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From: m.driussi@genie.geis.com
Subject: (urth) Idols of Urth
Date: Fri,  6 Feb 98 22:38:00 GMT

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

Reply:  Item #4398743 from URTH@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET#

Carved Mountains of Urth

--"grim heads . . . spangled with snow . . . eyes are as large as
towns, figures whose shoulders are wrapped in forests (III, ch. 2).

++comments: thus most idols have only the head in the snowline.  How
to define the area of "towns"?  Use 20 hectares, a good historical
size, which gives us a circle with a diameter of 505 meters.

--Mt. Typhon the highest: "Not only its head but its shoulders too
bore a shroud of snow, which desended nearly to its waist" (III, ch.

++comments: it would seem Mount Typhon is nearly twice as high as
most idols.


One of those glossy science fiction picture books by Harry Harrison
has an intriguing drawing of a proposed mountain monument city carved
in honor of Alexander the Great.  The mountain to be used was Mt.
Athos in Greece/Macedonia.  The city to be in the idol's lap, with
water from a reservoir cunningly formed by its bent right arm.  The
drawing showed helmeted Alex relaxing against the mountain: i.e., no
throne, no 360 degree carving (just the front), no free standing
head, etc.  Of course I've tried looking up any historical mention of
this plan, drawn up by one of Alex's architects, but have yet to find
anything.  (Personally I've always had this drawing in mind whenever
thinking of the idols of Urth.)

Earth's Mt. Athos is 6,670 feet.  We thus have some sort of blueprint
(however fantastic) for an idol of Urth in that size, and if the
snowline is at a Patagonian 6,000 feet, that works out about right for
most mundane idols.  Making Mount Typhon something more like 12,000 feet.

But there is a "high jungle" at Mount Typhon's feet, a rainforest
covered with lianas.  Well, says here lianas can grow pretty much
wherever the big trees can grow.

             /++\      (eyes)
            /    \
           /mm  mm\    (hands)
          / ||--|| \   (armrests/lap)
         /  ||nn||  \  (feet)


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