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  • Writer's pictureMichael Jacoby

The Epiflairy: Book II Talkback

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

Wavy Òchen does her part in flooding broad Ürt, because it's required.

The first three chapters of book 2 cover the "fall" of humanity, the inevitable great flood, and a subsequent (and incredibly awkward) Adam-and-Eve situation.

While re-reading Metamorphoses for this as research, I became enamored by the dramatic language used in the text and wanted to catch a similar feeling to it here, albeit without copying it directly. It's most apparent in the flood chapter and Stîf and Laîf chapter.

In the former chapter, Tõndurûr (renamed here due to an issue with the u-caron character I didn't notice until last night), the storm beast, makes a hasty reappearance, allegedly being there all along, simply because I initially forgot about him when writing the chapter, as a result of me trying to mimic Ovid's writing style and forgetting about The Epiflairy's established mythos, such as it is.

I was also planning to have a Noah's Ark story due to me misremembering the content of Ovid's original story/order, so it had to go.

This will be the last time the measly "Book I" button will appear by itself on the site, but it's available on the Wayback Machine, albeit without Wix animations. They don't seem to work on IA for some reason.

EDIT 9/1/23: Chapters IV - IV are now published!

Chapters IV and V were inspired by ancient funerary practices. Researching a PDF copy of a version of Gardner's Art Through the Ages (which seems to have disappeared from IA when this was posted) revealed funerary practices of ancient cultures, including some in-depth details about Egyptian mummification and the contents of their tombs.

The PDF/book also revealed an ancient practice of the Neolithic world. Whenever someone died, their skull was removed, covered in plaster, had as much facial details, like hair, painted on as possible, and had the eyes replaced with seashells. The people would also keep the heads of their deceased buried deep beneath their homes, possibly as a tribute or a way to have a connection between the earth and the underworld.

These two funerary practices inspired this section of the book.

Mimicking the circumlocution of ancient mythological texts is a little difficult, especially when you want each of your lines to be around 14 words long, like in the Penguin Classics copy of Metamorphoses. This is why chapter VI is my favorite of all the chapters so far, as it's written almost like a Wikihow tutorial rather than an epic tale that would told orally to a king in a mighty palace room.

The tutorial's reference to a desert in Reno, to dry out the body, is a reference to something I discovered while doing research on the mummification process: a mummified corpse found buried Nevada called the Sprit Cave mummy.

As I was adding the text just now, for some odd reason, in Chapter VI, some words had large amounts of space between them, which I corrected.

EDIT: 10/7/23: The final two chapters of Book II, Chapters VII and VIII, are now published!

The behavior of the Crow was inspired by some information I actually might have misremembered about the crow being a trickster god in Native American mythology. Though I apparently ended up confusing the crow for the coyote, some research I just did revealed that the crow was a trickster Australian Aboriginal mythology.

Mimidae's critique of the crow's fib was mainly inspired by memories of middle-school (and possibly high school) where my fellow classmates would be confused by stories/readings for class, whether set in the past or a fantasy setting or whatever setting the story would be in, and nitpick and question practically every detail of the story, while I would just accept the different setting of the class assignment, as I would practically be the only one in class interested in learning.

Mimidae is also inspired by those people on the internet who would similarly nitpick every minute detail of a work, regardless of its importance. You know who those people are.

The fate of Mimidae was inspired by some gruesome information I found out about Cherokee Indians, where, believing mockingbirds to possess great intelligence, would feed their children the severed heads of mockingbirds to make them smarter.


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