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From: CRCulver@aol.com
Subject: (urth) Thoughts on the Black Hole
Date: Sun, 8 Feb 1998 18:08:58 

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


In _Shadow_, chapter XXXV, there is the tale of the woman who brings black
beans from the stars. This woman threatens to cast them into the sea unless
she were obeyed. The lords of the time "a hundred times more complete in
their dominion than [the] Autarch...had her seized and torn to bits."
This story seems, in my opinion, to show the planting of the black hole in
the Old Sun. I think that the sea mentioned is not Ocean but rather
Oroborus(sp?), which is outer space. The lords, I think, are the monarchs,
because they were more powerful and had a larger empire than those of the
autarchy. Thus, the black hole was put into the sun because of the tyranny of
the monarchs.
Who is this woman? The idea expressed by some on the list is that the
Conciliator/New-Sun-himself put the black hole into the sun. But, if this
story were true, it was not he, but rather a woman. Could it be Tzadkiel?
After all, she is one of great power who could do such a thing, and is of
higher authority than men. But, I am not sure that she could be ripped apart.

There is an alternative interpretation of this story. Jonas mentions that
this happens before the city was called Nessus, because "the river" was not
yet poisoned. Perhaps the black beans that the woman brought from the stars
were simply a device used to poison Gyoll.
I would like to know the etymology of 'Nessus' and what relation it has to

Christopher R. Culver <crculver@aol.com>
"Ignorance, that light of fools steers a wayward path"
-Brendan Perry

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