A Stranger in Olondria - Starter 7 - Love and Loss


'[Jissavet] lifted away from my heart, tearing it as she vaulted into the sky. Her foot snagged in my veins, ripping away, floating free... Where she had entered at last the eternal door, leaving me inconsolable in the silence... This love existed only to give itself, an eternal fountain'
(of Jevick, then of his mother).
This seems to be a theme that Sofia Samatar visits often: a review of one of her other books says she writes there of 'the terrible love that tears lives apart... love that requires a rewriting of the rules'. Is this a good summary of the relationship between Jevick and Jissavet? Did it work as a love story?
For me, these passages also echoed Dante's 'then she turned back to the eternal fountain', when Beatrice turns away from Dante to face the divine, a passage quoted also by CS Lewis in A Grief Observed after losing his wife Joy.


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    Yes a love story. Thought it was foreshadowing / correspondence of the casting away of the jut. Other-love as means of imagining self-love, and how grief of separating from self is necessary for living, often goes wrong, and cannot be commanded, and maybe not even shown, but understood nonetheless.

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    Interesting catch re: Dante. Although I agree it's a love story in a sense, though it never feels like a romantic love story so much as a story of love that evolves through shared experience. It's a love story, but not a romance, if that makes sense.

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    Agree with both of you: it seems to invert the standard love story pattern of encounter-affection-love, seeing as how Jevick does not begin to love Jissavet until well after she has died and given him all kinds of grief. It has to necessarily remain unconsummated except for the catharsis of writing the vallon.

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