Thursday, March 23, 2017

Daemons Discuss - Podcast: Take 13! | Diving into the First Five Chapters of The All Souls Trilogy

Take 13 - The One With the First Five

Description: Time has arrived for us to start diving into these books!  Now that we've covered many of the primer subjects, it's given us sufficient foundation for the dissection of this trilogy called All Souls.  Join along as we revisit the beloved words in our favorite series!  Not so much a read along per se, but closer to an examination of the structure of the story, and the journey that takes us to the eventual establishment of the Bishop-Clairmont family.  Before we get ahead of ourselves, let's start with the first five chapters of the very first book, A Discovery of Witches!

SPOILER ALERT! We (The Daemons) approach this podcast with an assumption that the listener has read The All Souls Trilogy, including A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life.  If you haven't, and you don't mind, we certainly don't mind!  😊  Let's do this.


1. Show notes:

For newcomers to the series:
- We'll start with the basics: The books in discussion are A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night and The Book of Life.  Together they make The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. 
- Our Daemon Guides to the All Souls Trilogy are available for download: ADOW, SON, TBOL
- If you'd like a ready-reference from the author herself, be sure to download the All Souls Real-Time Reading companion (free e-book at online booksellers via Penguin and Headline books).
- Deborah Harkness usually conducts a real-time reading on her Facebook Page (starting in September), and shares her posts across social media.  Check out her website for all of her social media links, and of course all that she has to offer her readers!
- To see what's available on the web as far as the All Souls universe fandom, check our links page.

In this episode:
* (01:26) – Thank you, Stephen for your Discusser message!  We forgive you for not leaving a review, because we really enjoy your messages!  Everyone else who has a iPhone/Apple device beyond iOS 6, if you’d like, we’d love it if you leave us a rating/review -- here’s how: On your phone or on your computer directly through iTunes.  Big shouts out to Stephen, Emrys & Clare in this episode!

a. Chapter 1:

* (03:53) – We are no longer manuscript dummies!  You can check out a few of our posts here:

* (04:58) – The Bishops/Diana's maternal lineage: Bridget Bishop

* (07:58) – We mention scholarly credentials.  Diana’s credentials/Curriculum Vitae:
  • College bound at 16 years of age (an unnamed college in Maine).  Her self-described photographic memory aided in her quick advancement.
  • Started in the theater department (we imagine as an aspiring theater major).  That ended when her magic started to creep into her work and wayward daemons started to follow her.
  • She sampled several different majors afterwards.  She also took up college athletics.
  • In her sophomore year, she was informed that she was destined to serve a fifth year of college if she didn't choose a major.  She was offered the opportunity to go to a summer study program at Oxford University; she fell in love with history and declared it as her major upon return.  She graduated with honors prior to turning 20.
  • She pursued her doctorate at Oxford University; her specialty was the history of science.
  • When we meet her, she is a professor at Yale University w/ tenure (at 33 years of age), doing research on a presentation (or "paper") at her alma mater, Oxford.

* (08:59) - Sean.  Sean was the desk worker at the Bodleian.   He was the one who “broke the rules” in order for Diana to check out more than her allotted books.  Later (chapter 8), it was revealed he may have had sort of a crush on her.

* (10:40) – The Proctors/Diana's paternal lineage: John Proctor

* (11:39) – The little things with Rebecca showed us what we liked about Bewitched & I Dream of Jeannie. 

b. Chapter 2:

* (12:05) – Oxford University (where these scenes takes place).

