P26. When S first realizes he has been “stolen from land and deposited on water”, we read his perceptions of “fluid transverse and longitudinal sways”. Transverse and longitudinal are the two ways that waves travel. Sound waves can travel as either. This is literally the physics of sound. In the alternate ending to Chapter 10, S thinks the physics of sound finally cooperates.
P352. As Anca writes follow the monkey, Jen’s corresponding note is sound advice.
P194. As S and Corbeau navigate the S-curve in the caves of the K–, they can hear the rumble of ocean waves growing louder.
Robert Hooke, who has come up in S-research before, was the first to propose that light existed as a wave. He was also the first to look at cork (sobreiro) under a microscope and discover biological cells.
The Coriolis Effect produces waves in the ocean.
On p221, as S rides a rowboat to El H–, the boat catches a modest wave and S finds himself feeling glorious, even telling the rower I enjoyed that.
P225 mentions that the “time travel” is occurring is as if S accelerated through it, as if carried along on the crest of a wave.
P84. Wave comes from the same root word as weave. Compare to FXC’s choice of Serge as the made-up name choice in the footnote. Serge is a specific weave. On p18: wend is also a form of wave/weave. When S is in the tavern stealing glances at Sola, “he watches as the drops of water fall from him onto the uneven floor and wend along it in a rivulet, snaking over and around and between the warped boards.” This is also the same page where the drunken sailor says ’S the truth.
p408. Here we see sound waves weaving together: “But then— and he feels the change—it is as if a piano chord, struck in a vast concert hall, has been allowed to ring and decay, and even as the chord itself fades, some of its overtones continue to hum with life in all that space, and those tones are joined by notes from bowed strings that rise, coalesce, weave together in unexpected harmonies, carry the piece along with them in new directions, and when he follows them, he can see the Château and its grounds resolve in his mind.”
The stitches in the sailors mouths are a wave/weave.
Maelstrom’s beard is full and wavy as the hairs swirl together and random weaves.
The bicycle basket that we as readers are instructed to watch closely is homemade by the rider’s father. The only way a metal bicycle basket can be made is by weaving the metal (p103).
Tufting is an ancient weaving technique. Our capuchin monkey friend is tufted.
On page 414, the only marginalia is Jen asking Eric Please tell me she died peacefully and Eric responding In her sleep. Spending the last few days getting things in order…
The etymology of the word order has at its roots the idea of a row of threads aligned properly, and also the base ordiri – which means “to begin to weave.”
A wave in the water begins there and ends there. It does not travel outside of the water. What begins at the water shall end there, and what ends there shall once more begin.
Waves in the water formed by something dropped in the center produce ripples, which look much like the cover of our favorite book Ship of Theseus. (Thanks, @abramsfan)
If all this is not enough, the letter S is itself in the shape of a wave.
So what does all this mean?
A wave literally is a Ship of Theseus – the wave is still the wave even when it travels through a medium and is formed by completely different particles.
The wave metaphor falls in line with The Tradition. “Different story. Same tradition.” (p404) The tradition is a wave that travels through each generation, carrying with it the essence of a common meaning in the same way, but in different manifestations. Is it the same story? Think monomyth where all stories have the same basic truths communicated through the oral and then written word. Each story, though completely “different”, is a manifestation of the same wave used in a previous story.
They are all simply playing their roles in humankind’s oldest, simplest, truest story. (p173)
For example, when S sees the S symbol on a building named CENTRAL POWER in the middle of B– (p100), he witnesses a man taking possession of a bomb that will forever change S’s life. In “real life”, you and I are witnesses to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand (a member of the CENTRAL POWERS) and the beginning of World War 1.
It’s the same basic story, but with a different setting, different characters/plot/etc.
J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst have said that “‘S’ is a love letter to the written word.” It appears to be a story that retells all other stories – a story of good versus evil, and the men and women who fight to overcome it and find love in the process. V.M. Straka and F.X. Caldera fighting Bouchard. Eric and Jen fighting Moody. S and Sola fighting Vevoda.
There is more to the wave theory here, to be sure. This is just what begins at the water…
What do you think?