker · ss Dracula’s Guest, London: Routledge, 1914
207 · The Girdle · Joseph McCord · ss Weird Tales Feb ’27
212 · The Gloves · Garnett Radcliffe · ss Weird Tales Jan ’53
217 · The Harbor of Ghosts · M. J. Bardine · ss Weird Tales Jun ’36
224 · The Hate · Wilford Allen · vi Weird Tales Jun ’28
226 · The Haunted Wood of Adoure · Elliot O’Donnell · ss Weird Tales Jul ’30
234 · The Hidden Talent of Artist Bates · Snowden T. Herrick · ss Weird Tales Sep ’48
239 · The High Places · Frances Garfield · ss Weird Tales Apr ’39
244 · His Brother’s Keeper · Captain George Fielding Eliot · vi Weird Tales Sep ’31
247 · The Hunch · Gene Lyle, III · ss Weird Tales Nov ’39
251 · Hypnos · H. P. Lovecraft · ss The National Amateur May-Jul ’23
257 · I Can’t Wear White · Suzanne Pickett · ss Weird Tales Jan ’53
264 · In the Dark · Ronal Kayser · ss Weird Tales Aug/Sep ’36
269 · The Iron Hands of Katzaveere · David Eynon · ss Weird Tales Jan ’52
276 · The Japanese Tea Set · Francis J. O’Neil · ss Weird Tales Nov ’52
283 · The Justice of the Czar · Captain George Fielding Eliot · ss Weird Tales Aug ’28
289 · The Last Drive · Carl Jacobi · ss Weird Tales Jun ’33
293 · The Last Incantation [Malygris] · Clark Ashton Smith · ss Weird Tales Jun ’30
297 · The Last Man · Seabury Quinn · ss Weird Tales May ’50
306 · The Last of Mrs. Debrugh · H. Sivia · ss Weird Tales Oct ’37
310 · The Late Mourner · Julius Long · vi Weird Tales Mar ’34
313 · The Man in the Taxi · Leslie Gordon Barnard · ss Weird Tales Nov ’37
316 · The Man Who Was Saved · B. W. Sliney · ss Weird Tales May ’26
323 · Masquerade · Mearle Prout · ss Weird Tales Feb ’37
328 · Mr. Bauer and the Atoms · Fritz Leiber · ss Weird Tales Jan ’46
334 · Muggridge’s Aunt · August W. Derleth · ss Weird Tales May ’35
340 · Murder Man · Ewen Whyte · ss Weird Tales Nov ’49
348 · Murder Mask · Edgar Daniel Kramer · ss Weird Tales Jun ’37
355 · The Murderer · Murray Leinster · ss Weird Tales Jan ’30
361 · Night and Silence · Maurice Level · ss Pan Jan ’22
365 · The Nightmare Road · Florence Crow · ss Weird Tales Mar ’34
370 · No Eye-Witnesses · Henry S. Whitehead · ss Weird Tales Aug ’32
378 · Nude with a Dagger · John Flanders · ss Weird Tales Nov ’34
381 · The Ocean Ogre · Dana Carroll · ss Weird Tales Jul ’37
389 · Off the Map · Rex Dolphin · ss Weird Tales Jul ’54
397 · On Top · Ralph Allen Lang · vi Weird Tales Nov ’33
400 · One Chance · Ethel Helene Coen · vi Weird Tales Sep ’35
401 · The Other Santa · Thorp McClusky · ss Weird Tales Mar ’49
409 · A Pair of Swords · Carl Jacobi · vi Weird Tales Aug ’33
412 · The Pale Man · Julius Long · ss Weird Tales Sep ’34
418 · Parthenope · Manly Wade Wellman · ss Weird Tales Sep ’53
422 · The Phantom Bus · W. Elwyn Backus · ss Weird Tales Sep ’30
427 · Rendezvous · Richard H. Hart · ss Weird Tales Jan ’36
433 · The Ring · J. M. Fry · ss Weird Tales Jan ’32
440 · The Sealed Casket · Richard F. Searight · ss Weird Tales Mar ’35
446 · The Seeds from Outside · Edmond Hamilton · ss Weird Tales Mar ’37
450 · The Sixth Gargoyle · David Eynon · ss Weird Tales Jan ’51
457 · Soul-Catcher · Robert S. Carr · ss Weird Tales Mar ’27
464 · The Statue · James Causey · ss Weird Tales Jan ’43
472 · The Stranger from Kurdistan · E. Hoffmann Price · ss Weird Tales Jul ’25
578 · Swamp Horror · Will Smith & R. J. Robbins · ss Weird Tales Mar ’26
487 · Take the Z Train · Allison V. Harding · ss Weird Tales Mar ’50
493 · The Teakwood Box · Johns Harrington · ss Weird Tales Mar ’38
498 · These Doth The Lord Hate [as by Gans T. Field] · Manly Wade Wellman · ss Weird Tales Jan ’39
503 · Thinker · Malcolm Kenneth Murchie · ss Weird Tales Sep ’49
510 · Threshold of Endurance · Betsy Emmons · vi Weird Tales Sep ’46
512 · Top of the World · Tarleton Collier · ss Weird Tales Nov ’35
517 · The Tree of Life · Paul Ernst · ss Weird Tales Sep ’30
522 · The Tryst in the Tomb · M. J. Cain · ss Weird Tales Nov ’28
527 · Under the Eaves · Helen M. Reid · vi Weird Tales Jun ’32
530 · The Unveiling · Alfred I. Tooke · ss Weird Tales Jan ’40
534 · The Violet Death · Gustav Meyrink; trans. by Roy Temple House · ss Weird Tales Jul ’35
539 · A Visitor from Far Away · Loretta Burrough · ss Weird Tales Feb ’36
545 · Warning Wings · Arlton Eadie · ss Weird Tales Sep ’29
551 · What Waits in Darkness · Loretta Burrough · ss Weird Tales Mar ’35
557 · When the Sea Gives Up Its Dead · Robert Peery · ss Weird Tales Jun ’29
565 · The Witch-Baiter · R. Anthony · ss Weird Tales Dec ’27
572 · The Witch-Ball · E. F. Benson · ss Woman’s Journal Dec ’28

