Hiatus and Lacuna

Hiatus and Lacuna are two characters in the Xanth series by Piers Anthony.  They were the grandchildren of Merlin (the first King of Xanth).  Hiatus’s power was to grow eyes on whatever he wanted, and Lacuna could make words appear wherever she wanted them to, or alter text that exists.  Hiatus was never a major character, but Lacuna had her own book, Question Quest.  This book was, perhaps, the most arduous and boring of the books that Piers Anthony had ever produced and so Question Quest ate up a large amount of my time, which seemed even longer as a result.  I think this may have been intentional, as Piers Anthony was playing upon the concept of text in the novel.

Hiatus means a pause in some sort of sequence.  And, while Question Quest is about Lacuna, Hiatus is mentioned in the first few lines, suggesting that the book itself is a hiatus.  This is true, as it is out of sequence compared to the other books that surround it, not only time-wise (as it tells a story of the past) but also concept wise.  In most other Xanth novels, the main character travels to the “Good Magician Humphrey” with a Question that needs an Answer (these words in this context are proper nouns in Xanth).  Question Quest is different in that Lacuna is traveling to the Good Magician to get a question.  The novel also breaks in sequence by having the main character be a minor character (much of the novel is about the long life of the Good Magician).  Lacuna is the main character, though, and so Piers Anthony is also suggesting that the book is that as well.  Lacuna has two meanings.  The obvious one, which is integral to the climax and resolution of the novel, is that a lacuna is a missing portion of a text or manuscript.  A lacuna is also a gap, or an unfilled space.  And the book is pointing out that there is a gap in the history of the world that needs to be filled by Lacuna, in order to understand the previous thirteen books in their entirety and to ready the series for its evolution into the second phase (which deals more directly with the Demons and the Games they play).

The point of this anecdote is my quiet from this blog was not a hiatus, but it was a lacuna.  A hiatus suggests that something stops and then starts again later where it left off.  But I cannot do that, I cannot start where I ended.  There is a gap in this text, an unfilled space.


And it desperately needs filling.


In the coming weeks, I will try to update you all on what has been happening to me, and what I am doing.  I will try my best to be Lacuna and write over that gap that had left her life unfulfilled and searching for a Question.  If it has been a while and you haven’t seen me post anything (like a week or so) then give me a nudge and ask me: “what happened next?”.


3 thoughts on “Hiatus and Lacuna

  1. Brandon McGill says:

    I love the Xanth Series. ❤

  2. SO, so many puns. Piers Anthony is a whore for them.

    He also creates fantastic words :]

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