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From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes" 
Subject: RE: (urth) redux on objections
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2002 12:43:49 -0800

> Someone (Blattid, right?) posted a huge list of objections.  I
> mostly agree with Andy's defenses.

Yes, that was me. And some of the defenses were good, but miss the
point -- which, however, Andy himself _does_ get: that (in his own
words) "there is no *compelling* reason to believe" the Blue=Urth

You have a very pretty theory, which however requires a great deal 
of defending -- that is, your hypothesis requires a significant 
number of related hypotheses to make it feasible. For such a 
jerryrigged theory to be acceptable, it requires some kind of 
"smoking gun" _textual_ evidence -- some place where the author
is unambiguously (or, well, as unambiguous as anything ever gets
in Wolfe) pointing us at it. And while the whole hybridization thing
is clearly tremendously important, it isn't a smoking gun for this.

Consider, though, that most of your theory works perfectly well
_without_ adding the "Blue = Urth" hypothesis. I still am less than
convinced that the Narrator is a tree that becomes a Neighbor, takes
over Horn's life, and gets transmigrated into Silk's body, but by
itself it's worthy of consideration; it's only piling "Blue = Urth"
on top of it that it becomes top-heavy and collapses.

> I NEVER posited a space warp that the whorl flew into 

My apologies. I thought someone did -- I was pretty sure this
was your explanation of how the Old Sun could be visible as a
star from the Grue system.

> Polyploidy is instant speciation - that's the whole point.  

Only if it is transmissible. Highly questionable. And even more
questionable that it would arise uniformly among humans, 
crocodilians, and elephants, in a way that completely pushes
the "old" species out of existence.

> I NEVER said that Blue was Urth of the past 

No, someone else (I don't recall who) suggested that.

> hybridization is SOOO textually prevalent, as is man to flower imagery.

Absolutely; this stuff is important. 

> I HAVE posited a prototype green man - who isn't green yet. He
> can't feed in the winter, he doesn't eat, and he has normal limbs.
> Who is he? Your humble narrator Silk. 

H'mmmm... I think that, like Blue=Urth, this is unnecessary for 
your more general hypothesis (and indeed, if Blue =/= Urth, the
whole question of the "green man future" is irrelevant. No doubt,
an eight-legged irrelevant.)

> and he has wounds from branches - he runs into a tree as soon 
> as Hyacinth dies.

Completely conjectural, of course, and unneeded ...

> As I've said before, the moon (green) is in an oscillating, 
> self correcting orbit around blue 

What on _Earth_ (or in space) is a "self correcting orbit?"

> Also, the inhumu do not gain excess limbs because they do not
> instantly create a new species: they are simple sexual producers
> who feast on blood, save it, and then incorporate that DNA into
> their children.  That is different than the trees instant
> consumption and recombination.  

Just a fussy point. One male inhumu; one female inhuma; many inhumi,
male or female or both.

And weren't you saying earlier that the inhumi _were_ the trees?
Or, no, that was the Neighbors. I'm so confused!

> They are different species working on the same terraformed
> principles.

I guess the biggest question here would be "why in Hell would
anyone 'terraform' (I assume you mean "genetically engineered
principles") species to do this? "H'mmm. Alzabos, notules,
salamanders ... naaah, there aren't enough monsters in the
universe to really threaten our species' survival. Hey, I know! 
I'll create a bunch of monsters that incorporate the DNA of
their victims and absorb memory! And the trees can go all
polyploid to have extra limbs!" H'mmmm. No, I really have a 
lot of trouble imagining anyone's motives for this...

> And Gene wolfe sets up the mystery of the vanished people as
> something that can be solved: Silk/Horn claims that his son
> already knows where the vanished people went and where they
> came from, but that it would be better if "he figured it out
> for himself", which  implies that a reader of the text should 
> be able to figure it out, too.

Quite likely. That doesn't mean that this is the answer.



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