I'll post a link to my Amazon review when I'm done with it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Page 9, Paragraphs 6 and 7; Page 10, Paragraph 1

I read ahead a little bit again last night, this time to about page 19. It's actually getting easier to understand all the time.

Page 9, Paragraph 6:

All alone I sit by my mother's foot. My people aren't around - they've gone far away, beneath the trees and across the hill; they're gone, and they're not coming back here anymore. The grey dirt on my hands and feet is dry and hard; because of this, I can scratch it off in little bits. The dirt that I pushed around my mother's foot is likewise hard now, and bits of it are coming off. I see her toes, and now in the dirt that falls from them I see an imprint of her toes. Mother.

Paragraph 7 (ends on the top of page 10):

Now I have another thought, in which night comes and I sit by Mother's foot with nowhere to go. I've been with my mother the whole time and I don't want to go away from her now, and yet the hurt in my belly is telling me differently. [?] I sit there a while and don't know if I should stay or go.

Page 10, Paragraph 1 (first full paragraph):

I stand up, then walk away and come back, then sit, then stand up and walk some more. I jump on the ground, and hit a tree and tear up grass, and say many things to Mother's foot. I sit and don't move, and off in the dark is the noise of a fox in the grass and of the sheperd dogs* across the hills. I'm afraid and even hungier than I was before. I take a shit by a tree, between the roots - it's watery.

