By Kim Stanley Robinson
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Extra info for The Planet on the Table
Carlo swam over to have a better look. But no sooner had the Japanese wiped the wall clean than they were off to the other end of the church, where above the stalls of the apse was another mosaic. Carlo followed. It didn’t take long to rub this one clean; and when the water had cleared, the three of them floated there, their flashlight beams converged on the picture revealed. It was the Teotaca Madonna, the God-bearer. She stood against a dull gold background, holding the Child in her arms, staring out at the world with a sad and knowing gaze.
But there—among the white breakers, off to the right—a gray finger pointing up at the black— A campanile. Carlo was forced to look back at the wave he was under, to straighten the boat, but when he looked back it was still there. A campanile, standing there like a dead lighthouse. ” he said aloud. It looked as if the waves were pushing him a couple hundred meters to the north of it. As each wave lifted him he had a moment when the boat was sliding down the face of the wave as fast as it was moving under him; during these moments he shifted the tiller a bit and the boat turned and surfed across the face, to the south, until the wave rose up under him to the crest, and he had to straighten it out.
You’re interested in science; call this the exponential program. For you must always press yourself, you see. Always. Dubliners was a book like many another. With the Portrait, however, there is a… strengthening. An increase in density, call it a tenfold increase for simplicity’s sake. Or one magnitude, for you. Ulysses is again another magnitude more dense, more difficult than the Portrait. There aren’t many books like that one; nor many people who can understand it. Then Finnegans Wake… that’s yet another magnitude more difficult…” “Until even you have trouble understanding that one, hey Mr.
The Planet on the Table by Kim Stanley Robinson