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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 12 June 11, 1968

The Return of the Triboldies. Part 12

The Return of the Triboldies. Part 12

It is trepidly that I enter on my new career as Chronicler in chief and in only to the Triboldies tribe. I understand that a certain amount of latitude is permitted me in stile and in content My predecessor's method, so he tells me repeatedly, was to consult the ancients (who, perhaps, were not so ancient as he would prefer to believe); to base my stile on that of a chronicler of our so called "epic" or "classical" period. The tradition is that a chronicle is not made public till the chronicler's demise; therefore (according to Inkier mon Pinkler) he is free from "subtle urgings by his fellows" and is thus encouraged to produce a history, interspersing events with wise and farseeing remarks, rather than to produce a mere diary. Ocarina recommends the impersonal, detached stile of a chronicler such as Quinquagesima in preference to the more personal, immediate manner of writing of one such as Duodecimo. It is in this tradition that I place myself; so in the pages of this new, square olive green book, the making of which has just been completed, those who in future years come to read this Chronicle will find in it a more interpretative emphasis than has been the fashion in recent centuries.

Perhaps this passage should be expunged, save for the last several signs. It came surprisingly to me that Ocarina had chosen me for chronicler; particularly in view of my confrontation with him vis-à-vis Mazinta. I suppose, in view of his declared policy, that all such incidents escaped entry in his chronicle. I fell strongly, though I have not seen it, and know nothing of it, that the Journal of Ocarina may possibly give a misleading impression of the events which have led up to our present quandary; I shall make no attempt here to conceal my motives for selecting for inclusion in this chronicle the particular events and opinions that I do select. . . . Perhaps Ocarina feels that he should make amends for his own rather shameful conduct towards Marzinta and towards myself, both before entry into Troppo and during the Second Great Fiasco of Aggabug. I should very much like to read Ocarina's journal, though the reservations expressed by Inkier mon Pinkler apply probably with even more force to a chronicler than to our people at large. However, I dare not ask Ocarina to see his Journal for fear that he would suspect my motives (which I should have to pretend were improvement of stile . . . and he will never read this journal, except with my express permission to write certain passages, as has been the custom, though as far as I now he has never observed it) and publicly reveal in an unrepresentative and unfair way some of my youthful (and needless to ay, now much-regretted) indiscretions, much to my own discredit and shame. Hence I shall refrain from asking his permission to see his chronicle, but shall keep asking his advice on matters of stile, which advice he is so keen to give (perhaps not disinterestedly; it is possible that he is encouraging me to omit personal details and to produce a history of our movements, rather than of our people, in order that I should omit any reference to the rather shameful conduct on his part that I have referred to above) that I need not ask at all, but merely make myself visible in his unoccupied presence, and wear a suitable expression of face, namely one of receptiveness, showing a mood disposed to listen rather than to opine. It is a good time to approach him. I imagine; he is as yet uncertain in his leadership; he shows successively too much authority and too much hesitancy in his day-to-day decisions; he is obviously nervous in the administration of his own impression of his power, though his impression is more than his power. Let us hope that such a great admirer of the late Sparadrap ( )—after whose name he has requested me to leave an empty, honouring space—will come shortly to adopt Sparadrap ( )'s stile of leadership by encouragement, rather than by direction, as was the notorious wont of James OToole McGergonshaw. However I can get some idea of the stile and substance of Ocarina's journal by studying that of Quinquagesima, which Ocarina goes so far as to admit that he has modelled his own on. Quiquage-sima's journal is one of bold outlines and of impressive generalizations as to the courage of his fellows in withstanding the repealed attacks on their homeland (to which we are now attempting to return), and of praise of their leader at that time (Kohimarara). In Ocarinas journal I can well imagine the adultation for Sparadrap (much of it perhaps not undeserved, though it appears to me that Ocarina praised Sparadrap after imitating him, not before) and the stirring cries of enthusiasm, both of which will probably prove unnecessary since Ocarina leads a sheltered ife and we seem to be approaching the homeland.1 I suspect that Ocarina has proceeded backwards even in the matter of establishing a stile; no doubt Ocarina is familiar with Duodecimo's eulogy of Quinquagesima in the (old) year 314; though I imagine that Ocarina dislikes Duodecimo's manner on the whole, he cannot fail to be impressed by the touching eulogy, which could be. in part, applied (though not truthfully) to the career of Ocarina.

Ocarina has been burying me with stylistic advice; he has even gone so far as to show me a page of his own journal. The [unclear: pa] was no doubt carefully selected in order that there should be nothing to which I could disagree on a question of fact. It caused me slight surprise that he should have copied his recommended journal entry on to a sheet of paper; I had expected, after he had said that he would show me his journal, that he would leaf through it, more quickly, of course, over some passages than over others; but showing me in detail the more unexceptionable pages. On further thoughts it could be that he had nothing to hide, but merely had wished that I should be able to take away his fine example in order to study it. But he was suddenly taken by this (after all, very obvious suggestion, and repeated several times over. that he had copied out this piece in order that I might study it at my leisure; therefore I tend to disbelieve him. and to suspect that he has something to conceal; in short. that (he supposed copy I have of an extract from his journal, though not actually falsified except in one or two minor marks, probably omits certain passages that he does not wish me to see. I have studied this extract intensively, squeezing it between my eyes and my mind, to see what juice might emerge from it. I received little juice, and no light