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Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 15:28:06 -0800 (PST)
From: Jerry Friedman 
Subject: Re: (urth) ancient city

--- maa32  wrote:

> As far as Babbie looking completely like Horn in the astral travel: Silk
> looked like a combination of Horn and Silk at certain points.  I argue
> that a 
> huge portion of Horn transfrerred into Babbie at the end of On Blue's
> Waters, 
> but not QUITE all of him. Of course he looks like Babbie, too, but he is
> humanoid (note that he is far more humanoid that Scylla in Oreb).

Humanoid is one thing, but why doesn't he at least *resemble* Horn?

Maybe he just likes Hoof because he likes Silkhorn and understands that
Hoof is SH's son in some sense.

> Also, if we want to talk a little bit more about time travel in these
> books, 
> there is a fascinating conversation between Seawrack and the narrator in
> On 
> Blue's Waters in which she says she can move events from one time in her
> memory to another as she recounts her story; she then says the narrator
> can do 
> that, too.  I was a bit baffled by that - could it be related to a 
> time-traversing principle?  After all, "certain mystes" aver that the
> real 
> world exists only in the human mind, and that our dreams are someone
> else's 
> reality.  (Severian as dream of Silk?)

I took this as moving memories from one "slot" to another but not
changing the "time stamps" on the memories.
> Some good responses to my challenge ... but I'm just not buying the
> actual 
> presence of God and his angels as a valid explanation for a lot of those
> things.  That's a bit too pat, isn't it?  It just doesn't seem like Gene
> to 
> blatantly put them into such a huge role unseen ... why would God
> manifest 
> himself to Silk again after his first enlightenment, which occured
> outside of 
> time and has since stayed with Silk?

Because (from the Catholic point of view) this is the reinstitution of
the real Eucharist and the narrator is in the "real presence" of God.
He says so.  Some saints and angels might want to be spectators.  I
wouldn't bring them up for the interpretation of a lesser event.

> and how could that be logically determined from the text?  

I don't see that it can, but it's the most sensible explanation that
I've seen.

> Also, some simple shrimp release their gametes into the water and
> actually 
> form a allopolyploid viable life cycle for a short span, then become
> haploid 
> again to mature. (let me look this up again and see if I can find a
> source for 
> you). Maybe the inhumu are like simple shrimp ... but they do, in fact
> make a 
> point of gathering those vines as symbols of something ... and perhaps
> that 
> something is the hope of leaving behind their vegetative and animal
> pasts and 
> becoming true humans.

I think that's true.  They're building houses like ours.

> And as far as the secret goes, I still argue that its importance lies in
> its 
> ability to incorporate mystical genetic material into offspring in one 
> generation: the parents are not the ones who receive the beneficial
> properties 
> of the blood, but their offspring do.  I still argue for a hybrid 
> understanding of the secret.

I can see there's a thematic relationship:  the "hybridization" of
the inhumi and the people whose blood they drink gives "better"
inhumi; cross-pollinating pure strains of corn gives better corn;
Horn's spirit in Silk's body gives a truly good person who is not
(so) depressed and is comptetent on Blue.

> Nice point about Scylla - I guess Cillinia was already in the thrall of
> the 
> sea creature when she was downloaded.

Very charitable of you--something like that is what I should have
meant, but not what I did mean.  I was forgetting about the difference
between Cilinia and the real Scylla on Earth.

Jerry Friedman

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