The Fraas of Neal Stephenson's "Anathem" wear a "bolt".

What do they look like? I'm having a hard time visualizing its basic shape.

Is it like a monk robe, or just basically a square of clothing like a roman robe, or like a Panchakacham?

It is said that they can wear in imaginative ways (like Fraa Lio in the episode with the ants.) Sometimes it reads like they have a hood or something on it, and a little rope to maintain everything in place but I'm not sure if the rope is at the neck level or the waist.

I'm not a native English speaker so maybe that word is too unfamiliar for me to be able to precisely visualize it.


1 Answer 1


In 2008 the book release received a official trailer, directed by Brady Hall.

A bolt can be worn (with a cord) like a monk's habit

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Or wrapped around the waist like a sarong

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Various of the book covers have cruder versions.

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  • I suspect part of the OP's confusion might stem from not being aware of the use of bolt to mean " a roll of cloth or wallpaper of specified length".
    – terdon
    Jun 12, 2022 at 15:04
  • @terdon - I'm also had tempted to add some quotes about how the bolt is a single sheet of meta-material that can be stretched, folded, plaited and tied into a endless variety of clothing styles
    – Valorum
    Jun 12, 2022 at 16:03

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