Chapter V Analysis: Echo
Central themes: Echo, Truth, History
-”Raju welcomed the intrusion…” An quote from the book The Guide: A Novel Context (source) Raju had just been released from prison. His first act was to get a hair cut then occupy an abandoned temple. He was one of India’s most corrupt tour guides. The quote is the first sentence of the first chapter where a impoverished man stumbles into the temple and mistakes Raju for a priest. Raju decides to play the part.
Judging from the title (specifically “A Novel” part), this could possibly be the reference in the last chapter to the volume chosen (“…reaches for the largest volume he can find. A novel. Just as Karen…”) to act as a door stop.
-”…Pan, being the god of civility and restraint, tears her to Pisces…” Its interesting to note the wrong word mixing “pieces” for “Pisces”. Apparently this is a common theme in the book (source). This is also the second mention of an astrological sign in as many chapters chapter IV “I’m a Virgo. What about you?”. This chapter also features footnote symbols chosen by Zapano, all of which are Greek in origin and 6/8 are planetary signs and the remaining two are mathematical signs (infinity an omega).
-its also worth noting that Zapano mentions Pan being the “god of civility and restraint” when hes the god of the the wild (primal side of humanity), eroticism, and wine. (source)
-another note worthy point is pan didn’t tear echo to pieces himself, he actually caused a “panic” among a nearby group of shepherds who then did the deed for him (source) (this is also the etymology of the word “panic”. Pan was blamed for causing loud/startling noises in wooded/wilderness areas when one was a lone.) (source)
-”…her repetitions are far from digital, much closer to analog.” Digital v Analog. Digital sound transition breaks down the sounds into binary numbers which allows for more accuracy in the final result where as analog translates sounds into electronic pulses (or electrical vibrations) which many times transmits a less than perfect rendering of the original transmission.
“Athanasius Kircher’s Neue Hall – und Thonkunst” The full title of this book is “Athanasius Kircher: New Hall and Thonkunst secret or mechanical connection of art and nature.” I can’t find any information on the book it self or much of Kircher’s thought’s on the machine. Doesn’t seem like it’s a work that’s been translated into English and I don’t read German. Anybody with knowledge of the German language and access to this book who wants to find the bit where he talks about his interactions with his “artificial echo machine”
What I have been able to find is that Kircher devised a theory on acoustics called “Magia Phonocamptica, sive de Echo” which (very) roughly translates to: Magic phonetics or the echo. (source) which he fleshed out in his book Musurgia Universalis. Despite the book’s age, I can’t seem to find a public record version so this is the best I could do: source and this.
“…or perhaps even Prometheus…lamp in hand…” this puzzled me at first since Prometheus isn’t a messenger nor a god of communications like Mercury but the “lamp in hand” bit got me thinking about the story where he stole fire from the gods to give to humanity. This then makes the “…descending on a fortunate humanity.” bit make more sense.
-”…difference between the Hebrew davhar and the Greek logos…” Hebrew davhar (davar?) are commandments and the Greek logos are “a formalized thought, account, report, word, speech, argument, story, etc.”
logos and davhar are difficult concepts for me to wrap my brain around (at the moment anyway, but here’s my try: logos more expresses the reasoning or meaning behind something. More like the connotation and denotation of a word/concept where as davhar is proof via oral wisdom/tradition of the existence of god. So logos is more the explanation for something existing, not necessarily for the reason of god or coming from god and davhar is the word of god and therefore proof of god.
-”The Figure of Echo contains a startling error…” the following passage taken from the book The Figure of Echo in HoL with the “error” is not factual in the version of The Figure of Echo I found as on page 19 it properly reads “caves” making the following part an error in and of it self.
-here’s the full poem the insert was taken from: The Power of Sound
-Next to both the equations is the Greek symbol for sun
“As Gloucester murmered ‘I see it feelingly.’” At this point Gloucester has be tortured and been blinded. In Act IV he seeks to commit suicide and Edgar (his son in disguise) assists him but fools him into believing he has survived jumping off a cliff by the grace of god. King Lear enters the stage and implores Gloucester who is now blind to use his ears to see.
