Arquimedes de Sobreiro, Azores, coat of arms, Corbeau, Doug Dorst, eotvos wheel, Filomela Caldeira, Hamlet, JJ Abrams, Juan Blas Covarrubias, lisbon, Madeira, S, Saint Sebastian, Saint Vincent, Saragossa, Ship of Theseus, St. Vincent, V.M. Straka, VM Straka, xabregas
Here is a growing list of random but interesting connections that may or may not lead to more clues to solving they mystery of “S.”
S on Water
- S’s “birth” into his new world on the ship is marked by an awakening inside his room, swaying in the hammock and realizing by the sounds and gentle swaying that he is on water. His last memory prior to this is of saying Run, monkey. Run. As he awakens he thinks, What begins at the water… (p25-26)
- When one of the crew members rows S to the shores of El H__, S has an unexpected experience. He finds himself enjoying the glorious experience of catching a wave and being driven by it. He tells the crew member and the stars after it is over, “I enjoyed that.” (p221)
- S is afraid of following Sola across the ice from the Winter City to the ship. He is terrified that the ice will crack open and swallow him. But somewhere along the way he moves from fear to joy, and when he completes his trek he feels a joyous desire to go back to the harbor, make the ice-walk all over again. (p399)
- The hotel in Havana, Cuba, where VMS summoned FXC to meet him – and where he purportedly died on June 5/6, 1946 – is called the San Sebastian Hotel.
- The name of the hospital where Jack Shephard worked with his father in LOST is the San Sebastian Hospital.
- Eric Husch found FXC alive and living in Marau, Brazil. Marau was discovered in 1705 by Italian Capuchin friars who gave it the name “São Sebastião de Mayrahú” (St. Sebastian of Mayrahú).
- J.W. Dominguez of the EOTVOS Wheel site went to Gonzaga, named for Aloysius Gonzaga of the House of Gonzaga. The House of Gonzaga is the inspiration for the play within a play in Hamlet – The Murder of Gonzago or The Mousetrap.
- On p131, Eric writes protesting too much?, which is a reference to a line spoken by Hamlet’s mother who is talking about the Queen in the play within a play.
- Jackdaw was mentioned in Hamlet. p137-138 is where Corbeau and S. stop to watch in awe as jackdaws fly overheard
Filomela Xabregas Caldeira
- An area of Lisbon, Portugal, is called Xabregas.
- There is a palace here called the Xabregas Palace
- This palace was built by a famous Portuguese sailor: Tristão da Cunha
- This sailor discovered and named the most remote islands in the world, including the Nightingale Island and the volcanic Inaccessible Island, which bears a striking resemblance to Obsidian Island in “S.”
- The Old Quarter of Lisbon is called Alfama
- Alfama, from the Arabic Al-Hamma, means hot bath
- Caldeira is a Portuguese word that can be translated “hot bath”
- Filomela is a double-pipe organ stop that sounds like a flute
- Filomela is a minor character in Greek mythology who was turned into a nightingale
- Fn2, p416 – the same page we find the insert of Ermelinda Pega’s letter to Eric and Jen – mentions that the buried treasure of Juan Blas Covarrubias may be buried in part near Biabou on the Island of Saint Vincent, which is named after Saint Vincent of Saragossa.
- His remains are buried in Lisbon, Portugal, at the Monastery of Saint Vincent in the Old Quarter. Eric once attended a Straka conference in Lisbon (p15).
- Tiago Ferraro Garcia, a Straka candidate, was born in Valencia, Spain, where St. Vincent was martyred and originally buried.
- The insert between pages 20-21 about the fire that destroyed the abbey San Tadeo de la Tejera and its library says that one monk survived and made it all the way to Bilbao, Spain. Bilbao is home to the Church of Saint Vincent the Martyr.
- The Coat of Arms of Lisbon, Portugal shows two ravens, facing each other, as they protect the body of Saint Vincent after his martyrdom. Is this the sign of the raven (Signe Rabe)? Compare the coat of arms with the two ravens facing each other to the two S. symbols facing each other on p131, as S. holds hands with Corbeau (Corbeau is French for raven).