* (12:09) – The Bodleian Library

* (12:37) – Cambridge University (Val mentions she’s visited that university, but not Oxford.  For those of you in the US, compare the Oxford/Cambridge relationship to the rivalry between Harvard & Yale)

* (13:08) – The actual balcony where Diana spots Matthew (where she retrieves Notes and Queries).  Val loves this picture and posts it on the main Facebook Page frequently:

* (13:25) – The Bridge of Sighs

* (15:12) –  Jean describes Matthew as “Mr. Darcy with fangs”  Mr. Darcy: Fitzwilliam Darcy, generally referred to as Mr. Darcy, is one of the two central characters in Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice. He is an archetype of the aloof romantic hero, and a romantic interest of Elizabeth Bennet, the novel's protagonist. The story's narration is almost exclusively from Elizabeth's perspective ; she is portrayed as the sympathetic figure, and Darcy hardly so until the later chapters of the novel—as knowledge and ironic events are revealed to Eliza (Elizabeth). Usually referred to only as "Mr. Darcy" or "Darcy" by characters and the narrator, his first name is mentioned twice in the novel.

* (16:31) – Jeremy from Switzerland - Jean called him "louche" from the description in the book, it seems quite accurate.  Louche = rakish/disreputable/sordid (in the best way!) πŸ˜†:
"The only vampire with whom I had more than a passing acquaintance worked at the nuclear particle accelerator in Switzerland. Jeremy was slight and gorgeous, with bright blond hair, blue eyes, and an infectious laugh. He’d slept with most of the women in the canton of Geneva and was now working his way through the city of Lausanne."
* (16:43) – Ironically, the Feast of St. Matthew is on the same day as Mabon.  Yes, the very day they met!  You can read our Weekly Geek on it here.  From the Gospel of Matthew 6:34 -“Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”

* (17:34) – What Valerie’s thing with Mozart was: her theory is that Matthew took note of the music that would soothe Diana, and later utilized that knowledge in the car ride to yoga (chapter 8).  He was being a bit of a smooth operator!  😏 Queue the Sade song.

* (18:39) – Jean likened Sarah to Archie Bunker

* (19:33) – Angela mentioned the scene where Diana was causing the chairs to stack up as a teen:
"Sarah didn’t tell him about the voices, about my habit of picking up the phone a good minute before it rang, or that she had to enchant the doors and windows when there was a full moon to keep me from wandering into the woods in my sleep. Nor did she mention that when I was angry the chairs in the house rearranged themselves into a precarious pyramid before crashing to the floor once my mood lifted."
c. Chapter 3:

* (20:43) Matthew and the stalking Jean loves and Angela likes this chapter – Valerie wasn’t enamored with the thought of an unknown vampire sneaking into Diana’s rooms.

* (21:03) – Jean mentions the book Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley – the hero in that one was sort of a fan of a sneaky/creepy courtship like Matthew.  BTW, Valerie’s favorite book from the same series is Motorcycle Man.  😜  He's not so stalky.  A little rough around the edges, though.

* (23:38) – Jean compares the “shimmer” from Diana's gleam rising and falling to the tides – but she would because she’s a romantic visionary.  Val likened the effect to a Macbook…the little sleep light looks like it’s breathing/sleeping  -- but she would, though.  She’s hopelessly tech-obsessed!

Macbook Sleeping -- video by 1991scoty
d. Chapter 4:

* (25:11) – Diana’s “hangover” after Matthew’s clandestine visit.  It’s noted by Diana that she looks like her mother.  Our theory is that Diana’s coming into her powers, and on first read we don’t know this yet, but later on (chapter 30), it’s explained that her magic will be released when meeting her “shadowed man”… Ok, yeah we’re spoiling it for you, but in our defense, we posted a disclaimer on the top of this page!  Scroll up!  We did say “if you don’t mind, we don’t mind!”  Anyway, forgive us, if you missed that!

