Rumour book « Art of Kris Larsen

my Captain's Rumour Book

Kris has (once again!) shared some pictures of an amazing book on his blog. This is his own personal Captain’s Rumour Book…an intriguing, mystery-shrouded and jealously guarded secret tradition of all questing sea captains…

or  at least so Kris would have it, via the fantastic novel Railsea by China Miéville. 🙂

In Miéville’s work, rumour books are just that: a logbook where a captain who has devoted his/her entire life to hunting some great, elusive, near-mythical quarry (brilliantly referred to as “The Captain’s Philosophy”) jots down all the rumours—big and small— regarding his/her questing beast. Captains trade rumours of having sighted each other’s beasts, or sometimes they go to large, sprawling Rumour Markets to purchase them from reliable—and not-so-reliable—Rumour Merchants. Where does one find a Rumour Market? Well, the whereabouts of those are also just rumours, and you have to track down some Rumour Monger who might sell you that morsel of information.

Living with Kris is a big adventure. Every. Single. Day. I don’t know anyone else who could dig through a little box of knickknacks, pull out two wafer-thin, dark, small coins and nonchalantly tell this story about them:

“The upper coin is a Roman copper from the reign of Emperor Dioclecian 285-305 AD. It came from a shipwreck in the Adriatic Sea. I got it in barter from an Austrian diver I met in the Chagos Archipelago…the second coin comes from the medieval Arab city-state of Kilwa, which flourished in East Africa, today’s Tanzania. Overrun and destroyed by Portuguese in 1505 it never recovered. Coin is 500-700 years old. I bought it in Kilwa from local kids fossiking in the extensive ruins of Kilwa Kisimani…”

Emperor Dioclesian (285-305 AD

And, just to stir your imagination a bit more, from the same treasure trove that yielded the two coins, Kris pulled out and showed me a small green wine bottle—sandblasted by time and over 300 years old—that he came across while wandering the old Pirate Cemetery on Île Sainte-Marie in Madagascar. The idea is positively haunting.

What, you don’t believe me? Friends, I assure you, I paid top money for these rumours, and got them from a very reliable Rumour Monger! 😉

via Rumour book « Art of Kris Larsen.


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