The Khazars has masons who cut and mounted enormous pieces of rock salt on the paths of the winds. On the path of each of the forty Khazar winds (half of which were fresh, half sweet) an arrangements of saline marble was built, and when the annual seasonal winds reappeared, people would gather at these sites to hear which of the masons had composed the most beautiful song. For, as they caressed the rocks, slipped through their crevices, and skirted their tops, the winds always played a different tune, until the marble and the masons disappeared forever, washed away by the rains, whipped by the glances of passers-by, and licked by the tongues of rams and bulls.
- "Music Masons", from The Green Book of The Khazar Dictionary by Milorad Pavic
...Before we learned to tell stories we learned to track. The first letter of the first word of the first recorded story was written -"printed" - not by us, by by an animal. These signs and symbols left in mud, sand, leaves, and snow represent proto-alphabets. Often smeared, fragmented, and confused by weather, time and other animals, these cryptograms were life-and-death exercises in abstract thinking. This skill, the reading of tracks in order to procure food, or identify the presence of a dangerous animal, may in fact be "the oldest profession." Like our own text, these "early works" are linear and continuous with their own punctuation and grammar. Plot, tense, gender, age, health, relationships, and emotional states can all be determined from these durable records. In this sense, The Jungle Book is our story, too: just as Mowgli was schooled by wild animals, so in many ways were we... An individual track may have its own accent or diacritical marks that distinguish the intent of a foot, or even a single step, from the others. On an active game trail, as in one of Tolstoy's novels, multiple plots and characters can overlap with daunting subtlety, pathos, or hair-raising drama. Deciphering these palimpsests can be more difficult than reading crossed letters from the Victorian era, and harder to follow than the most obscure experimental fiction.
- from The Tiger by John Vaillant