Arquimedes de Sobreiro, Desjardins, Doug Dorst, Eric Husch, Ermelinda Pega, Filomela Caldeira, Jennifer Heyward, JJ Abrams, S, Signe Rabe, The Winged Shoes of Emydio Alves, Torsten Ekstrom, V.M. Straka, VM Straka
A person is no more and no less
than the story of his passion and deeds.
This may or may not be an exercise of value. There seem to be a number of notable events on the 24 pages of the book that are divisible by 19. Just a few…
- S. and Sola see each other for the first time
- S. names Maelstrom
- S. sees Sola for the second time
- S. sees Corbeau for the first time
- S. and Corbeau hold hands
- S. sees The Lady for the first time
- Signe Rabe is discussed repeatedly
- The Archer’s Tales is discussed repeatedly
- Desjardins is discussed repeatedly
- The obsidian pieces are discussed repeatedly
- We see Pfeifer for the last time before discovering later that he is Governor Nemec
- We see a connection between Signe Rabe and Sobreiro
Here is a comprehensive walkthrough…
Ship of Theseus
S. and Sola make eye contact for the first time
Eric and Jen discuss S.‘s wetness and feeling of having fallen as support for him being Vaclav. Eric points to the Chapter 3 wharf flashback.
Ship of Theseus
S. names Maelstrom and first sees the pinprick scars around his mouth. S. asks a question that, when answered on page 20, reveals Sola’s name for the first time.
Discussion of the adversarial relationship with Straka’s publishers and Looper’s two disappearances.
Eric’s pencilled notes consider Maelstrom as a Poe reference. Eric challenges FXC’s two Looper disappearances. Jen figures out the footnote code and writes <<BINGO>>.
Ship of Theseus
The young and weak sailor rescued from the other ship with the monkey “might still have something to give.” There is holystoning and the first mention of the cycle of the tradition.
S. watches the entire crew cycle through. This takes 57 hours (19 crewmen times 3 hours each).
A discussion of art vs. commerce. Eric comments that “VMS thought art returned something, too, & commerce just extracted – no matter what it purported to give back.” Jen asks where love fits in. Eric and Jen discuss the missing obsidian pieces from the archives and whether Desjardins piece sent to Eric was stolen from the Paris archives.
Ship of Theseus
S. sees Corbeau for the first time as he approaches the striking worker’s at Vevoda’s factory.
Jen flirts, comparing Corbeau and Stenfalk’s affection in such a strange context to perhaps their own. Eric does not answer the first time through. Jen talks about Eric’s older margin notes and they call their project a scrapbook.
Ship of Theseus
S. spots Sola for the second time in the crowd on the wharf. S. senses the policemen are aware of his presence. S. thinks the anger between the two groups is about to ignite.
Jen is angry at her friends, but Eric calms her. Eric’s older pencil notes point at the policeman gripping his cudgel and points back to The Square (p63, 101, 119). There is talk of Ilsa wearing an obsidian piece. More talk about the archives.
Ship of Theseus
S. has just announced to his newfound friends in Zapadi’s house that he must be leaving to find Sola. Pfeifer and Stenfalk doubt S.‘s story, but Corbeau believes.
FXC quotes VMS in a letter to Otto Grahn, but she appears to add a sentence not in the original.
Eric mentions Desjardins funeral and the double-talk about Moody’s reputation. He wishes everyone to say what they mean. Jen points out that both of them may not lie, but they don’t reveal the whole truth, either. Discussion about Fn2 – there is an extra sentence in Otto Grahn’s quote, leading Jen to discover the cipher clue.
Corbeau and S. are holding hands as they walk away from Zapadi’s house. Corbeau admits to S. that she is with Stenfalk. They worry that the diversionary fire may get out of control, since that is what fires do. Corbeau comments that Vevoda will always have the advantage because he is willing to hurt and kill people to get what he wants.
Jen mentions the fire that came close to her hotel. She is scared. They talk about who, if anyone, is behind it.
The fugitives see smoke, a horse rider, and then realize they are being followed. They pick up the pace to the summit and wonder who is chasing them – police, detectives, vigilantes?
Jen realizes that four guest VIPs accessed the archives, two with Moody and Ilsa. Two others. Who are they?
Jen and Eric discuss whether VMS was responsible for Ekstrom’s death after giving him anagrams at the hotel.