- Signe Rabe and Jean-Bernard Desjardins were married in Carcassonne, France (p361). The Paris Meridian (sometimes called the Rose Line) passes through Carcassonne at the Church of St. Vincent. Did Signe Rabe and Desjardins get married on the Rose Line? p361 has an insert showing Desjardins (or a man) surrounded by roses.
- He is the patron saint of winemakers
- There is a city Sao Vicente on the island of Madeira.
- For LOST fans, Vincent was a dog who survived the crash of Oceanic Flight 815. This dog was present with the main character of LOST, Jack, in the very first and last scenes of the epic series.
- Signe Rabe means sign of the raven.
- The cave paintings of K- show wolves and birds coming together as wolf-bird spirits (p185). In addition, the last two petroglyphs S describes seeing in his list of those in the hills of The Territory are a wolf and a bird (p342-343). The raven is also known as the wolf-bird.
- Straka is rumored to have spent six months out of each year in Thunkar, Bhutan (Fn4 p420) to practice writing and mountaineering. The raven is the national bird of Bhutan.
- Corbeau is French for raven.
- The Coat of Arms of Lisbon, Portugal shows two ravens, facing each other, as they protect the body of Saint Vincent after his martyrdom. Is this the sign of the raven (Signe Rabe)? Compare the coat of arms with the two ravens facing each other to the two S. symbols facing each other on p131, as S. holds hands with Corbeau.
- Sola is pictured in an ancient painting that S. sees in El H- with Khatef Zelh. She is described as a raven-haired girl (p242). This page also has an insert with a picture of Filomela Caldeira – and she has short, raven hair.
- The bird of negative space in Chapter 9 is a raven (p382).
- Jennifer Heyward writes in the margins on p49 (p52 in French) that she has found clues that Arquimedes de Sobreiro actually existed. The “foul Sobreiro” is discovered on board a Portuguese shipwreck in the Azores in 1619, hanged immediately, and the body dumped overboard. The ship burned and sank not long after.
- A Radio Straka transmission on December 1 indicates that an unidentified vessel sinks off the coast of the Azores in 1612 due to an ambush of the last Spanish pirate Juan Blas Covarrubias.
- Fn13 p231 (or 238 in the French version) mentions an 1866 (French 1865) bottle of Château Hirondelle des Granges. Hirondelle des Granges means barn swallow. The Hirondelle is the name of a ship manned by oceanographer Prince Albert of Monaco (1848-1942) that visited the Azores – including a stop at the famous furna da caldeira, a hot springs grotto.
- The Azores have 19 municipalities. The 19th listed is Ilha do Corvo, or Island of the Crow/Raven. (Thanks, Adam Laceky). The GPS coordinates for the Island of the Crow correspond to the letters IYBWU on the EOTVOS wheel, which happen to be the first set of letters used to solve the Chapter 10 cipher.
- There is a city Sao Vicente on the island of Madeira.
- Madeira is one of the few places on earth where blackscabbard fish are found in abundance. When S. leapt from the cave holding Corbeau’s hand, he descended to the depths of the blackscabbard (p218).
- Madeira also has a city Santana. Santana March is the name of one of Straka’s 19 novels.
- On p49 (p52 in French), Jennifer Heyward mentions in the marginalia that Madeira has a nautical history museum with a database that helped her find the first historical mention of Arquimedes de Sobreiro.
John Locke’s Theory of Identity and Memory (see full post)
- On p46, as S. struggles with attempting to connect his “memory, his identity, himself” – he notices the constellation Gemini. The constellation Gemini is associated with the twins Castor and Pollux of Greek Mythology. John Locke did a Castor and Pollux thought experiment (see part 12) in his attempts to explain identity.
- Shortly after S awakes to consciousness and wanders through the Old Quarter, he meets Sola in the tavern. As they get to know each other, S confesses that he is grappling with his identity. He says, “Something happened to my memory,” and braces himself for her reaction. (p21-22) Sola does not respond immediately. Instead, she reaches for her drink. S watches her lift the glass to her lips and senses a memory that he can’t place. Only later, as a waterspout descends and breaks the ship apart, does S make a connection. The appearance of the drink in the tall glass matches that of the waterspout.
