Friday, October 05, 2012


Capitulum Sextum Decimum
Capitulum Septimum Decimum

I was hoping to have two more, so I could reasonably guarantee getting it done next week before I get my first major grading surge and also have to begin putting together my department teaching evaluation portfolio, but something else ate much of the free time I had available, so I only managed to get through ch. 17. Of course, by now it is quite clear that we aren't dealing with a novel but a loose sketch of one, but I do definitely want to get it out of the way this month so I can try a real NaNoWriMo in November -- and hopefully finish it in less than a year. November is generally my busiest month, but by chance I happen to be less busy this Fall than usual, so maybe something can get done. And then in Spring I can perhaps start over with this entirely -- which it's clear by now I will certainly have to do, since I wanted a light and easy novel with a dark philosophical character in the background, and Aegidius wanted a dark philosophical novel about a profoundly human character stubbornly holding on to what little he can retain of his humanity under nightmarish conditions, and while both visions share the same general structure, it is never a good sign when author and character can't agree about how the details of the story are supposed to go. And, of course, as Dorothy Sayers would point out, in the end I have to let Aegidius be Aegidius. But it's just not possible to change it all in mid-flight; hence the inconsistencies of tone and excessive deus ex machina. It's actually intended to be a deus ex machina story like Euripides' Medea, but the sudden swerves in story guarantee that there's too much artificial machina behind the deus. Oh, look! There's the character doing another thing for which there was insufficient foreshadowing, because I had originally thought it would take a different form! However, the palm to the forehead thing was mentioned previously in Tertium Decimum.

In any case, next it's on to Krasnoyarsk in Krasnoyarsky Krai to wrap up the Siberian line, during which we'll see Aegidius nearly fully unveiled and have at least one chapter which consists of people just sitting around talking, because, after all, why should we break the pattern, and Aegidius simply will not let me finish the story if I don't promise him another philosophical dialogue; and then, tying up the final string, we get the last tete-a-tete between the Wolf King and the narrator, and exeunt.


  1. MrsDarwin9:03 AM

    Ah, at last, and worth waiting for. 
    I always enjoy reading Giles -- he's such an enigma, but he keeps himself so tightly under control that when he reveals his motivations, as to Jolie, one can sense the underlying turmoil of Being Giles. (Incidentally, I too want reading over breakfast.)Hurray for doing NaNo! Will you be posting it here, or on another blog like you're doing with Aegidius? There's a lot of encouragement in doing NaNo with other people;  really, I don't know how people keep up the word count without the external motivator of making the prose public. I hope you'll still be free to consult with me on my project. :) Guess I'd better get cracking on that outline before November strikes.

    Do you think you'll be revising Aegidius as soon as the spring? I couldn't look at my last year's novel until months afterward, I was so tired of it. Still, you've taken longer to write it and may be able to meet your earlier chapters now with a fresh eye. I'm glad the feeling of disgust with one's own writing wears off after a while -- I looked at mine recently and found myself drawn in enough to finish the whole thing in one sitting, and it was kinda okay. I could even imagine that someone else had written it.

  2. branemrys12:12 PM

    Reading over breakfast is pretty close to my definition of the civilized life.  I'll probably be posting on another blog, just to keep this one uncluttered. Definitely am still free for consultation!

    I think the need for a cooling-off period is pretty common, and I am much the same way. But I tend to like revision better than original composition and, as you say, the beginning of this one is very far away in time. I still don't know if I could bear to read my dissertation, though, so perhaps it largely depends on the kind of thing it is.


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