While reading Cormac McCarthy‘s stark and post-apocalyptic novel The Road, blogger Barry Weber couldn’t find a definition for the word “salitter” from the book.

Weber did more research into McCarthy’s cosmic vocabulary, and discovered the word buried in a 17th Century mystical text. What’s the most exotic word you ever discovered in a novel?

Here’s more from the post: “Salitter seems only to have occurred, used in this way, in the writings of Jakob Boehme, a 17th century German Christian mystic. Here is enough of what he says about it, to begin to understand the exquisite choice made by McCarthy in using the word: ‘What is in Paradise is made of the celestial Salitter… [it] is clear, resplendent … The forces of the celestial Salitter give rise to celestial fruits flowers, and vegetation.’ Salitter, as used by Boehme, as used by McCarthy, is the essence of God.”

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