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Sunday, 2 November 2008
'Odalisque' by PF Jeffery (DFL's commnts)

Chapter 17 - Whorlets


Some interesting explanation regarding the menorhythmic properties of red swill as a foodstuff, with time itself speeding up then slowing again after this passage:


After – I think – my fourth period at the Laughing Phallus, Madame Scurf made another trip to market, returning with a fresh batch of whores.  A heat wave was rendering our work stickier and more uncomfortable than ever.  The passage of weeks and months had dissolved into a blur, but to judge from the weather, it must have been after my twenty-fifth birthday, perhaps the end of Glarehaze or the beginning of Thunderhead. 


Tuerqui continues to learn that nothing lasts forever - and we are cleverly and subtly given the sense of human enjoyments and pains being part and parcel of some underlying rhythm beyond their control. Tuerqui has now dual poignant pining between the generations, too:


Tuerquelle, my mother and I were – in all probability – now three generations in Surrey slavery.  My daughter had never entirely left my thoughts, but concern for any member of my family inevitably led me to focus more strongly upon her.  The dull ache of separation was, at its lowest ebb, a numbness.  Now, the pain was sharper.


The artful 'Popper Jasper' footnote gives telling perspective (from a more distant future) to Tuerqui’s character: just another way of conveying the rhythms of time.


Another choice snippet:


A succession of the youthful vets – or trainee vets – continued to examine me every day, except while I was bleeding.  Presumably, had I contracted an infection, they would have noticed.  As Chillflurry progressed, my breasts became less uncomfortable.  This – following my period – came as a further relief, although the idea of pregnancy had been alluring as well as alarming.



On the whole, I prefer the ‘whorelets’ spelling to ‘whorlets’.  I was taken aback when I saw the Chapter heading, but I must admit I grew more accustomed with the repetition of ‘whorlets’ throughout the chapter.


I much prefer ‘loveable’ to ‘lovable’.


The eyes of the customers – and my fellow whores – upon me as I acted was a prospect that made my stomach churn.

Should that be ‘were’ not ‘was’?




Word docs of the actual chapters are freely available to readers of this blog.


 On this site, if you want to leave comments all you need do is type 'nospam' in confirm box and your name.


The links to all Chapter comments by me are here: http://weirdmonger.blogspot.com/2008/06/odalisque.html




Posted by: newdfl on 8/6/2008 11:27:42 AM , 1 comments

Submitted by Pet at 8/7/2008 5:33:33 AM

It's good, once more, to see quoted material new to the final stage of revision. It helps reassure me that late work on the novel was worthwhile.

On your queries, I've compromised on "whorlets" and "loveable". I've retained "whorlets" thus, but changed "lovable" to "loveable".

"Was" agrees in number with its object ("prospect"). It does not agree in number with its apparent subject -- "eyes". I suppose the beginning of the sentence actually means "The (prospect of the) eyes..." with the bracketted words understood, rather than stated. Indeed, without those words (or similar) understood, the sentence makes little sense. An eye is not a prospect! So -- "was" agrees in number with what the subject actually means. Whether I should have left the missing words understood, but not stated, is an open question.

Posted by wordonymous at 7:48 AM EDT
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