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Perdido Str Station Discussion > PSS SECTION 2: Chapters 4-6

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message 1: by Traveller (last edited Nov 10, 2012 05:27AM) (new)

Traveller (Moontravlr) | 1838 comments Dear readers; please make sure that you have read to the end of of chapter six before viewing this thread, if you want to avoid spoilers.

In this section, we become more closely acquainted with the idea of 'remade' creatures, and we meet Mr Motley.

I'd be very interested to hear readers' opinions of both.

We also make a more intimate acquaintance with Yagharek. Interesting, isn't he?


message 2: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca (ScribbleOrca) Can I say something yet? Can I? Can I?


message 3: by Robert (new)

Robert Delikat (imedicineman) | 54 comments I was wondering too. Traveller, we need to have a Ready, Set, Go or something.


message 4: by Traveller (last edited Nov 05, 2012 09:26AM) (new)

Traveller (Moontravlr) | 1838 comments Um, perhaps we should just wait a bit for the others to catch up, or I'm going to have shoes thrown at my head. Remember that most people work in the week.

On the other hand, it is frustrating to want to say something about what you are reading, and you have to wait until it's gone right out of your head again.

Looking at the list of "what members think" about this book, it does seem as if most members have read it already. I'll send out a member message soon, just give me an hour or so) in which I'll ask members if they mind if we start with the discussions already.

Watch this space-- I'll be back.


message 5: by Andrea (new)

Andrea oh Heavens, I haven't even started annotating this chapter.
Will be back here for the official start of this section, will wait for Greenwich mean time thingy.


message 6: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (Moontravlr) | 1838 comments Yes, I'm going to have be very strict with this thread, and might have to lock it and start a new one if people don't wait for the rest of the group until at least Thursday evening.

Let's hope it doesn't come to that, so, in the meantime, I cordially request that we extend the courtesy of patience to the rest of the group.

Once the weekend is upon us, I will open an additional 2 or 3 sections for discussion. :)


message 7: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (Moontravlr) | 1838 comments Discussion is officially open. I would rather have people start posting here now, than go to the spoiler section and have their eyeballs singed regarding later developments in the novel.

I'm opening section 3 as well.

So, post away!

Scribble, anything more you wanted to say regarding the Remade?
Mr Motley?
..and Yagharek?


message 8: by Scribble (last edited Nov 08, 2012 01:05AM) (new)

Scribble Orca (ScribbleOrca) Yeah ok:

Chapter four impressions:

Lin: She was intelligent enough to realize that her excitement was childish, but not mature enough to care.

Bad news. And here is where Lin's and Isaac's paths diverge. Being set up for later conflict.

Motley equating New Crobuzon with being Remade and discussing transition. He is interested in the hybrid zone. Very appealing to the artist in Lin. And then he is revealed to be the theme of which he speaks. Bit overdone calling him Motley. He is obviously a crew of body parts.

Chapter 5 Impressions:

Yagharek appeals to the same motivation in Isaac as that to which Motley appeals in Lin. And both are criminals - one in a legal system not understood, and one in a legal system with equally gruesome forms of punishment (and the basis for the legal system is also obscured for the reader).

Lin is now in the service of one criminal, Isaac in the service of another, both as a result of their unconventional (and successful) approaches to their work. They have both received equally challenging commissions. Conflict between Motley and Yagharek?

Isaac is as immature as Lin - he thinks of himself as the main station for all schools of thought - equating himself to a "lost" terminus....

Yagharek's name....if the Garuda are from the desert, it is not the desert of Egypt. I'm inclined to think rather India or other regions of Sanskrit languages.

Chapter 6 Impressions:

Anarchy described as communism...well, I suppose if you must, Mr Mieville, club your readers about the ears to make sure they've understood your point.

Shunday....delightful!

