A few turns east of the travelers’ market, the butchers in the meat quarter sometimes stocked cuts from exotic animals and labeled them not with words but with photographs or hand-drawn pictures. That was how I learned that there were giraffes, from a sepia portrait on a pile of dried haunch meat.
— China Miéville, This Census-Taker ‎· protest against swarms of flies
His manager taught him that words change with time, by single letters or more, sometimes their whole roots switching—a “y” to an “e” in a name for power, “sun-writing” becomes “light-drawing.” The man eventually gave him this whole other tongue, and he revisited and at last learned from those cuttings about immense foreign wars. ‎· protest against swarms of flies
Houses built on bridges are scandals. A bridge wants to not be. If it could choose its shape, a bridge would be no shape, an unspace to link One-place-town to Another-place-town over a river or a road or a tangle of railway tracks or a quarry, or to attach an island to another island or to the continent from which it strains. The dream of a bridge is of a woman standing at one side of a gorge and stepping out as if her job is to die, but when her foot falls it meets the ground right on the other side. A bridge is just better than no bridge but its horizon is gaplessness, and the fact of itself should still shame it. But someone had built on this bridge, drawn attention to its matter and failure. An arrogance that thrilled me. ‎· protest against swarms of flies