Path: physics insights > misc > Iemy

The Book of Iem

The following manuscript was discovered among the effects of Professor Felix Resilleserre, late of the anthropology department of Miskatonic University in Arkham, Massachusetts. Note that the manuscript still appears to be incomplete, with some sections missing, incorrect, or swapped. Significant difficulties were encountered in assembling it into its present form. The Professor was neither neat nor well organized. The manuscript was not bound and the loose sheets were not numbered. Furthermore, the Professor's penmanship left much to be desired, and some of the pages were only marginally legible. Finally, the Professor apparently discovered some errors in the document after preparing it, and rewrote a number of the pages; unfortunately, he neglected to discard the earlier, erroneous, versions, which made the process of determining which was the final version rather dicey.

The version presented here is certainly incomplete, and that is not just because we haven't finished typing in all of the text that has been discovered. It is, in fact, quite possible that we will never have the complete manuscript. When work began to clear out several decades of accumulated rubbish from the Professor's office, the smeary, illegible, and occasionally crumpled sheets were not initially recognized as having any importance, and many of them were dumped in the trash before the significance of the document was realized. While a careful search of the recycling bins of the University was made, it is sadly possible that a number of the irreplaceable sheets had already been converted to recycled toilet paper before the mistake was discovered.

There is still some debate as to the provenance of the original document. The following text is certainly not its original form. This is, rather, the Professor's transliteration of the document, using his own Romanization of the Iemy text. It is peculiar indeed that no trace of the original Iemic script has been found. However, it appears that the Professor wrote his transcript of the original Book in the Latin alphabet, while working on-site. Since it is not as yet known just where that site might be, one might be tempted to write the whole thing off as a strange hoax. However, an ongoing examination of certain additional papers found in the Professor's (cavernous) office has led researchers to conclude that the Professor, at least, believed the Book to be entirely genuine. It is also undeniable that, if the text is indeed genuine, it represents an extremely important chapter in the history of the world (either ours, or someone else's; that is not as yet clear).

Work is continuing to sort the Professor's remaining papers. However, the job is daunting and the effort is proceeding very slowly. If more portions of the manuscript are discovered, then as time permits we will add them to this page, and if later, more accurate versions of some pages are discovered, we will update the text here. And, of course, if it's determined that parts of the manuscript should have appeared in a different order, we will rearrange the text here to match what is considered the "most likely correct" sequence.

A partial translation of the manuscript has been compiled from fragmentary notes found in Professor Resilleserre's office.  As far as we can tell, the translation is extremely loose, and portions appear to be rather inaccurate; this is surprising, given the Professor's expertise in the Iemy language. The alternative, which is that the Professor's notes on Iemic grammar are themselves erroneous, is considered an even more unlikely explanation, according to several linguists at Miskatonic University.  Be that as it may, we have included such fragments as have been found, along with our running commentary, to the right of the original text as it appears below.

And now, we present the Manuscript in its original language.

Note on typography:  The Professor's notes frequently used the character 'r' with a circumflex over it.  Most typefaces currently available have no such character in them; the closest, in general, is an 'r' with an inverted cede, which not only isn't exactly what Professor Resilleserre wrote, it also is present only in certain fonts.  Throughout this page we have taken the liberty of substituting an 'r' with an inverted circumflex, as 'ř', which seems to be available in most common fonts.  In the text, we may occasionally refer to "r circumflex" to indicate the Iemy character "ř"; that is because, in the original handwritten copy found in the Professor's office, that is the character which was used.

Note on pronunciation
Before we present the Book, it may be of some assistance to the reader to understand a little about Iemy pronunciation.  According to his notes, the pronunciation of the Professor's Romanization of Iemy is generally straightforward, with most letters being given the sounds they would have as IPA symbols.  The primary irregularity is the fact that there are two 'r' characters:  A plain 'r' is pronounced very much like an English, German, or French 'r' (take your pick; the Professor seemed uncertain on this point).  The version with an inverted circumflex, 'ř', in contrast, is rolled or tapped.

Pronunciation of the circumflexed and umlauted vowels in Old Iemy is highly uncertain.  Only one incomplete reference to them has been found among Professor Resilleserre's notes, in which he referred to the "rolled vowels of ancient Iemy".  We don't know how to roll a vowel, and we're not entirely sure it's possible for anyone without a neural oscillator in the larynx.

(If more complete notes on pronunciation are found in the Professor's papers, they will be posted here.)