Isaac...manipulative - enjoys pulling unseen strings. Lin is a repository for his ambition.


message 9: by Traveller (last edited Nov 10, 2012 01:19AM) (new)

Traveller (Moontravlr) | 1838 comments Annie wrote: "Where did the section for Chapters 4-6 go? Is it only me or are they missing?"
Chapter 4-6 was hiding at the bottom like a naughty boy. I can try to stick him up top with glue for you...


message 10: by Andrea (last edited Nov 09, 2012 08:27PM) (new)

Andrea prolly 'cos it's spelt capter...


message 11: by Annie (new)

Annie (aschoate) | 78 comments I think CM is giving a nod to the Melville of Moby Dick fame when Lin meets Motley. There is the harpoon Remade for openers and màny fish images leading up to Motley's office. Then there is Motley's screen with the one way fish mirror. All these images popped out for me because the don't tie in very well with anything else in the story except maybe the voyadoni...who aren't associated with Motley in this story.


message 12: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca (ScribbleOrca) Annie wrote: "I think CM is giving a nod to the Melville of Moby Dick fame when Lin meets Motley. There is the harpoon Remade for openers and màny fish images leading up to Motley's office. Then there is Motl..."

Nice! You've really made sense for me of the introduction to that scene, Annie. Thank you.


message 13: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Annie wrote: "I think CM is giving a nod to the Melville of Moby Dick fame when Lin meets Motley. There is the harpoon Remade for openers and màny fish images leading up to Motley's office. Then there is Motl..."

oh!! very clever Annie!


message 14: by Andrea (last edited Nov 09, 2012 10:56PM) (new)

Andrea okies, my impressions here:

Chapter 4: Lin is confronted by scenes of control and fear as she walks through the office to meet Mr. Motley. Then we hear talk about transition. This is a very powerful chapter and I expect these themes will continue throughout the book.
We are shocked by the revelation of Mr. Motley's physical shape.
Motley means "of variegated colour, or having elements of great variety or incongruity; heterogeneous." It was used to describe the costume of a court jester. I will be looking out for the second allusion in my future reading.
The way the name is phrased, ie "Mr" seems Victorian, and Dickensian. "Mr" is a term of respect, but less so than "Lord" or similar honorific.

Chapter 5: here we are shocked again by Yagharek's mutilation, echoing that of the revelation of Mr. Motley. Here Yagharek is less whereas Mr. Motley is more.
I wonder if Yagharek is being deliberately obtuse in explaining his crime or if he is genuinely unable to do so.
On page 45 Isaac explains how he likens himself to the Perdido Street Station. He uses metaphors for synthesis, joining, transition, transit.

Chapter 6: begins beautifully, with New Crobuzon was a city unconvinced by gravity . Oh I love this - gives the city a living presence, with a will of it's own.
We see Isaac's unscrulupous behaviour. He is captivated by the intellectual problem of restoring flight. But he falls asleep dreaming a loving dream of Lin.


message 15: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (Moontravlr) | 1838 comments Lovely observations, all of you! There's so much to discuss in each section, i'm almost starting to wonder if i shouldn't have divided the novel into even smaller parts...

Will reply soon in more detail to your posts, but has anyone wondered, along with me, what Mr Motley's motivations might possibly be for being so...-much?


message 16: by Ian (last edited Nov 10, 2012 12:09AM) (new)

Ian "Marvin" Graye I read a few descriptions of Mr Motley as a "mobster" today, and unfortunately I kept reading the word as "lobster".

I can't help thinking he looks like Zoidberg, which I have to say fits in with Mieville's style and preoccupations.


message 17: by Andrea (new)

Andrea yes Trav - and Im talking from a tabula rasa point here as I really can't remember his motivation from my first reading - so far it looks like it's to engender fear and thus control. Can't work out Mr Motley's thing with transitions yet.


message 18: by Traveller (last edited Nov 10, 2012 01:17AM) (new)

Traveller (Moontravlr) | 1838 comments I'd say he looks a bit more multi-faceted than Zoidberg. From how i see him, you could literally approach him from any angle, and still be faced with him, ha ha.

Andrea, i think i somehow missed the full motivation in my first read. There was so much to take in and to try to assimilate, that i never quite manged to make sense of Motley's obsessions.

Transitions yes--of course, that is the initial hint of obsession we get; but was it ever fully developed? We'd have to look out for some kind of satisfactory explanation as we go through the novel again, methinks.

Of course, when you first meet him, you do consider the possibility that he was made to look this way as punishment. ..and then you start to wonder, because of the focus on transitions, ..and then you start getting hints that he actually might want to be this way.

Who knows-- maybe it was indeed a punishment when it started, and then he started to get fixated on the idea, and wanted more and more--like he wanted to be everything and everyone at once.

Which brings me to the question of the idea of remade as a punishment.

What do you people think of the idea?

