Fw: Transparent Things calculations
----- Original Message -----
From: Jansy Berndt de Souza Mello
To: don barton johnson
Sent: Monday, December 13, 2004 2:12 PM
Subject: Fw: Transparent Things calculations
Berndt de Souza Mello
To: don barton johnson
Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2004 8:41 AM
Subject: Transparent Things
After several piece-meal workings on TT, I tried to sum up some conclusions. I had Akiko´s chronological table with her plea for a mathematician to aid her with calculations and I think one needs to be both math and chess expert to follow some clues in TT ( which I´m not! And sometimes I get the uncomfortable feeling that VN is laughing at us, just as A.Appel suggested in one of his prefaces ).
Events tend to run into a full circle several times ( same hotel room, same old dog, same flying cockschuttle, same Transatlantic magazine ). We have the Burning Barn episode and the various burning windows and hotels and doll-houses in TT that echo ADA.
Often "flames", "fires", "l´aiguillon rouge" or "bûcher" in TT refer to the itchings and ardors of sex. The word "bûcher" in French has various entries: Guy de Maupassant´s " Le bûcher" ( an experience in India) and Maupassant is often quoted in ADA. There is also Tom Wolffe´s " Bonfire of Vanities". The "l´ aiguillon rouge", beside the flaming itch of sexual desire, is also a reference for a moth-butterfly that bears such a mark on her back ( "le shpinx du liseron" ) .
What about chess moves? We could have a Michelin tour guide with various hotels and moves from one to another ( Ascot, Locquet, etc and various cities, as Trux, Geneva, Witt, Versex ) with reference to "turrets".
Concerning the "red songbird" , would a "Canadian Cardinal" redbird be an equivalent to a Bishop figure in chess?
And what about math? There are formulaic indications of one fifth of 40 years ( 8 years, recurrently mentioned together with ages 22 for Hugh). We have also to subtract 10 and 18 years at various points to try and match Hugh´s four visits to Switzerland. He must have been there twice while he was 32. There is an "x" date missing. There are indications of ages ( Julia Moore, 16 and her mother, Marion, or Mrs.Robert, 38 ) that invite some sort of calculation. What kind, though?
We have various "stranglers": (1) Armand Rave and his triangle ( his lover and his incestuous sister ) who sculpted the green figurine of a skier ( it appears in Hugh´s first and last visit. In bt. we have him watching Armande in green skiing apparel ); (2) The strangler in "Translatlantic" magazine who choked his wife ( the magazine had been left behind by Hugh eight years ago); (3) Hugh as a strangler ( eight years later than the strangling news in the transatlantic ).(4) Hugh comes from Mass. and there was a famous Boston strangler also referred by an insistence of Hugh´s "strong hands".
My favorite sentence in TT was: " The bare wood of its tapered end has darkened to plumbeous plum, thus merging in tint with the blunt tip of graphite whose blind gloss alone distinguishes it from the wood" .