Arv Eemyř no Iem

According to the Professor's notes, this means, literally, "The Book of Snoo".  This begs the question, "What's Snoo?".
"Arv ÿufirao su ÿk onôtuen eeten irhararor zhao daro!"

This sentence, written in archaic Iemy, appears as a subtitle on the first page of the manuscript.  Loosely, it seems to mean "My hovercraft is full of eels!".  It is not entirely clear what its significance might be, but it may relate to the prophecies of Zhiyřtu.
Irunař Sniggles no iřtuine ořne arv iemy, ořtui ti yřk arfat iřarr yřnařt: Ouudaheou!
Irlu ype iosy aohe iřarr etořtu ouunz, fey avhar ype ionua iřarr etořtu ouunz.
Farar âtnsen an Gnsartu!

This appears to be a formal greeting from "Sniggles", of the People of the Snood, who was presumably the redactor of the Book -- or at least the redactor of this version of it.  It includes greetings and good wishes directed at "those who will come later".

A literal reading of the first sentence would be, "From Sniggles of person/people of the Snood, to it/they which come more late: Ouudaheou!". 
The word translated as "person/people" can apparently mean either.  In the Book, identical words seem to be used for both singular and plural forms, which can make the job of translation harder.
It's not clear what "Ouudaheou" means but it should probably be translated as "Greetings".

According to Professor Resilleserre's notes, the second sentence appears to say "Your fur should never grow thinner, nor your tail grow shorter".  This seems like a strange way to wish someone well; perhaps it is merely ceremonial with no significance attached to its literal meaning.

The phrase "Farar âtnsen an Gnsartu", which is in old Iemy if we can judge by the circumflex over the 'a', seems to be ceremonial, and is of obscure significance.  'Farar ... an Gnsartu' is clear enough:  'All <something> to Gnsartu
'.  From its ending, the word 'âtnsen' appears to be a verb.  However, the meaning of the verb 'âtnsen' is unknown.
The name, 'Gnsartu', appears in a number of contexts in the Book.  It is not clear at this time whether it refers to a historical figure or to a purely mythological personage.
Iřtuine yt Gnsartu,  Net Eemyř

Literally, "The People (or Person) of Gnsartu, First Book".  This section, or "book", of the Book of Iem appears to contain the early history of the People.  It's not clear how well grounded in fact it is.
Sote asat iafua, asat eet yfuyř.

"In the beginning, everything was dark", or, literally, "When all start, all is dark".

This is followed by a gap before we get to the next block of text we can actually read.  The story of the People of Gnsartu seems to have been rather lengthy, and is believed to cover a major expanse of time.  Unfortunately it appears that the Professor accidentally dumped a cup of coffee on the pages of this section, which are consequently almost entirely unreadable, as he used water (or coffee) soluble ink to write down the Book.  If we can decipher more of his notes we will expand this section.  The fragments which follow are all that has been successfully read so far.
Gnsartu artfy iřtniřart ohi vli yfuyř.  Gnsartu artfy iřtuine ohi rteetu ařseavhe.

This seems to deal with Gnsartu leading the People into what would ultimately become their homeland.  Loosely, "Gnsartu led his people out of the darkness and over the mountains."

Literally, this reads, "Gnsartu lead his person out dark.  Gnsartu lead his person over mountain."  As previously noted, "person" and "people" seem to be the same word in Iemy.  Similarly, "mountain" could presumably also mean "[range of] mountains", which is how we've interpreted it, above.

We should note further that the literal translation of this passage is in the present tense.  In fact, the Book of Iem seems to be written entirely in the present tense.  As far as we can tell from the Professor's notes, it may be that Iemy verbs have no other tenses.

What's more, no evidence that verbs are inflected at all has been found: first, second, and third person singular and plural forms used in the Book are apparently identical.
Yřufira yřk onořtu yt iřtuine yt gnsartu rteetu ařseavhe infu ohouo fey iyřg irharar.

Out of several pages of notes, nearly obliterated by coffee stains, we've extracted this sole sentence.  It seems to say that the hovercrafts of the People filled the sky over the mountains, which is a fascinating indication of the technology already available to the People in the time of Gnsartu -- if it is a correct translation.  Unfortunately, the phrase "Yřufira yřk onořtu", or "Craft who hovers", is particularly difficult to read and may actually mean something else entirely.

Literally, and less speculatively, this fragment reads, "The [coffee stain] of person(s) of Gnsartu over mountain(s) soar(s) high and sky/skies fill/full."
Gnsartu âtnsen!
This closes this section of the Book (if we have the pages in the right order).  It's apparently an honorific of some sort, directed at Gnsartu.  Meaning of "âtnsen!" is obscure.
Ivj iřfu Ařhez

"The Sayings of Ařhez"  It is not known who Ařhez might have been.