*which for some reason I picture as English Shepherds

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Page 9, Paragraphs 3 - 5

Page 9, Paragraph 3:

I cast her in. The hole isn't big enough for her. One leg sticks up above the edge and I can't push it down. I cover her and my hands are grey with dirt, the dirt that falls in her eyes, in her mouth, in her belly button; and now her face is gone, and now her arms and breasts go; and now she is only one white foot sticking out, which I put dirt around and push it, soft and grey, to her toes. I tramp the dirt down, and Feather-Ass sets my mother's axe head beside the hole, at the edge opposite from where the dirt rises around her foot like a piss-ant's hill.

Paragraph 4:

I say, "Now she's buried, and we may journey on to find porcupines and pigs and edible roots." And now my people look away and are quiet. And now now old Feather-Ass looks at me. And shakes his head.

Paragraph 5:

And makes the sign for "no".


There's a break here, so I'll stop for now.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Off-Topic: Down The Memory Hole?

Sorry - I've been a customer of's for years, but this is too damn funny not to post. CEO apologizes for Orwell incident

Oh, the irony.

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.(

Page 8, Paragraph 7

Writing this blog is reminding me of how much fun it is to just page through the dictionary, looking things up more or less at random.


Page 8, Paragraph 7:

My people stand around the hole, switching their weight from one foot to the other, wanting to go away from here, wanting to continue with their journey [?] walking around the edge of the world from winter to winter, finding porcupines [hedgehogs?] and pigs and edible roots.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Page 8, Paragraphs 5 and 6

Page 8, Paragraph 5:

He scratches at his ass and gives me my mother's stone axe head; there's no strength in my hands to hold it. It falls down, and the wise man hits my face so hard that blood comes out of my nose. "Now take it up," he says, "and dig her hole. So that the odd-smelling spirits do not come to her and make us sick when we breathe them in. So that the carrion-bird and carrion-dog come not. So that earth takes earth's due and thinks well of us, and that it is not hard below our feet." So the wise man says now, and, licking the blood from my nose, I dig hard in the dirt.

Paragraph 6:

Below the grass the dirt is cold and grey, and soft enough that I can push a bunch of it up at once [?]. I dig to where there's roots and stones, and it slows me down. The bright dots of sunlight come back on my mother's face, then come off her cheek and slowly move off to between the grass and flowers. I lift up a stone, and there are many worms beneath it. Now I dig the blade of my mother's axe head between them, and they make even more of themselves. My digging makes my fingers bleed. There's blood on my mother's axe head, now; blood in my mother's hole.

Page 8, Paragraphs 1 - 4

Back at it.

Page 8, Paragraph 1 (first full paragraph):

He says, "She's dead, and it looks like too much work is what did it to her." He says, "She needs to be buried, after which we will journey a ways off."

Paragraph 2:

Suddenly a rough-voiced woman says that if my mother is no longer alive, it's her lazy son that made her that way that she had to work all the time to forage for him. Many there say, "Yes", "She's right", and so forth.

Paragraph 3:

More loudly, she says, "If his mother is to be buried, it's not my hole to dig". "Yes," says the man that pulled me off my mother. "Make her boy dig her grave, so that he's working for her for once." Now the wise man says, "Yes," and scratches his ass. "Find the boy," he says.

Paragraph 4:

I try to run. Ah, but they're men, and longer-legged than me, and I'm so scared that I run and fall into a briar bush. They pull me out, and I'm all scratched up, and they drag me to feather-ass, who's sitting by my mother. Her head is lying in water. The spots of light have crawled slowly from off the tree across the grass and are back in her eyes.


It's amazing how you realize what a vivid picture Moore has painted for you once you figure out the language.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Page 7, Paragraphs 4 - 7

What a sad story.


Page 7, Paragraph 4:

"Hold on, Mother", I say. "Don't joke around with me. Our people are getting up and wanting to journey on. Get up, so we don't fall behind them". Now I rub my hand on her leg to hurry her up. She's as cold as stone, and fleas [or lice, or ticks] jump off of her.

Paragraph 5:

I say more loudly, "Get up!", and take hold of her and pull her and hit her. There's no strength in my hold and she falls down. The dots of light move from out of her eyes and hang on the trees. Her head is lying in a puddle, hair floating.

