Wednesday, March 07, 2007

TMWWT-Chapter Nine

The Man in Spectacles

Well, now that Tuesday's been thrown out, Thursday and Friday are running around together, they plan to stop Saturday--Bull, with the opaque glasses. Now we know Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday are all detectives.

Highlights of this chapter: the development of the "finger code." It plays such a role in this scene at the Doctor's table, I wonder how it will be played out in theatrical form?

Syme's levity in picking out words to tap out. Coeval, and lush.

Syme's poetical intuition about Bull, and his demand that he remove his glasses. Bull bursts out laughing. This is almost the opposite of Agatha Christie's "And then there were none" because I am thinking, from three...and now there are four!

But why, when Bull says, we were four against three, does de Worms (Wilks) say, "No, we were four against One" with a capital "O"? And again later, he says, "Because one of those other three not a man."

We're starting to get hints that someone is a bit different than he would appear.

Now the Marquis (Wednesday) has been sent by Saturday on ahead with the supposed bomb, so they must catch up with him.

Oh, the mention of casuistry plays into the book I'm writing.

Great line: "Perjury or treason is the only crime I haven't committed. If I did that I shouldn't know the difference between right and wrong." This is something out of Chesterton's own past, and his descent into the world of ouija boards and seances.

And isn't it just like Chesterton to spell out 50 different plans, but then decide that the answer is a duel?


  1. Want to prove the disguise methods in TMWWT right? Find some photos (any magazine will do) and draw opaque glasses on them with a black permanent marker. Often the person in question (even if it's a celebrity known for glamour) becomes unrecognizable and downright spooky.

  2. I was wondering if the personalities of the seven men in the novel are in any way associated with the seven days of creation in Genesis:

    Day 1 (Sunday) = light & darkness
    Day 2 (Monday) = waters above & below
    Day 3 (Tuesday) = land & vegetation
    Day 4 (Wednesday) = sun, moon & stars
    Day 5 (Thurday) = sea creatures and birds
    Day 6 (Friday) = land creatures & man
    Day 7 (Saturday) = rest

  3. Trubador--you're getting ahead of yourself. But perhaps it won't give too much away to say that at the end of the book the comment is made, "Here they reckon from a Christian Sabbath." (i.e. Sunday=Day 7 and so forth)

  4. What the queen of carrots said. ;-)

  5. "The week is a colossal epic of creation," cried Starwood excitedly. "Why are there not rituals for every day? The Day of creation of Light, why is it not honoured with mystic illuminations? The Day of the Waters, why is it not the day of awful cleanings and immersions? The Day of the Earth—what a fire of flowers and fruit; the Day of Birds, what a blaze if decorative plumage; the day of beasts, what a —"
    "What a deed lot of nonsense," said Middleton.
    "A Picture of Tuesday" (The Quarto, 1896), CW XIV, p. 63.


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