Friday, December 02, 2011

Aegidius Draft VII

Capitulum Primum: Wherein we meet the Wolf of Wolves
Capitulum Secundum: Wherein we learn something of Wolves
Capitulum Tertium: Wherein a plan is made
Capitulum Quartum: Wherein a war begins
Capitulum Quintum
Capitulum Sextum
Capitulum Septimum
Capitulum Octavum
Capitulum Nonum
Capitulum Decimum

So 9 and 10 are new here. I had hoped to have more, and to have had it sooner, but things kept coming up. Decimum is a not much of a chapter, and would probably vanish in revision, but writing-wise it's a pause before the final cascade of events as Aegidius starts reeling things in.

In many ways I think the storyline that will be coming, and which now is clear in all but some details, has a kind of Medea-like feel to it, quite by accident. Certainly Euripides is in one sense merely telling the story of a deus ex machina -- it just happens that the god from the machine was Medea herself all along, and anyone who thinks that deus ex machina is necessarily a lapse of art should study that tragedy closely to be corrected -- and there's some of that here. But the crucial difference is that Medea had the untamed and burning fire of the sun in her, while Aegidius has in him the coldly ruthless madness of the moon. And also, I think, that the end result here can't quite end up a tragedy, because I am not a pagan Greek.


  1. Ocham1:28 PM

    "Non potest ab homine tolli quod sit rationalis, non totaliter; etiam in damnatis manet conscientia"

    I think that's correct. But what does it mean?  Does conscience imply rationality?  Thomas says "etiam in damnatis manet naturalis inclinatio ad virtutem" and "homo habet quod sit homo per hoc quod sit rationalis"

  2. branemrys2:02 PM

    Given that it is in the midst of a fictional story, I'm not really sure it makes sense to ask what it means beyond whatever comes out about it in the story.

  3. Catherine Hodge3:02 PM

    The first person narrator is a good touch, and I hope we see more of him. It would be intriguing to get some back story on the werewolves through the device of the source material he's uncovered. 

    If you were to revise the draft, would you tell more of the story through the lens of the historian?

    Here's more moon music for you, though the mood is about 360 degrees off from your novel.

  4. branemrys5:06 PM

    I do have a few ideas for chapters that give backstory by way of the narrator.

    I'm not sure about how much to the forefront I would want the historian in a revision; the introduction of the narrator well after the story has started was sort of a deliberate thing. I might introduce more point-of-view markers; right now there are just a few 'I supposes' and the like before he actually appears on the scene. Part of the problem is that it took longer than I was expecting to get to him: he's the third problem Aegidius faces in the book, and the third problem to appear, after Jolie and Ivan (the Siberian), but developing the other two took longer than I was expecting, so he's offstage more than I had originally thought he would be. But he's crucial to how the story ends, so he can't just be dropped in without enough preparation; and as it stands there just isn't enough.

    I like the Dvorak song; you're right that it could only be on the soundtrack by irony, but in a sense Marcabru's crusading song is only there by irony, too, since it's about washing away sins by fighting heretics and dabblers in black magic. (One reason Savall's more plaintive version seems to fit so well, since he definitely does mean it ironically.) So on the soundtrack it goes! (There need to be more novels with soundtracks. If operas can have librettos, there should be novels with operatic interpretations.)

  5. Catherine Hodge7:05 PM

    I had thought, earlier, that the first-person interjections were stylistic devices, and actually didn't connect them with the narrator until you reminded me of them just now. Suddenly that's making a lot more sense -- the narrator had seemed to pop in rather from nowhere. (I'm not on my perception A-game, I guess. Too many late nights and too much bourbon with my own story, perhaps.) 

    An operatic novel is an interesting idea. Opera is supposed to be an integrated art form, but in reality (or in the few operas I've seen, anyway) the emotion expressed by singing takes precedence over the emotion expressed by acting. Hence, you can get almost as much, or more, from operatic works by fitting them into a personal soundtrack. I wonder if the closest thing one gets to an operatic novel is to read a book while listening to the soundtrack from its movie. One could read Lord of the Rings while listening to Lord of the Rings. But that example doesn't quite work -- the music, while suited to the movies, isn't always in tune (see what I did there?) with Tolkien's writing.

    One more moon song, though I doubt it will make is on Giles's playlist.


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