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Clio Vs Scout Options
Anchor
Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2008 10:03:57 AM
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Posts: 4
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Ok, to simplify it off, heres a somewhat broken and holey chronological timeline (but aren't all timelines chronological?):

Eric has memory (like a deja vu perhaps) of him being on an island with a girl named Clio. He remembers being told that she died, and so he goes on a quest to 'bring her back'

Clio is living with her parents, getting accepted into Oxford, downloading Mycroft Ward into her psyche, etcetera, etcetera...until she runs away from home, and begins looking for a way to defeat Mycroft.

On this quest, Eric attracts the ludovician, who eats his memory, but not before he has a chance to record his memory of clio in the lightbulb fragments.

Eric Sanderson the nth (the narrator) wakes up in his bedroom, does a bunch of stuff, yada yada yada, and then begins on a quest to find Fidorous.

Clio finds out about Eric and his Shark problem, and sets out to find him in order to use the Shark to terminate Mycroft Ward.

Eric and Clio meet, they feel mysteriously attracted to eachother, theres some tension, there's some sex, you know the story. Anyways, after meeting for the first time, they go to Fidorous, they kill the shark and Mycroft, everybody's happy except for Fidorous who is presumed dead
and Ian who's just like that.

Clio and Eric drift toward the island, where they set up a tent on the beach, and where Clio swims topless, and Eric inadvertently gives her the nazi salute, and all of that other fun stuff that we read about in the lightbulb fragments happens.
arrangedinsly
Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2008 10:48:28 AM

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Achor neglects to mention me in his explanation of Scout/Clio. We bounced ideas off each other and worked it out together.

The theory is that First Eric is chasing a memory that hasn't happened yet. This activity attracts the Ludovician. The unmemory is much like deja-vu that most of us have experienced. He is so intent on chasing this future memory of Clio, the woman he loves, that he eventually causes a psychological break from trying to find something that doesn't YET exist, causing his near-total memory loss.

There is a tonne of evidence to support this theory or I don't think it would have clicked for me. We can assume, safely I think, that Scout is younger than Clio, which indicates that Scout comes before her. There is no denying the obvious behavioural and characteristic links between Scout and Clio. Scout isn't a name, it's a nickname. Trivial but still indicative. Scout has a drawing of a smiley on her toe, Clio wants a tattoo. Eric and Clio live a relatively poor, camper's life on the island. Gavin is not mentioned until Eric hooks up with Clio. First Eric didn't keep in touch with Clio's family after her death, nor did he keep anything at all that reminded him of her, save a photo she supposedly took on their vacation... but isn't it possible that he could've found it in his home and wanted so badly to believe it was evidence of her in his fragile state that that is exactly what he took it to be? The point is that during the time of First Eric, no one besides him has ever heard a mention of Clio.

I'm certain that there is a multitude of other examples which I have neglected to mention, as I am extremely over-tired. It's just about 6 AM and I haven't slept since yesterday morning, but this is just too good to miss. Anyway, I'll conclude and write a more coherent post later. Bye all!
Anchor
Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2008 11:05:37 AM
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
arrangedinsly wrote:
Achor neglects to mention me in his explanation of Scout/Clio. We bounced ideas off each other and worked it out together.


Ah yes, well it was before you were a member here m'dear.
MiaVRO
Posted: Friday, April 18, 2008 12:08:52 AM

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Well, i was thinking about this on the bus this morning. Now, Clio dies in the way she does, some how, time, and place. She goes to the alternate universe type thing that Eric and Scout end up in at the end of the book. But in the universe, they are obviously able to come back to 'our' universe, and thats exactly what Clio does, as Scout. And also in the other universe, you're able to change appearances, and that is why Scout looks differently than Clio does in Eric's memory.... Okay, this theory isn't very well put together, but it does also sort of incorporate the post card sent to Dr. Randal. Clio could leave the other reality to come to our world, and so could Eric, ergo, him being able to send the post card. I know, i did not explain this well... Mostly because i don't have it all together in my head... I must reconsider. I'll probably get back to you on this....
Diligence
Posted: Sunday, April 27, 2008 3:29:35 AM
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arrangedinsly wrote:
First Eric didn't keep in touch with Clio's family after her death, nor did he keep anything at all that reminded him of her, save a photo she supposedly took on their vacation... but isn't it possible that he could've found it in his home and wanted so badly to believe it was evidence of her in his fragile state that that is exactly what he took it to be? The point is that during the time of First Eric, no one besides him has ever heard a mention of Clio.