–Michael J. Buckingham – a physicist who specializes in underwater acoustics. However if he is the one who came to the conclusion that sight is neither an active nor passive function, I am not sure.
– “The blind must rely on the feeble light of finger tips and the painful shape of a cracked shin.” Not entirely true, research has shown that the brain can redistribute the efforts of the parts of the brain that control vision to do other functions for senses that still work, such as language. (source) Granted this study is based in people born blind or who become blind at an early age and I don’t have a study on hand to show that this happens in people who go blind at a later point in life. Also in this 2010 paper, it has been documented that blind people can actually learn to use echolocation to navigate. Of course it’s not as sophisticated as it is in animals who have evolved with this ability but it is possible. (see page 2). This story covers the techniques for developing echolocation in humans more thoroughly (apparently the blind can be trained to make click noises with their tongue, similar to how dolphins use bio-sonar) (source). Very interesting stuff, well worth a read.
– “…translates sound waves into heat.)” I had no clue what he was talking about here, so I did a little searching and found that this is how sound adsorbing technologies work. They adsorb the the sound, the sound vibrates the walls, the walls sheer together (instead of reflecting the sound), which creates heat until the wall has processed all the vibrations. Apparently the heat is imperceptible but I’d be interested to know how much decimals it would take to make notifiable heat. Hell maybe if you got one of those super amp car stereos and put it into a room made of this stuff if you could heat the room. Maybe I’ll write mythbusters. (source)
– “At 68 degrees Fahrenheit sound travels at approximately 1130 ft/sec.” This got me thinking, how much does temperature affect the speed of sound. Apparently this is a rather elementary experiment that my school never bothered to cover, so I could only find “kiddy” sites explaining this phenomenon but it’s still pretty interesting to read about for those of us whom went to publicly funded schools. (source) (I won’t spoil the results. :-p)
-”There is only silence.” Its interesting to note that if one considers the state of Zapano’s original text (minus Jonny’s foot notes) here, what proceeds after this are blank pages or visual silence until page 55
– “Remember kids…Don’t shoot each other. Aim at the fragile, expensive stuff.” I love Tom, he reminds me of an uncle I had.
“news of Oliver North’s annulled conviction…” July 20th 1990 (source)
-”with superb cross cutting…” this scene is excellent in capturing the continuing theme of echoing and reverberation. The growing silence between Navy and Karen is physically setting them at opposite ends of the house while the kids are continually drifting further apart which ties us back to the phrase on p 50 “where there is no echo there is no description of space or love. There is only silence.” Then the echoing of the childrens’ cries travels out from the center of the house (in the new hallway) to reach Karen and Navy who are on the outer extremes of the house and causing them to come rushing back towards the original source of the sounds which then physically brings the family back together and emotionally reunites Navy and Karen emotionally “Whether it is the lasting flush of terror still in Karen’s cheeks or her absolute need for him, so markedly different from her frequently aloof posture, Nadavidson cradles her in his arms like a child and promises.”
Strong women writers
LA Based writer
–Francisca Block and her books Weetzie Bat series
Psychologists focusing on gender identity and female developmental psychology
–Mary Pipher and her book Reviving Ophelia
–Carol Gilligan and her book In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development
all of these women have in common: they’re all writers and strong feminine characters (not all feminists though)
-This entry by a fellow wordpresser on the subject of “Reviving Ophelia” perfectly captures the forces that have shaped Karen Green from adolescence to what she is at this point in the book. Thank you, eyeblinkfiction
-On a related note (Denis) Diderot is a rather interesting character, a philosopher in the 18th century; his most notable (read: relevant) work is “Letter on the Blind” which he explores the relationship between reason and knowledge acquired empirically/through sensory input.
-“the excerpt from the fictional Posah’s book, describes a vibrant, intelligent, confident, and athletic young girl who at the age of 15 turned into a shadow of her former self with a newly emerged streak of introversion and a emotionally detached demeanor paired with a perfectly practiced smile. This reflects the Cayenne case study in Pipher’s book Reviving Ophelia. It should also be noted she practiced her smile in front of a blue handled mirror.