* (26:39) – Hint that Diana’s thinking a bit too much early on about Professor Clairmont.
"Today’s check in the mirror also revealed that my skin was pale from lack of sleep. This made my freckles, which I’d inherited from my father, stand out in apparent alarm, and the dark blue circles under my eyes made them appear lighter than usual. Fatigue also managed to lengthen my nose and render my chin more pronounced. I thought of the immaculate Professor Clairmont and wondered what he looked like first thing in the morning. Probably just as pristine as he had last night, I decided—the beast. I grimaced at my reflection."
* (26:54) – We dropped Jean in our group call unknowingly!  Yikes!  These are the hazards of recording a podcast remotely from each other.  To loosely explain to you how the sausage of Daemons Discuss! is made, we all plug into a group call (usually using the Facebook messenger calling feature – other services like Google Voice or Skype can be used depending on preference), and listen to each other with headphones while we each record our own voices into our individual computers; the result of the file is just our own voice responding to the others in the group call.  After everything is done, our separate tracks are stitched together with editing software for the best possible sound quality (we do it from our houses, btw), this is why we were able to keep going without losing the recording.  There, we've ruined any illusion that we were holed away in some fancy sound booth making magic happen! HA! Anyway, this process is called recording a "double ender" – in our case, it'd probably be more accurate calling it a "triple ender," and for us (so far) it's turned out to be the most reliable way to get good quality audio while recording remotely – anyway, a bit of podcasting trivia for you!

We also want to tell you that the month of March is #TryPod month!  If you like podcasts, and you think you have a friend/family member who’d enjoy them, recommend one to them!  There’s something for everyone out there!  Also, if you'd like to recommend us, that'd be OK too!
πŸ˜„ WE DIGRESS!  Back to the episode.

* (29:02) – The “hub bub” – Angela loved it when she first discovered that “we” (us and Diana) were going to sit next to Matthew Clairmont!
“Thanks,” I whispered, thinking of my waiting stack with relish. “Big day, huh?”
“Apparently,” he said drily, before disappearing into the locked cage that held the manuscripts overnight. He returned with my stack of treasures. “Here you go. Seat number?”
“A4.” It’s where I always sat, in the far southeastern corner of the Selden End, where the natural light was best.
Mr. Johnson came scurrying toward me. “Ah, Dr. Bishop, we’ve put Professor Clairmont in A3. You might prefer to sit in A1 or A6.” He shifted nervously from one foot to the other and pushed his glasses up, blinking at me through the thick glass.
I stared at him. “Professor Clairmont?”
* (29:53) – The human myths/creature facts
“If you’re asking whether I think you’re going to burst into flames the moment the sunlight hits you, the answer is no.” Vampires didn’t burn at the touch of sunlight, nor did they have fangs. These were human myths. “But I’ve never met . . . someone like you who liked to bask in its glow either.”
* (30:48) – The crowded library!  Creatures have taken over in the library - 5:1 creature/human
"This was the last straw. Sarah always said that one in ten beings was a creature, but in Duke Humfrey’s this morning the creatures outnumbered humans five to one. Where had they all come from?"
* (31:52) – The Black Dragon: could that be a foreshadowing of Corra? Or a future clue to Diana and Matthews blood when mixed?  Hmmmm ...
Over the next hour and a half, I read the first pages at least thirty times. I started at the beginning, reading familiar lines of poetry attributed to George Ripley that promised to reveal the secrets of the philosopher’s stone. Given the surprises of the morning, the poem’s descriptions of how to make the Green Lion, create the Black Dragon, and concoct a mystical blood from chemical ingredients were even more opaque than usual.
* (32:33) – Knox(, Peter)!  Matthew protects Diana from this other witch.
A gentle sensation of pressure on the back of my skull made it impossible to keep reading, however. The pressure flitted to my ears, growing in intensity as it wrapped around my forehead, and my stomach clenched in panic. This was no longer a silent greeting, but a threat. Why, though, would he be threatening me?
The wizard strolled toward my desk with apparent casualness. As he approached, a voice whispered in my now-throbbing head. It was too faint to distinguish the words. I was sure it was coming from this male witch, but who on earth was he?
My breath became shallow. Get the hell out of my head, I said fiercely if silently, touching my forehead.
* (33:23) – Mating behavior of falcons/hawks (shielding)

Hawks/Falcons mating -- video by AnimalMatingVideo

* (34:22) – Picture of The Seldon End (Bodleian):

* (35:39) – The rowing … more stalking

Oxford Rowing Club
e. Chapter 5:

* (37:27) – Diana cyberstalks Matthew… (we wonder if Matthew would have a profile on LinkedIn)…Gerbert would (see The Book of Life, chapter 23)!  Jean said Gerbert would definitely be on Tinder.  “Swipe left!”