- Stenfalk suddenly has a memory that pleases him about The Archer’s Tales (p149-150). As he struggles to remember the title of the book, he takes a drink of liqueur and swirls it around in his mouth. It is then that the answer comes to him. Two swirling drinks. S recalls his meeting with Sola in the tavern and the author of the book as Sobreiro, which Corbeau, Pfeifer, Ostrero, and Stenfalk all find very strange. And than night S dreams of Sola’s drink and the waterspout.
- As S and Corbeau leap from the mouth of the cave of the K-, the gunshots bring back a memory of corks flying on a New Year’s Eve. He has “a sense of himself as – well, as someone.” Corbeau dies. Immediately following his survival, he experiences his first encounter with the resurrected ship. p197-200
Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
- The statue was dedicated on October 12, 1931 – the same exact day that the New York Times Best Seller List was born.
- The postcard on p201 where Eric Husch announces to Jen I FOUND HER in reference to Filomela Caldeira has a picture of the statue in the bottom center.
- The postcard on p192 is of a beach in Rio De Janeiro, from which the statue can be seen. If you were standing on the beach looking in the direction from which the picture was taken, you need only turn to the right to see the statue.
- The postcard on p190 is of the Botanical Gardens of Rio De Janeiro, located beneath the statue.
- The postcard in this “S” Book Club Kit is from the Botanical Gardens of Rio De Janeiro, located beneath the statue.
- Vaclav is the Czech version of the name Wenceslas.
- Wenceslaus I was the Duke of Bohemia.
- Wenceslaus I is memorialized in Wenceslas Square in Prague.
- Wenceslaus I is the subject of the Christmas song Good King Wenceslas. This song has a connection to Carmina Burana, which we know was a favorite of both FXC and VMS (p285).
Mercury / Winged Shoes
- Poet Wallace Stevens is mentioned in the marginalia on p84. His wife, Elsie, is the model for the face on the Mercury Dime (1916-1945).
- Sobreiro (quercus suber) is the tree from which we get cork. One of the uses for cork as listed in Wikipedia is Goodyear Welt for shoes. This is the same Goodyear family from which the Goodyear company was formed. The Goodyear company’s logo includes a winged shoe.
- Twice the monkey is compared to a baby. On p54, S first thinks the small creature from the ghost ship is a baby, but then realizes it is a bedraggled monkey. In Chapter 8, The Territory, Anca carries a baby on her back in a sling while paddling in a canoe. Later, S has a dream that Sola is in the canoe and has the monkey on her back in a sling.
- The plaque on p387 that denotes the place where Arquimedes de Sobreiro died contains five perfect squares. The date is January 9, 1625 – or 1/9/1625 – which contains the squares of 1 (1), 3 (9), 4 (16), and 5 (25). The square of 2 (4) is found in the number of S symbols on the plaque.
- Straka’s Ch.10 original ending is prefixed with EPH-9993. 9,993 is the number of species of birds.
- The phrase “full-stop” is used twice in SOT (p190,362). Both refer specifically to the death of Pfeifer, but in very different ways.
- The pouting sailor on S’s ship and The Lady on Obsidian island both were burned. Both had pinprick scars around the mouth. Both were compared to Floris of Bruges. Are they the same person?
- The symbol for #3 on the cave wall (p184) is also the symbol for the classic element EARTH (Thanks @anabramsfan)
- The symbol for #6 on the cave wall could be interpreted as the earth in rotation, with the equatorial arrow pointing Eastward.
- The subject of the very first and very last footnote in Ship of Theseus is Winged Shoes Press.
- On p18, S is in the tavern. He stares at the floor and water droplets fall from him onto the floorboards and the description of what happens to the water droplets mimics S’s wandering through the Old Quarter.
- On p32, when S first meets Maelstrom and learns his name, the big sailor “says something that sounds like beggars or maybe bears, but S can’t hear it clearly…” In the French version, Maelstrom says something that sounds like le mendiant or another word is completely unrelated to bears. Le mendiant means beggar. It seems clear we have a clue here in the word beggars. Given that this is the very first thing Maelstrom says after informing S of his name, it is probably important.