Paragraph 6:

I don't know how to help her. I jump on top of her and go to put my penis in her, so that it will make her warm and make her move. Her legs are hard and crossed at the knees. I'm not strong enough to open them, and my penis is flaccid. I lie it against her belly hair and push and push. Her head moves in the puddle. Her belly hair is cold and she smells different. I push and push.

Paragraph 7 (ends at the top of page 8):

A man from our tribe comes now and pulls me off of her. He says I'm a shit and tries to hit me; I run a little ways off, beneath the trees. Now a lot of people come around my mother. They pull her head from the puddle and say, "She's cold", "She's not breathing", and so forth. Now our wise man [or shaman] comes there and sits by my mother. He's wearing a feather belt that must make his ass itch, because he scratches it constantly.

PS I won't be posting tomorrow as I have to work all day.

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.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Neil Gaiman On Talk Of The Nation Today

Voice Of The Fire introduction author (introducer?) Neil Gaiman will be on NPR's Talk Of The Nation today. Here's the link:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Page 6, Paragraphs 6 - 8

Page 6, Paragraph 6:

Now I look above me. The sky is full of clouds [sky-beasts] and they are all in one grey herd as they run from the edge of the world to the edge of the world. It will be dark in a little while, so I won't be able to see my long black shadow [spirit-shape] that follows in my path. I'm all alone.

Paragraph 7:

My people don't want me, and say how I don't forage yet I eat what other people forage. In my belly I hear my mother saying, as she did when I was alive, how I'm idle and it's not good that she is made to find food for me all the time. She says our people don't like me and that they're keeping me with them while she's alive, and that they won't after that, and what do I say to that, and so forth. I say nothing back, and she hits me on the head and legs and makes a noise. Ah mother, there's no helping it, not even a little bit. I don't have a good feeling about it in my gut, as others do.

Paragraph 8 (which ends at the top of page 7):

It's strange, now. One moment I'm thinking of something, and then there's no following thought, and all is quiet in me. Yet other times I have a thought and a similar thought comes to me, after which many thoughts come in a row, like my people walking beneath the trees. The thoughts come in such numbers and so quickly that there's not a thing in between them. One thought turns into another, as with the pigs and the logs.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Page 6, Paragraphs 4 and 5

I read ahead a little bit in this chapter (to about page 9) last night. I'm finding much easier to read since I started this blog.

Page 6, Paragraph 4:

I still have an erection. I rub the tears from my eyes and get up off the log to take a piss on it so that she [i.e., the log/pig] will know it's better for her to not be a pig. My penis now goes flaccid and goes back in its foreskin; likewise, I go limp and sit back on the log, where grey steam rises up from my piss-mark.

Paragraph 5:

Oh, many nights have come and gone without me seeing my people who have cast me off. They don't want me, and I sit alone upon the old log, and my belly is empty.

That's all for now. I was gonna post more, but my daughter wants me to play the Original Memory game (
with her. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Page 6, Paragraphs 1 - 3 (and note)

Two posts in one day. My goodness.

Page 6, paragraph 1 (first full paragraph):

I get up quickly so I can catch the pigs. My fall has slowed me down, and they may have changed already because I can't smell them at all. Thinking about this, I get a scared feeling in my belly, which makes me run more quickly. I look at the pigs as I come closer to them, but oh. Oh, one of the pigs, she's changing - her hind legs are gone. Her black face is all turned outwards - it's now a dark hole. I run quicker so that I can catch them while they're still part-pig, but oh, they've stopped moving, and they smell rotten. They closer I run towards them, the less pig they are.

Paragraph 2:

Now I'm right by them, and they've turned completely into white wood logs, lolling on one another. Their eyes have become holes in the wood. Their feet have become branch stubs. Ah.*

Paragraph 3:

I sit on the log that's beneath the other one, that is flattening the grass at the bottom of the hill, and cry hot tears.

