Monday, March 05, 2007

TMWWT-Chapter Seven

The Unaccountable Conduct of Professor de Worms

Great lines: ...a voice that made men drop drawn swords
...the secretary turned to him with working eyebrows...
He started up and snatched his stick, half crazy with the contradiction in mere arithmetic, and swung out of the swinging doors...
And de Worms keeps ordering milk! How many glasses of milk can a man drink?!

Now, Gogol is an "alleged Pole." And it's funny that he seems to need to make the point that he did a darn good job of faking a Polish accent.

Why does Sunday dismiss Gogol so lightly? If Sunday were a real anarchist, shouldn't he have just shot him on the spot? Or if that would blow their cover (being out in the broad daylight so as to be completely hidden) why not a silent knife in the back? Why does he let Gogol go, when he really knows too much?

Dream evidence: As someone already made mention in the comments, but here's proof, the abrupt changes in the weather. Now it's snowing. Also..."made him almost feel as if the Council of the Seven Days had been a bad dream..." Being chased by the almost dead Professor de Worms feels nightmarish...Syme remembering all of the nightmares he had ever known...


  1. The abrupt changes in the weather doesn't necessarily mean it's a dream. It's like that in central Illinois all the time.

    In any case, both England and Ireland have weather like that all the time, thanks to being at the tale end of the Gulf Stream.

  2. "tale" end... is that the reason why there are so many story-tellers there - GKC and CD and JRRT and JKR and GC and ...

    hee hee

  3. I feel like Sunday lets Gogol go because he can afford to. Gogol knows Sunday too well to try anything.

    The chase by Professor Worms really is too creepy. It's worse than being pursued by someone strong and fearsome.

    Although no doubt England has sharply shifting weather, I don't think even so one usually chances a garden party in February. The book opens in a garden party, yet in Chapter 4 Syme is riding the steam launch on a February night.

  4. Oops!! I was tailed by a spelling cop! ;-)

  5. When I first read the book, I had the sense that Sunday had a "I-could-squash-you-like-a-bug-at-any-time-but-I-don't-feel-like-getting-icky-stuff-on-my-hands-right-now" towards Gogol. He's sending him away, but both men know that he can reach him at any time. Reminds me of the fish-on-a-line metaphor used in "The Queer Feet," which subsequently inspired Evelyn Waugh when writing "Brideshead Revisited."

  6. Reminds me of the fish-on-a-line metaphor used in "The Queer Feet,"

    More shoring to support my totally-off-the-wall theory on who Sunday really is. Which Dale assures me is totally wrong, but what does he know? ;-)

  7. Mt 26:52
    Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

  8. Thanks, Steve, but are you saying that this is why Sunday didn't stab Gogol? I'm not quite sure how this quote fits into our discussion.

  9. I don't know how many glasses of milk a man can drink, but I think that number of glasses of chalk-and-water milk substitute a man can drink is pretty small.

  10. When you're having a nightmare, you don't usually think "this feels like a nightmare," do you?


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