The Sayings were  found written on what appeared to be a sheet of legal paper (14" long), and were in quite fine print.  Consequently there were apparently a large number of the Sayings.  Unfortunately, most of the page, along with the Sayings it contained, seems to have been chewed off and has not been found; it may have been eaten.  It's not known who might have done such a thing but suspicion currently rests on the Professor's cat, Nim-nim.
Ihag vlir oharar eehuy faaufyřa

"City on hill attract bird(s)".  It's not clear what this means.
Ihag noet ařsit ofi ařvli irtz auniř

Literally, "City without mouse has too few mouse".  Ařhez seems to have considered mice very important.
Note that two different words are used for "mouse" in this Saying.  The second, ařvli, is mentioned elsewhere in the Professor's notes as possibly meaning a "plump" mouse.

Ymu oumy hir nearj ymu eet niřte

Loosely, the only good door is an open door.  Ařhez seems to have disliked doors.
Yn asat niřakne yřdiř.  Yn utařvhe iaharar let iřfao no ymu.

Obscure.  "Retain options, and remain still in the path of a door."  What could Ařhez have meant by this?  Were there oncoming doors that one had to "face down"?  Could "ymu" mean something other than "door" here?

Perhaps this should be translated as "Stand still in the doorway" -- but that doesn't seem to make a lot of sense, either.

Yn ena yřsea ařsit ype zvtoutey ar eet eelig ařsit aiofit.

Again in this saying, we see the strange importance of mice to Ařhez.  According to Professor Resilleserre's notes, a translation which retains the spirit of the original is "Don't count your mice until you catch them."

Literally this means, "Don't count your mouse while you be busy chase mouse".
Aluyřtj eet eehou iřarr aofe ar aoheyř.

"A turkey is bigger than you think".
Niauhaio eet eehou iřarr aofe aluyřtj.

"An ostrich is bigger than a turkey".
Yn eet ofiřiřg uelařiř irrtu iřutj ype.
Eehuy iařfarar yřk irarj eet oumy iřarr aofe eehuy arfuout otfořg auniř irrtu ytyřnarartu.

The Professor translated this as "Be content that you must jump when hunting.  Small flying birds are better than massive birds which can't get off the ground".  This appears to be a somewhat loose translation.

Literally, the saying is closer to, "Be happy jump for your prey.  Small bird which fly be more good than large bird too heavy for takeoff."

No explanation as to why small birds might be better than big heavy birds has been found.
Eetzfut!   Ztfitar ena eet ařsit iautaio ařtut, aunauř hir ti arhyřt aofa fiřiřtfu.

The Professor translated this as, "Beware!  Weasels are not stretched mice!"

A closer translation might be, "Beware!  Weasel not be just stretch mouse, despite if it appear like one!"

It's not clear why
Ařhez felt it was important to warn the People of this rather obvious fact.
Etořtu aug aoheou eehou iřarr aofe otfy ype yřfaio.

The Professor translated this as "Never try to catch anything bigger than your head".

The original word order appears to be rather different from the translation.  A literal reading, retaining the Iemy word order, might be "Never attempt thing big more than head your catch".
Arn oun liř aud tfig iřarr aofe yřnařt ynse (eefyřzfuy).

The Professor translated this as "It's easier to climb up a tree than back down".

A closer translation might be, "Someone go up tree easier than come down (backwards)".  One might well wonder why anyone would want to come back down "backwards".
Asat aud fiřiřtfu sote arn eet let aniř afarar iřarr.

Professor Resilleserre translated this as "Any tree looks bigger when seen from the top".

Literally, it reads, "All tree appear when one is at top taller".

As with a number of
Ařhez's sayings, we are left wondering about the intent.  This saying, like the preceding one, seems to be a warning against climbing tall trees.  Yet, is that really what it means?  One is left groping for some deeper, symbolic content of some sort, which has perhaps been lost along with the societal context in which the Sayings originated.
Arn etořtu yřenz sofa he onart hir ena utfaio he.

The Professor translated this as, "You never know what you might be missing".  To call this a "loose" translation is to flatter it.

A translation which we feel is far closer to the original is, "One never knows what's in a hole if one doesn't reach in!"

The Professor's translation has the advantage of seeming less "alien" to our ears but it's not at all clear it captures
Ařhez's intent.
Hir eet he yseea, yn ar iardiř.

