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Date: Sun, 05 May 2002 22:33:16 -0500
Subject: Re: (urth) 5HC: Shadow Children in the Lupiverse?
From: Adam Stephanides 

on 5/5/02 1:20 PM, Tony Ellis at LittleSense@necronomicon.co.uk wrote:

> And Adam Stephanides wrote:
>> But what Victor is doing within the world of 5HC is analogous to what Wolfe
>> did in Soldier.
> Only if you assume Victor is writing fiction. And if Wolfe wants us to
> assume that, why go to the bother of making Victor write a piece of fiction
> that has so many externally verifiable details in it?

Because that is what Victor would naturally do if he were writing a fiction
about the Annese.

> Why not put some
> obvious internal inconsistencies in it, the way he does with Victor's
> genuinely fictitious writing in 'V.R.T.'?

Presumably because he wants to portray Victor as a good writer of fiction,
though a bad liar.

>> There is nothing to suggest that Silk is a fictional character invented by
>> Horn, and such a reading would contribute nothing to the interpretation of
>> the Long Sun books: all we would be able to say is that a person about whom
>> we know nothing wrote a novel for some reason. Neither of these is true for
> "A Story."
> So what _does_ the reading that 'A Story' is pure fiction contribute to 5HC?
> I'm open to persuasion, but I have yet to hear anyone come up with a
> plausible explanation as to why Wolfe should want to waste one third of a
> novel with a section in which we are expected to understand that nothing we
> are told happens actually happens.

Assuming "A Story" is fiction, it serves several purposes.  It contributes
to the picture of Victor trying to "know himself" and to the theme of
mythmaking.  It may, as others have suggested, be a disguised autobiography.
It certainly reinforces a number of themes found in other parts of the book.

But I don't claim to fully understand 5HC or "A Story's" place in it.  My
point above was simply that reading the Long Sun books as fictions by Horn
is obviously a sterile reading, while the same is not true for reading "A
Story" as a fiction.

I can turn the question around, though: why, if Wolfe wants us to believe in
prehistoric starcrossers and Shadow Children telepathically hiding the St.
Anne, does he put this information in a document entitled simply "A Story"
whose purpose is unknown, and which is mostly fictional in any case (unless
you believe that the oral tradition preserved all Sandwalker's words and

> The picture of Croix\Anne as a backwater colony hardly needs reinforcing.
> And why reinforce it with a fact that by a million-to-one chance just
> happens to reinforce a key incident in 'A Story'?

Why a million-to-one chance?  It's one of the facts Victor has incorporated
into his story.



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