May 03, 2022
In Elder Sign
Hi! I only recently discovered this podcast, but had to chime in, since I'm an amateur Moore expert, and have annotated Voice of the Fire (https://alanmoorejerusalem.wordpress.com/alan-moore-annotations-index/votf00-voice-of-the-fire-general-notes/). [I haven't yet listened to the Hob's Hog episodes, but will soon!] Some relevant bits from my notes: “blue fancy-beads” – The somewhat extraneous word ‘fancy’, may be meant to evoke faience, a (relatively) modern word for this ancient form. “his gaze … seems fixed upon my chin or shoulders” – In fact, Olun stares at her neck, and at the conspicuously small (and thus new) green copper-stain upon it. This is the moment at which he puts everything together and realizes the truth of whom he buried today, and whom he speaks to now. “Tunny … lifts one hand and gestures to his gullet. Both the brothers nod.” – Bern and Buri seem to be putting together the same clues Olun did, especially regarding the copper-stain. Also, in chapter 7, the narrator has a dream, where he sees the ancient torso-garden, including “a woman’s trunk … filled with …cunning”. That seems to be a very strong implication that the narrator of chapter 2 was executed. My take on the narrator's plans are that they are as fully-formed as the traditional thieves in a heist movie who are doing "one last job". Which is to say, a not-very-thought-out idea that being rich will fix everything. And of course, it doesn't. I think that the story of chapter 1 evolved into a story of a pig boy due to another theme of the novel: "Society disapproves of murder". Even if Hob convinces people that what he did was right, nobody wants to make actual human sacrifice an established thing. This also ties in with Weyland's Sword from your Hanging Out With the Dream King podcast. Kipling presents the idea of gods who initially receive human sacrifices, but become much weakened once their worshipers change to symbolic sacrifices. Queen Mag (evocative of the Fairy Queen Mab, from Romeo & Juliet?), I personally think became queen by being the toughest person in the village (before becoming fat). Though there might already be some sort of inheritance of kingship. The new religion may be gaining followers by simple virtue of their leader being younger and stronger. Also, they seem to proselytize, which Olun does not. Possibly proselytization is a new idea? Usin's apocalyptic thoughts reminded me of Gaiman and McKean's Signal to Noise, and Dave Sim & Gerhard's Melmoth. The world is *always* ending, for some people. And always has been.