10 thoughts on “Noctuidae – Scott Nicolay

  1. “The level of threat was implicit but limited, deferred.”

    Berms, resistol hats

    “mothmen” “awkward angels” as climbing configurations…

    Read so far up to “her grip in a slide.”

    This I sense is a novella, in AZ or NM, according to the text, quite outside my experience, and here in England I try and, I feel, succeed to empathise and visualise the canyons and escarpments and their trail and error of lostness or physical enablement as this well-characterised hiking trio – truncated at outset from a quartet to a trio with such truncation’s ominous repercussions – of Sue-Min and Ron (these two together an item), and Pete (forbidding to Sue-Min now without his own itemisation) as they meet even more forbidding ranchers who stop their planned route, till the trio veers off and reaches a cave amid some foolhardy effort and skill and some unnatural configurations of rocks and potential patterns. The text is textured and evocative, my own journey wrapped within other escarpments, those escarpments, I sense, of the author’s brain itself.

    No spoilers intended but you may wish to continue this dreamcatching journey of mine after you have finished completing your own.

    “foul stagnant cola”

  2. “Hindwings only, some up, some down, like powder-scaly tarots,…”

    I sense the feel of the scenario of this cave shelter, so will you, as things become page-turningly tense, but I have a slow-motion scheme of reading this text as if I am an ohm resistor to eke out the tension – and the foreshadowing (figuratively as well as, it turns out, literally).
    I have so far read up to: “…when he tried speaking to her in broken Korean.”

    Looting versus archaeology. Concerns. The nature of the now broken trio is strongly etched. The breaking off of characters one by one as part of their fateful path into this scenario.

    The enthralling development of these characters as now a broken trio. The male tumescence reflected in the night sky? Cosmic fear as a backdrop to sexual tension, a lust that even the fear fails to dissipate.

    River cobbles inside the cave? A sense of past hauling – or hawling? Those insectoid hindwings scattered in the cave, but where the forewings? And there are some mighty scenes of description that defy my capacity to transport here, albeit the need to dreamcatch them for you if only by this adumbration. It’s as if the letters of the words themselves mass together to form their own insectoid back-shadow.

  3. “monster-whisperer?” Or just a staged exit, an abandoned love triangle stemming from male bonding and a sacrifice (just as a monster needs sacrifices), become a stylised battle of gender and race archetypes….forcing oneself to consider the politics of rape, adoption, xenophobia, supremacy.

    “There he sat and leaned his head against the stone’s coarse arc, his eyes aimed toward the low domed roof.”

    Read up to “Who knew what the unseen parts of this enormity might do,…”
    This text’s gestalt as this enormity: text and monster, separate or the same thing?
    Is this text didactic, a fable with a moral, or a portrait of monstrousness, in nature and humanity, for its own sake? Or both?
    The cosmic fear and the adventure story, for me, take a backseat to such questions.

  4. “She turned. And saw the new thing approaching. Was it a thing, or an effect? An event?”

    “Pete continued staring in what she presumed was terror—”

    Terror is either obvious or not terror at all, I’d say.

    “Bullshit acting” —

    It’s only later we learn Pete once acted in a Beckett play.

    A text about sincerity, whether the whole trip was a conspiracy, and Sue-Min intermittently threatening to scream to bring the monster upon them – or to warn it. More theatrical moments.

    “Their situation made the simplest things suddenly unpleasant and complex.”

    Like this text. Simple monster story or a whole complex panoply of solipsistic “jilling off” or existential darkness, where time and timepieces, and the light of the rising sun, are played with – as if as part of a stage set? And the pretence or the reality of lust as onanistic. Alone together, monster and woman. Blobs and ripples. Shameful peeing.

    Read up to “neither the indigo of twilight nor the poet’s rosy fingered dawn.”

  5. “…having to reach into that cold opaque foulness, grope blind amongst the sticks and bones.”

    The text uses the word ‘coda’, not ‘cola’, and I feel this an ostensible civilised gentlemanly coda to this text’s Fortean tale of abduction, a resolution where leopards can’t change their spots but equally pink blobs can pass through your body without touching the sides ……… whether the ending is theatrically or truly cataclysmic, morally didactic or monstrous for monstrous sake.

    Noctuidae – I have learnt from external sources that there is little difference between their two genders.

    I am absolutely intrigued by this whole text. Delighted that I cannot truly fathom its raison d’etre, as it continues and will continue for some while to linger in my mind, I am sure.

    Despite my resistol hat, I have not been very efficient at acting as a literary ohm-resistor against the compelling page-turning quality of this book, having finished it today.


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