Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Jogging With Roussel 20 (Part 2)

What Canterel did not know, however, is that there were no longer any ‘pyramid camps’, as one of Canterel’s other Chlorlock avatars, Kantirul (K[ropotkin] Anti(-)Rul[e]), had long ago replaced them with clockwork eloi, essentially tiny robots, and that any eloi impoddities which were sent to the ‘pyramid camps’ were essentially to become cherished new members of Cantoralia, the Lilliputian Republic of Canterel’s pluralistic self. ‘Dr. U.’ would immediately be given new, if miniature, laboratory space, and encouraged to continue with his work sans Chlorlock shell. The five or so other Dr. U.’s would also be rescued over time, but in the mean time they would be learning the peculiar Venetian dialect common to the area in which they were imprisoned.
The Uyūshitanis of Cantoralia, it should be said, settled in quite quickly once they realized they were not to be the victims of a perpetual miniature reenactment of the building of the pyramids, and as the life of the Cantoralians was quite carefree, and jovial, the Uyūshitanis began to truly enjoy their work and soon forgave this strange interruption of bodily affairs perpetrated by their creator Canterel. At first, living not as a singularity, was a bit troubling, as none of the Dr. U.’s had its own particular name, and often like a game, one U. would easily complete the sentence of another, but eventually things became normalized, and they all decided to pick their own names, and they lived together in a house the Cantoralians had constructed for them by robots, a house they had designed as a kind of joke to look like a cross between Noah’s ark, and a German U-boat, a house they called Übarque.  Some of them took wives, and lovers, and even tiny pets. The house began to exude something of a collective utopian spirit. In the mornings, there were wonderful breakfasts prepared, and freed of their impoddities, and mental collective hierarchy, the the U.’s began to develop personality traits, and various habits.
One morning, a conversation broke out between Ulric, and Udo. “You know I’ve just thought of something strange,” said Ulric spreading jam on a tiny piece of toast. “The name of that Roman chap that invented the letter G, seems to have something to do with one of the senses of Ges-Gesi-Gesu – wasn’t one of them ‘indigestion’?” “Yes, I think it was, dear Ulric,” said Udo. “I think his name was Spurius Carvilius Ruga – and isn’t a ruga one of the wrinkles or folds of the stomach.” said Ulric. “Rugae can be any kind of wrinkle, fold or ridge, I believe,” said Udo, “but it does pose an interesting phrase when you think of it. Something like: A spuriously carved wrinkle – I should think.” Urdo looked up from his tablet, a little grumpily. “Like our old impoddities, which look like little brains.” Usagi, dopily, read aloud from his tablet. “the deadly water-snakes coil’d together like the Rugæ of a single great Brain…” Urki looked sad. “Is that all we are, spurious wrinkled carvings?” “Now Urki,” said Ulric. Urdo had been searching in his tablet, and he then began to read. “The actual meaning of Spurius is unproven. The name was used by the Etruscans in the form Spurie, and it was used by several Roman families that had Etruscan roots, so it has been postulated that it was either borrowed from the Etruscan language, or was a cognate of an Etruscan word meaning something akin to city dweller. Popular etymology, however, connected the name with the phrase, sine pater filius, that is, son without a father, and the explanation that it was given to children born out of wedlock. This was the opinion of Festus, which is accepted by Chase, perhaps surprisingly considering the unlikelihood of anyone deliberately choosing such a name, or passing it down within a family for many generations. This explanation is almost certainly wrong, and is an example of false etymology. However, it probably contributed to the decline in the use of the praenomen, and gave rise to the modern adjective spurious. While it cannot be proven that any Latin praenomina were borrowed from Etruscan, and Spurius was used by a number of gentes of indisputably Latin origin, the explanation that it was connected with a word meaning city or citizen appears reasonably likely.”
           Ulric then stood up. “Ürnietszchka!” “What?” said Urdo. Urki smiled sleepily. “Slave morality…” “Indeed,” said Ulric, “It is conceivable, that our fate in being here is a kind of double metaphor of the story which Canterel was telling us, but one which opens out as well.” “How so?’ said Usagi, the other U’s finally looking up and growing interested. “Without Canterel, we are in a sense ‘spurned’, or ‘spurious gent carvings’. Urki laughed. “Without our impoddities as well, effectively we’re Chlorlock orphans.” Ugo then spoke up. “Gesu Grist! The fatherless child who gives Joseph indegistion!” Uno whispered. “But Joseph is the father, isn’t he?” “Urli said to Urdo, late, “But what if that’s just the wrinkle, or the wringle?” Urmon held up his little kipper and smiled apologetically, “fishy.” “Well, it does give an onomastic narrative to the Christ story doesn’t it..? “Father, why have you forsaken me?” “Because you’re a greasy bellyachin’ punter runnin your mouth off, ya dog!” cried Udo, holding up a piece of bacon to his lip like a Hitler mustache. “Oh god!” said Usagi. They all sat down and went back to their morning meal, and the kipper went to the floor where it was snatched up ravenously by one of the house dogs, Faustus.