Friday, August 10, 2012
In which I continue to define some terms that Kim Stanley Robinson uses in his new novel, 2312. (If you haven’t read the novel can you construct a novel from the clues these terms provide?)
Brocken spectre, p. 140: also called Brocken bow, mountain spectre or glockenspectre is the apparently enormous and magnified shadow of an observer, cast upon the upper surfaces of clouds opposite the sun. (Wikipedia link.)
Messiaen, p. 158: Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992), French composer, organist and ornithologist. He believed birds to be the greatest musicians. He notated bird songs worldwide and incorporated birdsong transcriptions into much of his music. (Wikipedia link.)
ostinato, p. 158: from the Italian: stubborn. In music, a repetitive motif or phrase.
gynandromorph, p. 166: to have both male and female characteristics. Here, a female modified to have male genitals in addition to her own.
vasovagal, p. 166: an episode of syncope or fainting relating to the vagus nerve. (Wikipedia link.)
wombman, p. 170: a male modified for pregnancy.
craquelure, p. 175: a dense, complex pattern of cracks on any surface, such as glaze or paint. (Wikipedia link.)
folie à deux , p. 179: from the French for "a madness shared by two.” Shared psychosis, a psychiatric syndrome in which symptoms of a delusional belief are transmitted from one individual to another. (Wikipedia link.)
Defining Robinson’s ‘2312,’ Part 1 and Part 2