Rather inexplicably, the Professor translated this as "We all need a good sleep".

Using his own vocabulary notes, the word for word translation of the saying seems to mean something quite different:  "If be in doubt, do you sleep".  We would speculate that the original intent would in fact be best captured by the aphorism:  "When in doubt, take a nap."
Feg iřarfit zhao eety zfuař fey irmy yřk arn iřtla yřfaio tfig ena yřfe eet eefy yřnařiřartat.

The Professor's translation for this is also rather strange: "Beds are good".  We don't understand why he thought this captured the spirit of the saying; we speculate that he may have been tired when he wrote that.

Translating it word for word, using the Professor's vocabulary list, and then trying to piece it together into normal English, one seems to obtain something closer to "Anyplace with a warm bed and easy to catch food cannot be completely bad."

That was the last legible saying on the page; the rest of them had been eaten.
Arn iosy dar he yřufira yřk onořtu etořtu yřdiř!

This final Saying was found on a paper napkin which had fallen behind the Professor's desk, and didn't obviously fit into any section of the Book.  After some discussion it was decided that it might have been an extra saying of Ařhez; consequently, we have placed it here.  Unfortunately some of the words were rather smudged, and in fact both the phrase "yřufira yřk onořtu" and the word "dar" have been partly interpolated, as they were quite smeared, with a number of letters being completely obliterated.

The Professor had not written anything about the meaning of this Saying, but we have attempted a translation using his notes.  As far as we can tell, it is in passive voice, and is again a warning:  "One should [blot] in [smudge] not keep".

If we have read [blot] and [smudge] correctly, then the correct reading of this would be, "Never keep eels in a hovercraft!"
Iřunirtig iřfu Zhiyřtu

"The Prophecies of Zhiyřtu"
It is not known who Zhiyrtu might have been, nor is it known whether his/her prophecies ever came true.
Ařt, yřk eet Zhiyřtu, ofi gtfu ακ0 no osit yt avhar arneou ořhikne.

"I, Zhiyřtu, have, in year ακ0 of the House of Long Tail, a vision."

Note that
ακ0 is the number of the year.  Professor Resilleserre used Greek letters, along with the digit "0", to represent the numbers in the Book of Iemy.  The numbering system used is apparently not base 10, but the Professor never said what base, if any, was used instead.

According to the Professor's notes, numbers were taken very seriously by the People.  They attached particular mystical significance to the numbers 2, 3, 4, and 11, and he states that those numbers are woven through the prophecies of Zhiyřtu.
Znuary eet yfuyř.  Znuary eet yfuyř zb irlu eearfyř.

"The world is dark.  The world is as dark as black fur."

Unfortunately this statement turned out to be all too true with regard to the Book of Iem.  The Professor, who was fond of writing with refillable fountain pens, seems to have upset a bottle of black ink on the manuscript.  A great deal of the Prophecy of Zhiyřtu has consequently vanished into the darkness.  Work is continuing to attempt to read the manuscript using ultraviolet light and very careful bleaching, but little of the text has been recovered at this time.
Arhouoa uhit. Arhouoa uhit zb ateafyřart yřk ouarnz.

This fragment was found later on the first page of the Prophecies, along with the Professor's translation:  "The light rises.  The light rises, like glowing tentacles"
... ařfii afeouart no ... iarhiř

This fragment was found on a separate page.  The words seem to mean "mass tangle of ... slip..."  One piece of what seemed to be the Professor's translation was found on the same sheet:  "Slippery mass".  The significance is not clear.
 ařvlyha dar ...  irsaut dar

Two separate clauses, each apparently saying something about eels(?)  The words "ařvlyha" and "irsaut" appear only in conjunction with "dar" in the Book, and the Professor did not provide a translation of either.  At first it was thought that they might be some sort of blessing.  However, current opinion is that they probably are the opposite.
sote gtfu ακλ no osit yt avhar arneou zvtoutey yvj βι yt iřfua γ yt gtfu ... ořhikne

"when year ακλ of the house of Long Tail, during day βι, in the γ part of the year ... vision..."    With this, we seem to have started a second prophecy of Zhiyřtu.  Unfortunately, nearly all of the surrounding text is illegible, drowned in the black ink, so we don't know what the prophecy might have concerned.
dar ... ařvlyha dar ... yřufira yřk onořtu(?) ... teatu ... irharar ...

This is a series of disconnected phrases which can barely be made out through the ink:  "eel ... ařvlyha eel ... hovercraft (maybe?) ... enter ... fill..."  The significance, if any, of the words is not known.
Gnsartu iřutituořt ařt!

