October 18th, 2012

blue moon

Moonwise: HC 13-14, PB 5-7

Sylvie's ancestors are Herons and Farranders. Farrander shows up in Cloudish Word Hoard: "Farrander: The adjective “farrand” applied to a person means comely, handsome, well-favored (applied to an object it means becoming, dignified, and pleasant); so the Farrander family may be construed to be well-beloved by their author."

Farrander is an actual name.

"blood of nightingales scabrous rug": "blood of nightingales" seems to be a dye (Gilman also uses the phrase in Cloud and Ashes, but a fast search doesn't turn up anything more.

Thos, like Sylvie, is one of Nan's grandchildren. (The other one is Cat.) Would anyone know how it was likely to be pronounced?

"Ghostly, fleeting, she saw Thos again"-- as in the description which compares the slightly changed room to musical chords, Ariane has an excellent visual memory. This may be connected to her being an artist.

"long thieving Rackhamish fingers": Have some reasonably long-fingered Rackham. As I was reading the phrase, I imagined (vaguely, since I don't have Sylvie's visual memory) any quantity of very long-fingered Rackham fae crowding a page, but a fast hack through google images didn't turn up what I think of as archetypal Rackham.

"...she touched the dusty workbox, horn and ivory.": Gates of horn and ivory I knew that the phrase was about true and false dreams, but I had no idea it so old or based on Greek puns. I'd heard of windows made of flattened translucent animal horn, iirc in a book about colonial America, and I assumed that was the source of true dreams while opaque ivory supplied the false dreams.

"The mirrored hall was empty where Nan strode, tall and witless in her hundreds, like an oak unleaving, stern and dry and rattled by the wind. She'd died of a lightning stroke within, and Sylvie'd gone on and kept house, and her hundred acres, and her kingdoms: all wood."

I'm quoting this because tying a medical stroke to a stroke of lightning is so excellent.

hundred acre wood might be a reference to Winnie the Pooh.

"Wood" means mad as well as forest.

UnLethe: one of Ariane and Sylvie's imagined worlds. Let's keep an eye out for whether this has something to do with remembering what has been forgotten.

"the bounding, wind-berzerking linen": great phrase for laundry in a high wind.

I'm somewhat foggy-minded from a cold, and I feel like I'm missing some good stuff in the last few paragraphs (up to the croquet game) but it's not coming into focus. I hope you guys will take a crack at the passage.

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