The Larkin Ledgers

Like an endless chain of half-built houses

Reading The Slow Regard of Silent Things: Part XI.ii – THE ANGRY DARK


On the way back to Mantle, Auri stops at The Silver Twelve, apparently no longer worried it might be black.

All draggled and smirched she took a moment to dunk herself in the pool

I’m willing to be most of us have seen bedraggled and besmirched at some point, but these forms seem to occur more infrequently.  I remember draggle from “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.” Both seem to be older usages which fit in nicely with nekkid and chimbley.

She couldn’t think of going back to Bakery to dry.

I’m starting to think that Bakers, from page 22, might have been an error that made it into print. It appears only the one time, with an illustration. But the other references to Bakery all involve heat and this one specifically drying off. And going back to do so. There could be two places with a similar function, of course. It just seems odd.

She hears a tiny animal in distress. Worried that something might be drowning she panics and runs about without taking proper stock of the situation. She’s still making bad decisions. The world is still against her. And the light from the spirit lamp is uneven and shifting.

And echoes came from everywhere, scattered by the pipes and water in The Silver Twelve, so ears were hardly any help at all.

When I said, in part VII.ii that the nightjar telling her there was a leak in an iron pipe was strange I got some feedback about how there was a simple explanation. Namely that she was unusually accustomed to her environment. While my comment was more about the nightjar and its specific action, this bit seems to imply that under normal circumstances even discerning where a sound is coming from might be difficult.

Anyway, she finds a young skunk in the pool and manages to scoop it out of the water.  It bites her.

It sunk its teeth into the meaty bit between her finger and her thumb.

There’s no real reason to connect this to The Wise Man’s Fear other than the similar description. However, folks have come up with more from less, so it’s worth noting that Kote gets a holly thorn in approximately the same place.

The innkeeper’s fingers fumbled clumsily, snapping the holly branch and jabbing a thorn deep into the fleshy part of his thumb.WMF 15

She’s obliged to endure the pain and hold the rodent carefully cupped in her hands as it scratches her chest and even bites her again.  She navigates by moonlight to Old Ironways where she lets it out of the Underthing through a grate.Simonetti 2

In the French edition of The Slow Regard of Silent Things, La Musique du Silence (Bragelonne), the illustrations are done by Marc Simonetti, cover artist for Pat’s work in much of Western Europe and South America. There aren’t many descriptions of Old Ironways, and I’m unclear where his illustrations fall in the book, but this could be a depiction. There’s a suggestion of railroad tracks, which would make sense given the name.  However, we haven’t heard anything about locomotives in The Kingkiller Chronicle.  Still, it’s interesting, and the art is striking.

Auri walks back to the Silver Twelve and soaks her sore hand. The entire time, it hasn’t been explicit that she wasn’t clothed. In retrospect, it’s obvious, but the text doesn’t make a thing out of it. It’s not focused on her nudity, whether nekkid or naked. It’s possible it even makes a comment on that after she puts her dress back on.

It felt like everything was leering at her in the yellow light.

While she feels that way, the reader isn’t encouraged to leer at her, but rather to experience what’s significant to her. Prurient interest might motivate individual readers to dwell on her body, but for the average reader she simply is, clothed or not. In another parallel with “WHAT A LOOK ENTAILS,” this is the only other chapter to use leering.

She takes the long way back to Mantle so she doesn’t have to pass her mirror. In a sense, she’s avoiding her vanity, which is something that’s addressed rather amusingly later.  I’ll cover it in part XI.iii.

Coming into Port, she saw that nearly everything was wrong. Of course. It was just that sort of day.

Here it’s made explicit that nothing is going right for her. And she can’t help making it worse. She slams the lamp down hard enough to make the flame leap. She moves the bottle of holly berries, which might be another connection to Kote’s puncture wound, considering but ultimately deciding against putting it next to the Book of Secrets.