"Gnsartu preserve us!"
... dar eet arfatu ounet ...

This appears in the midst of a mass of illegible text.  Literally, it's "eel be later gone"; idiomatically it may be correct to translate it as "The eels will be gone".  It may have been part of a prophecy of better days to come.
Gnsartu âtnsen!

This appears to be the formal "closing" to this chapter of the Prophecies.  Meaning of "âtnsen" is not known.
Ařt ofi gtfu αλκ no osit yt avhar arneou ořhikne.
We believe this is another chapter of the Prophecies.  It began at the top of another sheet of paper, and seems to be another vision. We have guessed that it comes third in the sequence, and that it is also a vision of Zhiyřtu.  It begins, "In year αλκ of the House of Longtail, I/we had a vision".
Unlike the previous visions, this one appears to be complete -- but extremely brief.
Ařt id iyřg.  Iyřg id ařt.  Iyřg eearheyř ořtui ařt, yřk eet Zhiyřtu.  ... arv eearheyř yřniařni ... arv eearheyř itartiazar

"I see the sky and the sky sees me..."  Professor Resilleserre's notes make it sound almost poetic.  But then it starts sounding strange:  "The sky blinks at me, Zhiyřtu."  What does it mean for the sky to"blink"?  We don't know.  The theme is repeated, without becoming any clearer:  "the cosmic blink ... the celestial blink"  Note the use of the article "arv", meaning "the".  Articles are typically omitted in Iemy, save in cases where the uniqueness of the object is being emphasized.  There is, apparently, just one "cosmic blink" -- whatever it might be.
Dar irnararnz ... dar yřniařni tařtuout ... dar yřniařni yt vlout yřniařni

The Professor's notes translate this as,"Eel follow ... cosmic eel follow ... cosmic eel of cosmic eye", but follow it with the annotation, "I am not sure I agree dar should mean eel. Has <ink-smear> ever even seen an eel?"  We would very much like to know what -- or who -- <ink-smear> was, but unfortunately no amount of effort has allowed us to read it. In fact this whole page appears to have been written with a rather drippy fountain pen, and then immediately folded -- or crumpled -- and stuffed into a pocket. Many of the words are smeared almost beyond hope of reading them.

As we mentioned, this page appears intact and seems to hold the full text of the Professor's notes on this "vision".  However, at this point we encounter a rather uncomfortable jump in the narrative which makes us wonder if the Professor left something out, or if there was a gap in the "witness" he was transcribing.  We don't know if the copy of the Book he was working from was fully intact; nowhere does he say.
Iafu eet yřfaio iřfu irhioeta, eet yřfaio zb irlu, eet yřfaio he arv iemy yřniařni.

The Professor writes, "A star (or stars) caught by a net, caught like hair, caught in the cosmic snood."  What "net" is this?  What's the "cosmic snood"?  (Note, again, the use of the article "arv", or  "the".)  How did we get here from the "blink" and the eels?  We don't know.  Perhaps it's all figurative -- but figurative of what?
Iemy yřniařni rteetu arv Iřtuine asat.

"The cosmic snood over all the People".  We have no idea what this means.  Any "cosmic" or "celestial" object would be literally "over" the people, of course, and perhaps that is all it is referring to.
Iemy yřniařni nu onart he iyřg -- onart he iyřg nu onart iřfu ařsit.  Arn tyřuk, onart no ařsit ařlia eet iřuneet, ařt ařlia yřenz.

Felix's (apparently quite loose) translation of this passage reads, "Cosmic snood, hole in the sky, or mousehole; whichever it may be!  It is written, he who finds a hole must probe it.  We must know!"  Looking at the Iemy, we don't see where his "whichever it may be!" came from, and we don't see any expressed obligation on the finder of the hole.
Oheatu iemy, eetjney iemy, irfu iřarr aofe iemy. Sofa yřk eet oheatu iemy. Sofa yřk eet he onart no ařsit. Eet sofa he onart no ařsit? Ařt ařlia yřenz!

Professor Ressilleserre translates this as "Beyond the snood, beyond the snood, beyond the snood.  That which lies beyond the snood.  That which lies in the mousehole.  What lies in the mousehole?  We must know!" This is obviously imprecise, as even a casual inspection of the Iemy text will show, and it does nothing to help our understanding of this rather obscure vision.