There's mention of Clio's father repeatedly calling Eric after her death, and all Eric can do is say 'I'm sorry' to him. I don't remember precisely where I read it (I think it's in the final QWERTY code chapter; I'll see if I can fish it out). I suppose you could justify this by saying that this happens after Clio actually dies (After he has a futureMemory of Clio, goes off on his quest, finds Scout, goes to Naxos with Clio, Clio dies).
Ellimist
Posted: Monday, June 16, 2008 4:40:31 PM

Rank: Fry
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If you believe that the book does not lie, then both Clio and Eric are dead at the end.

In the real world...... However, Eric lives on in... imaginationland... with Clio/Scout.

Eric cannot know whether Scout is actually Clio because his memory is erased and he has not seen a picture of Clio (right?). So, when Scout told Eric about her sister, he could not have known whether that was the same as Clio's sister.

Also, unless Scout/Clio's memory was erased, she would remember Eric. But the only direct evidence for Scout being Clio (which is still rather weak at that) is this line:

'It was an accident.' (p. 424)

Which one could argue is talking about Dr. Fidorous, but is obviously about the accident in Naxos which was just explained in the TLBF --3.

Correct me if I am wrong, if I forgot about something, but as far as we, the reader, know, Scout does not know about the accident if she is only Scout.

My point is this: Steven Hall is amazing in his ability to leave the story open enough to allow these vague interpretations. I love it.
Haruko
Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 3:32:48 AM
Rank: Fry
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Joined: 1/24/2009
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Sophieness wrote:
Oh dear oh dear oh dear - thats a very big can of worms to open! Scout not being real? ...
I think it would be too illogical, too structurally difficult (even for Steven!) for Scout and Eric not to share the same reality. ...

I also agree that Scout is probably at least physically real.
I don't think that Scout is actually Clio though...

But, there's a segment at the top of page 413 (First paperback edition; US) that's been bothering me about the Scout VS Clio and also Eric 2 VS Eric 1. Actually, this quote's been bothering me about the entire book...anyway--
Quote:
'There's no way to really preserve a person when they've gone and that's because whatever you write down it's not the truth, it's just a story. Stories are all we're ever left with in our head or on paper: clever narratives put together from selected facts, legends, well edited tall tales with us in the starring roles. I've read the journal so many times now the lines are all wooden and obvious, as unrealistic as a daytime soap or a famous Hollywood movie you've seen a thousand times. The characters look like me and Clio but they aren't us, they're just actors speaking the same exact stylised words over and over and over, with everything true falling away through the cracks."


Scout and Eric 2 are just 'actors' filling in for the true life of Clio and Eric 1. The moment Scout comes into the picture, the story becomes action-packed. Like a movie... But the problem with all that is that the readers are only given the 'actor' side of things because Eric 2 is the narrator (for the majority of the book, anyway). However, I think that problem is cleared up with the repetition of this quote:
Quote:
The view becomes the reflection, and the reflection, the view.

We have the view of Eric 2 and Eric 1 is merely a reflection that Eric 2(the reader) attempts to grasp. And it's not that there's a specific moment where an Eric transforms into another Eric, it's not like that at all, I think. It's that to US, Scout and Eric 2 are OUR Clio and Eric 1. We do not truly know Clio and Eric 1 because, as the first quote said, there's no way to really preserve a person when they've gone...it's not the truth, it's just a story. so to the reader, Scout and Eric 2 (the pair that's actually "alive" throughout the novel) are the only tangible 'Clio' and 'Eric'. To us, Clio and Eric 1 in TLBF are the actors.
Quote:
benedict wrote:
not sure if this has been mentioned already... but it seems like each character may have a corresponding "negative" character (who never actually appears in the book). for example, scout and clio... ian and gavin... 2nd eric sanderson & 1st eric sanderson... dr. randle and dr. ryan mitchell...etc.

thoughts?

