aleph symbol with title UNSONG

Book III: Revelation

[A picture of Malia Ngo sitting at her desk, with a city on fire visible outside the window. The text says “You say I took the Name in vain / And after that I lost the Name / I gave it back to Him who holds it for us / But echoes sound in every word / It doesn’t matter what occurred / You never really lose the HaMephorash”. Image credit to Tasty_Y at learning-to-draw-stuff.tumblr.com]

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46 Responses to Book III: Revelation

  1. LHC says:

    Skipping straight from Exodus to Revelation? Well, first off, something is very, very off with this Torah, and second off, we’re in for a really bad time.

  2. Sniffnoy says:

    Revelation?? Last book then presumably?? Huh. (Skipping Chronicles, even. 😛 ) I guess that does make a bit more sense than cramming three more books in, but, wow.

    (Maybe this is a 0, 1, &infinity; thing?)

    Anyway Book 3, let’s GOOOOOOO 😀

    • Sniffnoy says:

      Ugh. 0, 1, ∞. I need to learn not to try to use HTML entities by memory… (ℵ for ℵ is another horribly unintuitive one).

    • LHC says:

      Oh shit, that’s perfect, the 0, 1, infinity progression makes perfect sense.

    • I thought it was pretty interesting watching people fail to update after the chapter count for Book II got implausibly high.

      • LPSP says:

        There were two alternatives – that the number of books promised was lower than 5, or that the number of chapters promised was greater than 72.

        Consider which one the enthusiast would wishfully prefer.

    • 75th says:

      We know there’s going to be a Book IV, don’t we? Didn’t Scott say when he was searching for an artist for this book’s cover that there was someone he was reserving for the next one?

      • The coment king says:

        Could be an end-of-book illustration, though.

      • Sniffnoy says:

        Hm, that’s a good point (though the Tumblr post seems to have been deleted, or at least I can’t find it). Could be like a 1-chapter book at the end or something.

        Guess it wouldn’t be a 0, 1, ∞ progression then. 0, 1, ω, ω+1? That seems a little doubtful… (Also 0, 1, ∞ is usually heard in cardinal contexts.)

      • Peter D says:

        I think Cohen’s HaMephorash has 4 verses (just like Hallelujah) so, we’ll have 4 books

        • Peter D says:

          And I remember thinking a couple of weeks ago that that would be pretty weird: having 5 books like the Torah, which would require a 5th verse of HaMephorash. Now it all makes more sense

        • Sniffnoy says:

          I didn’t even think to check that. That would certainly seem to support the “4-book” idea.

          So what comes after Revelation? Possibilities:
          1. Something entirely new (most likely, I think)
          2. Per LHC’s suggestion, going back before the “ב” in “Bereshit”; which would be what? Chaos and void? Tohu and bohu? Seems possible.
          3. The Quran? Unlikely, Scott has said he doesn’t know enough about Islamic mythology to include any, and anyway the Muslims would insist that the Quran isn’t exactly after Revelation
          4. The Book of Mormon? We haven’t really seen anything Mormon so far, unless the story’s America-centrism counts 😛 More likely than the Quran, though, I guess.

          • LHC says:

            I find the Book Of Mormon incredibly unlikely considering how it’s been treated by the narrative so far. Despite the Jewish roots of UNSONG and the angels not naturally knowing any other religions, Christianity has been validated by being given a lot of kabbalistic significance; if Jesus wasn’t an important good figure in UNSONG I find it more likely that he was an important bad figure than that he was just an arbitrary unimportant person. Mormons, on the other hand, despite the story’s US setting, have, to the best of my recollection, only shown up for the reveal that the angels didn’t know any religions but Judaism.

          • Anonymous says:

            Jezuboad.

          • Sniffnoy says:

            Ooh. Yeah, that just might be it!

        • Bassicallyboss says:

          Hallelulah actually has a good deal more than 4 verses. Apparently, Cohen used to mix and match them differently for different performances–I even remember hearing somewhere that he once sang every one of them at a concert and the song lasted for like an hour.

          The “standard” version I assume you’re thinking of was the version as performed by Jeff Buckley. It has 5 verses, not 4. These same 5 verses were used in the Rufus Wainwright version that appeared in Shrek, and I’m told that even Cohen tends to use this format now.

          There are some verses which are quite good that aren’t in this version, though. This verse of HaMephorash is adapted from one of them:

          “You say I took the name in vain,
          Well, 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”

          I expect the verse about “[standing] before the Lord of Song” will come up, also.

        • John Cowan says:

          The number of verses in “Hallelujah” is indeterminate: Cohen sings a subset of them, as do other people.

    • Good Burning Plastic says:

      C’mon guys, FFS, have none of you read Chapter 9? There are going to be 72 chapters, 22 interludes, 10 author’s notes, and 4 books.

    • Gavriel says:

      I know this is real late–I started reading UNSONG late–but anyway, it would kind of make sense to only have 3 books even beyond the 0,1,infinity thing: the Zohar has 3 books. One analyzes Genesis, one Exodus, and one the rest of the Torah.
      (If Scott’s actually planning 4 books that’s mostly irrelevant, but it does explain the titling of the first two books.)

  3. Ezo says:

    So… Book 1, 23 chapters. Book 2, 46 chapters. Book 3, 92 chapters?

  4. The coment king says:

    So… the Comet King gave Metatron back the name? But still kept part of the power, and decided to invade Hell anyway… hmm. Really looking forwards to his Finding Metatron/wife/invasion of hell arc.

  5. Sniffnoy says:

    …I just realize the song says “the HaMephorash”. A bit redundant there… 😛

  6. LHC says:

    CONCEPT: The Explicit Name wipes the entire universe (including Hell) and starts over; the Comet King dismissed it as worse than useless, but Sarah or some other powerful figure will realize that writing it on a paper that will automatically be destroyed under some set of conditions will allow quantum immortality-type exploits.

    • The coment king says:

      My theory is that they use it to remake their world into ours, so that the end of the story has us going “has our world always been like this, or was it remade to be this five minutes ago?”

    • Ninmesara says:

      You don’t need to use it. You only need to have the ability to say it in a split second to use it in a mutually assured destruction policy against thamiel if everything fails.

  7. That was a city on fire? At first, I thought it was UNSONG’s head office in Hell.

  8. LHC says:

    City on fire! Rats in the grass and the lunatics yelling in the streets it’s the end of the world! Yes!

  9. anon says:

    Inconsistency between the image and caption – “holds it for us” vs “keeps it for us”
    Also in the caption there’s no comma after “And after that”

  10. anon says:

    Have to say, Malia doesn’t look as wrong and nightjar-bird as I expected, but it’s still a nice picture.

  11. Will we see a wizard who becomes unstoppable by giving every orphan a puppy?

  12. Sniffnoy says:

    Hm also with 9 interludes still left we can expect a pretty good density of interludes for the remainder of the story…

  13. Dan says:

    I’m sure you’ve probably seen this already, but

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/17/leonard-cohen-makes-it-darker

    and in particular if you search Kabbalah you get an interesting story about a concert in Jerusalem (that you probably already know about).

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