As we come to the end of the third prophecy or vision of Zhiyřtu we are left wondering what, if anything, it actually meant.  What does it mean for the sky to "blink"?  How can there be a hole in the sky?  And what do eels and hair nets have to do with a hole in the sky, anyway?  We don't know.
Iřtuine yt Gnsartu,  Azn Eemyř

"The People of Gnsartu, Second Book"
This seems to be a continuation of the first Book of the People of  Gnsartu.  It was only after lengthy discussion that we decided to place it here, after the Prophecies.  While it might seem natural to place it immediately after the first book of Gnsartu, it was actually found written on the back of the sheet containing the third Vision of
Zhiyřtu, which led us to believe it should follow the Prophecies.  On the other hand, its orientation casts a little doubt on that conclusion, as it was written upside-down relative to the Vision, which could mean Felix was just using the blank back side of the sheet as a convenient place to write it, with no connection implied.
Arfey eetjney ařseavhe eet zhyt. ařvli eet yřnařne. asat eet hygar.

The Professor writes, "The land beyond the mountains was broad.  Plump mice abounded in the idyllic country."  While certainly not word for word this seems to us to be a reasonable translation.
Dar, dar, ti irharar asat!

"Eels, eels fill everything!"  What on Earth does this mean?  We are not sure.  We recall the Professor's questioning of his own translation of "dar" and we wonder if it means something else in this context.
Gnsartu artfy iřtuine ohi fey arfey yřarde eet.  En dar eet id, arn ene iřtla feg dar id.  Ineou iřfu iřfuefun eet iřfuasa, ineou iřfu ařsit, ineou iřfu arv iřtuine yřk utuenhit.

"Gnsartu led his people, and they cleaned the land.  No more eels(?) were to be seen.  The singing of small birds was everywhere, the singing of mice, and the singing of the People, who rejoiced".  We have nothing to add to the Professor's pleasant, though certainly not word-for-word, translation.  We are amused at the singing of mice -- literally, "song by mouse" -- and wonder what inspired the author to imagine such a thing.
Gnsartu âtnsen!
And the second book of Gnsartu closes with the same honorific which we saw at the end of the first book of Gnsartu.
Iřtuine yt Iemy

"The People of Iemy"

This section, or "book", of the Book of Iem seems to have a number of chapters, each with its own title.  Unlike the other parts we have found, no author is credited with this "book", so it's possible that what we took for a title page wasn't, and it actually belongs with some other part of the Book of Iem.
The lack of tenses and the vagueness of some Iemic forms makes it difficult to tell if this is supposed to be a recounting of historical events, or a prophecy, or a vision, or even a piece of fiction.

Irarfio ouufeyt

"The Big Flash", first chapter of "The People of Iemy".

This followed the title, "Iřtuine yt Iemy", on the same page, so we feel we're on firm ground in making it the first chapter!
Iyřg eearheyř gtfu ζε no osit no Irarlirir, ofuařne ařha sofa yřk Zhiyřtu ivj nyřlu arfat iřarr.

"In the year ζε of the house of Fluff, the sky blinked, in harmony with that which Zhiyřtu said would happen."
(We have no idea why Professor Resilleserre decided to translate "Irarlirir" as "Fluff".)
With this passage, we see that 
one of the prophecies of Zhiyřtu has been confirmed -- or so it might appear, from the Professor's translation.  However, the passage the Professor translated as "Zhiyřtu said would happen" actually appears to read "Zhiyřtu say happen more late" which makes the time sequence seem far less clear cut than the English makes it sound.  If we knew which of the houses of Fluff and Longtail came first, the sequence of events here would be much clearer -- but since we don't, it's quite possible that the "prophecy" came after the event.  For that matter, it's also possible that the whole sequence is entirely fictitious; the meaning of "the sky blinked" remains extremely unclear.
Arv vlout yřniařni niřte.  Vzfyřte foun iřtuine yřniařni it?

"The cosmic eye opens.  Has the cosmic person awakened?"  So reads the Professor's translation.  Word for word, the Iemy text reads "The eye cosmic open.  Awake/Awaken already/previously person/people cosmic itself?"
Felix's notes include an additional bit, over at the edge, written vertically and running up the side of the page.  It's not clear where it belongs, but maybe it should go here.  Its says, "Do cosmic people have just one eye?  Shouldn't 'blink' really say 'wink'?  And since when do you 'blink' by opening your eyes? They're cutting Whiskers an awful lot of slack here."  Unfortunately there's no other reference to "Whiskers" on the page, nor anywhere else that we've seen, so it's not clear who (or what) is meant by it, nor what the significance of this addendum might be.
Arhat ouufeyt iluou, ehat eetyřlař zb uesu.  Irtfu eet iřfuasa.