*Note: Again, I hope I'm not pointing out something that's easily discernible, but what seems to have happened is that the pigs, seeing our narrator coming, took shelter in some hollow, rottened-out logs that were nearby. The narrator is too slow to understand this and thinks the pigs have turned into logs.

Page 5, Paragraph 5 (and note)

Here's my attempt at the last paragraph on page 5 (i.e., the one that starts at the bottom of page 5 and ends at the top of page 6).

I come off the dry dirt on top of the hill and run quickly through the cold grass - I want to get the pigs before they change into something I can't eat, like the rat I caught one time that changed into little stones.* I run down quickly toward the pigs so they're still pigs when I catch them. My erection shakes this way and that as I run. I run quickly, but oh, my feet fly up off the grass and I fall, oh and I fall ass-ways down onto the hill.

*Hope I'm not belaboring the obvious, but what seems to be happening here is that the narrator is remembering a time when he tried to catch a rat which was too quick for him and ran away. Instead of a handful of rat, our narrator came up with a handful of stones that were laying on the ground, but is too slow-witted to understand that he didn't catch the rat - he instead thinks that the rat turned into a bunch of stones.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Unfinished Business

I realized today that it might be helpful if I put up some links relating to Voice Of the Fire. :P

Amazon's page for the hardcover edition of VOTF (the one I'm using for this blog):

Wikipedia entry on VOTF:

Wikipedia entry on Alan Moore:

VOTF @ Google Books:

PS I won't be posting tomorrow as I have to work all day. See ya Sunday.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Page 5, Paragraphs 3 and 4


Page 5, Paragraph 3:

Above me are many clouds, big and grey. They move slowly, as if they have no strength. Maybe they're hungry like me. One of them is so hungry now that his head comes off and floats away and he runs more quickly behind it, as if he wants to catch it. Below the sky is grass and woods that go a far ways off, where I see another hill, and then only little trees like the ones that grow about the world's edge.

Paragraph 4:

Now I look down to the grass at the bottom of the hill and I see pigs. The pigs are big and long. One is on the other's back and it looks like he's mating with her. Seeing it makes me get an erection. I get a gut feeling that I can run down the hill to the pigs and hit one of them with a stone until she's dead and eat her all up. That's what I'm thinking. Now it's just a matter of doing it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Long story short:

I've been trying to read Alan Moore's Voice Of The Fire off and on for about 3 or 4 years now with absolutely no success. I've gotten repeatedly stuck, as I'm sure many have who've attempted to read the book, on the book's first chapter, and am too stubborn to simply skip it. (For those of you who haven't picked up the book: the first chapter, entitled Hob's Hog, is written from the point of view of a prehistoric boy who's a bit on the slow side, even compared to his peers. The language is, therefore, rather difficult to follow). The only way I've been able to get through it, I've found, is to go through the text sentence-by-sentence and, as closely as I can, "translate" it into modern English and write my "translation" down in a notebook. As I was doing this, it occured to me that I should post my "translation" on the Internet so that it might be of service to others who are attempting to read the book. Hence, this blog.

So, further without ado, here's my best shot at what's being said in the first couple of paragraphs of the Hob's Hog chapter of Alan Moore's novel Voice Of The Fire. The edition I'm using is the 2003 hardcover (ISBN 1-8918330-44-9), starting on page 5.

Paragraph 1:

Behind the hill, on the horizon, the sun is setting. I walk up the hill, out of breath. The grass is making my feet cold and wet.

Paragraph 2:

There is no grass on the top of the hill. There is only a circle of dirt, like a bald man's head. I stand there and I turn my face to the wind to sniff, and yet there are no smells coming from a long way off. My belly hurts in the middle of me. I burp, and the taste of it is like the taste of nothing. The scab on my knee is turning black and it itches. I scratch it and it starts bleeding again.

That's all for today. I'll try to post every day, even if it's just to put up a paragraph or two.