aleph symbol with title UNSONG

Book II: Exodus

[A picture of a ship with bright multicolored sails in front of a city with various strange skyscrapers. The text says “Your faith was strong but you needed proof / Hay hay yud tav mem tav vav kuf / A ship on which another sailed before us / She saw his flag on the highest mast / She saw a dream that couldn’t last / The Comet King receiving haMephorash – Leonard Cohen, HaMephorash”. City image by a reader who wishes to remain unnamed; ship image is a photoshop of this concept yacht]

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to Book II: Exodus

  1. Daniel Blank says:

    What are the original lyrics of this verse?

    • Pickle says:

      Your faith was strong but you needed proof
      You saw her bathing on the roof
      Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
      She tied you to a kitchen chair
      She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
      And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

      • Daniel Blank says:

        Pattern detected: first line is the same each time. Therefore (thank you Google) the next verse will likely start “I did not take the Name in vain”.

        • Actually, it would be “You say I took the Name in vain”.

          (But how could that possibly be relevant to this story?)

          Also, although Pickle is mostly right, I sort of blended it with the Jeff Buckley version (“I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch”).

        • Good Burning Plastic says:

          Nope. First line of first verse of “Hallelujah” ends with “chord”, that of “HaMephorash” ends with “word”.

        • Aran says:

          You say I took the Name in vain
          I don’t even know the Name
          But if I did, well really, what’s it to ya?
          There’s a blaze of light in every word
          It doesn’t matter which you heard
          The holy or the broken Hallelujah

          See also Aaron’s troubles with the Vital Name. Not a coincidence.

  2. Daniel Blank says:

    Also, this looks a lot like “his flag”:

  3. ההיתמתוק?

    It may decompose as ה הית מתוק, “God you were sweet” (In the “You, God, were sweet” sense, not the “by god you’re sweet!” sense”). Probably it’s just meant to be a subset of the Shem Hamephorash with o further meaning though.

    • 271 says:

      the last book’s title page began with תר (tav resh) — not sure if they’re supposed to be combined somehow?

    • I speak Hebrew, but I barely read or write in it, so take my statements with a grain of salt since they depend on the spelling being correct.

      I think 271 is right: the letters make more sense if you consider the “תר” from book one. That way, we can form the fragment “תרה הית מתוק” (torah hayit matok), or “Torah you were sweet”. “מתוק” is the wrong gender (“תרה” and “הית” are feminine, but “מתוק” is masculine), so it’s likely the next will begin with “ה”, turning it into “מתוקה” (metoka), which is the feminine form.

      • Daniel says:

        So Leonard Cohen is spelling out a Name in song… but not in the standard Pig Latin. Actually, given what’s been said about klippot, singing the whole song should activate the Explicit Name for anyone who knows the Hebrew alphabet. We’re looking at the culmination of the Unitarian project!

        • maybe_slytherin says:

          Yes. Thank you. Incredibly obvious now, but I didn’t realize before you pointed it out!

          Now, what does the name do? Do we know this is the explicit name?

  4. ton says:

    Glad we finally have confirmation that Sohu is not the Comet King’s daughter.

  5. YumAntimatter says:

    Something that just occurred to me: in our universe, Leonard Cohen recorded “Hallelujah” in June of 1984. So unless the timeline shifted for some reason, the Comet King must have “incanted haMephorash” before then.

    Further speculation to follow when I am not on my phone.

    • This is before Suho/Uriel started hanging out. Actually, it seems right around the time Sohu was born (a bit later – but if Leonard Cohen got the idea from something concrete maybe he would’ve come up with the song earlier. Or maybe it took a while from getting the idea to writing the song).

      Idea: TCK’s wife gave him the Shem Hamephorash somehow when they met, then got pregnant, and then Leonard Cohen wrote a song about it? TCK seems like the type to be trigger-happy with marriage proposals.

    • It’s a good idea, but I’m not a good enough author to make it work. Assume Cohen recorded it subsequently later in this world, or had prophetic powers, or something.

    • Sniffnoy says:

      See also. 😛

    • Good Burning Plastic says:

      So unless the timeline shifted for some reason,

      Yeah, it’s not like the sky cracking and all sorts of ultra-weird things happening might make you compose songs at different times than you otherwise would, is it.