"The sky exploded; one could not tell night from day, and fear stalked the land."

So Professor Resilleserre translated this passage. Dramatic, but not highly accurate:  using his notes, we would read it, word for word, as "Light large appears(suddenly), night becomes like day.  Fear is everywhere."  If this is not a work of pure fiction, then whatever the event being described actually was, it must have been terrifying.

Ařsit tyřihia ene iřfuasa; eet ti oun, nu ohyt ti it?

"The mice are gone!"  So writes the Professor for this passage.  He then adds, "But mice are not purely nocturnal -- not so much that they should have vanished entirely.  What were these 'ařsit' really?  I'd love to <smear....>"  Unfortunately he seems to have placed his elbow on the sheet before the ink was dry, and the rest of the sentence is unreadable; we can't quite make out what it is he would have liked to do about the 'ařsit'.  It's interesting to note that he seems to accept the notion of night-as-day as fact, at least in this particular remark.

We might add that the Professor's translation of this passage is not much of a translation, more a summary, in fact.  A closer translation, but still not word for word, would be, "Mice can't be found anywhere.  Are they gone, or are they hiding?"

And that ends the text on the first page of this chapter.  The narrative stops about 1/3 of the way down the page.  The remainder of the page was left blank.

The rest of the text for this chapter was discovered on a separate, untitled sheet (which had been folded over and left stuck in a text on plant propagation, apparently serving as a bookmark).  We think it should follow this section, but, as with so much about Iemy, we can't be sure.  It may be that we should place it somewhere else, such as the prophecies of
Eehuy ineou uesu asat ehat asat ahařt asat. Eehuy ineou uesu irrtu ile, eehuy ineou ehat irrtu vlout yřniařni.

Felix wrote, "The birds sing day and night, all the time.  During the day, they sing to the sun; during the night, they sing to the Cosmic Eye."
Was this considered good, or bad?  Not clear.
Asat iřtuine ařlia efiř, asat iřtuine ařlia iardiř. Arv iřtuine yřniařni iardiř farin. Arv vlout yřniařni irtuař, arv arhat ouutfa eetyřlař yhař. Ehat fiřiřtfu zbytu.

Felix wrote, "Everybody naps, everybody sleeps.  Cosmic people have to sleep too, you know!"  He had doodled a little smiley face next to this, with the question, "I wonder if cosmic people snore cosmic snores?".  As usual his translation is rather free; the tone of the original is quite solemn, unlike his version.
But there's more.  His translation continues, "The cosmic eye closed, the great light dimmed.  Night appeared, once more."
Ařsit tyřihia zbytu. Iřtuine utuenhit.

"Halleluia, there's a mouse!  And everybody lived happily ever after."  Felix's translation has deteriorated into total silliness here.

The Iemy actually says something like, "Mouse/Mice exist(s) once more.  The people rejoice."
Arv Onart he Iyřg

"Part 2, the Hole in the Sky"  Second chapter of "The People of Iemy".
Amazingly, Felix had included a section number with his translation of the title.  That helps a lot with sorting the pages into order!

Vlout irtuař, iřtuine iardiř. Iřtuine eet ouarfy.
"An eye closes, a person sleeps.  The person is happy."
Eela arv vlout, ařt id vlout. Id vlout ařt? Yfuyř, iřliřhar eet yfuyř, huhi eet eeuhat. Arn ivj ile ouarnz he itea. Eela eet ti ile, eet ti iřliřhar, eet ti onart?

Rather bizarrely, next to this passage, Felix had written:
"I see the eye and the eye sees me,
  Dark is the pupil hanging over me.
  Bright is the iris that I see,
  dark is the hole within..."
The original Iemy is in no way a poem, nor any other sort of verse, and the translation is not at all accurate.
The passage actually appears to read,
"But, the(unique) eye:  I/we see eye.  Does eye see me/us?  Dark, pupil is dark, iris is bright.  It is said, sun glow in center.  But, is it sun, is it pupil, is it a hole?"

Felix had written nothing more in translation here beyond the odd little bit of doggerel which we quoted above.  However, he had taken what was apparently a red China marker (or crayon?) and drawn a large oval around part of the passage, roughly circling the last half of it.  From there he'd drawn an arrow to the margin, where he'd scrawled a single word, also written in red crayon: "AHA!!!"
But what's so "aha" about it?  It is not clear, and Felix left no explanation.
Onart he iyřg yřv?

