Friday, March 30, 2007

Chapter 55: World Change

In 1908, just north of Lake Baikal, a meteor, a piece of an asteroid, or a piece of anti-matter, exploded in the Eath’s atmosphere, an explosion more powerful than any atomic bomb. In UFO lore, this is an event associated with an Alien intrusion, the Siberian Roswell.

This chapter’s beginning, a single sentence, “A heavenwide blast of light” (779), is reminiscent to the beginning of Gravity’s Rainbow, “A Screaming comes across the sky” (3).

This event marks a change, a change in the very fabric of time/space. It seems as if it makes the Chums of Chance mortal again, even as it makes Rudolf and his flying reindeer pals mortal again (784).

It reminds me again of Woolf ‘s contention that around 1910, the world suddenly changed. This period marks the end of the Victorian age and the beginning of modernity, an explosion for which the Tunguska event is an apt metaphor.

At the end of the chapter, after Kit encounters Fleetwood Vibe again, Kit is taken, perhaps raptured into the night by the crew of the Inconvenience?

“But Kit had left sometime in the night, as if taken by the wind” (791).


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