I haven't noticed that at all, and that's really interesting. From the moment Gavin was mentioned, and Ian existed, I was upset at Gavin's non-existence. But now, I guess I can accept it. The picture on this webiste for LOST CAT: responds to name Ian kinda confused me because that cat looked skinny. I was kind of offended, because I like fat cats. O, America, did you photoshop that too!? It's just that my blubbery ginger cat is how I imagined Ian.

Someone before mentioned “Scout” being a nickname, and nicknames ain’t for nothing----
I thought that also, and I related Scout to scouting, or as wikipedia/fancy terms likes to call it, Reconnaissance:
Quote:
the active seeking to determine a foe's intentions by collecting and gathering information about an enemy's composition and capabilities along with pertinent environmental conditions, via direct observation


I guess that’d explain why she was labeled that type of character when Scout and Eric 2 had beef with each other. It is literally direct observation because Scout puts herself in the shark cage and faces that Mycroft Ward piece of herself.

Wow...that was mad long.
I’m slowly losing my train of thought, obviously….
there are just so many things running through my head because I just finished this mofo.
Everyone though, has ridic awesome revelations.
smst
Posted: Monday, August 4, 2008 9:04:33 AM
Rank: Fry
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Joined: 1/24/2009
Posts: 1
Anchor wrote:
2.At first, it occured to me that scout seemed too young to be Clio, so I too thought it might have something to do with reincarnation, but that explaination was more of a dismissal of the issue. But I am sure now that Scout is a younger Clio, though not that much younger.


Brilliant! This idea, that the time on Naxos happens after the main body of the book, is exactly the twist of perspective I needed. It makes perfect sense, especially the memory of cancer and the 'tattoo', and 'the reflection is the view'. The more I think about it, the more it satisfies me. I'd been concerned by the end of the book that Clio becoming Scout didn't really fit with the rules of the book's universe, since Scout was clearly in our basic reality and had her own history and birth -- physical reincarnation just didn't work. 'Mental reincarnation' would require that something of Scout was lost and something of Clio took over, for no discernible reason. But to go the other way, and have Scout become Clio, fits right in.

One of the first things I thought when reading the first act of the book was that the first Eric Sanderson was 'programming' the Nth Eric in some way. We see it in a small way when the image of a boat on a lake is transferred from TFES's mind to Eric's mind. The same thing happened with Naxos. Whether TFES dreamed it, or simply invented it, he described it to Eric so that it could exist in Eric's mind. TFES made the dream real by transferring the concept to Eric who later reified it (sort of -- in his own head, which was all that mattered) so he could 'live' in the fantasy. He wasn't just chasing the dream, he was actively trying to make it real, for some definition of 'real' that worked for him.

I think TFES planned that all along, giving up his own life (in a way) so that his later self could live happily ever after with his perfect partner. Was it triggered by an actual dream of Naxos? Or was it really a memory of the future? Future memories leading one to cause the remembered events to occur are like ontological (or 'bootstrapping') paradoxes in time travel stories (which this story is not!) -- where does the original idea come from?

How long had Scout been on the run? Was it four years? Would she have been in unspace three years ago, when 'Clio' 'died'? I'm sure that time has significance in TEFS's real timeline. Did TFES see Scout one day and construct his fantasy around her?

Since the events on Naxos didn't really happen, what of the specific incident of Clio's death? Is it now inevitable (because the memory is now reality, the reflection the view) or avoidable because of the forewarning? Also, one thing I don't yet understand: what makes Eric so special? How come he can inhabit this conceptual space? Fidorous implied that they'd need Eric to get the boat going; or did they just need him to participate, rather than make it all happen himself? (This is the point in the story when Eric's trousers change to jeans, as mentioned in another thread. I guess he's jot just transforming the boat, but also himself.)