Last appearance of Pfeifer. Last painting on the cave wall, which appears to be a pack of wolves killing something (a bird?). S. and Corbeau discover the hole that will lead them to the deepest part of the cave. S. ponders the water entering the hole.
Postcard is dated April 18th. Eric finds a clue at a publishing concern with overhangs and heads further south. Interestingly, the postcard’s picture is from a real postcard (originally revealed by @JillAggieARG) that depicts the Botanical Gardens of Rio de Janeiro. These gardens are directly beneath the right arm of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue.
Jen is paranoid someone is falling her and upset with Eric for lying “about the tunnels.” Jen asks Eric for the steam tunnel map. Eric apparently provides it and tells her not to let anyone else see it. However, the map does not appear until p306-307.
S., back on the reborn ship after Corbeau’s death, is on deck. The rainstorm is over. Maelstrom is behind the wheel. The crew seems to only tolerate him. They seem more bleary-eyed and a few seem missing.
Jen draws the wind. Eric says in pencil S. still an outsider. Jen starts a discussion about the best job they’ve ever had. Eric mentions the planetarium. Jen mentions the library. Eric and Jen think Moody must have a copy of The Archer’s Tales at his house.
S. has connected with Osfour outside El H–. Osfour points out that S. has seen the Black Vine and asks if it changes the blood. Osfour says customers will prostrate themselves before Vevoda and that agents, not detectives, now work for Vevoda.
Is there one VMS or many? Eric points out the connection between The Painted Cave and Durand’s All of this to you I give. Night Palisades sounds like Summersby, but still there is something consistent in the Straka works. Eric says it all sounds personal, “like one person’s rage at the world and his love for the written word.”
Older marginalia talks about wanting to meet. Newer marginalia talks about the thrill of having met. Jen says the Fn7 talk of the reincarnated-nun-Straka is fun to believe and says they should add Florence Stoneham-Smith “to our candidate-deaths-by-falling list.”
S. first catches sight of The Lady on top of the volcano. He sees the book “S.” for the first time.
Agent #4 just died. Those who find the torn pages in his pocket at the train station wonder what kind of man carries such things. The bottle that contained the poison that killed him is at the bottom of a river far away, and S. is on a small boat, making his way back to his ship – making sure to keep his valise dry.
Jen says Vanessa saw Moody drunk in the cafe. Eric says he enjoyed the rakija on one of his trips overseas but wished he (Desjardins?) would have bought more than one bottle.
Agents #9 & #41 arrive in P__ on separate trains, pouring over the S-files and planning their assassination. Twin defenestrations for certain. The “settle on narrative.” The story they choose is “so very Shakespearean.”
Jen says a window was open when she came home, but she couldn’t close it because it reminded her of Desjardins’ death. Jen comments that her favorite class was Shakespeare through Performance. She hated acting but had to play Cordelia in King Lear. An old French woman told her to “let go.” It worked Jen liked it and that advice helped her love the class. Now she “knows her tragedies inside and out.”
In the winter city as S. writes in the newspapers, Sola does not speak to him from the margins. Here begins the section known as torrent of words.
Eric’s notes are all in red. He talks about the Summersby confession and mentions details which cause Jen to write only one word: Signe?
S. has come to enjoy his “walk on water” away from the Winter City and back to the ship. He wishes he could do it again when it is over. The ship has an entirely new crew and there is no Maelstrom. The crew seems to respect Sola and maybe even S.
There is mention of the review of The Winged Shoes of Emydio Alves by K.R. Simmons in the 1942 Portland Clarion who said it was a revelatory work of personal emotion.
Jen points out that though many were disloyal to S., many remained loyal. Both agree this is a new revelation. Jen says Fn3 is completely untrue and this must be another clue. Eric says he knows she will find it.
Vevoda’s oldest and most trusted agent (#1?), still wearing a duster, is talking to the crowd at the Chateua. He explains that another guest has been hurt for failing to follow instructions, and that Edvar VI will be addressing the crowd in 15 minutes. The crowd grows quiet. S. offers Edvar VI a glass of the black wine.
FXC comments that she has reconstructed Chapter 10 because of missing pages, but will not share where exactly.
The last page of the book. S., who is looking through the spyglass he found hidden under the blanket where the monkey slept, sees another ship with two people at the wheel (presumably he and Sola). He can’t see exactly who, but he and Sola will let their imaginations “fill in their features.”
Eric says, “Even Filomela’s version is a bit ambiguous.” and Jen says, “I don’t think it is.”