edgecase
Author: StJohn Piano
Published: 2019-12-22
Datafeed Article 124
This article has been digitally signed by Edgecase Datafeed.
475 words - 100 lines - 3 pages





[excerpt: page 190]


What is the nature of the border between truth and lies? It is permeable and blurred because it is planted thick with rumour, confabulation, misunderstandings and twisted tales.

[end of excerpt]





[excerpt: page 249]


You can be merry with the king, you can share a joke with him. But as Thomas More used to say, it's like sporting with a tamed lion. You tousle its mane and pull its ears, but all the time you're thinking, those claws, those claws, those claws.

[end of excerpt]





[excerpt: page 330]


He remembers that day in the forge when a hot iron had seared his skin. There was no choice of resisting the pain. His mouth dropped open and a scream flew out and hit the wall. His father ran to him and said 'Cross your hands', and helped him to water and to salve, but afterwards Walter said to him, 'It's happened to us all. It's how you learn. You learn to do things the way your father taught you, and not by some foolish method you hit upon yourself half an hour ago.'

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[excerpt: pages 331-332]


It may, even now, be necessary to impress on the boy's imagination the stages on the route ahead: the walk from the room of confinement to the place of suffering: the wait, as the rope is uncoiled or the guiltless iron is set to heat. In that space, every thought that occupies the mind is taken out and replaced by blind terror. Your body is emptied and filled up with dread. The feet stumble, the breath labours. The eyes and ears function but the head can't make sense of what is seen and heard. Times falsifies itself, moments becoming days. The faces of your torturers loom up like giants or they become impossibly distant, small, like dots. Words are spoken: bring him here, seat him, now it is time. They were words attached to other and common meanings, but if you survive this they will only ever have one meaning and the meaning is pain. The iron hisses as it is lifted from the flame. The rope doubles like a serpent, loops itself, and waits. It is too late for you. You will not speak now, because your tongue has swelled and filled your mouth and language has eaten itself. Later you will speak, when you are carried away from the machinery and set down on straw. I have endured it, you will say. I have come through. And pity and self-love will crack open your heart, so that at the first gesture of kindness - let us say, a blanket or a sip of wine - your heart will overflow, your tongue unstop. Out flow the words. You were not brought to this room to think, but to feel.

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[excerpt: page 414]


Now, if a man's subject is deception, you are deceived if you think you grasp his meaning. You close your hand as it flies away.

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[start of notes]



I have in my possession a paper copy of Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel. I have treated it as an authoritative copy of the text, although I have altered my version slightly (e.g. by changing the position of a comma).

Some details from the first few pages:
- This Fourth Estate paperback edition published 2013
- First published in Great Britain by Fourth Estate in 2012


[end of notes]