Thanks for this explanation. I can sleep tonight.
Shadow Girl
Posted: Monday, March 23, 2009 9:40:47 PM

Rank: Fry
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This subject is something constantly tugging at the back of my mind...although I did only finish this last night. Eric 2 receives messages from Eric 1, but he also gets them from Clio in dreams that he calls "Lightbulb Fragment Dreams".

Now, within the book we get two different takes on what EXACTLY the Ludovician is/does.

Dr. Fidorus- The Ludovician is nothing more than a big dumb eating machine. It does nothing except destroy, destroy, destroy.

and...

The Book of Fish- In a snippet of this book we read that people used to sacrifice themselves to the "Dream Fish" and give them their memories which allowed them to live on in an afterlife with their loved ones of "reality".

In the last section of the book we can see that, while Fidorus knows a great deal about conceptual fish, his idea that the Ludovician being nothing more than a big dumb eating machine with little intelligence is...well wrong. He seems to believe that Eric 1's idea of sacrificing his mind to the Ludovician in an effort to save Clio was a horrible idea that he should have stopped...because, in his eyes, it's just an eating thing.

Let's take a moment and think about the implications of Eric 1 being right about the Ludovician. In preparation for his own sacrifice he wrote to himself, and when he gave himself over to the Ludovician...he didn't do it completely.

In this effect, he allowed Clio to live on, in Scout...but not completely.
He also lives on, but not completely...within Eric 2.

The rest of Clio is essentially...conceptually...in Eric 2's head. This is how she can send him messages in dreams. Notice, when Eric 2 and Scout fight, Eric 2 gets a message from Clio that says:

Eric,
What's the point of me coming all the way
back there for you if you're just going to
show up here without me? You div.

Clio xx

The completeness of Eric 1's original task does not take effect until both Eric 2 and Scout have been in the Ludovician. It's easily arguable that Scout was eaten by the Ludovician when it tore apart the cage, rather than she "just slipped out". It's also easily arguable that when Eric 2 threw the laptop into the Ludovician, it also took him.

Eric 2 and Scout now live on in the Dream Fish...or, conceptually...as Eric 1 and Clio...the reflection becoming the view and all that. Essentially, this completes Eric 1's original intent...to save Clio after she was already gone.

What I can't seem to explain is Ian and Gavin. There definitely SEEMS to be something there...although I'm not quite sure what that is. Gavin...in and of himself is a mystery. What tugs at my brain the most is: When Eric 2 mentions that he has to keep Ian with him, Fidorus looks at him and says "you have a cat?" almost making it obvious that there's something more there. Why would Ian's carrier become a little inflatable boat? And what is the distinct correlation between Ian and Toto?

I've been thinking that it may have something to do with the belief that cats are able to guide people into the afterlife...but I'm not quite sure.

Now, I know my thoughts can be...chaotic, and really, everything I've said makes sense to me. But I've been known to cause confusion when trying to wordify my thoughts. So if there DOES happen to be confusion...I'll be more than happy to smooth out the edges if anyone asks.

And there it was, full of everything and overwhelming nothingness.
Leo went on, a false idea resting in a candy wrapper of societal perfection.

He had no idea what it meant to see, what it meant to know.

And there was no way for me to un-know. No way for me to un-see. No way I could ever shield myself in one of those brightly colored candy wrappers of pretend ignorance.

I think I wanted it that way, to be like Leo, but I knew that would never happen.

~A snippet of things to come.
bryon
Posted: Sunday, April 5, 2009 6:50:52 AM
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There is one thing bothering me about the idea that Scout is the present incarnation of the future Clio. If what Eric 1 and The Light Bulb Fragments are to be taken as forecasts of events to come on the island, then it logically follows that Eric 2 and Scout will re-live (act out) the story of Eric 1 and Clio. This leads to the tragic idea that Scout/Clio will die again and the whole story will play out again (conceptual loop).

From Letter #205 (Part 1:7 The Crypto-Zoology...)
Quote:
I think I thought I could save her.
I was so stupid. I was so stupid and now everything is gone.


