Samuel R. Delany

interview with Terry Bisson in The Atheist in the Attic

You wrote a critical appreciation of SF, the Jewel-Hinged Jaw. […] I don’t recall what the title signified.


The title was not explained in the book. You just had to recognize it. It was from a line in Thomas M. Disch’s Camp Concentration: from Sacchetti’s poem “The Hierodule,” when Disch describes the black idol of language/knowledge/art, which is presumably suppose to speak the truth:

Behold! Behold the black, untrained flesh,
The jaw’s jewelled hinge that we can barely glimpse …

So, no, you probably didn’t and don’t recall what the title signified, unless you’ve been rereading Disch’s novel with your literary antenna alert to explaining precisely that conundrum.

Saccchetti is a character in the novel

And the notion of hinge leads me to recall the cover art on Catherine Hume’s Hinges — a grid of representations of various examples of hinges.

cd cover catherine hume hinges

With a prominent jaw in its centre square, somewhat shiny like a jewel…

And so for day 2522

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