One of the pivotal questions we are faced with in “S” is WHO IS SIGNE RABE (p361)? Signe Rabe translates to sign of the raven. Does this indicate that we are to pay special attention to any appearance of a raven?
Below is a walkthrough of interesting appearances of the word raven or one of its etymological cousins.
- In Norse mythology, the god Odin had a pair of ravens, Hugin (mind) and Munin (memory). Mind and memory are key themes in “S”
- On p5, we see the first human being that S remembers coming into contact with. She has three ravenous sons.
- The Old English word hremm was used to indicate a raven – the sound made in the throat that mimicks the bird’s guttural tones. Compare this to p302-303, where Agent #4 is beginning to feel the effects of poison. He coughs again, tries to grind his throat clear with a series of increasingly vigorous hrrrremms.
- Ravens and wolves have a symbiotic relationship in obtaining food. Compare this to the creation myth illustrated in the cave paintings (p177-179) where bird figures of the sky and wolf figures of the earth become one.
- The word cornice derives itself from the Latin cornix – a place for a bird to perch. Compare this the word cornice on p98 and the margin drawing of a bird.
- Rove is connected with raven and means to wander, its earliest meaning was related to archery – to shoot arrows randomly at a target for pleasure. Compare this concept to our famous mystery book The Archer’s Tales.
- Cormorant means “Sea Raven.” Compare this to the Lake Cormorant boat house featured in The Daily Pronghorn, inserted into “S” between pages 32-33.
- The bird of negative space on p382 is a raven.
- The painting of Sola, or Samar, on p242 describes her as a raven-haired girl.
- Corbeau – one of the main characters – her name is french for raven.
If you see any additional references to the raven in “S” – please mention them in the comments section.