* (37:43) – Matthew and the wolves:
My next few clicks showed that Clairmont’s work took a surprising turn away from the brain and toward wolves—Norwegian wolves, to be precise. He must have spent a considerable amount of time in the Scandinavian nights in the course of his research—which posed no problem for a vampire, considering their body temperature and ability to see in the dark. I tried to imagine him in a parka and grubby clothes with a notepad in the snow—and failed.
* (38:38) – Christopher Roberts – it’s our theory that this character has been the victim of retcon (retroactive continuity).  We did not get the picture that he was the friend he wound up being In the Book of Life.  Again, this is just our impression.  We may be completely wrong!  We only saw him as a work peer/friend on first read of this book.

* (40:41) – Matthew the misogynist?  Maybe?  Or maybe he just doesn't like to be questioned.  The quote:
“He gave a paper—I can’t remember the particulars—and a woman asked him a question. It was a smart question, but he was dismissive. She  was persistent. He got irritated and then mad. A friend who was there said he’d never seen anybody go from courteous to furious so fast.”
* (41:32) – What we basically learn in this chapter:
  • Diana has some stalking skills of her own
  • Matthew has studied a lot of things -- including wolves!
  • Chris is Diana’s work pal (promoted to BFF in The Book of Life), after cold calling him about what an alchemy experiment would actually look like.
  • Diana gained tenure a year after Chris.
  • Chris is a brilliant scientist.
  • Chris has heard of Matthew Clairmont and respects his work.
  • The chapter ends with a bet that Diana will go out with Matthew sometime soon.

* (46:16) – That’s it for these five!  The next chapters we’ll go over?  Chapters 6-10.  Publication date TBD.  Discussers, you’ll get a heads-up.  If you aren’t a Discusser you can become one here (short form on the page).  Or comment in the form below (scroll way down), and indicate that you’d like to be added to the list!

* (46:23) – News that’s not news; as of the 6th March, Deb was most likely not going to be at SDCC 2017:
And now, more recently (as of the 21st of March), it appears definitely not:
* (47:23) – Early Bird tix on sale for All Souls Con!  Passes: $79, virtual passes: $12 $0 (! --> thanks goes to Penguin Books for sponsoring the live stream)  Charity breakfast set for the next day (24 September, 2017); passes for that are $160 – hurry if you are interested have been SOLD OUT!  All early bird prices end the 15th of June, 2017 *EDIT* Virtual passes will remain absolutely free!  Regular passes will go up to $99. 

•    Visit -- You can also see 2015 All Souls Con video there.
•    Register for passes (virtual passes included - you must register to stream):
•    Don’t forget to join the All Souls Con Attendees Facebook group!

* (49:23) – The lovely Emrys (sorry if we butchered your name, Emrys)!  She was the winner of the Valentine’s Day giveaway at Daemons Domain.  She made this 4-part video!

A screen shot of her Instagram Post - IG wasn't allowing us to embed it properly!
* (52:34) – After Jean talked about the subject of Meyers-Briggs showing up all over her social media feeds after doing our episode (our personality episode/Take 8, The One With Personality), Angela mentioned a new book possibly coming out called the The Four Tendencies: [...]

* (53:26) – Discussers, check your spam folders for our emails!  Clare let us know in this tweet that hers wound up there:
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Credits/Copyright Information 
* Intro music: "Ghost Dance" (edited down to second chorus) by Kevin Macleod, licensed for use by Creative Commons.
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Jeff Greenstein: "When Marta & David & Jeff & I did 'Dream On', we used to spend a lot of time thinking about titles, because they were on-screen at the top of each episode. On "Friends", we decided that was a waste of time. We figured, why not name each episode after the thing that people will ostensibly be talking about around the water-cooler the next day?"
This was a Daemon Production

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