[MD] cloud atlas.

Dan Glover daneglover at gmail.com
Tue Sep 12 20:48:21 PDT 2017

Hi Adrie,

Glad you are enjoying Cloud Atlas. Yes I agree how David Mitchell does
a stellar job with his characters and their settings. Oh. The Kona
episode is written from the future tense and disregard this if you
haven't made it through the entire book yet as it may contain

the dialect is I think meant to reflect a breakdown in social
standards (and morality as well, thus the rather filthy and limp
portrayal) in some unspecified but certainly not too distant point in
time and it is set on the islands of what we today call Hawaii. This
is I think a rather ingenious portrayal of social patterns devolving
rather than evolving, the result of what we might term negative

The point of view character starts as a young boy I believe of around
7 years old who unwittingly leads the Kona back to his camp where the
barbarians slaughter his father and older brother while he hides in
the forest. Later, the boy now grown meets with a newcomer to the
island who might or might not be a relative and who might or might not
be the reincarnated persona of earlier characters in the story. Note
the comet-shaped birthmark.

You might notice how David Mitchell uses reincarnation as a touchstone
not only in Cloud Atlas but in all his stories. The same characters
continually appear and reappear throughout his novels. You might even
make the case how the boy is not only a descendant of one of the
earlier characters in the book, the one who mistakenly believes he's
been afflicted with a deadly parasite, but quite probably the
reincarnated persona. The doctor who treats him (or rather mistreats)
is relateable to a character from The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de
Zoet and The Bone Clocks and is a traveler of an altogether different

The intermingling nature of the stories leads the reader up the hill
and then back down again which I think is much like Robert Pirsig's
two novels, ZMM leading us up and Lila taking us back down. Thus the
mention of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in Cloud Atlas is
I think no accident or whim of the author but instead what we might
term a touchstone, a point on a map guiding us to a more expansive
point of view.

On Tue, Sep 12, 2017 at 4:33 PM, Adrie Kintziger <parser666 at gmail.com> wrote:
> I did some more reading today, Dan, and i have to say,the story's are
> stunning.This writer is really far pitching.What took my attention most and
> give me the feeling that i was walking around in alice's wonderland, is
> that he went around the geographical timetable's to situate his caracters
> in their locations.
> When JR Ewing speaks , he uses the 1850  spelling of the Dutch /Flemish
> language,when the letters of Zedelghem are spoken about, the author uses
> the 1931 language spelling, as the story situates itself in..... etc,
> brilliant!, he actually used words that i had to look up in the dictionary,
> and i'm from around here.A particulair word,"verwaten", does nor even exist
> anymore!;this is a very rare quality in a writer.
> He actually writes some phrases in Western Flemish,like he is from around
> there, dialect as they come. Superb.
> But i'm struggling with one of the story's.
> He embeds a story about the Kona within the two orison articles(not written
> as a chapter). It looks like an essay.But it is written in a sort of
> Dutch and absolutely not Flemish dialect, that is so filthy and limp, and
> idiotic that one can only find it around the big asocial city's like say
> Rotterdam and Amsterdam.Extremely annoying.I do not understand why this is
> written this way.
> Struggle....
> Adrie
> --
> parser
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