In Ancient Greece, the Greek God Apollo was the God of the Sun, healing, music and prophecy. In “The Familiar” Mark Z. Danielewski uses font in a purposeful way to display hidden character traits and character meanings. One character he does this with is Cas. Cas’s font is Apolline, a french name originating from the Greek masculine name Apollo, meaning the sun or God of the sun.
The fact that Cas’s font is referencing Apollo and the sun are siginificant for two reasons. One, the sun is a spherical, orb-like, planetary object that is the center of the our galaxy. It gives life and light to all living beings in our galaxy. Cas’s narrative references an orb that she can see into and gain information from. She and Bobby also get into many situations where there are fires involved because of the technology being used. This fire destroys rather than gives life, like the sun does. The sun could be a reference to both the spherical shape of the orb and the heat and light that these fires cause. Second, Cas is receiving information from the orb and therefore could have special, mythical medium powers. The God Apollo was the God of prophecy because he would gift certain human women with the gift of sight and they would become his oracles. In a sense, Cas has become one of Apollo’s oracles.
In Cas’s chapters there is also reference to other ancient Greek characters like Circe and Artemis, who happens to be Apollo’s sister. I wonder how Cas is connected to Circe, Artemis, Treebeard, Merlin and the other characters. Are they involved in this project as well? Cas’s name is also “The Wizard.” Why do you think it is significant that she be called “The Wizard” instead of something like “Apollo” or “The Oracle”?
Someone mentioned an existing post or thread on the font choices, but I haven’t been able to track it down. In the interim, I’ll sketch out some preliminary notes to start and we can build together as the reading progresses.
(This would be more fun with CSS. We’re unfortunately stuck with the template style sheet though.)
Luther: Imperial BT
– “cower power”
Anwar: Adobe Garamond
– old-style serif dating to 15C, i.e. beginnings of print
– see: character biography, Egypt as origin of writing
jingjing: rotis semi sans
– font used for highway and street signs in Singapore
– Hounds thereof
– A transitional font between modern and old style; printing history of John Baskerville may pertain
– Armenian genocide, traumatic memory and memorialization
– OED: “A person who is specially favoured or loved; a popular hero, a favourite of the public”; “The supposed companion or favourite of something personified”; “Originally: a (usually male) favourite of a sovereign, prince, or other powerful person; a person who is dependent on a patron’s favour”
I’ll leave it to commenters to work on the rest…