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In “S,” we have an overemphasis, it seems, on looping.

  • S’s supposed first translator was Lewis Looper
  • The EOTVOS wheel loops around a set of geographical coordinates, yielding the answers to puzzles in Coriolis (p3) and the answer to the Chapter 10 cipher.
  • The orlop is a key place on S’s ship where mysterious writing takes place when you are part o’ the tradition. Orlop means, literally, overloop.
  • Our first monkey-sighting reveals the capuchin tied to an organ-grinder’s belt loop (p8).
  • The process of organ grinding involves cranking a drum that repeatedly loops.
  • When S dispatches Agents #9 and #41, the deadly duo are surprised to find only a spinning phonograph – just words, captured in the grooves of an acetate disk. (p325)
  • The harbormaster’s mother knits. Knitting creates loops of yarn.
  • The monkey swings loops on a halyard (201).
  • S keeps a loop of black thread and a fishhook in a cigar box to resew his lips after each assassination in The Interlude (p306).
  • The vials inside S’s valise are held in place by leather loops (p434).
  • Maelstrom’s name refers to a swirling body of water. Literally, it means mill stream, which is the stream of water intended to rotate a waterwheel.
  • S trips over a coil of line (p56).
  • Maelstrom once pauses to frown at a sloppily coiled line (p61).
  • Coriolis, V. M. Straka’s 18th book, derives its name from Gaspard Gustave Coriolis, who studied waterwheels.
  • Vevoda’s wine cellars initiate loops they do not complete (p448).
  • There are numerous other looping references: waterspouts, time loops where S sees himself, etc.