Anathem Wiki
Durand, Jules Verne
Place of Origin
Earth (Laterre, Antarct)

Jules Verne Durand is a linguist of Earth ancestry aboard the Daban Urnud. Due to his fluency in Orth, he is recruited to act as an envoy/spy upon the Arbran Convox studying the Geometers. He studies as to how to pose as an avout of the obscure, reclusive Matarrhite Order. A commando team from the Daban Urnud attacks and subdues the Matarrhite math soon after Orolo attempts to contact the ship.

On Arbre, he takes the name Zh'vaern, a contraction of his real name. His mission is to discover if the legends of the Incanters are true. Historically the Matarrhites always covered their bodies with their bolts except for the eyes. This allows him to hide his subtly alien face. They also have an austere, odorous, unpalatable diet, which provides a cover story for his need to eat strange (Earth-originated) food.

Durand was born on Fthos not long before the Daban Urnud's departure. His native tongue is French, although as a skilled linguist and interpreter he knows all the important languages of the Daban Urnud.

Durand officially worked for the Pedestal, but he was sympathetic towards the Fulcrum, and he had not be totally successful in concealing this. His servitor Orhan is really his Urnudian "minder." He was sent regardless of the Pedestal's suspicions because, due to an underestimation of the importance of the Orth language, Durand was their only fluent Orth speaker. Later, Durand reveals he is the husband of Lise, who was killed on her mission to Ecba, sent by the Fulcrum. Perhaps due to this, Durand assists Cell 317 in its attack on the Daban Urnud.

Durand to English Dictionary[]

Jules Verne Durand sometimes lapses into French, which the Orth-speakers around comprehend phonetically, and by context (if at all).

Durand French English
Monyafeek Magnifique Magnificent
Joycetick Joy Stick
Pairdoo perdu lost
Say zhoost C'est juste That's right
Maird Merde Shit
Laterre La Terre The Earth
Rayzon det Raison d'etre Reason for being
Ordinator Ordinateur Computer

Speculation: Antarct Food[]

Sea-weed, tofu, and what else?

I think it was shrimp 16:31, October 3, 2011 (UTC)~

Perhaps Bouillabaisse, or a similar seafood stew?

- This is correct. The exoskeleton and legs of shrimp may not be removed, thus the "crunch" and the insect like appearance. -

I think it was French onion soup. The avout never eat cheese or onions (why not the Arbran equivalents?) -- the fermented cubes are cheese, the wilted fronds are caramelized onions, and the shards are black pepper.

He mentions the vegetable-based food has "hair like strands" -- that sounds very much like spaghetti, possibly served with cubes of cheese or tofu. The crunchy bits mentioned are probably not shrimp, as they don't make a noise when bitten down on. I'd like to say a crouton, but since the avout bake bread, it is highly unlikely they don't have toast.

On the other hand, the wilted fronds of seaweed and the cubes of tofu/soya could be Earthly, and the crunchy bits" could be Earthly nuts or even insects, since Durand would need a lot of complex proteins and trace elements to survive. Simple fats and sugars are apparently metabolized adequately (compare to breathability of the Arbran air).

Erasmas compares it to putting his tongue across battery terminals; so his food must taste somewhat sour.

- One candidate is pozole - often served with limes for the sour flavor, radishes and/or crumbled tortillas for the audible crunching. The only missing thing is long vegetable fronds.

Only an examination of that Fraa's feces experiment would reveal the true recipe of Durand's diet on Arbre.

-Or you could just examine the food before he eats it...