Backstory, Diaspora: THE STONE SKY, Syl Anagist Two

The following passage was taken from a section that deals with: The Stillness. Thniess. Niess.

Damn if self knows what any of these words mean, but she’s only reading the final book of The Broken Earth trilogy, just to have a taste. Nice writing, tho. For sure.

  • The Sylanagistines took their land. The Niess fought, but then responded like any living thing under threat — with diaspora, sending whatever was left of themselves flying forth to take root and perhaps survive where it could. The descendants of these Niess became part of ever land, every people, blending in among the rest and adapting to local customs. They managed to keep hold of who they were, though, continuing to speak their own language even as they grew fluent in other tongues. They maintained some of their old ways, too — like splitting their tongues with salt acid, for reasons known only to them. And while they lost much of the distinctive look that came of isolation within their small land, many retained enough of it that to this day, icewhite eyes and ashblow hair carr a certain stigma.

Why couldn’t the whole book have been written about this?

Fascinating.

Stay tuned.

Power Dynamics: THE STONE SKY, Ch. 4

Trigger Warning: Torture

  • Kill only one, initially. Pick someone who tries to harm you — but only one, even if more than one tries. Disable the others, but take your time killing that one person. Make it painful. Make sure your target screams. That’s important. If the first one that you kill remains silent . . . kill another.

At Last, Emma Opens Her Eyes!

EMMA, Vol. III Chapter XI

  • Why was it so much worse that Harriet should be in love with Mr. Knightley, than with Frank Churchill? Why was the evil so dreadfully increased by Harriet’s having some hope of a return? It darted through her, with the speed of an arrow, that Mr. Knightley must marry no one but herself!

Breaking News: Highbury

EMMA, Vol. III Chapter X

Mr. Weston shows up one day to fetch Emma, telling her only that she is needed at Randalls, something has happened.

Emma goes with Mr. Weston at once, and pleads with him to tell her what has happened.

“Do not be impatient, Emma; it will all come out too soon.”

“Good God! Mr. Weston, tell me at once. Something has happened in Brunswick Square. I know it has . . . Mr. Weston, do not trifle with me.”

Brunswick Square is the London address of the Knightleys. Emma’s sister and brother-in-law and their children are there. More importantly, Mr. Knightley (George) has just left for Brunswick Square, alone, on horseback (How very dashing! How self wishes she, too, could leap on a horse and say, at a moment’s notice: Headed to London! Ta!)

Mr. Weston hastens to reassure Emma: “Upon my honour . . . It is not in the smallest degree connected with any human being of the name of Knightley.”

Indeed? The plot thickens!

Stay tuned.

High Comedy

EMMA: Volume II Chapter XV

Far be it for self to attempt to sum up the Immortal Jane, but time is short and self has a book (nay, many books!) to complete. If only self could keep up this arch language for a moment longer — so that she could finish her work-in-progress set in, naturally, Regency England!

But, she digresses.

A chapter or two ago, Mrs. Weston confided to Emma that she believes Mr. Knightley is in love with Jane Fairfax. This suggestion puts Emma in high dudgeon (even though she has never, hitherto, thought of Mr. Knightley in any way other than a brother)

So, Emma decides to probe about the nature of his feelings for Jane Fairfax (Among other things, Jane was the recipient of a piano from a mysterious benefactor. And, pianos being expensive, suspicion on the possible donor centers on Mr. Knightley). She asks him a direct question about Jane. What follows is a most delightful episode of “foot pressing.” Self never encountered the like in any of the Jane Austen novels she has read to date. You know, when someone is about to put her/his foot in her/his mouth and someone gives you a kick under the table? As a kind of warning?

Here’s the scene:

Mr. Knightley was hard at work upon the lower buttons of his thick leather gaiters, and either the exertion of getting them together, or some other cause, brought the colour into his face, as he answered,

“Oh, are you there? — But you are miserably behind-hand. Mr. Cole gave me a hint of it six weeks ago.”

He stopped. Emma felt her foot pressed by Mrs. Weston, and did not know herself what to think. In a moment he went on —

“That will never be, however, I can assure you. Miss Fairfax, I dare say, would not have me if I were to ask her — and I am very sure I shall never ask her.”

He becomes annoyed with Emma’s questions, and then thoughtful. Jane Fairfax, Mr. Knightley says, “has a fault. She has not the open temper which a man would wish for in a wife.”

!!!!! Emma, open your eyes! Open your eyes!

Stay tuned.

More of Mr. Knightley

After it was shown how Mr. Knightley dislikes Frank Churchill, self found herself developing quite a liking for Mr. Knightley (She read somewhere in the Introduction that he’s the richest man thereabouts, so while everyone is acting like a perfect bounder, Mr. Knightley giving himself no airs is very attractive. Just saying)

The next we see of him is when Emma accepts an invitation to an evening’s entertainment at the Coles’. Her carriage arrives at the Coles’ just ahead of another and it pleases Emma that the carriage ahead belongs to Mr. Knightley (quelle bonne chance!)

Self will just say the following passage in her own words because Austen takes too long to get to the point: the point being that it is Mr. Knightley who extends his hand to help Emma out of her carriage. The following conversation ensues, which self finds absolutely adorable and enchanting because Emma fusses so at Mr. Knightley, and he is 16 years her senior.

Emma: This is coming as you should do, like a gentleman.

