J2.01 Upstairs

Annotations for Jerusalem by Alan Moore

Book 2 – Mansoul

Page 364 – photo

Page 365 – Lovecraft

Page 366 – blank

Page 367 – titled Upstairs

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4 thoughts on “J2.01 Upstairs”

  1. DATE = 2005

    • This chapter takes place immediately after the last chapter, Book 1 Ch12.


    • He is also the POV character for Book 1 Ch12 and part of Book 1 Ch1.


    • Page 367, par 4: “…in much the same way that those tricky pictures that you found on school chalk-boxes did, with all the cubes stacked in a pyramid, but so you couldn’t tell if they went in or out.”

    Here’s an example of what (I believe) Michael’s referring to:

    • Page 372, par 3: “He held himself as still as he could manage and, after a moment or two, was relived to learn that all the extra elbows, knees, and slipper-covered feet would gradually fade away to nothing if you gave them enough time.”

    Michael seems to be in a similar physical state as Freddy (POV from Book 1 Ch4), but Michael still sees in color, while Freddy only saw in black and white.

    • Page 374, par 2-3: Michael’s statement seems to “unfold and unpack” in a similar way that the angel’s statements did to Ernest “Ginger” Vernall (in Book 1 Ch2).

    • Page 374, par 5: Phyllis Painter was previously mentioned in Book 1 Ch4 when Freddy saw her “skip past across the recreation ground,” and who’s “gang ran wild across the Boroughs’ length and breadth and depth and whenth” (Page 109, last par).

    • Page 374, bottom: “Mansoul’s the Second Borough.”

    • Page 374, bottom: It’s cool how Michael’s language is tweaked, so he means to say “No I do not! Let me go back where I was before!” but it comes out of his mouth as “Know eye doughnut! Late me grow black square eyewash be four!”

    Incidentally, the traditional doughnut shape is the same shape as a torus.

    • Page 376, par 3: “It was as though while people were still living they were really frozen motionless, immersed in the congealed blancmange of time, and simply thought that they were moving, when in truth it was just their awareness fluttering along the pre-existing tunnel of their lifetime as a ball of colored light.”

    Michael is definitely seeing his living room and family members as a chunk of Einsteinian Block Universe right there!

    • Page 382, par 2: “Because this regular and neatly-ordered pattern covered all the terrain between him and the far, invisible horizon, the most distant trapdoor recesses were shrunken to a screen of close-packed dots, like when he held his eyes close to the printed pictures in the comics from America his sister saved.”

    This observation echoes John “Snowy” Vernall’s observation of himself being a “pointillist dab fixed and unmoving” on an “immeasurable canvas” from Book 1 Ch9 (page 261, par 2).

    • Page 381, par 4-5: Michael describes a 2-dimensional square turning into a 3-dimensional cube, then into a 4-dimensional shape, which would be a tesseract:


    • Page 384, par 2: Michael sees the clouds as “crumpled balls of paper,” which recall’s Peter’s view of the clouds right before he dies in Book 1 Ch5.

    • Page 390, penultimate par: “’All the religatures are right in parts, which means none of ‘em are ‘cause they all thought as it was only them knew what wiz what.”

    Assuming “religature” means religion (possibly “religion” + “architecture”) (cool word!), then this sentence reminds me of the story of the “Blind Men and an Elephant,” an old fable where some blind men come across an elephant, each with a different interpretation of what it is because they have each touched a different part of it. They argue about what it is, and the point is that each is slightly correct, but all are wrong because they’re missing the bigger picture.


    • Page 394, par 5: “If yer see someone up ‘ere who looks hypnotized, walkin’ abayt in just their underpants or night-things, it’s a safe bet that it’s someone who’s asleep and dreaming.”

    The guy in his underwear that Freddy frightens in Book 1 Ch4 is likely one of these dreamers that Phyllis is referring to.

    • Page 399, last par: Fun musical fact – “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” has the same exact melody as “Bah, Bah, Black Sheep” and the “ABCs” song!

    • Page 401: The devil guy that Michael runs into at the end of the chapter, with his “flapping rags,” “dark green britches” and “horns” is likely the guy on the bottom right of Jerusalem’s cover, standing on the building holding a baby (and Michael is likely that baby).


    • Page 380, par 6: “infantoms”

    • Page 381, par 1: “cemetery Esperanto”

    Esperanto is language developed in the late 1870s by L. L. Zamenhof, in an attempt to create a universal language enabling people from all over the world to be able to communicate without having to translate (although I suppose one would have to initially translate their original statement into Esperanto first haha).


    • Page 386, par 3: “Reternity”

    • Page 387, par 3: “time-gravy”


    • Page 386, par 5: “He’d had a sister, Alma, who would make him laugh or badly frighten him at least once every day.”

    • Page 390, par 2: “His mum had told him that he wouldn’t go to Hell except for something really bad like murder, which had seemed to him like manageable odds, assuming that he could get through his whole life without killing anybody. Luckily he’d died when he was three, and hadn’t had to put this to the test for very long. If he’d lived to be older, he’d consoled himself, he might have murdered Alma once he had the strength.”

    • Page 397, par 2: “’Munch, munch, munch … creep, creep, creep … munch, munch, munch … creep, creep, creep.’”

    • Page 398, par 1: “At least he didn’t have a sore throat anymore, he told himself consolingly as he began to climb the stairs. That had been really getting on his nerves.”

    Haha so the cough sweet may well have killed him, but at the same time, it technically did work to cure his sore throat!


  2. “The guy in his underwear that Freddy frightens in Book 1 Ch4 is likely one of these dreamers that Phyllis is referring to.” — This is the retired councilman Jim (?) Cokey (?). This incident is referred to several times, notably by Perrity when he drinks with the councilman in a pub…


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