Thursday, November 23, 2006

Against the Blog: 1-1

The novel starts off in the form of a kind of Boys' Adventures thing starring "that celebrated aeronautics club known as the Chums of Chance," which travels around in the "hydrogen skyship" Inconvenience. It is 1893, and they are currently headed to Chicago for the World's Fair. The members of this gallant troupe include Randolph St. Cosmo, the leader; Lindsay Noseworth, the stern and pedantic second-in-command; Darby Suckling, the crew's youngest member; Miles Blundell, handyman apprentice; and Chick Counterfly, the newest member who is kind of rude and may not be fitting in. They also have an alluded-to scientific friend, Professor Heino Vanderjuice, and a dog, Pugnax, who, as we first encounter him, is reading The Princess Casamassima. I'm afraid that any detailed James allusions in the novel will go over my head; I'm not a big fan.

A number of the group's previous adventures are mentioned by name, including one in Washington, DC called The Chums of Chance and the Evil Halfwit--notwithstanding the hundred-plus year discrepancy, it seems like that's gotta be a swipe at our current ruler.

The chapter ends with an ambiguous conversation between Randolph and Chick regarding the parallels between "north" and "up," and the notion that, just as if you go to far north you'll be going south, if you go too far up perhaps you'll be heading down? I know not what this signifies, but I'm intrigued.

Words I had to look up: anemometer, absquatulate



Blogger Jorn pontificated to the effect that...

"Thick Bush" = W also?

Expo opened 01 May 1893

New Orleans to Chicago is 834 miles (14 hours at a mile per minute)

4:32 PM  

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