aleph symbol with title UNSONG

Author’s Note 5: San Francisco, Polytopes, Divine Cars

Some more good fanart, this time of Unsong’s San Francisco:

This comes courtesy of Mehitabel Glenhaber. I am all in favor of doing the thing Eliezer did where creating good enough fanart earns your name a cameo in the book. According to Wikipedia, the name “Mehitabel” means “God causes good” in Biblical Hebrew. So in honor of her fan art, I will make this book about Jewish theodicy

But it is very good fanart indeed, so I will give her an extra cameo. Biblical Mehitabel is mentioned only in Genesis 36:39, as the wife of the Edomite king Hadar in the Edomite King List. This King List is actually very important – it is the source from which Isaac Luria kabbalistically derived the idea of the “shattering of the vessels”, which explains the existence of imperfection and the qlipot. So also in her honor, I will make this story about the Lurianic kabbalistic account of cosmic imperfection.

Also, Patrick Hunter on Facebook drew a picture of Thamiel. The name “Patrick” comes from the Latin “patrician”, meaning “noble”, and Hunter of course means hunter, so in his honor, Chapter 20 mentions King Nimrod, who the Bible calls a “mighty hunter”.

Anders Sandberg has done a detailed analysis of Uriel’s stacking problem from Chapter 20 about balancing various multidimensional shapes. I can only assume the name of his blog is a coincidence.

A few people brought up Unsong in the context of a gematria analysis purporting to show that Hillary Clinton is holding the family of the FBI director hostage. I endorse Unsong’s relevance to this claim.

Some of the jokes in Chapter 30 came from this page on what kind of car God drives.

Story-relevant links for the last few chapters: The Destruction of Sennacherib, Silverthorne and the Dillon Reservoir in Colorado, Wall Drug and its signs, Zzyzx, the Gibborim, Simon bar Kokhba, “it is not in Heaven”, Madrid Mideast Peace Conference, the Green Man of Peyote, Hymn of Breaking Strain (the song), rock n’ roll explanation of American Pie

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