Of course, physically it wouldn't work in our world, since our bodies would reject foreign protein, but obviously the New Cruzoboners have figured a way around that.


message 19: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (Moontravlr) | 1838 comments Annie wrote: "I think CM is giving a nod to the Melville of Moby Dick fame when Lin meets Motley. There is the harpoon Remade for openers and màny fish images leading up to Motley's office. Then there is Motl..."

Nice observations. I do find that to me some aspects of this novel doesn't tie in with the rest quite often, though, i must admit. I'll start to complain about these more vociferously later on in the novel.


message 20: by Aubrey (new)

Aubrey (Korrick) Traveller wrote: "Of course, physically it wouldn't work in our world, since our bodies would reject foreign protein, but obviously the New Cruzoboners have figured a way around that. "

If it were possible, I'd love to visit New Crobuzon and find out exactly how they managed that. That'd solve a good deal of problems on this side.


message 21: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (Moontravlr) | 1838 comments Hey, lovely to see you here, Aubrey! Hope you'll be with us for the ride. There's a lot in this book;- fun and sadness and humor and horror.

Mieville throws tons of ideas out there, as you can see. Some less palatable than others, heh. :)


message 22: by Aubrey (new)

Aubrey (Korrick) Traveller wrote: "Hey, lovely to see you here, Aubrey! Hope you'll be with us for the ride. There's a lot in this book;- fun and sadness and humor and horror.

Mieville throws tons of ideas out there, as you can see..."


I'll be reading along, but I'll mostly be lurking. I'm more of the analyze-when-I'm-done than the analyze-as-I-go-along type, so I'll be doing more absorbing than talking. But I'll try my best to participate, especially if the Remades continue to be a source of discussion. It's a nice change to talk about prosthesis and grafts outside of a classroom setting.


message 23: by Annie (new)

Annie (aschoate) | 78 comments When Motley is musing about transitions he starts off by asking Lin to expose her neck, which is a very vulnerable part of the body to expose. Motley talks about the transition from her neck to carapice. It feels very dangerous at this point.

Earlier, when Lin and Issac are eating breakfast Issac appreciates the same spot on Lin's neck as a lover.

The trasformation point is the same stuff that Issac is seeking in his research. He is unstoppable and relentless in his efforts as is Motley of Lin and his own self image.


message 24: by Annie (new)

Annie (aschoate) | 78 comments I'd say being Remade is worse than death. Although there are those with less disfigurment who manage to find a miserable existance for themselves, like the false garuda at the fair.

It is the way a regime can terrorize its citizens into living in completely uninhabital conditions. Its also what makes crime so viable. I' m assuming the Militia/Government and major crime organizations have allot of overlap in personnel.


message 25: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (Moontravlr) | 1838 comments Nice observation about transitions being a theme, Annie! I agree that the idea of transition seems to be an important theme of the novel in general.

Regarding the remade, although some of the punishments are horrific indeed, we do note that sometimes this is done as choice to enhance people and creatures in a functional way - like the guy in The Scar who had himself remade to become more amphibian, for instance.


message 26: by knig (new)

knig Scribble wrote: "Yeah ok:

Chapter four impressions:

Lin: She was intelligent enough to realize that her excitement was childish, but not mature enough to care.

Bad news. And here is where Lin's and Isaac's path..."


Hi Scribble, I'm intrigued with your tie-ins of Bas Lag places and those on Earth: earlier you mentioned PSS seemed like Liverpool Station to you, and here you're referencing Egypt/India. The reason I say this is because personally, I was struck, even before joining this discussion, with the fact that at no pint in the narrative does Mielville allude to any continuity or link between real Earth history and Bas Lagian history, despite the fact that there are obviously humans in Bas lag (although.....but later). The reason this struck me is that in most sci-fi books, even though placed well into the future, there is always (even if tenuous) reference to 'our history', whereas in PSS there is not: its almost as if though Bas Lag exists on some planet where Earth and our mores are not known, an alternate reality for humans.....if they are indeed humans. I say this because we assume that these Bas Lag humans are like us, but perhaps they are not....


message 27: by knig (new)

knig Motley: do you notice how despite vivid descriptions, we don't really know precisely what he llooks like? Here mielville utilises a well known technique which masters such as Ligotti and lovecraft employ: emotive descriptions which always leave a vagueness rather than concretisation: its more chilling when you can't 'see' precisely the full horror of 'the creature'.
Yagharek's evasiveness: I think, Mielville, who has lived abroad, knows that there are soome cultural concepts which get lost in translation. For example, imagine trying to explain yourself if you were Amondawa:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-env...


message 28: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Knig-o-lass wrote: "if they are indeed humans. I say this because we assume that these Bas Lag humans are like us, but perhaps they are not...."