The Book of Secrets

I wonder, and so have several others, if it’s another copy of the the one Kvothe found in the archives: “a slim volume called The Book of Secrets buried deep in the Dead Ledgers.”WMF 129 Auri’s considered gifting it to him. IS it because of the Chandrian poem?

The Chandrian move from place to place,
But they never leave a trace.
They hold their secrets very tight,
But they never scratch and they never bite.
They never fight and they never fuss.
In fact they are quite nice to us.
They come and they go in the blink of an eye,
Like a bright bolt of lightning out of the sky.

She moves the resin.  She moves the laurel. She moves the stone Amyr. Having the book and the figurine so close together textutally makes me think maybe there is a connection. Heck, the description fits both a Ciridae, and Kvothe himself.

The tiny stone figurine perched high upon the wine rack, as if it were so much better than the rest of them.

She considers taking a bite of the honeycomb purely for pleasure.  But she’s gross and doesn’t want to smirch it.  Which is probably wise.

With Port in order she moves on to Mantle.  She rearranges her cedar box and cleans up the matches from earlier.  Everything else is in order.  Well, almost everything.  We’ll take a look at her blanket next time.

Posts should come regularly this week.


7 thoughts on “Reading The Slow Regard of Silent Things: Part XI.ii – THE ANGRY DARK

  1. Its worth pointing out that railways existed LONG before steam engines and locomotives. Wooden tracks were used in German road-building as far back as the 1500s, and iron railings were used in mineshafts shortly before the invention of the steam locomotive.

  2. Any guesses as to what a classical Lesbian kymation is doing in Temerant?

    • Kate — can you explain more? I’m not familiar with the term.

      • The repeating design around the edge of the broken plate is a variant of one of the less common decorative motifs in classical Greek architecture. It’s known as a Lesbian kyma or kymation. As in from Lesbos, not as in homosexual, although given its name I’ve always found the pattern rather suggestive. LK’s are less often seen than the bead and reel, egg and dart, dentil, or meander motifs, and they also are much more variable in form than these others. But they are part of classical Greek architecture. So it’s odd to see it depicted here. I thought at first that it might be just a random pattern, but then the teacup looks as though it has a sort of egg and dart around the rim. So it’s hard to dismiss. Of course, it’s just possible that the illustrator was drawing a plate he actually had in front of him, and had no idea of the origin of the pattern. Whether PR knows what it is, asked for or approved of it being there is anyone’s guess. If he did, that would really be something to ponder.

  3. 1. Striking is the word for Simonetti’s art. I actually love that image. I think it’s also worth noting that it bears more than a passing resemblance to church architecture, especially the inset statue(Roman) and Gothic influences. Is this meant to be intentional, or just elements that the artist drew inspiration from? Perhaps AMA fodder….

    2. Excellent catch on the 2nd appearance of the book of secrets, and I think you’re correct in that we’re meant to reexamine the poem. I’ve long believed that the hinge on which Day 3 is going to turn is going to be Kvothe’s (mis)perception of the Seven and how that informs poor choices that lead to the frame story state. As such, textual evidence that flies directly in the face of what is commonly believed about the Seven should be considered closely, and this showing up twice reduces the chance of it being a red herring.

  4. So was it the skunk that ate her soap? If so, it’s an interesting point that she got so angry that she practically curses the thing to shit itself to death. When she finds it in trouble she helps it, even to her detriment (getting bit). Does she now smell like skunk? For someone so fastidious with her cleaning…that smell will linger. I’ve also heard that a skunk has to have all four feet on the ground to maybe when she picked it up it couldn’t spray her.

    • It’s also a baby. The chemical that skunks produce is biologically “expensive,” which is why skunks also have distinctive coloration. Best to hold your fire when possible. I don’t know for sure, but I would guess that baby skunks are incapable of producing the spray; their energies probably need to be budgeted for growth, and they would rely on the parent for defense at that stage. Also, the smell that a skunk exudes without actively spraying anything does not linger long. At least not outdoors. Whether it would linger in the Underthing would likely depend on the ventilation.

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