The Larkin Ledgers

Like an endless chain of half-built houses

Reading The Slow Regard of Silent Things: Part VII.i – WHAT A LOOK ENTAILS

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THE SECOND DAY, Auri woke to silence in the perfect dark.
That meant a turning day. A doing day.

So, waking to, “a whisper of dim light,” marks a white/deep/finding day and those are rare. Silence and darkness mark a turning/doing day.  The second day lasts for three chapters, reinforcing the notion that the has a lot to do.  Is it a turning day because she tends to the proper turning of the world?  She actually turns the brass gear, the mirror, and the valve on the leaking pipe, but she does plenty.

Auri surveys Mantle and her possessions and we get the phrase, “Everything was just as it should be.”  This full phrase only occurs twice, both times in this chapter.  Ironically, in this chapter we begin to see things go wrong.

Her regard of the egresses from Mantle is quicker, more abrupt.  We get a slightly more informative description of the door to Boundary before she moves into Port.  While she’s slept, a few of the objects have somehow changed.  They’re no longer content where they are and she spends some time adjusting them.

The old black buckle was crowding the resin a bit, but that was quickly mended.

I’m still intrigued by the used of “mended.”  I wish there were just a little bit more to put it all together.  The brass gear is still giving her problems.  It’s changed everything, and it’s part of whatever’s gone wrong.

Auri picked up the heavy gear with both hands and brought it into Mantle. It was unheard of, really, but by this point she was at something of a loss.

She leaves it on the stone ledge opposite her bed.  She washes her face and hands and feet.  As near as I can tell, she does this every time she leaves Mantle with the intention of going further than Port.  It’s more about decorum than cleanliness even if both play a part.

She fills a gathersack and all her pockets, apparently a prerequisite for a doing day.

In Van she was startled to find the mirror was unsettled.

Once she’s taken the extraordinary measure of introducing the gear into Mantle, things turn out to be rough all over.  The mirror needs covering and the obvious solution to the reader might be the sheets in Tumbrel.  That is, in fact, where Auri goes.  However, her complex exchange system won’t allow it.  She has nothing that belongs in the wardrobe more than one of those sheets.  She tries the buckle she found the day before.

It didn’t belong here. Oh it seemed sensible. Oh yes. Certainly. But she knew what seeming was worth in the end, didn’t she?

I’m guessing this is here almost solely to drive folks who take Kvothe’s “little moon fae” diminutive to heart into a frenzy.  Bast is almost alone in his concern wit seeming versus being. Felurian and Kvothe echo some of it, but his reiteration of the difference in “The Lightning Tree” effectively separated any talk of the two into a specifically faen category.

I actually appreciate how Pat writes multiple possible interpretations into his stories like a school of herring.  In this case, it might be safe to assume that if Auri knows about the Ciridae and secrets Mandrag doesn’t, then she knows about the fae as well.  Particularly when the book description definitively calls her a former student of the University.

But no. There is a difference between the truth and what we wish were true.

Normally, when a text shifts tense or perspective it indicates, well, something.  This is even true in The Kingkiller Chronicle in several instances.  But Rothfuss tends to just do it sometimes because it sounds neat.  Some folks get pulled out of the text by “nekkid.”  Apparently I get pulled out by authorial intrusion with no obvious storyteller.

Whatever’s wrong gets worse.

The trip down the unnamed stair cheered her somewhat. Her path staggered drunkenly back and forth as she moved from one safe section to another.

There are a few things that could be going on here.  The day before she was close to hypothermic shock.  She might have an infection from the rust scratch on her back.

She returns to Mantle and takes her blanket from her bed to Van.  She drapes it over the mirror and moves it to a better position.  She gets back to her routine, brushing her hair.

But just as she was finishing, when she lifted up her arms to push her cloud of hair behind her, Auri staggered just a bit, all sudden dizzy. After it passed, she walked slowly to Cricklet and took a long, deep drink. She felt the cool water run all along her insides with nothing to stop it. She felt hollow inside. Her stomach was an empty fist.

So the hunger could be the cause of all the unsettling.  I know that feeling.  Auri’s so far gone that it takes extreme physical reaction to encourage her to eat.

Cricklet is one of the more popular place in the parent text.  There’s a description in The Name of the Wind.

Cricklet had a tiny trickle of fresh water running down one wall. The moisture attracted crickets, who filled the long low room with their tiny songs.699

So her long drink isn’t from some underground stream or piped water, but a dank room full of insects.  The latter makes it ideal for what happens while Kvothe’s away in Vintas, Faen, and Ademre during The Wise Man’s Fear.  When he visits Auri upon return she tells him:

“There is a whole family of hedgehogs living in Cricklet!” she said excitedly. Auri took two more steps and grabbed my hand with both of hers. “There are babies tiny as acorns!”935

To the hedgehogs, those crickets were probably as tasty as acorns.

She contemplates going to Applecourt, the enclose courtyard with the apple tree where Kvothe enters and exits the Underthing.  Applecourt is one of seven new places we hear about in this chapter.  The other six are Tree, Mandril, Downings, Tennance, Pickering, and Scaperling.  Tree is more or less Auri’s kitchen.



Here we find the second instance of “Everything was just as it should be.”  There’s hardly any food.  Auri eats a leathery apple and three figs and her hands stop shaking.  Hooray!

There’s a clever running water chill-well, pictured, holding a lump of butter “full of knives” and unfit for consumption.  My guess is that the butter is used and, like second hand clothes, Auri wants no part of it.  She’s probably keeping it around because it’s a fat, which she has plenty of other uses for.

Now that she’s rested and refreshed, she’s ready to get down to business.  we’ll check that out next time.


One thought on “Reading The Slow Regard of Silent Things: Part VII.i – WHAT A LOOK ENTAILS

  1. Thanks for the job, I really appreciate it. Keep woking on it please 🙂

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