"A hole in the sky?"

We haven't seen 'yřv' before, and the Professor didn't say what it meant.  After some discussion, we've concluded that it must tag the statement as a question.  Since the punctuation was (presumably!) all added when Professor Resilleserre made his Romanized version of the Book, it's not clear how he could have known this sentence fragment was not declarative, except for the word '
Arn tyřuh, "Arn ene yřenz etořtu sofa yřk tyřihia he onart hir arn ene utfaio he onart".  Eela ařt iřtla he iyřg utfaio onz?

The Professor's translation reads, "It is written, 'You'll never know what was in a hole if you don't reach into it.'  But how can I reach into the sky?"
Iemy Yřniařni

"The Cosmic Snood", third chapter of "The People of Iemy"
This section was squeezed onto the bottom of the page containing the Hole in the Sky.  The writing was tiny, in order to fit it in.  We're not sure whether Felix felt it needed to be placed with the previous text, or simply couldn't find another sheet of paper.

We remain bemused at Felix's translation of "Iemy" as "Snood".
Ti ouunz, ti ouunz, utitvr ouufeyt it. Aoutfy tyřihia iřfuasa. Ti onary iafu, onary irlu no iyřg.

Felix wrote, "It grows, the net expands.  Threads everywhere -- holding the stars, the fur of the sky"

The "fur of the sky"?  What kind of analogy is that?  Perhaps this ties in with the notion of the cosmic "snood"?
Iemy yřniařni ouunz.

Felix left this phrase standing alone without a translation, but it's straightforward.  Word for word: "Snood cosmic grow".

And so ends the chapter.

Yn ule fey yn tyřiiřnit

"Run and Find Out"
This is the fourth and last chapter of "The People of Iemy".
In fact, though this is the last page of the Book, this was the first page of it which was discovered. Unlike many sections, in which Felix provided only sketchy, partial, or whimsical translations, and included occasional grammatical notes, this section was simply translated in full, line by line.
His translation of this section, while certainly not literal or "word for word", appears to be accurate.  We have transcribed his version, below, with no additional commentary on the Iemy text.
Iafu ohyt oheatu iemy it.
Asat iafu oheatu iemy, ti irvhut sofa?
Ti eet eelig oun sotut?
Yřk tyřihia fararv, yřk tyřihia he onart no iyřg?
Arn tyřuh, ařt ařlia yřenz.
Ařt ařlia tyřiiřnit.
Ařt ařlia ule fey tyřiiřnit.

"The stars hide themselves behind the snood.
The stars behind the snood, what are they doing?
Where are they going?
Who is there, over there, who is there, in the hole of the sky?
It is written:  We must know.
We must find out.
We must run and discover."
Sofa tyřihia eetjney arv iemy?
Eela, ařt iřtla yřenz onz?
Ařt oun fararv onz?
Iřfaat su eet arhaart ořtu, onart yřniařni eet ouufeyt ořtu.
Gnsartu yn ařt otariř!

"What is beyond the Snood?
How can we ever know?
How can we go there, so far from here?
My hand is so very small, the cosmic hole is so big.
Gnsartu, help us!"
Arv onart itartiazar yt ařsit; ařsit itartiazar;
Sofa no itan ařsit itartiazar ařhat fararv tyřihia?
Yn oun fey yn id!
Sofa tyřihia he onart yt ařsit itartiazar?
Yn oun fey yn id!
Sofa tyřihia leatu Iemy Ouutfa?
Yn oun fey yn id!

"The celestial mouse hole; the celestial mice;
What sort of celestial mice might exist over there?
Go and see!
What is in the celestial mouse hole?
Go and see!
What is under the Great Snood?
Go and see!"

There is one final notation on the page, after the translation, which was, in fact, the item which first caught the eye of the grad student who found this page stuck behind a drawer in Felix's desk.  It stood out, because it was scrawled on the page in red crayon, much like Felix's earlier "AHA", which we mentioned above.
We speculate that the crayoned addenda were added some time after he completed his initial translation.
The comment on this page was short, but emphatic.  It said, simply,

This ends the portion of the Book of Iem which we have been able to decipher and transcribe to date.

For additional information on Iemy grammar, see the Iemy grammar notes.

For (somewhat dubious) information on Felix Resilleserre beyond what is available in his unofficial biography, see the Iemy Papers.


Page created on 1/30/2009.  First uploaded on 6/20/2009.  Replaced use of 'ȓ' with 'ř' throughout the page on 7/23/09.  Added some links, 1/28/10.