-All the books on Feng Shui are real books and because of this, I don’t feel the need to provide links. Only noteworthy bit (which is so minor I’d attribute it to being a genuine typo, but Interior Design with Feng Shui the author’s name is actually Sarah “Rossbach” with 2 “s”s. However, I found Wilhelm’s translation of the I Ching
-Kua Number: here’s how to calculate your Kua Number (Apparently mine is 3. I guess it’s lucky that my desk faces south, other wise this project would DRIVE. ME. IN-SANE! Or I’d just power through it. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t particularly subscribe to superstitions, but that’s not to say that they’re horridly boring or have nothing to offer the human culture.)
-”how about secretary of Defense?” Karen’s continuing her war against the enigma with her pursuit of tactical Fung Shui.
– “…but the cry just flattens and dies in the narrow corridor.” The space must have shrunk because just a couple of weeks prior when the children venture into the hallway, their voices echoed (which means that the hallway must have been at least 56 ½ feet deep at that point [even if one considers the temperature inside the hallway 32 degrees Fahrenheit +/- 8 degrees, the hallway would still have to be a minimum of 50ft] and now it doesn’t echo, implying that it either warmed up significantly [not likely] or it’s dimensions have changed)
– “…creates an unexpected and very unwelcome echo.” And again it grows.
-”But the division between them is not just physical.” the following paragraph of Navy and Karen’s video diaries echo each other. The first echos from Navy and Karen are accusatory “Karen: Doesn’t he see I don’t want him going in there because I love him.” “Navy: She hasn’t even given a thought to what I care about.” The second echo’s are sorrowful “Karen: …if he goes in there, I’m outta here.” “Navy: If she keeps up this cold front, you bet I’m going in there.”
-”…a new doorway to the right. It was not there before.” The space is longer than normal, nice touch between the action in the movie and the text.
-”…flashlight scratching…” reminds me of the scratches left in Zappano’s apartment floor
– “…briefly catching hold of the -om’s as they too start to vanish…” the “om” bit reminded me of OM in mantras. Om was suppose to be the first word in existence. In the beginning, existence (Brahman) was one not dual and then creation questioned why it should be alone and willed it self to split and then the question made the sound “OM”. (source)
–Neologism: the coining or creating of a new word or phrase
Chapter V Footnotes
**A note of footnotes** the Zampano footnotes are signified by astrological symbols and two mathematical symbols. The planetary symbols are Grecian in origin and are deeply tied with mythology (here’s a list). Then the last two are mathematical symbols, first being infinity (a foot note pertaining to time) and the the final being omega (I believe the omega is ultimately a double entendre being that it’s Zampano’s final foot note in this chapter and its the final letter in the Greek alphabet). The ordering and or reasoning for choosing each planetary symbol for each foot note is yet to be discovered. It may have something to do with their belief that the earth was the center of the universe (and why it was the first symbol to be used) and then “echoing out” from there to hit Pluto (the next symbol used) as the outer edge (think of the universe as a pond. Earth is a rock being dropped in the pond and Pluto represents the outer banks of the pond)(source) the lack of Venus representation might be due to the fact that in ancient Greece observation of Venus was not consistent and many times believed to be two different satellites. However it raises the question why Pluto was used when it wasn’t a naked eye visible planet (source)
Footnote 46: David “Eric” Katz, author, photographer, music journalist (source)
Footnote ⊕: First off, I cannot find a translation for the phrase “adonte ta melê”. It’s gibberish in every language translator I’ve tried. But, taking our “translation” at face value:
I had issues finding how to explain the word choice; what do limbs have to do with singing? Finally I found in the etymology of melody which comes from the word “melisma” I found that the use of “limb” is a pun on words in that limb means “parts of a song” and her voice was the only “limb” not buried.
