Let’s Read The Slow Regard of Silent Things: ch. 3


Chapter 3: Beautiful and Broken



After doing whatever it is happened last time Auri goes back to get the gear again.

It was patient as three stones,

What does that meeeeaaaaan

Basically Auri is just wandering around seeing if the gear “feels at home” anywhere, but since this is governed by her completely nonsensical perception there isn’t a whole lot of suspense or mystery or…. well…. anything. Eventually she decides to go to that mysterious room she found in chapter one, because why the hell not.

(Incidentally I’m still not sure if all of this stuff is supposed to be down to Auri’s magical mind damage or if it’s just her natural quirkiness. Notably, Elodin was also insufferably quirky but he largely seemed to be putting it on, whereas with Auri it seems to be a fundamental alteration to how she perceives the world)

To be so lovely and so lost. To be all answerful with all that knowing trapped inside. To be beautiful and broken.

Well at least it wasn’t referring to what I thought it was going to refer to.

Eventually the answer to the scintillating mystery of both the gear and the room are solved: Auri puts the gear and the belt buckle together and that…. makes everything good. Or something. Reading this is like reading a walkthrough for an adventure game whee none of the puzzles make any sense.

Auri laughed in delight, and every piece of the laughing was a tiny bird come tumbling out to fly around the room.

Hey that’s pretty nice

On the way back to Wherever Auri hears music and assumes it’s Kvothe, arrived early. This is of course mightily exciting because Kvothe is just the coolest you guys.

There was her newfound ring of autumn gold. That was fine enough, surely. And it suited him, twice bright. But as a gift it was . . . foreboding. She did not wish to hint at him of demons.



Auri climbs out of the underthing and onto a high vantage point, assassin’s creed style.

Then she was On Top Of Things. She could see everything and forever. All of Temerant spooled endlessly away beneath her feet.

So I meant to talk about this earlier, but back in the Let’s Read I mentioned that Kvothe’s world didn’t have any name beyond “the four corners of civilization”. Just recently at the conclusion of a charity fundraiser it was announced on Rothfuss’ blog that The World has a name: Temerant.

Which…. okay. It seems a bit weird to spend that long fine-tuning a word that sounds like every single other conlang word in the series. I mean it seems like he could have just as easily gone with Scordiel or Yathrill or Floopityboop but what do I know.

(Edit: a commentor has alerted us to the fact that Temerant is actually Latin)

There wasn’t anything. Just warm tar under her feet. And chimbleys.

Between this and “nekkid” I’m really starting to wonder if some typos slipped through the editing process (again: this is an officially purchased kindle version).

Anyway it looks like Kvothe wasn’t actually there so Auri is sad.

To recap, things we have learned so far about Auri in this book about Auri:

– she’s quirky

– she really, really, really likes Kvothe

– um

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13 thoughts on “Let’s Read The Slow Regard of Silent Things: ch. 3

  1. Pingback: Doing In The Wizard

  2. Basheer Ghouse

    Chimbley’s a valid dialect form of Chimney, not a typo. He’s probably using it (As well as nekkid) to reinforce the infantilization of Auri as opposed to being bizarrely unable to spell. Still pretty crap, but a different flavor of crap than you might think!

  3. q____q

    To me „Temerant“ sounds like something you can buy for a surprisingly high amount of money from Whole Foods that has some pseudo-racist marketing á la „The corn of the Inca“

      1. Austin H. Williams

        Hm, could be interesting if it were, but it still feels unlikely.

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t that make “temerant” a verb, and not even a participle or infinitive form that could theoretically become a noun? If Rothfuss wanted to name a world something along the lines of “the desecration,” wouldn’t another term have been better?

        If this is supposed to be Latin, it’s odd that Rothfuss would take his precious creation and name it “To Desecrate,” but I woudn’t put it above him because useless wordplay is also sort of his thing. Then again, so is completely pulling stuff from his arse and it just accidentally appearing intelligent…

        1. Chackludwig

          Rothfuss does strike me as someone who doesn’t know anything about Latin but “it sounds sophisticated and smart, and I’m sophisticated and smart, so I’m gonna use it”

          … which I suspect is standard modus operandi for a lot of fantasy authors

  4. Reveen

    Chimbley definitely sounds like a typo. But nekkid would take one hell of a muscle spasm. Seems more like an insufferable artistic choice.

    Also, whats with her ending up high from the Underthing? Did she do a Metal Gear style endless ladder climb?

    1. andrea harris

      I think with “chimbley” and “nekkid” Rothfuss was trying for some antique folksiness, but coming in the midst of all that quirkily delicate poetical froth it just looks awkward. Also I think maybe that should be “chumbley” not “chimbley” but who knows.

      1. Straw Man

        “Chimbley” is used by Uncle Remus, and is the actual word for chimney in Norfolk (England) dialect. It’s no longer used, to my knowledge, but it’s associated with the antebellum South in the U.S., but particularly (thanks to Uncle Remus) with slave dialect.

        “Nekkid” is a phonetic spelling of the actual pronunciation in Southern dialects, like the mountain dialect of Appalachia. Southerners I know (disclaimer: not a terribly large group), who also speak “standard” English, tend to use “nekkid” as a softened version of naked–specifically, very small children with a tendency to go streaking will hear, “Get back inside! You’re all nekkid!” I strongly suspect that Rothfuss has that usage, or something like it, in mind.

        “In the altogether,” meaning naked, was introduced in 1895 in George du Maurier’s novel Trilby. I’ve never seen it used outside fiction writing, which busts my theory that he’s lifting most of this stuff straight from the Southern American dialect. According to Google ngrams, it was never popular, and its use peaked in the 1920’s. Funnily enough, its popularity since the 1920’s has been fairly similar to the popularity of “nekkid.”

        “Nethers” as a euphemism for genitals was never popular–even less popular than nekkid–but it seems to have plateaued in the years around 1910, and briefly peaked about the same time as “in the altogether.” Possibly the first time I heard it, probably not coincidentally, was in Firefly, when Kaylee said, “Goin’ on a year now I ain’t had nothin’ twixt my nethers weren’t run on batteries.” Whedon was following his usual technique of simulating dialect and adopting euphemisms that let him push the boundary of the show’s rating for graphic dialogue. Again no Southern connection,

        So hm. I was working on a theory that he was a Southern boy (he’s from Wisconsin), and that he just used a grab-bag of (antiquated) Southern dialect, but apparently not. It’s looking more like a grab-bag of stuff he read somewhere, with heavy reliance on the “Antiquated Linguistics” trope. Now I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time looking all this stuff up. Perhaps that’s how you feel, carefully reading his work.

    2. Austin H. Williams

      “Chimbley” and “nekkid” both sound like a contrived sort of child-speak to me, which fits in with this overarching theme of “creepy infantilisation” that goes along with this character.

      Switching “laughter” for “laughing” in one of the other pulled quotes above gave me the same vibe.


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