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Can anyone who has read this explain to me what Golding means by 'Now'? I've been treating it as a synonym for 'present' but it isn't used in any similar context.
>When the water had reached the Notch of Excellent Eating - when the hamlet had been so long isolated that some of the younger children thought it a Now that never moved - the day of waking slid into place.
The Ancient Egyptians had some weird ideas about time "Now" when used in a "weird" way in The Scorpion God usually means "Eternity" or "the afterlife". The idea, I think, was basically that if you froze people in "normal" time they could go and exist in other time. So a Pharaoh in his pyramid was supposed to be preserved perfectly so he was basically in a constant frozen "now" in earthly time but could go and live in his new time.

I don't know the exact words in Egyptian but probably "Now" is the literal English translation of their word for "heaven" or something. ("Great House" is the literal translation of "Pharaoh", so I know Golding is doing that there.)

The bit you quote just means the river has been flooded so long that some of the younger children have never known anything else and think that's the way things have always been.
Thanks so much for your explanation, very elucidating. I knew it was some kind of reference to an Ancient Egyptian concept of time but I couldn't grasp what was truly meant by it. I haven't given Golding the credit he deserves until now, his prose is unique.
golding is an incredible author. i haven't read this one but all the ones i have are so rich and dense and have such wonderful prose. the guy gets real deep into things

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