Themes that jump out in Chapter 9…
- S. presses his hand against the window, and his body heat authors a handprint of negative space – “an island of transparency in a sea of frost.” (p375)
- S. himself seems to be a human of negative space amidst a crowd of others in the same situation in the Winter City. “No one there was part of anyone else’s world.” (p376)
- S. spends his time writing in the negative space of newspapers, “writing in the thin white spaces between the lines of type…” (p379)
- S. dreams of a bird of negative space, “a white, raven-shaped husk in a cold expanse of black.” (p382)
- S.‘s footprints that lead up to the portico in the building where Arquimedes de Sobreiro died are negative space. (p387)
- S. meets Sola on the ninth floor of a building in a room that is completely empty except for Sola. She alone occupies the empty space, until he S. arrives. Then they both do. (p389)
- In the marginalia on p382, Eric and Jen discuss the fact that Summersby, in a letter to Ekstrom, said “you all have our best wishes.” Much is made of you all. I am from Texas (where Doug Dorst resides), and the first thing to come to mind is how I would never say you all. I would say, y’all. The “empty space” of the apostrophe in y’all takes the place of OU. ʻŌʻū happens to be a bird, native to Hawaii, that is feared extinct (negative space)?
- The snow covering the ground and its objects form a palimpsest: “Every shape on the ground has been made vague, rounded into a white approximation of itself.” (p375)
- The people in the Winter City “all occupy the same space the same space but did not occupy it together.” Each is compared to a drawing on a different piece of tracing paper, the papers all stacked on top of each other. (p376)
- S. writes not only in the negative space of the newspapers, but “superimposing his words over the printed ones when he runs out of margin. Palimpsests atop palimpsests.” (p379)
- There is a stack of newspapers (that S. has used already) in the corner, rising to the ceiling. (p379)
- The plaque on the sidewalk that commemorates Arquimedes de Sobreiro is buried beneath ice. S. must kick away the ice in order to read what is underneath. (p386-387)
- The only footnote in the entire chapter describes Straka’s palimpsests atop palimpsests as he struggles to decide whether a male or female should say certain words. Filomela describes her struggle to determine the original words as archaeological. (p388)
- The audio palimpsest of the words S. hears outside the room…
Você não está seguro, a male voice says.
Ninguém é, a female voice says. (p380)and the words he and Sola say inside the room…
I think we’re safe,” S. says.
“No,” she says. “No one is. (p390)
- It appears that S. is a palimpsest atop Arquimedes de Sobreiro…”So I am connected to Sobreiro. But how?”
“Different stories,” she says. “Same tradition.”
The Number 9
- This is the 9th chapter of Ship of Theseus.
- S. is summoned to meet Sola on the ninth floor of a building, which he does (p385-386).
- The plaque explains that Sobreiro died on January 9, 1625. (p387)
- Sola reveals that S. can confront Vevoda nine months from now in land-time. (p391)
More later. That’s what jumps out now. What jumps out at you?