Thursday, December 07, 2006

Chapter 9: Kit and The Good Doctor Tesla

In this chapter, Kit Traverse, aspiring engineer, goes to Colorado Springs to apprentice himself to the famous inventor, Dr. Nikola Tesla ( Along the way he is intercepted by Foley Walker, right-hand man, and doppelganger for the financier, Scarsdale Vibe. In fact, Walker, when questioned by Kit, identifies himself as Vibe, saying “I am he(100).” Much of the rest of the chapter is built around the union of Walker and Vibe, or “The Twin Vibes (102) as they are known. Walker/Vibe offer Kit a full scholarship to Yale, which Kit accepts over the warning of his father. There are warnings that the contract he signs to become “one of “Doc Tesla’s boys” (103), is a deal with the devil.

The early reference in the previous chapter to “The Feast St. Barbara (81) is worrisome, as the Saint’s father killed her for converting to Christianity. Is Kit guilty of a similar conversion?

Tesla immediately recognizes Kit’s talent, his ability to visualize complex mathematical solutions to complex problems, an ability Tesla also possesses. In a revealing passage, which tells us something about the novel’s title, Tesla notes that

“When I could find time to sit still, the images would come. But it’s always finding the time, isn’t it.”
“Sure, always something….Chores, something.”
“Tithing.” Tesla said, “giving back to the day” (104).


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