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Spheres and Xanther's splash pages

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  • Spheres and Xanther's splash pages

    So I have been looking through the graphical elements of the books and found a cool pattern with Xanther's splash pages that I have not seen mentioned yet so here goes:

    In TFv1 Each Xanther splash page has 9 large spheres with some imagery inside each sphere. However the last splash page in TFv1 for Xanther had 9 normal spheres and 1 sliced open pomegranate that looks like a blood red sphere. This occurs right after Xanther finds the cat and I can't help but think that the cat is the "pomegranate" that Xanther ingests that allows her to visit underworlds.i have not fully fleshed this theory out yet but it seems promising.

    Anther cool part of the splash pages is that in TFv2 the spheres have a second spheres inside so we have 9 spheres within spheres.

    In TFV3 we have 2 spheres inside each larger sphere.
    In TFv4 we have 3 spheres inside the 9 large spheres.

    It's almost like each volume of the novel is 9 spheres and the next volume contains the first thus sphere within sphere, etc.

    This also goes thematically with the computer code and Hopi mythology (along with a hint Yggdrasil) that frames The as nine spheres or world that are branches or subsets of this larger world/tree. Now whether this is metaphorical or if Anwar and Mefisto are actually writing code that will in the future generate themselves (see clip 3 for that type of recursion TFv3.702) and the world. I guess we will find out later.

    Anyway it seems apparent that this world whether an actual computer program or a spiritually porous place has these glitches or footholds through which you can turn the apparatus and find a new view on your current sphere/self/world.

    It also seems apparent that the cat showing up in this world has destroyed the rules that protect against this. The Narcons are talking to each other and their characters, narcon error correction turns into, or mimics, drones and RPGs (TFv4.53) (also did anyone else notice that those graphical drones emerged from the same amorphous blobs that Anwar sees at the end of v4 (pg 812)) Xanther's recognizing the the main NYPL building as something CAS scryed all the way back in vol 1. (TFv4.334; TFv1.135-137). I guess the only question now is when will the spheres that are HoL and OR (and the rest of the MZD corpus world for that matter) be visible to Xanther? She already is starting to see the colors from OR and the cat causes to turn blue. Phinneas has clearly read HoL and had a Truant like experience...And he then told Xanther to name her cat Redword (TF4.528).

    Oh and one last mind fuck xanther can burn holes through the pages my freaking book (again not sure if this is to be seen literally TFv4 755 am I to think a black forest flue of weird color eye stones with a blood red sky literally lives under the white of each page?

    Now that's a terrifying book-

    And as always there is so much more!

  • #2
    I like where you're going with spheres within spheres, especially when you consider the Jakob von Uexküll quote at the beginning of the Dr. Potts chapter (TFv1, pg. 178)

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    • #3
      I have a thought about the cause of the changes to the spheres in v3 and v4. Communcation.
      Consider this quote, one of many scrapped from wikipedia and else where abroad while reading about Jakob von Uexkull and biosemiotics(not to mention theoretical biology which keeps popping up in relation to my research on TF.).
      "Semiosphere

      Semiosphere is the set of all interconnected Umwelts. Any two Umwelts, when communicating, are a part of the same semiosphere.

      Originally, the notion of semiosphere was introduced by Yuri Lotman (1984), a semiotician who worked in Tartu University, Estonia. His idea was inspired by Vernadsky's terms biosphere and noosphere (the latter also used by Teilhard de Chardin).
      The semiosphere, as a notion used by Hoffmeyer (who came to it independently), seems to have a slightly different meaning than the definition given above. Namely, his expressions (for instance, p. 59: 'the semiosphere imposes limitations on the Umwelt of its resident populations in the sense that, to hold its own in the semiosphere, a population must occupy a "semiotic niche"') seem to show that semiosphere is something which may be partially independent of the organisms' Umwelts. On the contrary, I think it is entirely created by the organisms' Umwelts. Organisms are themselves creating signs, which become the constituent parts of the semiosphere. This is not an adaptation to environment, but the creation of a new environment. I can see here the possibility for a more positive interpretation of Hoffmeyer's statement - namely, the concept of ecological niche as it is traditionally used in biology, can be essentially developed according to the semiotic understanding of the processes which are responsible for the building of Umwelt.

      One has a right to ask whether there could be several semiospheres. If there are no semiotic processes which connect them, this may be possible, but when communication takes place between the spheres, they evidently form one and the same semiosphere."


      Our Narcons arn't terribly disserviced by thinking of them as Semioshperes. So in TFv3 when TFN9 and TFN3 begin communicating in ernest they become a new entity composed of both of them. In TFv4 this process of...unification? continues with TFN27 also being incorporated into this gestalt of what were once separate minds.

      Another thing, I dont think the cats the one causing this breakdown. I really think its Xanther, shes who the Narcons croon and gawk over at every opportunity, the cat barely seems to register with them.
      As for the burns I cant wait to see what the forest looks like once the fires have done their work and things start growing again.

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      • #4
        I have been thinking alot about these ideas lately as well. They are intriguing especially in the context of Anwars game engine and the narcon. It seems the semiosphere and umwelt are definitely alluded to, yet we also have gaming, mythology, language, philosophy etc. I see these ideas as pieces of a larger whole. They plot never really fits if read through only one lens. But I do love the idea of merging semiosphere.

        I also want to bring up the car show (TF3.718) where xanther and Luther almost meet. I have some theories on how xanther and Luther relate as they seem to have a connection (Luther's epilepsy symptoms, his scene in the rain with the pink umbrella, xanthers accent color being his main color. There is also an amazing correlation in how they relate to hope - which xanther encounters in the ballet and Luther in the form of Domingo's mother "Esperanza")) so they almost meet at this car show and xanther clearly effects Luther's world by causing the car doors to open and cogsworth even runs into Luther, yet it seems that Luther's umwelt cannot include xanther. (Or my other theory is that an agent of HOLY was there to distract Luther (I mean he is driving a Mercury (messenger of the gods) with the license plate HOLYLOH - oh and the car has holly green trim TF3.731) notice also that when cogsworth hits Luther the Mercury man helps him up and we get no indication that Luther even know they were there.

        Reading thid whole scene with all its subtle details really gets at the ideas. Xanther story and its nested spheres can interact with Luther but he can't quite interact with her.

        Lastly, I do take your point about xanther herself being the agent of change in the books. Yes the cat shows up and kick starts the action but in rereading xanthers first chapter it's easy to see how she alone could have made these changes and how the cat just allows her to fully realize what was already their (or in agamben's language become open to the disconcealment.)

        As always there are many different ways this could go as MZD commits only to theme, not to mystery resolution (at least in my experience)

        Random fun subjects researched in relation to TF: Bio-Ontologies and semantic folding (crumbs maybe?)

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