Lincoln in the Bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo

by

George Saunders

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Lincoln in the Bardo can help.

The Matterlightblooming Phenomenon Term Analysis

A phrase used to refer to the rush of energy and light that occurs when a soul departs the Bardo. Whenever someone finally decides to move on from their transitional state, the matterlightblooming phenomenon claims their body, creating a “bone-chilling” “firesound” as it whisks them away.
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The Matterlightblooming Phenomenon Term Timeline in Lincoln in the Bardo

The timeline below shows where the term The Matterlightblooming Phenomenon appears in Lincoln in the Bardo. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 29
Transition and Impermanence Theme Icon
Empathy and Equality Theme Icon
...“of terror or victory” and then the “familiar, yet always bone-chilling, firesound associated with the matterlightblooming phenomenon .” (full context)
Transition and Impermanence Theme Icon
...try to formulate a response, two more occurrences of the “firesound” associated with the “ matterlightblooming phenomenon ” bleat into the night. (full context)
Chapter 30
Transition and Impermanence Theme Icon
...try to determine which three souls departed, since they heard three instances of the “ matterlightblooming phenomenon .” As they search, they pass many people “weeping with the effort of resistance” and... (full context)
Chapter 37-41
Transition and Impermanence Theme Icon
Vice and Virtue Theme Icon
...blinding flash of light” appears, taking the soldier away with the “firesound associated with the matterlightblooming phenomenon .” Feeling as though the soldier didn’t even “give this place a proper chance,” Bevins... (full context)
Chapter 61
Transition and Impermanence Theme Icon
Vice and Virtue Theme Icon
...simultaneously becoming cause and (awed) observer (from within) of the bone-chilling firesound associated with the matterlightblooming phenomenon […], I went.” (full context)
Chapter 82
Transition and Impermanence Theme Icon
Vice and Virtue Theme Icon
Empathy and Equality Theme Icon
...palace, that dreadful diamond palace!” Vollman and Bevins then hear the sound of the “ matterlightblooming phenomenon ,” and the Reverend is gone. (full context)
Chapter 91
Transition and Impermanence Theme Icon
When Willie reveals that everybody is dead, three people immediately succumb to the “ matterlightblooming phenomenon .” “Dead!” the boy shouts. “Dead, dead, dead!” As the crowd of souls scrambles to... (full context)
Transition and Impermanence Theme Icon
...we should.” With this, he closes his eyes and departs, the strength of the “ matterlightblooming phenomenon ” knocking Vollman and Bevins off their feet. (full context)
Chapter 97
Transition and Impermanence Theme Icon
Empathy and Equality Theme Icon
...leave their friend, respecting his wish to stay as they embrace and succumb to the matterlightblooming phenomenon .” (full context)