the version from the other reality

minnow at minnow at
Mon Jun 7 19:18:53 EDT 2004

Chris R explained:

>It was the Hamlet moment and the little chats with the
>mask I missed. I must have stumbled on an abridged
>copy, if Nicola's version exists in this universe.

I honestly can't think of any reason to cut those bits, they aren't
salacious or anything and they tend to be at crucial-decision moments in
Niko's life.  Damn.  Now I shall have to go and look and check that they
really are there.


Yes, they still are.  Phew. There are short bits all over the place.

In chapter 1, he makes an offering in front of the old mask, and "I
half-thought as I turned that there were eyes in the eye-holes, watching me

Then in chapter 2 he is going actually to play Apollo, in *The Myrmidons*,
and he finds himself chatting with the mask, because it wants to go on
stage again, and in the end he gets it repainted and plays in it.  He's
wearing it when the rope of the machinery has been cut by the jealous
ex-actor, and it's because he is wearing it that he can't bear to make a
fool of himself by screaming for help: it would let down what he feels by
now is the god himself.

In chapter 10 they have another long chat, when he's deciding whether to do
the *Bacchae* at Dionysios' invitation: the last two pages of that chapter
are the god talking at him through the mask.

In chapter 13 the god laughs at him when he is tempted to choose the wrong
part, and he takes Atalanta in spite of knowing that he'll be playing a
female lead in competition with the most famous player of women in the
business.  It's only a couple of sentences, that one.

Then it demands that he give up his wonderful boyfriend Thettalos and make
him go and get on with being an actor...  "Nikeratos, you have something of
mine.  I have been your friend; but do not tempt me."

There are probably others, but that's a selection.

Near the beginning of chapter 8 is the Hamlet bit.  He has a fever after
the shipwreck when he loses the latters he's meant to be taking to the

"Then I dreamed I was beside some tomb or grave, holding a skull in my
hand.  It was clean, and I knew this was a play.  Some flashes still come
back to me; I was the son of a murdered king whose shade had cried me to
avenge him; yet I was not Orestes...."

That's all it is: three sentences.  If you didn't happen to be looking for
it, you might easily miss the significance of them.


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