Friday, November 1, 2013

Wormholes (not the science fiction kind)

There may be wormholes
in this sculpture that I saw
in Slovakia, but even if
there aren't, I thought it
would be more appealing
than an image of worms.
Three different passages about wormholes in three different literary novels in one week. Weird! Wormholes show up fairly often in books and films about space travel but I can't remember encountering them in literary fiction before. Must have been a space-time convergence in my reading world.

These are the relevant passages:

"When I came in, my mother was on her knees next to the kitchen table, in her underwear, intent on photographing a hole that the woodworms had left in our table." (P 13, 70% Acrylic 30% Wool, Viola Di Grado.)

"bookworms had begun to consume the paper and I would be set to tracing the wormholes to get rid of the pests" (P 33, The Ghost Bride, Yangsze Choo.)

"I invent private exercises, count the holes the woodworms have worm-eaten out of the window frames over the centuries and centuries, amen, so the hours go by faster." (Chapter 2, The First True Lie, Marina Mander, from advance review e-book access thanks to Hogarth, the publisher; I'll review it in January when the book is released.)

Don't you love this kind of synchronicity? Anyone else have examples of wormholes in literary fiction?

Note added November 3, 2013. More woodworms, this time in non-fiction.  I'm going to quote a longish passage because it is so odd:

"In 1499 some sparrows were excommunicated for depositing droppings on the pews in St Vincent, in France. In 1546 a band of weevils were tried for damaging church vineyards in St Julien. Such trials were rife in the sixteenth century, and the distinguished French lawyer Bartholomew Chassenee rose to fame as an advocate for animals. His work is commemorated in Julian Barnes's mischievous short story 'The Wars of Religion,' in which excommunication is sought for a colony of woodworm which had gnawed away the supporting legs of the Bishop of Besancon's throne, causing him to be 'hurled against his will into a state of imbecility.' Chassenee negotiates a gentler outcome for the insects. They are excused punishment, provided the local inhabitants 'set aside for the said bestioles alternative pasture, where they may graze peacefully without future harm to the church of St Michel." (P 70, Weeds by Richard Mabey.)

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