Saturday, December 23, 2006

Against the Blog: 2-16

Kit is not happy at Yale, having decided that the place is "no more really than a sort of high-hat technical school for learning to be a Yale Man" (318). Also, his own goal of becoming a vectorist (don't ask me. And google's no help either) does not dovetail with Vibe's goals for him--too abstract/unworldly.

He is awakened from a dream about his father because Professor Vanderjuice wants to see him. Vanderjuice has a letter for him, already opened by somebody, from Lake, bearing the tidings of their father's death. He feels like crying, but doesn't. None of the Vibes ask about his father or provide condolences or anything, even though they presumably are aware.

Gazing out at Long Island through a telescope, Kit sees a tower being built--by Nikola Tesla, Vanderjuice confirms. One of his transmitter thingies. Why was Vibe funding Tesla while at the same time paying Vanderjuice to sabotage him? It is a mystery! Anyway, Vanderjuice never really did much of anything per se, he reveals.

Kit wants out of all this--the longer the Vibes support him, the more he'll owe them. But how? They're trying to corrupt you, suggests Vanderjuice. If you want to get out, he further suggests, you should should try going to Germany--there are loads of cutting-edge mathy, physicsy things going on there you could get involved with.

He and Colfax Vibe sail over to see the tower and meet Tesla. A big ol' storm blows up, but they make it there in one piece. Two pieces, I guess. Tesla is cordial, and relates a story about how he was out in the mountains, and took refuge from the rain in a cave--but the rain never came, and he understood that it would take a precise electrical discharge to trigger it--and right then, all his transmitter-related ideas were complete; he only needed to wait.

They head back to New York. Kit is gloomy. Could Colfax, perhaps, say that he was killed in the storm and allow him to slip away? Not likely, because Scarsdale's agents are everywhere. Perhaps, Colfax suggests, you could claim that the storm was some sort of epiphany to you, and you vowed that, if you survived, you would go to study in Germany. "Kind of, I don't know, math pilgrimage" (329). Colfax knows that people hate his father, maybe for good reason, but still--he is his father.

Scarsdale, in spite of much sublimated rage, lets Kit go. Then, he gives an alarming speech about how the world is going to hell thanks to the anarchists and pagans and non-whites. What is to be done?

And on that ominous note...



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