The Slog TJE - Chapters 4-6 [Spoilers]

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« on: March 10, 2016, 11:58:01 am »
Chapter 4:

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But more and more the different eye seems to open, one that has perplexed her for many years—that frightens her like an unwanted yen for perversion.

So, later Akka will tell her that the Judging Eye involves pregnant women, yet, here we are told how Mimara has had it for years.

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"He says it himself, Every life is a cipher..." Another deep inhalation. "A riddle."

"And you think Seswatha's life is such."

"I know it is."

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Mandate Schoolmen claim to relive Seswatha's life, but this is only partially true. In fact, we dream only portions, the long trauma of the First Apocalypse. All we dream is the spectacle. 'Seswatha,' the old Mandate joke goes, 'does not shit.' The banalities—the substance of his life—is missing... The truth of his life is missing."

I had mentioned before, I do think the Dreams are becoming more truthful.  However, I still think that the truth is intertwined with the propaganda of the usual Dreams.

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His hatred of Kellhus she finds understandable, though she herself bears no grudge against her stepfather. She barely knows the Aspect-Emperor, and those rare times she found herself alone with him on the Andiamine Heights—twice—he seemed at once radiant and tragic, perhaps the most immediate and obvious soul she had ever encountered.

I think once upon a time, there was speculation that Kellhus might be the father of Mimara's child.  This quote certainly seems to refute that well.

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Bundling a blanket about her nakedness, she crawls to the dim bed of coals, where she sits, rocking herself between clutched arms and rough folds, trying to squeeze away the memory of skidding skin, the wheezing of old man exertions.

...

"We have made our first mistake together," he says, as though it were something significant. "We will not make it again."

I think I had sort of overlooked this the first time I had read it.  I think there is little doubt that Akka is Mimara's child's father.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2016, 01:17:33 pm »
Chapter 5:

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An image of her own sister came to Nannaferi, her childhood twin, the one who did not survive the pox.

Again, as has been mentioned before, twins (like blindness) have some meta-physical deeper meaning in Earwa.

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Only in his third summer, when Hagitatas, with doddering yet implacable patience, made a litany of the difference between beast, man, and god, was Kelmomas able to overcome the tumult that was his brother. "Beasts move," the old physician would rasp. "Men reflect. Gods make real." Over and over. "Beasts move. Men reflect. Gods make real. Beasts move..." Perhaps it was simply the repetition. Perhaps it was the palsied tone, the way his breath undid the substance of his words, allowing them to soak into the between places, the gem-cutting lines. "Beasts move..." Over and over, until finally Kelmomas simply turned to him and said, "Men reflect."

A blink, and what was one had become two.

This theory has been presented in the past and i can't help but feel that the process of separating the twins is what "invited" a god into the equation.  Sammy got the feelings and lost his intellect, Kel got the intellect and the voice of a god as surrogate feelings.

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It had been this way ever since Hagitatas had taught him the difference between beast, man, and god—ever since he first had looked away from his brother's face.

Samarmas is the beast.  Kelmomas is the man.  And the God, well, we don't know exactly who.

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You are, the secret voice said, her only love remaining.

So, a major question I want to keep my eye on with this reread is the motive of the voice, to try to figure which god it might be.  It seems to be moving against Esmenent, but is not friendly to Yatwer.  Ajokli seems probable, but we'll see.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2016, 07:12:56 pm »
I hadn't picked up on that before, but yeah, the ritual used to separate them seems to point verrrry directly at the theory that one of the Hundred accompanies Kelmomas - specifically, Ajokli, given that Bakker has been pretty clear associating his characters with their respective gods since the beginning of TSA and everything indicates the Trickster would be Kel's patron. Maybe what the Voice says in your last quote alludes to Ajokli's purpose in possessing the boy: another cruel joke for life to play on Esmenet, taking away the last thing she loves. I figure this will somehow relate to Esmenet seeing her beloved son for what he really is.

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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2016, 11:53:19 am »
I hadn't picked up on that before, but yeah, the ritual used to separate them seems to point verrrry directly at the theory that one of the Hundred accompanies Kelmomas - specifically, Ajokli, given that Bakker has been pretty clear associating his characters with their respective gods since the beginning of TSA and everything indicates the Trickster would be Kel's patron. Maybe what the Voice says in your last quote alludes to Ajokli's purpose in possessing the boy: another cruel joke for life to play on Esmenet, taking away the last thing she loves. I figure this will somehow relate to Esmenet seeing her beloved son for what he really is.