Mr. Knightley: How lucky that we should arrive at the same moment! For, if we had met first in the drawing-room, I doubt whether you would have discerned me to be more of a gentleman than usual.

Thanks to Emma’s interior monologue (which Austen manages to pull off even though the point of view is third person), we know that Mr. Knightley, “having . . . a great deal of health, activity, and independence,” does not often resort to using his carriage.

Emma: There is always a look of consciousness or bustle when people come in a way which they know to be beneath them. You think you carry it off very well, I dare say, but with you it is a sort of bravado, an air of unaffected concern; I always observe it when I meet you under those circumstances.

Hmm, self wonders. Why did Mr. Knightley resort to his carriage? Could he be trying to show up Frank Churchill?

What is Mr. Knightley’s first name, anyway? It can’t be John, because that’s his brother’s name. It can’t be Frank, because then he would have the same first name as his ‘rival.’

It can’t be Edward because no Edwards are ever becoming. At least not in Regency fiction. Self thinks. Hopes.

Stay tuned.

 

 

Mr. Knightley: EMMA, Vol. II

Reading Emma has been hard going: there’s not a page that self doesn’t have to re-read (sentences so long!). Now, however, she’s developing quite an interest in the character of Mr. Knightley.

Emma’s sister, Isabella, is married to his brother John, making “Mr. Knightley” Emma’s brother-in-law. Mr. Knightley is 16 years older than Emma, and his presence in her life is that of benign older brother (It is a little hard for self to wrap her mind around Mr. Knightley as a romantic partner for Emma. If for nothing else than that humongous age gap!).

Emma and Mr. Knightley had their little tiffs in Vol. I, but he doesn’t remain angry at her and by the end of Vol. I they are on speaking terms again.

In Vol. II, with the appearance of a “stranger” — Frank Churchill — into Emma’s little world of Highbury, Mr. Knightley (he is never anything other than “Mr. Knightley” to Emma) suddenly appears in opposition:

  • There was one person among his new acquaintance in Surry, not so leniently disposed. In general he was judged, throughout the parishes of Donwell and Highbury, with great candour; liberal allowances were made for the little excesses of such a handsome young man — one who smiled so often and bowed so well; but there was one spirit among them not to be softened, from its power of censure, by bows or smiles — Mr. Knightley . . .  for the moment he was silent; but Emma heard him almost immediately afterwards say to himself, over a newspaper he held in his hand, “Hum! just the trifling, silly fellow I took him for.’ She had half a mind to resent; but an instant’s observation convinced her that it was really said only to relieve his own true feelings; and not meant to provoke; and therefore she let it pass.

Self can hardly wait for Mr. Knightley, Emma, and Frank Churchill to begin quarreling with each other!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Emma Reflects on Mr. Elton’s Character: Vol. I Chapter XVI

It was dreadfully mortifying; but Mr. Elton was proving himself, in many respects, the very reverse of what she had meant and believed him; proud, assuming, conceited; very full of his own claims, and little concerned about the feelings of others.

Contrary to the usual course of things, Mr. Elton’s wanting to pay his addresses to her had sunk him in her opinion. His professions and his proposals did him no service. She thought nothing of his attachment, and was insulted by his hopes. He wanted to marry well, and having the arrogance to raise his eyes to her, pretended to be in love; but she was perfectly easy as to his not suffering any disappointment that need be cared for. There had been no real affection either in his language or manners. Sighs and fine words had been given in abundance; but she could hardly divine any set of expressions, or fancy any tone of voice, less allied with real love.


(Just looked up the movie version of Emma. Mr. Elton is played by the very fine Alan Cumming! Oh, inspired!)

portrait-mr-elton-volunteer-frame-london.jpg

emmas-painting-of-harriet-smith.jpg

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Mr. Elton Explains To Emma Why He Is Not Interested in Harriet Smith

“Miss Smith is a very good sort of girl; and I should be very happy to see her respectably settled. I wish her extremely well: and, no doubt, there are men who might not object to — Everybody has their level. But as for myself, I am not, I think, quite so much at a loss. I need not so totally despair of an equal alliance, as to be addressing myself to Miss Smith!”

Translation: Miss Smith is beneath me!

So annoyed does Mr. Elton become with Emma for assuming he likes Miss Smith that, as soon as the carriage arrives at the Vicarage, he is out “before another syllable passed.”

What a boor!

Stay tuned.

How Mr. Elton’s Proposal Is Received: EMMA, Book I Chapter XV

Emma, riding alone with Mr. Elton in a carriage (What is wrong with these people? Don’t they know how unseemly it is for a young, unmarried woman to be riding alone in a carriage with a young, single man, late at night? Self would like to have a word with Mr. Woodhouse, Emma’s father!)

Emma to Mr. Elton: Mr. Elton, my astonishment is much beyond any thing I can express. After such behaviour, as I have witnessed during the last month, to Miss Smith — such attentions as I have been in the daily habit of observing — to be addressing me in this manner — this is an unsteadiness of character, indeed, which I had not supposed possible! Believe me, sir, I am far, very far, from gratified in being the object of such professions.

In other words, Emma declines Mr. Elton’s proposal.

She then goes on to say — since Mr. Elton is rather, shall we say, dense — “I have no thoughts of matrimony at present.”

lol

lol

lol

Stay tuned.

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