View Full Version : [Fic] As Lazarus Contemplates the Ocean

Darth InSidious
07-10-2009, 10:10 PM
A/N: This fic is most certainly SW centred, despite the style(s). :p Not sure what it is, but it is whatever that is. It puzzles-well, I think. Allegorical - those who puzzle it out win a free internet. :p -DI

A reading from the Epilogue of Sycorax:

Turning with millennial waltz, Phlebas drifts forgotten, full fathom five the deeps of untold space. The ripples of the now have yet to reach this place, this forgotten abyss, and hidden so he sleeps, and twirls the swirls in the wakes of forgotten worlds in orbits of a darkened star. A darkened star – its lights are gone, and so, too, are those of Phlebas, whose eyes are dimmed to pearls – look! Time has nibbled locks away, and in their place now gapes





Come in under the shadow of this grey rock,
Come in under the shadow of this great rock,
And I will show you all, I shall tell you all.

For Phlebas had a drowning mark upon him, even from his outset, had a drowning mark, though quiet then, yes quiet, dull, scratched as light as could scarce be seen, the drowning mark; but later, oh, yes, later, later it burned brilliant it did, the drowning mark, yes, bright with flames of ancient fury.

But the damn'd witch, (oh, so admired!) Sycorax, lay dead upon her island even before that mark burned bright, she did, and it was Prosper’d love what killed her, yes, yes, indeed, though not before he asked her, what else you see in that dark and brooding backward abysm, no, no. And when her leading child went off to search, oh, then, then Phlebas had been drowned long, with a forehead villainous low upon a dash dashed, and stuck in place by aged body-rust and rot…

Full fathom five your hero lies, and under the shadow of this grey rock (a dry stone that gives no sound of water); little else about remains and all that is is now remains, all forgot.

Upon the wheel, three staves he’d had, three throws at broken spokes, three tries and fails, and none unpunished, no.

Plot, plot, plot,
Thud , thud, thud,
Hammering without,
and chattering within,
Which will win?

In a minute there is time for a hundred little slip-ups that can murder or deviate. Toc or tic, the revelries of Fate shiver-shudder close... to lose? There is no time for such as he, and the waters, blown blue and black shall lend him no respite.

There is shadow under this grey rock,
Only shadow. Come in under the shadow of this grey rock and I shall show you all,
I shall not say just what I mean;
It is impossible to say just what I mean.

Quick, quick, quick!
Judder, judder, thud;
Full fathom five, the boulders wake him, and...

And was it worth it, after all,
After the tears, the fasting and the prayers,
The sacrifices of friends good and bad, the years...
If one, eyeing for a chestnut
Or sharpening a knife
Should break it all, end it all?

Full fathom five your Hero lies, in the shadow of this grey rock, this grey rock.
This grey rock once incarnadine, they say,
Though the fires have bled away,
And only now the strangers stay...

That is not it at all,
That is not what he meant, at all.

Consider Phlebas.

07-16-2009, 07:49 AM
I've read this style before, a little reminiscent of some of Weiss and Hickman's better passages.

I'm going to stab in the dark and suggest the starship orbiting the stellar remnant represents Vader, the story a moment of gratuity in the first person, of Palpatine. He's the only one I can think of with an ego big enough to picture himself as some sort of ancient draconic entity speculating on his own mortality, his own schemes however, timeless. Almost as if by destroying the galaxy he was trying to save his own soul.

My impressions are an abstract...

...oh of course (no edit feature in this forum, sry about doublepost)

Relevance. Somebody came out of hyperspace too close to a black hole. Big mistake, obviously. Timeless big mistake.
Love the representation of gravity as water. I once described General Relativity like that.

07-16-2009, 08:06 AM
hey DI, do by any chance read Iain M Banks' novels? that last line sounds veeeery familiar... as does the convoluted, abstract poetical style :p nice piece though, if somewhat cryptic.

... or the TS Eliot poem. either way works.

(curse the lack of an edit button)

07-16-2009, 10:20 AM
... or the TS Eliot poem. either way works.[/SIZE]

Ding ding ding! We have a winner, folks!

07-17-2009, 07:41 AM
I should probably read some of this Eliot fellow, I keep hearing about him.
Pain of being original, something I decided when I got into writing. I'm too easily influenced, so don't read much for fear of becoming vicarious in style and ideas.

07-22-2009, 09:53 PM

Bee Hoon
07-26-2009, 07:18 AM
I am very confused :p But stylistically speaking, love it! I have a feeling I'm going to be thinking about Phlebas as I fall asleep and try to puzzle it out :p