Indeed, I think it is mostly to get  at Esmenet, but not so simply to just kill her.  Which is interesting, in and of itself.  Perhaps though, I am thinking  too shallow, perhaps it is more to get at Kellhus?  If it was solely about Esmenet, there have been plenty of opportunities to get to her that were never taken.

Chapter 6:

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Then the Captain said, "What lies in Sauglish?"

The words fairly knocked the blood out of Sarl's ruddy face. Perhaps there were consequences for misreading the Captain's interest. Perhaps the man had simply wandered too far out on a drunken limb. For some reason, Achamian had the impression that Lord Kosoter's voice always had this effect.

So, I was buying the "Sarl as the hooded traveler" in the prologue, but after this and the rest of the scene, I'm really not so sure.  I even have some doubt that Sarl is a skin-spy here at this point.  Then again, was he sent there originally just to watch Cleric?  Now, it is flustered by this unexpected complication?

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The hood bowed to the tabletop. "I can no longer remember. I have known Ishterebinth, I think... But it was not called such then."

Hmmm, Ishterebinth having another name?  What does that even mean?

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"You're a learned man," Sarl added, speaking through strings of phlegm. An uncommon intensity had fixed his rodent features—as if some life-or-death opportunity were on the verge of slipping from his grasp. "Tell me, what do you think of the concept of coincidence? Do you think things happen for reasons?"

Perhaps he is a skin-spy and he is now realizing why he was actually sent to watch Cleric?

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"I remember..." the blackness wrapped by the cowl said. "I remember the slaughter of..."

A peculiar sound, like a sob thumbed into the shape of a cackle.

"Of children."

"A man," the Captain grimly noted, "has got to remember."

I wonder what they refers to?  The Womb-Plague?  The Sack of Sauglish, as Akka dreams of it?

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The same eye-pinching grin. "I've been with the Captain since the beginning," he cackled. "From before the Imperial Bounty, in the wars against the Orthodox. I've seen him stand untouched in a hail of arrows, while I cringed behind my shield. I was at his side on the walls of Meigeiri, when the fucking Longbeards fell over themselves trying to flee from his blood-maddened gaze. I was there, after the battle of Em'famir. With these two ears I heard the Aspect-Emperor—the Aspect-Emperor!—name him Ironsoul!"

So, is this a lie then?  He doesn't say it will Kosoter around, but why make it up at all then?

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"You, Seswatha," the High-King said, returning his gaze to the plate. "You are the only one. The only one I trust."

Achamian thought of his Queen, her buttocks against his hips, her calves hooked hot and hungry about his waist.

The High-King moved a stone, a move that Seswatha had not foreseen, and the rules changed in the most disastrous way possible. What had been opportunity found itself twisted inside out, stamped into something as closed and as occluded as the future.

Achamian was almost relieved...

"I have built a place... a refuge..." Anasûrimbor Celmomas said. "A place where my line can outlive me."

Ishuäl...

What does it mean that Akka is "almost relieved?"  Glad that Celmomas had a plan, that he had Ishuäl?
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2016, 12:11:19 pm »
H., good stuff. Only thing is I don't believe Sarl was the skin-spy. The last we see Sarl,  Akka and Mimara leave him at Sauglish and he'sa cackling,  raving madman at that point. Unless,  I'm remembering wrong,  the skin-spy was Soma.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2016, 12:17:44 pm »
H., good stuff. Only thing is I don't believe Sarl was the skin-spy. The last we see Sarl,  Akka and Mimara leave him at Sauglish and he'sa cackling,  raving madman at that point. Unless,  I'm remembering wrong,  the skin-spy was Soma.

Oh, yeah, duh.  Wow, it is very, very, Monday.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2016, 02:27:16 pm »
Chapter 4

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That’s what they say,” Achamian replies, savouring his smoke. “That the Dreams are a goad to action, a call to arms. That by suffering the First Apocalypse over and over, we had no choice but to war against the possibility of the Second.”“You think otherwise?” A shadow falls across his face. “I think that your adoptive father, our glorious, all-conquering Aspect-Emperor, is right.” The hatred is plain in his voice. “Kellhus?” she asks. An old man shrug—an ancient gesture hung on failing bones. “He says it himself, Every life is a cipher …” Another deep inhalation. “A riddle.”“And you think Seswatha’s life is such.”“I know it is. "

So, here we find proof(in my eyes at least) that indeed Seswatha is leading Akka to a destination. Its just that its a riddled,  a cipher that Akka must puzzle out to find the destination. I've always believed that the dreams come from Seswatha,  not Kellhus.

