JingJing’s Epigraph

While reading pages 396-608, I started to pay more attention to the epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter. Each of them appear to connect with the thoughts or plot that occurs in each chapter except for one- JingJing (page 518). Like others, I already have difficulty trying to figure out what he is saying, but the beginning of his chapter is a line from a Deadmau5 song, “Look what they made, they made it for me…”

I was wondering if anyone had any ideas as to what Danielewski meant by using this quote. JingJing does mention this musical group along with several others during the chapter, but I do not find any specific connection between the plot and those lyrics.


3 responses to “JingJing’s Epigraph”

  1. pmcates says :

    It seems to me that Jingling’s epigraphs are not as much about the content of the quote, but who said them (this also seems to be the case with Shnorhk and maybe Luther). Two of the epigraphs are given by poets from Singapore/China (one modern, the other from the 8th century). The other two are quotes from Lady Gaga and Deadmau5. The poets are obviously connected, but how are Lady Gaga and Deadmau5 connected? They both are musical artists who have been successful in the last decade, and they are also both known for their ridiculous costumes they wear while performing. So maybe the choice of who to quote is what actually says something about the plot. In this case, it appears to reflect the show that Tien Li puts on during her healing, or maybe the facade Zhong gives off with his riches, or Jingling himself having to go along with all of it in order to afford food and his drug addiction. Those things met with the airiness of poetry represents the mask of spirituality and mysticism in Jingling’s chapters.

  2. rogerkingsland says :

    “The Veldt” by deadmau5 (who, it should be mentioned, is not a group but a single man) was directly inspired by Ray Bradbury’s 1950 short story of the same name (its lyrics were written and recorded by singer Chris James).

    I’m not familiar with the story itself, but from what I understand it focuses on themes of technology v. nature, and notably features a dangerous cat (lion!). Probably worth a read to understand deeper connections, as I imagine some exist.

    As far as I can tell, the quote “Look what they made, they made it for me” refers to ‘the nursery,’ a virtual world in which the children spend most of their time–described in the deadmau5 song as “The world that the children made.”

    (Lyrics here: http://genius.com/Deadmau5-the-veldt-lyrics)

    Side note: It’s really a lovely song; written in the Mixolydian mode with a brief shift to the relative Ionian (Major) mode during the bridge. With his rather diverse musical tastes, I have a feeling MZD was as inspired by the song as he was by the original story.

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