      • Andrew M says:

        You might well think that. You might also think that, for instance, the succession of US Presidents (whatever US stands for), or the career of Sarah Michelle Gellar (who wasn’t even born at the time of the divergence), would be dramatically altered by such a change, but this story suggests that this is not so: the world remains, in many respects, mysteriously on course even among radical changes.

  6. Good Burning Plastic says:

    I would have used a larger font for the lyrics.

    • I actually did increase the size of the lyrics about a half-hour before you posted this. Possibly it’s cached in some way. Are other people seeing small or reasonably-sized lyrics? Does it change if you go to the image itself and reload?

      • Good Burning Plastic says:

        Now I get the version with the large font. I didn’t clear my browser’s cache or anything.

  7. Sniffnoy says:

    Hm, so the image — OK, it appears to be San Francisco, with the eye on the TransAmerica Pyramid. So, that’s outside the Comet King’s domain. His flag on the ship could mean its his own ship, or it could just be any ship from Royal Colorado, I guess. The colors on the sails are interesting — you’ve got your standard red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple… and then black. What’s that’s supposed to mean? If it were representing the 3-cube, there should be white as well, but there isn’t. (The ship is white, I guess, but that hardly seems the same.) But since it’s apparently using subtractive color, I guess white would be zero. So it makes P^2(F_2)? The Cayley plane? Somehow I’m guessing that’s probably not Scott’s intention. Still, the omission of zero has to be intentional somehow…

    • B_Epstein says:

      I just thought it was a rainbow. *Hides after making a trivial comment*.

      • Sniffnoy says:

        I mean, sure, it is a rainbow, but it also includes black. That has to mean something.

        • Sniffnoy says:

          Hm — you know what else was called “Exodus”? The third Ultima game. And in Ultima IV and later, the 8 colors represented different virtues. The one missing is white, which represented spirituality. Because the Comet King is highly virtuous, but ultimately a deist?

          …yeah, that one’s probably a coincidence. You’d think black would be missing; guy doesn’t exactly seem very humble. Except maybe in the way that Moses was supposedly humble, IDK.

    • Vaniver says:

      The wings are also extended, but that’s probably to make it less ugly. (I’m tickled because I can recognize the hotel I’m currently staying in.)

    • Sniffnoy says:

      Oops, not sure why I wrote “Cayley plane” there rather than “Fano plane”.

    • Emma Pooka says:

      Sorry, I think my comment below should have gone in this thread!
      Black pyramid shape followed by usual spectrum. Blatantly the cover of Dark Side of the Moon (i.e. the other side of the crystal sphere).

  8. hnau says:

    Now I’m intrigued… which version of “Hallelujah” will these book titles follow, if any? Cohen’s original 1984 recording had four verses, but the 1994 Jeff Buckley recording had five and it’s arguably better known (if you remember the last verse as including the “cold and broken” line, it’s the Buckley version). I favor the Buckley version, for reasons that should be kabbalistically obvious. Scott might not have intended to sign himself up for doing five books of this length, though, especially if one of them has to be called “Leviticus”.

    • LHC says:

      Wait, are you *really* doubting that the third book is going to be called Leviticus?

      • hnau says:

        So far, Genesis and Exodus have been appropriate to the subject matter. Doing that with Leviticus seems like kind of a tall order. Deuteronomy too, if you take the Latin at its face value. But if anyone can pull it off, I suppose Scott can.

        • Galle says:

          Leviticus will obviously have a lot more focus on copyright law.

          • Galle says:

            Wait, no, I got my etymologies mixed up and we don’t have a delete function here, disregard that.

        • Sniffnoy says:

          Have they really fit the subject matter, though? I’m not so sure. Genesis, OK, it’s the beginning. Exodus, well, we haven’t seen an exodus yet. Maybe later. (Also, nitpick, but you mean Greek, not Latin.)

          If they are supposed to fit, I suppose that would explain why they’re in English rather than Hebrew… otherwise they’d all be Shemot! 😛 (OK and also Devarim but, like, that’s just a problem with the naming already in the Torah, it wouldn’t be more of a problem here.)

  9. Anonymous says:

    Why is the second book’s pseudo-chapter named “Book 2” when the first one is “Book I”?

  10. Emma Pooka says:

    First comment – I am late to this serial and so far love it with the fire of a thousand suns, and wish I’d paid more attention in Hebrew school so I could join in with more of this speculation.
    What I think I have spotted, though, is that the boat is the cover of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Right?

  11. Pingback: Unsong, a fantasy novel where the universe is programmable with Hebrew by Banana699 -

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *