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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (urth) Tracking Song decoding
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 97 00:15:00 GMT

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

Reply:  Item #2695614 from URTH@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET#

John Bishop,

Re: analogous location of land in TS (India vs. anywhere else), you
raise good points.  But also there is the terrain defined by a
weather period--i.e., the fauna of ancient Europe (with Celts, Picts,
Gauls as homo sapiens sapiens humans) was not the same as the fauna of
ice age Europe (Irish Elk, Mammoth, Sabertoothed Tiger, Wooly Rhinoceros,
Cave Lion, Cave Bear; with possibly a separate human species in Neanderthal
co-existing alongside homo sapiens sapiens).  And I think that TS is
profoundly an Ice Age story . . . in fact, back when I thought Cim Glowing
was a bear I felt I had the whole thing within reach--because in ice age
times the bear and the smilodon are emblems of north and south, winter and
summer; the reason why Gilgamesh wears a lionskin (even when he's Herakles)
and why the Ainu (aborigines of Japan) sacrifice bears as gods, et cetera,
et cetera.

So throwing the hero in an arena with a lion and a bear, well!  And
to have him play "master of beasts" by getting them to co-operate so
that everybody can escape, well-well!!

But Cim isn't a bear, alas!

(Since the land of TS is presumably not Earth/Urth, all our guesses
are analogies in that respect.  Right--the lighter gravity felt by
Cutthroat . . . difficult to explain =that= away if he isn't an
offworlder who fell off the Sleigh . . . )


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