Highlight of the Lonesome Night: October 14th

[For the October 13th highlight, click here.]

 

October 14th

Another night falls, another body turns up: a London officer is found lying eyeless (thanks to scavenger crows) and lifeless (courtesy of a savage throat slitting) in a field nearby Jack’s residence. The victim’s location is incriminating; Graymalkin points out that “Jack is supposed to have control over a certain ritual blade.” To which Snuff defensively responds: “And Owen has a sickle. And Rastov has an amazing icon drawn by a mad Arab who’d given up on Islam. But he could have used a kitchen knife.” I love how Zelazny couches the allusion to H.P. Lovecraft here, simultaneously invoking the author’s notorious character (the “mad Arab,” Abdul Alhazred) and leavening the sense of cosmic horror with the comedic by drolly describing the Necronomicon scribe as having “given up on Islam.” For the night of the 14th, I’d like to highlight the overall style of Zelazny’s narrator Snuff–the clever phrasing and witty word play (at chapter’s end, Snuff attempts to drag the officer’s body to the Thames, but tires out en route, “leaving the corpse in a copse”) typically employed by this talking-dog figure.

 

 

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