Self-Reference in Against the Day

Page 566:

He saw that if the Q-waves were in any way longitudinal, if they traveled through the Æther in any way like sound traveling through air, then among the set of further analogies to sound, somewhere in the regime, must be music—which, immediately, obligingly, he heard, or received. The message it seemed to convey being “Deep among the equations describing the behavior of light, field equations, Vector and Quaternion equations, lies a set of directions, an itinerary, a map to a hidden space. Double refraction appears again and again as a key element, permitting a view into a Creation set just to the side of this one, so close as to overlap, where the membrane between the worlds, in many places, has become too frail, too permeable, for safety. . . . Within the mirror, within the scalar term, within the daylit and obvious and taken-for-granted has always lain, as if in wait, the dark itinerary, the corrupted pilgrim’s guide, the nameless Station before the first, in the lightless uncreated, where salvation does not yet exist.”

Page 853:

Vlado, as if having seen some lethal obstacle ahead, entrusted to Yashmeen a green schoolboy’s copybook manufactured in some Austrian part of the empire, with Zeugnisbüchlein printed on its front cover, which he called The Book of the Masked. Whose pages were filled with encrypted field-notes and occult scientific passages of a dangerousness one could at least appreciate, though more perhaps for what it promised than for what it presented in such impenetrable code, its sketch of a mindscape whose layers emerged one on another as from a mist, a distant country of painful complexity, an all but unmappable flow of letters and numbers that passed into and out of the guise of the other, not to mention images, from faint and spidery sketches to a full spectrum of inks and pastels, of what Vlado had been visited by under the assaults of his home wind, of what could not be paraphrased even into the strange holiness of Old Slavonic script, visions of the unsuspected, breaches in the Creation where something else had had a chance to be luminously glimpsed. Ways in which God chose to hide within the light of day, not a full list, for the list was probably endless, but chance encounters with details of God’s unseen world. Its chapters headed “To Listen to the Voices of the Dead.” “To Pass Through the Impenetrable Earth.” “To Find the Invisible Gateways.” “To Recognize the Faces of Those with the Knowledge.”
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