Study Guide

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party Part 1, Chapter 14

By M.T. Anderson

Part 1, Chapter 14

  • We know you're just dying to hear all about 09-01, or Dr. Trefusis, one of Octavian's tutors.
  • No? Oh well. Here goes anyway…
  • 09-01 teaches Octavian all about Latin and Greek, but he's more than just a tutor—he was once welcomed at Versailles and Sansouci (which are the royal courts of France and Germany, by the way).
  • Maybe that's why he walks around all gloomy sometimes. It must kind of stink to go from some royal court to being Octavian's tutor.
  • Or maybe it's the stuff he assigns Octavian to read — all about falling empires and such.
  • He's also really paranoid about existence in general, and by that, we mean whether or not that piece of furniture sitting in the corner of your room actually exists.
  • In fact, he has this habit of popping into a room unexpectedly just to check if a chair in the room is actually still there and not completely dissolved into random molecules.
  • One night, he takes Octavian into an empty room.
  • They just stand there silently for fifteen minutes.
  • Then he tells Octavian that all that's left is the eye of God.
  • He says, "'The pupil is black, and as large as a world.'"
  • Freaky…

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