Footnote 48: biloquist – n. A person having the ability to speak in two different voices. Biloquist is play on words in that a biloquist can echo him self as if he were two different people (if we remember, this is the premise for the existence of Echo: One person says something, and Echo repeats it back to them) This could also be a double pun that the word “metamorphoses” is a Greek word (source) but it was written in Latin about Roman history. It’s also worth noting that Ovid’s Metamorphoses book III does cover the story of Echo and Narcissus: (see lines 356 – 410)
Footnote 49: In order to understand the context of the following quotes we need to understand 2 things.
First, the first quote is from Don Quixote which it self has a unconventional premise as follows: Miguel de Cervantes insists that his novel is based in true events and that Don Quixote is a real person and that the adventures Don Quixote have been recorded by others and he (Cervantes) is merely adopting Quixote. So given this when we come to chapter 9 in part one (from which the quote about truth comes) we find that in context that the truth of the story being told is from a pamphlet written by a fictional author (Cide Hamete Benengeli) and so all the truth being spouoted is really just a manifestation of the author’s imagination which is no doubt a show of great irony. (here’s the book Don Quixote for original context)
Now we are presented with the work, Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote by Jorge Luis Borges in which Pierre Menard, a fictional author, translates Don Quixote in such a way that he immerses him self into the work so deeply that he walks in the foot steps of Cervantes and actually recreates the book word for word in greater depth and context than the “original”. The entire essay is Borges’s literary criticism of Menard’s “creation”. (confused yet? Read about it here or read the essay it self here. As ridiculously frivolous as it must sound, its actually quite hilarious; the back story of Pierre Menard, Author of Quixote is just as comical being a product of Borges’s head injury induced hallucinations (source). At a total of 6 pages it’s well worth a quick read.)
Basically the main reason these passages were chosen is that the work of Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote is a form of intellectual echoing. One person says the passage the first time in one context and then a second author comes along and repeats the same ideas word for word but in a slightly different context. This piece is a perfect example of recontextualisation which can be argued to be a form of an epistemological echo.
Footnote 52: John Hollander’s The Figure of Echo isn’t available on public record yet, so no further info.
Footnote 53: “Glorious Garrulous Graphomania” isn’t a real book (and Kelly Chamotto isn’t anyone I could find) but it could be a joke about Hollander’s work since this book’s title roughly means “glorious excessive ramblings of a graphomaniac [one who writes compulsively]”
“T. N Joseph Truslow” I couldn’t find a “Joseph Truslow” but did find a James Truslow Adams who was an uneducated historian who wrote a three part history on America (which the first volume won the Pulitzer prize). He’s the first to be credited with coining the phrase “The American Dream”. In his works he was very critical of education in America, being a writer in the 1930’s he was very ahead of his time. His lack of formal education coupled with his writing career and the “book” he edited “ Glorious Garrulous Graphomania” reminds me of Zampano. (source)
Footnote ♂: I have a problem with these translations. “decem iam annos aetatem trivi in cicerone” translates to “now at the age of ten streets in Cicero” where the proper Latin for “I’ve spent ten years on Cicero” is “decem annos habeos Cicero”. However I do not speak Latin so I am no true authority. Please correct me if you know more about Latin. (note: ♂ is Mars’s shield and spear)
And the Greek word for “ass” is “γάιδαρος”. And “one” doesn’t translate.
Footnote ☿: “dia” also doesn’t translate to anything in Greek. (note: ☿ mercury’s winged helmet and staff)
Footnote ☾: This quote comes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. However the translation of Metamorphoses I provide has the wording Narci: “May I die before what’s mine is yours.” and Echo: “What is mine is yours!”. (Ovid book III 391-2)
Footnote 55: The context of this quote is that Satan as a serpent has lead Eve to the “prohibited” tree and is trying to seduce her into eating from the tree of knowledge. (Fun Fact: The first letter of each line from 510-514 spells “Satan.”(source) (Paradise Lost, Milton)
Footnote 56: Couldn’t find a “Hanson Edwin Rose” but I did find that “Hanson & Edwin” were actors in the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” as Leatherface and Hitchhiker respectively. (source)
“Pneuma Publications” Pneuma is the Greek word for “breath” (spiritual)
Footnote 59: This quote comes from a poem in said book, the poem named “The power of sound”
I found a letter from Alice May Williams to the observers at Mount Wilson (source) but I couldn’t find a CAT. #0005. For further information.