Absolutely true, I have been thinking humanoid but not necessarily human. It's good not to assume ANYTHING.


message 29: by Traveller (last edited Nov 12, 2012 11:58AM) (new)

Traveller (Moontravlr) | 1838 comments Knig-o-lass wrote: "I was struck, even before joining this discussion, with the fact that at no pint in the narrative does Mielville allude to any continuity or link between real Earth history and Bas Lagian history, despite the fact that there are obviously humans in Bas lag .."

Like i mentioned in a later thread, Mieville likes to use London as a model, but as Andrea says: It's good not to assume ANYTHING. :P ;)


message 30: by Traveller (last edited Nov 13, 2012 11:16AM) (new)

Traveller (Moontravlr) | 1838 comments Knig-o-lass wrote: "I think, Mielville, who has lived abroad, knows that there are soome cultural concepts which get lost in translation. For example, imagine trying to explain yourself if you were Amondawa:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-env... "


Hmm, i want to be an Amondawaian. Then i might stay young forever. :P

*Trav feels proud that she was one of the persons who recced Ligotti and Lovecraft to Knig*

But yes, interesting point about the different cultural concepts. I would imagine these would apply especially with the Kephri and the Rusalka. Did you ever see my review of this? http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

I waffle on a bit about the PSS creatures on it. Including quite a bit on the Garuda.


message 31: by Allen (new)

Allen (allenblair) | 227 comments Andrea wrote: "Knig-o-lass wrote: "if they are indeed humans. I say this because we assume that these Bas Lag humans are like us, but perhaps they are not...."

Absolutely true, I have been thinking humanoid but ..."


Me too! The one thing that makes it difficult to read and most enjoyable at the same time, for me, is Mieville's constant challenge, like he's standing in the wings saying, 'This is not your world, and they are not like you. At all.'


message 32: by Allen (new)

Allen (allenblair) | 227 comments Of course, the garuda is a real earth myth. I'll spare you the details as it's easy to look up. But I mention it because, during my first reading of PSS, when walking around the Cincinnati Zoo with my daughter, I found a garuda sculpture on exhibit. Not really knowing about the myth at the time, you can imagine my surprise ... and the swiftness at which I found a way to get online!

Cincy Garuda


message 33: by Traveller (last edited Nov 13, 2012 11:21AM) (new)

Traveller (Moontravlr) | 1838 comments Allen wrote: "Of course, the garuda is a real earth myth. I'll spare you the details as it's easy to look up. But I mention it because, during my first reading of PSS, when walking around the Cincinnati Zoo with..."

Yeah, well, I have come to realize that you find a treasure trove if you take it for granted that almost all of Mieville's creatures are allusions. Almost all the creatures in PSS are mythological, except for the cactus people, where he seems to have been alluding to video games.

That Garuda in your pic looks very Native American. Interesting, because the ones i had originally found, had been Hindu.


message 34: by knig (new)

knig Actually that garuda looks like its come from Bali!

and yes, 'twas you who put me onto Lovecraft and Ligotti!


message 35: by Allen (new)

Allen (allenblair) | 227 comments Traveller wrote: "That Garuda in your pic looks very Native American. Interesting, because the ones i had originally found, had been Hindu."

It was inside the komodo dragon house, so I was assuming it was Indonesian/Hindu.


message 36: by Traveller (last edited Nov 13, 2012 01:20PM) (new)

Traveller (Moontravlr) | 1838 comments Yes, come to think of it, i don't think native Americans ever had dragons, and that thing at the bottom, does look like a dragon. :P

It was the kind of feathery 'headdress' that made me think N.A.

..but i suppose garudas would have feathers, so the feathery look figures.


message 37: by knig (new)

knig The thing is I've been Bali-ways and seen the dragons there, so I had a head start (all that travelling, you know....)


message 38: by Derek, Miéville fan-boi (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) | 761 comments Scribble wrote: "Bit overdone calling him Motley."

I don't think so. They called Al Capone "Scarface". It's a nom de crime, not the name he was born with.

