I can not explain to you what I have just finished reading. My first exposures to the writings of R.A. Lafferty made a significant impact, but this novel just left me irritated and confused. And running to the dictionary every few moments (but sometimes laughing out loud, which makes reading this bilge worthwhile).
Here are some (I left out the really woolly ones) of the words that I had either never seen before or did not readily know the definition:
callow - lacking adult maturity or experience; immature
purlieu - a neighboring area; outskirts; a place that one frequents
aerie, aery, eyrie, eyry - the nest of a bird, built on a cliff; a house or stronghold perched on a height
tor - a pile of rocks on top of a hill; a rocky peak or hill
fulgent - shining brilliantly; radiant
urbane - polite, refined, and often elegant in manner
fellah - a peasant or agricultural laborer in an Arab country (plural is fellahin or fellaheen)
poseur - one who affects a particular attitude, character, or manner to impress others
aestivation - the act of spending or passing the summer (also spelled estivation)
eutectic - formed at the lowest possible temperature of solidification for any mixture of specified constituents; used primarily for alloys
eidolon - a phantom, an apparition; an image of an ideal
chthonic - of or relating to the gods and spirits of the underworld (Greek mythology)
bilge - the rounded portion of a ship's hull; stupid talk or writing, nonsense
abscond - to leave quickly and secretly and hide oneself, often to avoid arrest or prosecution
cloy - to cause distaste or disgust by supplying with too much of something originally pleasant
subtile - accepted variant spelling of subtle
cybern - [not in my dictionary, could be a made-up word]
roue - a lecherous, dissipated man
intramuros - [not in my dictionary, could be a made-up word]
intraficies - [not in my dictionary, could be a made-up word]
paean - a song of joyful praise or exultation
palimpsest - a manuscript, typically of papyrus or parchment, that has been written on more than once, with the earlier writing incompletely erased and often legible; an object or place that reflects its history
gamy - ill-smelling; rank; showing an unyielding spirit; corrupt, tainted
prescind - to separate or divide in thought; consider individually
philology - literary study or classical scholarship (literally 'love of learning')
numinosity - related to 'supernatural' in meaning
amnestic - adjectival form of amnesia
Faeroes - a group of volcanic islands in the northern Atlantic Ocean between Iceland and the Shetland Islands
outre - highly unconventional; eccentric or bizarre
caul - a portion of the amnion, especially when it covers the head of a fetus at birth; also called pileus
gravid - carrying developing young or eggs
quoit - a game in which flat rings of iron or rope are pitched at a stake, with points awarded for encircling it (sounds like horseshoes to me)
A few quotes from this book:
"There is nothing the matter with matter. Life is no more than a privileged form of matter. Love is no more than a privileged form of life."
"You never get anything out of the ones who have the most."
"There is a man and a woman walking on the walkway; I would have to describe them as congenial-appearing crabs.
'Are you two married to each other?' Gregory asked them lovingly.
'Got to be,' the man said. 'Who else would have us?'"