"I never, in Embassytown, the immer or the out, had the constitution for intrigue. Floaking, I’d hoped, was a way around it. But politics finds you."
"A conspirator then, Scile would approve of EzCal now. Their priorities, like CalVin’s before them, were power and survival; Scile’s were always the city and its stasis."
"It’s not good that we are this. We wish to be other than this. We’re like the girl who was hurt in darkness and ate what was given her because we imbibe what is given to us by EzCal. There was a long silence. We want instead to be like the girl who was hurt in darkness and ate what was given to her in that we want to be… and then there was silence again, and Spanish Dancer shook its limbs.""We want to decide what to hear, how to live, what to say, what to speak, how to mean, what to obey. We want Language to put to our use."
"So what about when the relief gets here? When we leave? He indicated Spanish Dancer. "What happens then, to them?"
“We need to understand them,” Cal said. “So we can defeat them.”
The Ariekei in this room want to lie. That means thinking of the world differently. Not referring: signifying."“Similes start … transgressions. Because we can refer to anything. Even though in Language, everything’s literal. Everything is what it is, but still, I can be like the dead and the living and the stars and a desk and fish and anything. Surl Tesh-echer knew that was Language straining to … bust out of itself. To signify.”
“Similes are a way out. A route from reference to signifying. Just a route, though. But we can push them down it, even that last step, all the way.” It became clearer to me as I spoke. “To where the literal becomes …” I stopped. “Something else. If similes do their job well enough, they turn into something else. We tell the truth best by becoming lies.” Not paradoxes, I wanted to say; these weren’t paradoxes, they weren’t nonsense. “I don’t want to be a simile anymore,” I said. “I want to be a metaphor.”
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