"Lin is now in the service of one criminal, Isaac in the service of another, both as a result of their unconventional (and successful) approaches to their work"

Well, there's not much similarity between Motley and Yagharek (well, they both have feathers). Motley is an unapprehended criminal, while, technically, Yagharek has paid his debt to his society.

"Anarchy described as communism...well, I suppose if you must, Mr Mieville, club your readers about the ears to make sure they've understood your point."

I've read the your-anarchy-may-not-be-my-anarchy thread, but I beg to differ. Miéville really is describing communism, not anarchy. After all, the man knows his communism... Garuda society is quite strongly regulated. I believe the Garuda would call anarchists "abstract individuals".


message 39: by Derek, Miéville fan-boi (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) | 761 comments Note, another interesting use of words. The judge who sentences someone to be Remade is a "Magister" - a perfectly good word for Judge, but also conjuring connotations of "Magus".


message 40: by Derek, Miéville fan-boi (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) | 761 comments Traveller wrote: "Like i mentioned in a later thread, Mieville likes to use London as a model, but as Andrea says: It's good not to assume ANYTHING. :P ;) "

Recurring themes in Miéville:
- London
- Squid
- Moby Dick

I'm glad Annie found the Moby Dick-ness in PSS, because I'd missed it. The Scar and Railsea are both complete reincarnations of Moby Dick.


message 41: by Traveller (last edited Nov 15, 2012 12:07AM) (new)

Traveller (Moontravlr) | 1838 comments Dear members, regarding the progress of the group read:
Please only open a thread when you've already read the contents of the chapters described in the thread title, or else you'll be spoiled.

Remember that we said at the beginning of the read, in the "preparation" section, that our group has vastly varying reading speeds, (as measured by the poll we did), and to avoid frustration for the faster readers, we will be opening the whole book in advance so that the faster readers can go ahead and the slower ones have only small sections of book to deal with per section (roughly 40 pages), so that when they open that section, they should have already read that part, and therefore it won't spoil anything for them if others have already posted there.

So, if you see others posting ahead of you, please don't worry about that, just keep reading and posting at your own pace, these threads aren't going to run away. We will still be here when you reach that part of the read.

Some of the members who promised that they were going to take part in these discussions, have not even started at all yet, and they may still decide to come in at some stage, so, don't worry, i'm pretty sure there will always be someone to talk to about issues in the threads.

Keep in mind that i have also gone to some measures to have these topics show up on the book's home page, so we might just pick up some members as we go along, who might see our threads and may want to have their say as well.

This is why I'm trying to say only the bare minimum in my little thread introductions, to give you guys leeway and space to write down your thoughts and interpretations.


message 42: by Ian (new)

Ian "Marvin" Graye Derek wrote: "Note, another interesting use of words. The judge who sentences someone to be Remade is a "Magister" - a perfectly good word for Judge, but also conjuring connotations of "Magus"."

Well spotted.

Magister also means "master" or "teacher" in Latin.

It is close to the English legal word "Magistrate", which is a lower form of Judge who deals with smaller cases.


message 43: by Jim (new)

Jim (Neurprof58) | 21 comments Very sorry to be so late to these discussions. Life interruptions just keep coming, from too many directions at once. I have really enjoyed the insights from all discussants.

I want to follow up on Andrea’s cogent comment about Isaac’s discussion with Yagharek:

Andrea wrote: "On page 45 Isaac explains how he likens himself to the Perdido Street Station. He uses metaphors for synthesis, joining, transition, transit..."

Expanding this idea a bit: Isaac responds to Yagharek’s quest (and question) by describing himself:

I’m your best bet, I reckon. I’m not a chymist, or a biologist, or a thaumaturge…I’m a dilettante, Yagharek, a Dabbler. I think of myself…as the main station for all the schools of thought. Like Perdido Street Station… All the train lines meet there…everything has to pass through it. That’s like me. That’s my job. That’s the kind of scientist I am. I’m being frank with you. Thing is, you see, I think that’s what you need.”

I think these statements, and the Perdido Street Station metaphor, are full of portent for the approach that Isaac takes to Yagharek’s problem.(view spoiler)

Isaac’s self-description resonated with me because it reminds me of my preferred approach to science (and much of my graduate training). But scientists in general are trained to test a specific hypothesis or premise, usually as a consequence or instance of a larger ongoing project. And most funding for science is critically dependent on this hypothetical/deductive model, where the objectives and predicted results are very clearly spelled out to the funding agencies in advance.