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I’m not even sure when it began happening, let alone why,” he said, pausing to draw a palsied breath. “The Dreams began to change … in strange, little ways at first. Mandate Schoolmen claim to relive Seswatha’s life, but this is only partially true. In fact, we dream only portions, the long trauma of the First Apocalypse. All we dream is the spectacle. ‘Seswatha,’ the old Mandate joke goes, ‘does not shit.’ The banalities—the substance of his life—is missing … The truth of his life is missing."

Yet,  now Akka is experiencing the ordinary moments in the life of Seswatha. Just another piece of evidence that points to Seswatha, not Kellhus.

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I have no idea. Perhaps it’s the Whore—fucking Fate. Perhaps it’s a happy consequence of my madness—for one cannot endure what I’ve endured day and night without going a little mad, I assure you.” He made her laugh by blinking his eyes and jerking his head in caricature. “Perhaps, by ceasing to live my own life, I’d began living his. Perhaps some dim memory, some spark of Seswatha's soul is reaching out to me...perhaps."

Yet more proof that its Seswatha and not Kellhus.

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How could he be so oblivious? The Dûnyain was her father! The Dûnyain.

This reminded me of Cnaüir. Maybe, just maybe a bit of him lives on through Akka. In hating all things Dunyain.

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When you stood before him!” he roared. “When you knelt in his presence , did you feel it? Hollow and immovable, as if you were at once smoke and yet possessed the bones of the world? Truth? Did you feel Truth?”“Yes!” she cried. “Everyone does! Everyone! He’s the Aspect-Emperor! He’s the Saviour. He’s come to save us! Come to save the Sons of Men!” Achamian stared at her aghast, his own vehemence ringing in his ears. Of course she was a believer. “He sent you. "

While I don't believe Kellhus to be sending the Dreams, I do believe he has a good idea at what is a stake. Clearly, he sent Mimara and also the traveller, whoever that might be. He knows Akka and Mimara need each other and have an important role to play in the events.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 02:39:17 pm by MSJ »
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2016, 05:41:24 pm »
While I don't believe Kellhus to be sending the Dreams, I do believe he has a good idea at what is a stake. Clearly, he sent Mimara and also the traveller, whoever that might be. He knows Akka and Mimara need each other and have an important role to play in the events.

Yeah, I'm still buying that Seswatha is the source of the changed Dreams.  I still thing we are only getting "half-truths" though.  Truths still mixed with the "standard issue" propaganda of the usual Dreams.


To go back to where I lost track of my own thoughs this morning, I was trying to follow the line to who the mysterious traveller is in the prologue.  The idea that it was Sarl stuck with me, but in retrospect now, I don't think he is lying when he says how he had been with Kosoter since the begining.  And his shock at Kosoter taking Akka's request seriously seemed genuine to me.

So, thinking about it, I can imagine one of two "forces" the traveler represents, either Kellhus or the Consult.  Since we already know who the Consult agent actually is, I don't really think that is the direction to go.  I would tend to think that the Skin-Eaters were placed because Kellhus knew that Akka and Mimara would need an escort.  This theory still points to the Skin-Eaters being placed by Kellhus, because he knew that Akka and Mimara would go there looking for someone to take them to Sauglish.

As we learn much later, seemingly the fact that the Consult had an agent near Mimara was something of an accident.  So, that means they probably didn't place them Skin-Eaters there at all.  It all points to Kellhus having set the meeting up really.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2016, 08:06:48 pm »
As we learn much later, seemingly the fact that the Consult had an agent near Mimara was something of an accident.  So, that means they probably didn't place them Skin-Eaters there at all.  It all points to Kellhus having set the meeting up really.

Yea,  this is my line of thinking, also. It could even go back to TTT when Kellhus tells Akka he will kneel the next time they meet. Your post made me think of this. Wonder if during that scene Kellhus is going through the Probability Trance and forsee that, that will be so. One problem with that that I have, is Mimara. We find out they didn't go looking for her til after Inrilaitis(I believe), but Kellhus could've seen that too, I guess. Furthermore,  going back to my quote about Kellhus sending Mimara,  it makes further sense. Akka thanks the Whore for sending Mimara and prompting his trip to Marrow because the Ordeal is on the March. I'd speculate that this is the exact time Kellhus needs Akka to get off his rump and take Mimara wherever they need to go. So, not the Whore, Kellhus.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2016, 09:16:47 pm »
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Furthermore,  going back to my quote about Kellhus sending Mimara,  it makes further sense. Akka thanks the Whore for sending Mimara and prompting his trip to Marrow because the Ordeal is on the March. I'd speculate that this is the exact time Kellhus needs Akka to get off his rump and take Mimara wherever they need to go. So, not the Whore, Kellhus.
I think it's probably worth noting here that it is in fact Kelmomas which ultimately pushes Mimara to leave the Andiamine Heights. Little Kel makes an effort to avoid papa Kel too because the latter can sound the former. Kelmomas--whether you want to attribute it to the Voice or intellectual intuition--seems very aware of his father's capabilities, so I have a bit of a hard time reconciling that Kellhus is operating at several removes and through his youngest son to put Akka in the right place at the right time. But then again it's so hard to determine to what extent Kellhus is orchestrating things.