Surprisingly “Society For the Diffusion of Useful Information” is a real thing and is the in house publisher for the Museum of Jurassic Technology which is who ran the Mount Wilson Observation centers.
Footnote 61: King Lear, act IV, scene vi, page 147, Shakespeare
Footnote 63: The math and physics bits here are beyond my scope. Input would be appreciated.
Footnote 68: Not sure of the significance of the hallway changing directions/locations. This is something to be paid to attention though, off the top of my head I can remember it being on the North, South, and East walls.
Footnote 69: I doubt this is the Steve Sokol MZD is referring to, but apparently he was the “original Fittest Man”
Julia Carter is a doctor, but as a ophthalmologist (an eye specialist) she’s far from a psychologist/relationship author.
Footnote 70: Exhibit Six is on page 535.
Footnote 71: I really hope “Drew Bluth” is some sort of reference to Arrested Development. Such a funny show, if you’ve never seen it (it was aired on Fox and caught “Fox syndrome” [Fox: Wow, what a original, well written, and overall fantastic show pulling in decent ratings…CANCELED!!!!]) get yer self a free trial to Netflix or acquire it in some other way and check it out.
Footnote 72: Bodhi is an ancient tree in which Buddha was said to have reach enlightenment while meditating under.
I’m Going to guess Bix is a reference to the Jazz musician Bix Biderbecke.
The best I can get with “oikofoe” is that “okios” is the Greek word for home and foe doesn’t translate. So…maybe it’s saying home enemy? Coupled with the “Bad Bodhi Wall” it makes some sense in that maybe a Bad Bodhi tree would inspire unrest and discontent (rather than a good Bodhi tree which should exude peace and tranquility).
Footnote | _| : symbol used to denote this foot note is actually found in Appendix II-C exhibit #1. The symbol is on the ground-air emergency code chart meaning “aircraft badly damaged” which is funny due to the fact that the first book mentioned in this foot note is about fear of flying. Here’s a chart (which was surprisingly hard to find).
Apparently Erica Jong did write a novel named Fear of Flying which is about a woman who has an affair because of her unfulfilled marriage. (source)
Anne Hooper’s The Ulitmate Sex Book is also a real book. Not much information on it available.
“X.Y.’s Broken Daisy-Chains” I’m assuming “Daisy Chain” is being used as a metaphor along the lines of “broken commutations”
And Chris Allen Wrote both 1001 sex tips books.
An entire list of books that are entirely real books by their respective authors. Quite surprising but probably here for the purpose of character development via intertextuality.
Footnote 74: Purely as a thought experiment, I filled in (in pencil, normally I exclusively use pen but I didn’t want to commit in this case) “Mr.” in the first blank and “Mrs.” in the second, then by context tried to fill in “Mr.” and Mrs.” where seemed appropriate from there out. It didn’t make much difference but it did make reading it a bit easier.
footnote 75: long list of names has seemingly mostly been tackled for me already but not completed here. I intend to comeback to this at some point. Scope too vast for the moment. More importantly though for anybody looking into these parallels (echos) Nadavidson’s trip through the hallway where each name is another corridor, dead end, or lead tie into another name on the list.
Footnote 76: “Alison Adrian Burns” As usual couldn’t find this person but found a jazz artist “Adrian Burns”. (I just assume that all the names who link to relatively obscure musical artists are friends of MDZ or his sister’s band POE. Even if they’re not intentional, hopefully I’m helping these artists by providing links to their sites.)
And we have a two fer one! “Alison Burns” is also a Jazz artist and Canadian at that! (I hope you’re enjoying the surprise enthusiasm, I blame it on the excessive coffee and good jams on 88.1 KDHX)
Jonny’s Story (footnote 50 pages 42-43)
Page 43: ”…I started to taste something extremely bitter, almost metallic.” Reminds me of a quote from Hemingway (possibly from the book “old man and the sea”) about how a man tastes something metallic (copper?) in the back of his mouth. I’m currently unable to find the exact quote.