So I think Isaac’s scientific instincts are a big part of the reason that he left the University. It is much more natural (and productive) for him to do the science his way, and his former bosses would very likely not condone this approach. This is consistent with Ian’s earlier comments.

There are other implications as well, I think, for later developments in the book.(view spoiler)


message 44: by Traveller (new)

Traveller (Moontravlr) | 1838 comments Jim wrote: "I think these statements, and the Perdido Street Station metaphor, are full of portent for the approach that Isaac takes to Yagharek’s problem.[He gathers information about flight from all possible avenues (incoming trains). He makes copious observations, drawings and notes (activities at the station), and lets his scientific training and insights guide him to a working synthesis that may solve the problem (train leaving the station) .."

This is why i love group reads, and i'm really loving this one, thank you all so much!

If it had not been for Jim, for instance, i would have missed the wonderful metaphors he mentions. :)

For me this book is chock-full full of allusions and metaphors, and I would have missed half of them had it not been for all you wonderful Mievillians out there, who are all adding to the picture of Perdido Street Station.

Thank you, Jim! Never too late on this read, stroll along at your own pace, the threads aren't going anywhere. :)


message 45: by Nataliya (new)

Nataliya | 378 comments Jim, that was a great comment; I think it helps me understand Isaac as a scientist just a bit better. Love these group discussions!


message 46: by Ian (new)

Ian "Marvin" Graye I love this part of the quote that Jim refers to:

"I'm a dilettante...a dabbler...I think of myself as the main station for all the schools of thought.

I love the fact that Isaac is an intersection, a meeting point, an opportunity to synthesise thesis and antithesis, and arrive at something new (is it a dialectical approach, Trav?).

I think institutional scientists can become victim to trends and feel they have to side politically with a/the trend, which limits their academic freedom.

Whereas Isaac is no slave to anything but the integrity of his ideas.

And much emerges from his faith in his ideas in the novel.

This is why I can't really see him as naive. I see him as successful, but outside the mainstream.


message 47: by Jim (new)

Jim (Neurprof58) | 21 comments Traveller wrote: "Thank you, Jim! Never too late on this read, stroll along at your own pace, the threads aren't going anywhere. :) ..."

Thanks so much for the kind words, Trav! Very much appreciated. I am actually well along in the reading, but will try to add a little something to the discussion threads as I read through the comments.


message 48: by Jim (new)

Jim (Neurprof58) | 21 comments Nataliya wrote: "Jim, that was a great comment; I think it helps me understand Isaac as a scientist just a bit better. Love these group discussions!"

Thanks so much, Nataliya! Great to have your expertise as we go through this fascinating book, and I am loving the group discussions as well. :)

Now, if I could just tap into a fresh supply of time and energy...


message 49: by Jim (new)

Jim (Neurprof58) | 21 comments Ian wrote: "I love this part of the quote that Jim refers to:

"I'm a dilettante...a dabbler...I think of myself as the main station for all the schools of thought.

I love the fact that Isaac is an intersection, a meeting point, an opportunity to synthesise thesis and antithesis, and arrive at something new (is it a dialectical approach, Trav?)..."


Thanks very much, Ian! I agree with all of your comments about Isaac and academic freedom. I do think that CM may regard Isaac's approach as dialectical - a very interesting point. I also got a sense that CM may identify fairly strongly with Isaac's analytical tools.

Scientists like Isaac are sometimes referred to as 'Renaissance men', for their interests in all things intellectual. On the other hand, some would describe the same intellect as 'a mile wide and an inch deep', and Isaac's depiction of himself as a dilettante plays to the latter.

But a dilettante cannot work on the outer edges of a theoretical envelope as Isaac does, and he knows that perfectly well. My sense is that CM is letting this point sink in as the action moves along.


message 50: by Robert (new)

Robert Delikat (imedicineman) | 54 comments I am surprised that no one has commented here about Yagharek's crime of Choice-theft. I have resisted out fear of some kind of spoiler because while now, in this Chapter 6 we hear about his crime in the abstract, in Chapter 52, things get a bit more concrete.

I think that CM keeps the crime intentionally vague at this point in the story is important and that this particular crime is a cardinal sin.


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