Wednesday, December 12, 2007

December, 1997, pt. 4

Christmas Vacation, ten years ago, has been previously blogged here, here, and here.

Okay, so I've left my father's house for the maternal end of the ol' familial gauntlet. But first, a haircut.

The next several sketches are from my maternal grandparents' place. I'm not too sure why I was playing around with Latin (my one year of Latin has now completely degenerated to "Amo Amas Amat" and a phrase which I take on faith as being dirty), but the first quote's reference to the New Sun is a clue that I'd dug through some boxes of paperbacks in the basement, and was rereading Gene Wolfe. More on this, later.

Oh, also, that lamp that's just barely doodled shows up again in my story "The Baker's Son." Should you be interested.

The mantle clock was made by Silas Hoadley. Hoadley was a clock maker in the in the early-19th Century, known for making clocks with wooden movements. My grandfather was pretty sure that he was related to Hoadley on his mother's side, and his two Hoadley clocks were prized possessions.

I have no idea how the chronology works here—these are sketches from the Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA. Why are they in the middle of this visit? Maybe I made a quick trip up there? Maybe I just drew in the middle of my notebook when I was there earlier? I dunno. But, hey, "Shardula" is a pretty cool word, huh?

Here's the second of my grandfather's Hoadley clocks. This clock has been gracing my studio for the past year. And look! It's my mom with my then-brand-new niece, Sophie! Needless to say, Sophie has grown.


Avram Grumer said...

The Latin is from Wolfe's Book of the New Sun. Those are the inscriptions on the dials in the Atrium of Time, where Severian meets Valeria. I blogged a bit about it four years ago when I re-read all of the New Sun, Long Sun, and Short Sun books straight through.

chrishaley said...

I really like that candlebra (sp?).

chrishaley said...

Also, I feel like I haven't seen you in forever and I miss you.

PS. Typing that out and then reading it to myself has made me unable to stop giggling. That does not make it any less sincere.

april said...

that is one bad-ass shardula! i want a tattoo of something like know, some mythical creature who's head doesn't match its body.

Pulpatooner said...


Yup, you're exactly right. So, now I'm very curious about the untranslated third inscription. Leaving something untranslated is pretty much the Wolfean equivalent of pointing a giant red arrow at it. The internet tells me that it's something along the lines of "looking at when to look," which sounds like an fine motto for the Atrium of Time, but I bet Wolfe had a more elegant (and more portentous) phrasing in mind.


Aw. Yeah, it's been too long. This weekend for sure, right? I've now put the semester behind me, and am absolutely loaded down with free time, so be prepared to get sick of me. I just may start following you to work.


Yes! Great idea! Go Team Shardula!

Avram Grumer said...

Joel, if you follow that link I put in to my four-year-old blog entry, and scroll down to the comments, there's some discussion of the translations.

"Aspice ut aspicari" is a classical Roman epigram, meaning "look, in order to be seen". Wolfe's version, "Aspice ut aspiciar" means "look, that I may be seen".

Pulpatooner said...

Thanks, Avram! That becomes a pretty good epigram for the whole series, doesn't it?