My basic theory is this:

1. In real life Eric and Clio actually went on a vacation and she died.
2. Eric hunts down Dr Trey Fidorous and learns about purely conceptual fish.
3. Eric attempts to be eaten by a Ludovician a la the shamen to preserve his memories of Clio (save her).
4. Eric 2 wakes up in his room and his first real anchor to the world is the idea of Dr Ryan Mitchell (and the rest of the story follows).
5. Scout and Eric 2 swim to the island and events occur as predicted by The Light Bulb Fragment and Scout/Clio dies again.
6. go back to #2

Logical flaw / Assumption : #5 and #6 occur either
a. Eric 2 and Scout do not remember what they think happened in the past.
b. They think it won't happen because they think it happened in the past.
c. Their memories pick up where they left off when they get to the island and they forget everything else.

I think this theory fits in nicely with these ideas ...

Idea 1: From #4 on (including #2 and #3 after the loop) may be Eric's ideas living within the Ludovician.
Idea 2: Eric might have actually died after his first encounter with the Ludovician and the final news report and post card were just after #3
Idea 3: Dr Ryan Mitchell is the first concrete connection to 'reality' after Eric has been eaten/died through the news report which connects the flow.

Analyzing it like this makes me think of Donnie Darko. In a way they are similar, self sacrifice in order to save the girl. I like this version better though because the saving also saves the good times they had together. Lots more details to think about (like the letters, Dr Randle, and others) but I just finished reading it last night and am going to start it again tomorrow.

http://music-addiction.com
Shadow Girl
Posted: Sunday, April 5, 2009 8:27:59 AM

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Really interesting thoughts there byron. I especially like the idea of the whole book being a conceptual loop.

And there it was, full of everything and overwhelming nothingness.
Leo went on, a false idea resting in a candy wrapper of societal perfection.

He had no idea what it meant to see, what it meant to know.

And there was no way for me to un-know. No way for me to un-see. No way I could ever shield myself in one of those brightly colored candy wrappers of pretend ignorance.

I think I wanted it that way, to be like Leo, but I knew that would never happen.

~A snippet of things to come.
angelita
Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2009 12:53:55 AM
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OK, I do feel like I'm speaking a little out of order here... as you've all been progressing nicely through your analogies... but I just finished the book last night! And maybe this possibility has already been brought up... but my first reaction at the end of the book, with the newspaper article, was that he was dead from the start... or close to the start. I am at work, and have had very little awake/ not-at-work time to think about his, so forgive me if I'm not recalling things correctly (without the book with me).
I haven't had a chance to double check this... but isn't the place where his body is found the same place they entered unspace? Maybe he commit suicide to be with Clio?
The parallels of Clio's physical ailment (cancer) + Eric's psychological ailments (it seemed he was already showing signs on their trip) translates to Mycroft Ward & the Ludovician... opposites bringing Clio & Eric together in the afterlife. Their journey a certain purgatory? Their "home", as referenced at the end... which was never home to them, but a vacation... their eternal rest... together?
His death could have occurred at the start... where he awoke, gasping. Or, at the entrance of unspace?
I really do like the "forward memory" theory you're all working out though.
The whereabouts of Gavin has to mean something... Gavin & Ian split... Eric & Clio split. Something had to have happened to Gavin. If I remember right, they were purchased together, as kittens.
There's so much more, of course... but I had to get this out in the open!
angelita
Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2009 12:57:23 AM
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Joined: 5/20/2009
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Location: Illnois
Quote:
I've been thinking that it may have something to do with the belief that cats are able to guide people into the afterlife...but I'm not quite sure.



I just saw this, after I hit post!
Mycroft Ward
Posted: Monday, September 20, 2010 5:40:01 PM

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Location: The back of your mind
Whole book = coma fantasy.

But seriously:
I think Scout is Clio but with here memoires erased by a conceptual fish of some kind.

My evidence?

A cat.
Ian acted like he was familiar with Scout

the only other person Ian was comfortable around was Eric Sanderson

His owner
Ian didn't lose his memory



Luxophage
Is an idea lamprey, which is a primitive conceptual fish. It lives inside humans and feeds on their ability to think quickly; parasite of a kind that ensures its host is quiet, well-behaved and in his/her rut; causes nausea
Studied by crypto-conceptual oceanologists
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