TCD Question #18 - They All Wound, The Last One Kills

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TCD Question #18 - They All Wound, The Last One Kills

Unread postby Liz » Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:50 am

Chapter VII - Book Number One and Book Number Two, Pg. 142. “They all wound, he read. The last one kills.” How is this line significant to the story?
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Re: TCD Question #18 - They All Wound, The Last One Kills

Unread postby Endora » Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:57 am

Liz, I'm thinking it was meant to mean Fargas' pain at getting rid of his books, as it introduces this part but like so many sections of the text it can be taken on so many levels. I automatically thought of Corso and his loves, how Nikon had left him hurt, how the interlude with Lianna left him hurt in other ways, and how the coming affair with green-eyes will turn out. But that's a first thought, and I'm sure there is an interpretaion which hangs on the Napoleonic theme as well.
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Re: TCD Question #18 - They All Wound, The Last One Kills

Unread postby fansmom » Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:54 pm

I just thought it was foreshadowing--along with the broken statues and dead leaves and mildew and the single wineglass and the Abraham/Isaac theme--of Fargas' imminent death. Similar to a few pages later, when Fargas tells Corso one of his books "must die in order for the others to stay together." A foretelling of death and sacrifice.

Apparently it's not an uncommon thing to have inscribed upon a sundial, although it wouldn't be my first choice.

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Re: TCD Question #18 - They All Wound, The Last One Kills

Unread postby Endora » Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:08 pm

fansmom wrote:Apparently it's not an uncommon thing to have inscribed upon a sundial, although it wouldn't be my first choice.


Why is that? (I mean why on a sundial?)
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Re: TCD Question #18 - They All Wound, The Last One Kills

Unread postby fansmom » Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:10 pm

Endora wrote:
fansmom wrote:Apparently it's not an uncommon thing to have inscribed upon a sundial, although it wouldn't be my first choice.

Why is that? (I mean why on a sundial?)
I guess it's a reference to the passage of the hours.

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Re: TCD Question #18 - They All Wound, The Last One Kills

Unread postby gemini » Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:12 pm

They all wound. The last one kills.
This immediately reminded my of the Chinese execution of "Death by a thousand cuts". Anything that kills you slowly. I do agree that here it was Fargas selling his book collection one by one. It just turned out that he died before he sold the last one but still over not wanting to part with one of his books. The fact that it is on a sundial seems to make sense as it is a measurement of time. Watching time slip away while you slowly loose what is important to you is a torture of sorts.
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Re: TCD Question #18 - They All Wound, The Last One Kills

Unread postby Liz » Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:23 pm

Endora wrote:
fansmom wrote:Apparently it's not an uncommon thing to have inscribed upon a sundial, although it wouldn't be my first choice.


Why is that? (I mean why on a sundial?)


According to Wikipedia, Omnes vulnerant, ultima necat. is translated as:

All hours wound; the last one kills.

It is a reference to the passage of time. It has become common to inscribe a motto into a sundial that “prompts the viewer to reflect on the transience of the world and the inevitability of death.” Why "omnes" is translated differently on Wiki I do not know. I have been trying to find a translation for "omnes" online but only get "omnes". Are there any Latin scholars out there?

Now I am pondering how the passage of time and/or the inevitability of death might intertextually fit into this story. :-) Maybe this brings us back to Ilustration V (the miser couting his gold pieces and Death holding the hourglass in one hand and a pitchfork in the other).
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Re: TCD Question #18 - They All Wound, The Last One Kills

Unread postby Parlez » Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:27 pm

gemini wrote:They all wound. The last one kills.
This immediately reminded my of the Chinese execution of "Death by a thousand cuts". Anything that kills you slowly. I do agree that here it was Fargas selling his book collection one by one. It just turned out that he died before he sold the last one but still over not wanting to part with one of his books. The fact that it is on a sundial seems to make sense as it is a measurement of time. Watching time slip away while you slowly loose what is important to you is a torture of sorts.

Oooh, nice gemini! :cool:
I hadn't thought about it in connection with either the 'thousand cuts' or in terms of Time...every hour a wound...tick, tick, tick... wow!
I got the impression the sundial quote related to Fargas, in terms of every book he had to relinquish being so painful for him, like an open wound. And I felt Corso related to the quote as well because his experiences so far had been that way: a series of little wounds. It seemed like he was kind of waiting for the final blow to come.
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Re: TCD Question #18 - They All Wound, The Last One Kills

Unread postby Liz » Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:35 pm

Parlez wrote:
gemini wrote:They all wound. The last one kills.
This immediately reminded my of the Chinese execution of "Death by a thousand cuts". Anything that kills you slowly. I do agree that here it was Fargas selling his book collection one by one. It just turned out that he died before he sold the last one but still over not wanting to part with one of his books. The fact that it is on a sundial seems to make sense as it is a measurement of time. Watching time slip away while you slowly loose what is important to you is a torture of sorts.

Oooh, nice gemini! :cool:
I hadn't thought about it in connection with either the 'thousand cuts' or in terms of Time...every hour a wound...tick, tick, tick... wow!
I got the impression the sundial quote related to Fargas, in terms of every book he had to relinquish being so painful for him, like an open wound. And I felt Corso related to the quote as well because his experiences so far had been that way: a series of little wounds. It seemed like he was kind of waiting for the final blow to come.


Yes, that is a very good analogy, gemini. I was trying to relate it somehow to his having such a hard time giving up his books, but couldn't quite do it.
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Re: TCD Question #18 - They All Wound, The Last One Kills

Unread postby suec » Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:29 pm

I took this phrase at face value. I thought it referred to the fate of all men, as demonstrated by Fargas who appears to accept his fate. But the Nine Gates is offering a different fate for those who can use it. However, I also think it may refer not just to hours but to other things that wound - which could be whatever causes pain. It reminds me of Corso's reply to the girl's question about whether or not he believes in the devil: "I believe in stupidity and ignorance" he smiled wearily at the girl. "And I think that the best cut of all is the one you get here. See?" He pointed to his groin. "In the femoral artery". While you're in somebody's arms."
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Re: TCD Question #18 - They All Wound, The Last One Kills

Unread postby Buster » Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:47 pm

Oh dear.
It probably says way too much about my sense of humor, but I laughed out loud at this line. It reminded me of the the old line about always finding things in the last place you look...no kidding! You don't keep looking after you've found it. Surely after your last hour, you're dead.

(By the way, the next line in the book is:
"You arrived just in time...", which also tickles me)

Going back to the idea of a game, or puzzle - all of the clues chip away at the solution; when you have solved the last one, the game is over.

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Re: TCD Question #18 - They All Wound, The Last One Kills

Unread postby nebraska » Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:44 pm

Buster wrote:Oh dear.
It probably says way too much about my sense of humor, but I laughed out loud at this line. It reminded me of the the old line about always finding things in the last place you look...no kidding! You don't keep looking after you've found it. Surely after your last hour, you're dead.

(By the way, the next line in the book is:
"You arrived just in time...", which also tickles me)

Going back to the idea of a game, or puzzle - all of the clues chip away at the solution; when you have solved the last one, the game is over.


I have to admit that I thought similar thoughts - of course the last one kills, would you be wounded more after the fatal one? that seemed pretty obvious to me......so I probably missed the point.

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Re: TCD Question #18 - They All Wound, The Last One Kills

Unread postby Liz » Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:46 am

Buster wrote:Going back to the idea of a game, or puzzle - all of the clues chip away at the solution; when you have solved the last one, the game is over.

Love it! I like the way you think and I like your sense of humor. :cool:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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