Page 43: ”…amaurotic…zonules of zinn…” both references to complete blindness (amaurotic meaning complete loss of vision and zonules of zinn being connective fibers in the eyes. (source)
Jonny’s Story (footnote 62 pages 48-49)
Page 48: ”…Samuel O’Reilly @ 1891…” Samuel O’Reilly invented the tattoo machine in 1891 (source)
Page 48: EKG
Page 48: QRS complex
Page 48: infarction
Page 48: ”…before the coming of that great Whale…” could be a reference to his mother (ie Whalestoe letters) explanation/analysis of this part explained more thoroughly here.
Jonny’s Story (footnote 65 page 50-54)
Page 50: ”…getting violently ill…” this guy (Jonny) vomits a lot. This is like…the third time he’s vomit in so many pages.
Page 51: rood: a cross or crucifix
Page 54: “blue streak” I was never sure what this meant other than being a movie but apparently it means “moving fast, continuously” (source)
Page 54: until I was doing this edit and double checking everything, I just assumed “idyll” was a misspelling of “ideal” but it actually refers to a form of poem or art pertaining to everyday activities/rustic subjects. (source)
Jonny’s Story (footnote 67 page 55)
Page 55: “Frosh” I was curious where this abbreviation for freshmen came from. The best I can gather is that Frosh is German for “frog” and I’m guessing it’s a cultural nomenclature (such as chiding a younger kid “squirt”).
Jonny’s Story (footnote 77 page 69-72)
Page 69: Margaretha Geertruida Zelle was a very pretty exotic dancer in the early 20th century. She had a rater colourful life coming from a rather affluent family that went bankrupt to becoming an exotic dancer to eventually being accused of espionage and dying by firing squad.
Page 69: “…my friendly haze…” I’ve never taken notice of this, Jonny and Tom Nadavidson have the same ritual and even call it the same thing (take a drink or 2 and smoke a bit to achieve this “friendly haze”. This is probably where the whole “Jonny is Tom” theory comes from. I personally don’t subscribe to it but I also have yet to read a convincing argument for it.)
Page 70: “…to be sterilized later in the ultrasound or Autoclave.” I know an ultrasound works on vibrations (digital sonar) but I can’t seem to find evidence that it can double as a sterilizer…just for the sake of thoroughness here’s an explanation on Autoclaves.
Page 70: “moither” to talk in a rambling or confused manor. Quite a strange word. Apparently its a British word that hasn’t made it over here very easily. (source)
Page 70: “…the rapid pulse of its bandwidth.” rapid pulse is a reference to purples relatively high frequency (source)
Page 71: ”Letters too.” reference to Whalestoe letters (I’m sure)
Page 71: ”Known. Some. Call. Is. Air. Am?” phonetically equivalent to “Non sum qualis eram” translates to “I am not as I was.” (source)
this reminded me of the pentecostal tradition of “speaking in tongues” (fun fact: the commonly accepted term for this is “Glossolalia” which is a Greek term meaning “to speak in languages”) which in this case is closer to Xenoglossy since he wrote these words rather than spoke them. Which then gives better context to the next lines “Incoherent – yes. Without meaning – I’m afraid not.”
Page 71: ”Another Maldon…” almost certainly refers to the battle of Maldon which was a loss for the English to the Vikings (there’s also an olde English poem about it) (source)
Page 72: ”my face has been the ghost in he way…” there’s been a lot of mention of ghosts and haunting in this chapter. Further thoughts on the subject needed.
Page 72: “splattered with purple…granting contrast and thus defining me…preserving me.” Purple is the colour used to denote Palenfina. If the colour defines him, this could be a point in favour of the entire work being written by her. The purple preserves him from the engulfing blackness. If purple is his mum’s colour then he ‘s being preserved and saved by love which saves the body from complete neglect.