But since I put forth a haphazard theory on a god using Kelmomas, I'm going to just throw this behind it too. It does raise the question whether there is dissension among the gods and ultimately relies on some of them working in conjunction. Perhaps the gods favour--in a direct sense--or even pick avatars, if you will: Akka being one such example for Fate, perhaps Cnaiur for War (though Gilgaol features quite prominently in PoN). I might just be rambling now though, so dissect and undermine

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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2016, 09:59:42 pm »
Camlost, quit pissing in my Cheerios, lol! I did indeed forget about Kel. As to your other point, Sorweel/Yatwer, Akka/Anagke, Kel/Ajokli, Cnaüir/Gilgoal, is there any other we are forgetting.

Back to Kel, what if Kel just thinks he pushed Mimara away? I can't remember but Mimara doesn't say anything of the sort, does she? 
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,

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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2016, 11:05:16 pm »
Maybe the Voice is shielding Kelmomas from Kellhus somehow and the boy hasn't realized it yet. However, I doubt it - to be honest, I find it incredibly hard to believe that Kellhus isn't completely aware of Kelmomas. I would say one of the highly probable alternative explanations, if the Voice proves not to be Ajokli, is that it is Kellhus himself. Even so, Kellhus seems to feel a dim (but nonetheless real) affection for Esmenet and I doubt he would maneuver to almost explicitly destroy her. I think it's possible that Kelmomas, and maybe Akka himself, are other strokes against Kellhus by the Hundred. Maybe Sorweel is a feint.

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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2016, 01:43:19 am »
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Camlost, quit pissing in my Cheerios, lol! I did indeed forget about Kel. As to your other point, Sorweel/Yatwer, Akka/Anagke, Kel/Ajokli, Cnaüir/Gilgoal, is there any other we are forgetting
Don't fret, I brought Fruit Loops  :D

I tried to mark as many of the Hundred while reading PoN. I only noticed six or seven, the only other coming to mind being Momas.

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I think it's possible that Kelmomas, and maybe Akka himself, are other strokes against Kellhus by the Hundred. Maybe Sorweel is a feint.
This begs the question who among the Hundred are for or against Kellhus. Also, perhaps loosely related, might some have them been already working towards whatever their ends may be previous to TAE.

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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2016, 11:14:19 am »
There is, of course, the prospect of Akka actually being right, that Anagkë, through Kel, actually did deliver Mimara to him.

A bit unlikely, but possible.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasûrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2016, 10:34:10 pm »
Chapter 6

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Oh, yes, he’s mortal, to be sure. He’s a man like other men, as many an unfortunate peach has discovered, believe you me. But something watches him, and more important, something watches through him.

So, there's been plenty of speculation on the Captain. Wether he is a wraith, Ciphrang or what have you. Clearly he is human, but something watches through him. Is he an avatar of a God, or is Kellhus able to watch through him?


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I have built a place … a refuge …” Anasûrimbor Celmomas said. “A place where my line can outlive me. Ishual....

So, I've always speculated that Ishual was a Nonmen mansion that Celmommas found and made into a refuge. What if Celmommas worked with the Nonmen to build this place, unbeknownst to Seswatha?

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The truth of men lay in their origins. He knew this as only a Mandate Schoolman could. Anasûrimbor Kellhus had not come to the Three Seas by accident. He had not found his half-brother waiting for him as Shriah of the Thousand Temples by accident. He had not conquered the known world by accident.

Just more proof, to me, that the Dunyain are part of something more. Its more than just Moe, there was a plan and Kellhus is the culmination of the plan. If anything, this reread has reinforced my belief that Seswatha is behind the Dunyain.
“No. I am your end. Before your eyes I will put your seed to the knife. I will quarter your carcass and feed it to the dogs. Your bones I will grind to dust and cast to the winds. I will strike down those who speak your name or the name of your fathers, until ‘Yursalka’ becomes as meaningless as infant babble. I will blot you out, hunt down your every trace! The track of your life has come to me,