The Maze.

I met them at the gate though I usually wait inside. Preoccupied with their own thoughts, impatient, like so many children, they didn’t see who I really was. They never noticed my crown, my pain, the fire in my eyes.

Like all the others they think the Maze was made for them; actually, it is the other way around. They think I am some poet who will lead them through the symbols and spaces of this Underworld. They think I will teach them lessons. They should call me Cerberus…. I am the lesson.

The monstrous walls rise up and run away as far as the human eye can see, circling and dividing. Which half is the Maze?

Even I get lost. It changes–sometimes slowly, imperceptibly … sometimes suddenly. This House is not only made of stone and mortar, wood and paint; it is made of time and mystery, hope and fear. Construction never stops. I take some pride in my role as architect.

They think I will guide them to the center. Perhaps I will….

The sun was very hot.

Together we walked through the gate into…

- Images and text copyright 1985 by Christopher Manson
used with permission. [Purchase MAZE from Amazon]

Hidden Hint:

● A comparison between this image and the matching image on the cover shows that the red herring on the cover is gone and has been replaced here by the phrase “THE NEXT PAGE.” This may illustrate a principle in the book, room linkages between two rooms are red herrings.

● The door is in the shape of a pi symbol. [Independent Credit: LoMoody | Hidden Mystery | White Raven] The semicircle over the door could be visual way of expressing pi.

● The umbrella could be a running gag in the book in which the visitors are urged to prepare for rain that never comes, or it could be a running clue helping visitors choose the right door. Here the umbrella handle could represent the letter “r” creating the mathematical expression “pi r” which is equal to the circumference of half a circle – expressed by the half circle over the door. [Credit: Aria]

Next:  Room 1

18 thoughts on “Prologue

  1. On the “objects” page Aria wrote:

    “The umbrella leans against the only door it is possible to take. Also, if you see the door handle as an “r”, and put it together with the doorway, you get the expression “pi r”, which is equal to the circumference of half a circle, which is what you see above the door. So in that way also the umbrella is “telling the truth.”

    After mistakenly questioning her math I got around to… “Good Job!”

    White Raven

  2. What’s up with the little circle on the lower panel of the door? It’s not in the image on my book… there seems to be a little square too in the bottom left-hand corner…

    • You see those two little unusually round stones to the right of the doorway, like a little dot-dot? Yes, that is a Morse code I.

      “I met them at the gate though I usually wait inside.”

  3. The “circling and dividing” part of the text, together with the half-circle above the pi-shaped doorway, seem to be a reference to how you arrive at the irrational number pi: divide the circumference of a circle by its diameter.

    • You have rise and run in the text, and a nice little sine wave on the gate as well.

    • In the book ‘L’alphabet grec’, T. H. de Mortain speculates that letter П is a gate, since it is the first letter of “πύλη” (gate of town or temple).

      –the internet

    • The equation for the circumference of a circle is 2(pi)r.

      So the equation for half the circumference of a circle, represented by the semicircle over the gate, is (pi)r. Hmmm… could the handle of the umbrella be an “r”?

      There’s also a tidy little right angle triangle described by the edge of the umbrella, the side of the gate, and that weird little block beside the gate. (RE rise and run.)

    • Since Mortain’s belief was based in part on the fact that П looks like a gate, there’s nothing surprising about finding a gate that looks like a П.

  4. I had a thought about the whole Cerberus comment, which has always seemed to me to be completely weird and inexplicable.

    Unlike all other things in MAZE, which are totally normal and transparent. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH


    Here is my thought. Cerberus is the three-headed dog guarding the Underworld, right? Right. SOOOO what the Guide is saying is that he has three aspects:
    1. He IS some poet who will lead us through the symbols and spaces of the Underworld.
    2. He WILL teach us lessons. AND…
    3. He IS the lesson.

    Does this make any sense? So he’s kind of acknowledging the two things “they” think he is, and saying “and I’m also this additional thing, meaning I’m three things/three-headed, meaning you can call me Cerberus.”

    He’s basically just being a smart-arse.

    • I think the words “I am Cerberus” are a metaphor. What I mean is, I totally agree with you.

    • Guide. Architect. Lesson. Maybe?

      The poet guiding us through the Underworld, is that a reference to Inferno? Dante’s guide through the Underworld is Virgil in The Divine Comedy. Kind of sets the tone.

  5. Just looking closer at the text, the guide describes the circling and dividing walls, then asks “Which half is the Maze?” Confusing, I am not really sure where to go with that, but I have a feeling it is a huge clue. Also mentioned later in the book is that there are “190 doors in this part of the Maze”. 190 is a clue, but “in this part of the Maze” catches my eye. Referring to The Path, The Loop, The Trap or talking about that half of the Maze, as said in the Prologue? Also, the narrator makes a point of saying that the sun was hot. Said sun was also mentioned on the next page, Room 1. Sun symbols are also seen throughout the Maze (also called House, based on which room you are in), and the word Sun is also found in the maze blueprint on the title page.

  6. It could stand for “Difficult to understand”. If not, the it looks like Pi, an endless path, numerically.

  7. Slight note – near the text “center of the Maze” we have “I will” twice. Both things found in the center room 45.


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