(urth) kiki(mora) and scarecrow, breaking windows and blowing out candles SH

Marc Aramini marcaramini at gmail.com
Sat Jan 6 17:45:24 PST 2018

In the 23rd letter, a lot happens in Sorcerer's House. One of the biggest
is the appearance of Kiki who tells Bax that someone is in the back with
him. This is also the chapter we learn that Bax actually wants revenge on
his brother: "He hit me ... He kicked me before he let. I was only half
conscious, but his kick broke a couple of ribs, and I've never forgotten
it. I resolved upon revenge." (178)

If the strange woman Kiki is in fact a kikimora, commonly a house spirit,
then perhaps she (and her husband) are the true supernatural element of the
text. The name kikimora is commonly translated as "scarecrow", and when Bax
first meets Martha Murrey (whose name in the index is listed as meaning a
dark purple color close to black) she says, "Travel! ... I'e done a great
deal of it. Once, believe it or not, I caught the shuttle from here to
Chicago, waited a couple of hours in O'Hare, had a one-hour layover in
Denver, laid over in LAX, and arrived in Honolulu a complete scarecrow"

There are two kinds of kikimoras, and they are sometimes reputed to get
between a man and a real woman. The Kikimora in the house lives in the
stove or the cellar. Kikimora are thought to try and strangle people by
sitting on their chests while they sleep. To avoid this, children are
instructed to look out the window (note that Iuean was breaking windows).
The Kikimora may be married to a masculine Domovye, who assumes the
appearance of previous house owners or the owner himself, sometimes with
little horns or tails, and might be small and hairy (like, say, the dwarf).
[The triannulis has a skull with a horn on it] He might bruise the owner
with pinches if he wanted him gone (see Iuean hitting Bax). They can also
take on the appearance of cats or dogs. If he extinguishes a candle or
makes himself visible it means that the head of household will die. If his
touch is cold, misfortune is coming. Given the shutting off of the long
light and the breaking of windows, this seems to be something supernatural
Bax doesn't know about.

The kikimora can also wear the face of a family member. (Emlyn thinks that
his father might have killed his mother, though Martha Murrey later somehow
fills the role).

SOOOOOOOO ... breaking windows, extinguished candles, hairy dwarf, woman
named Kiki, appearance of Emlyn and Iuean - Bax does seem to have a
household spirit, Bax's "dream" experiences in fairyland ... but while this
explains the dog and how his butler "is" mister Black ... what about the
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