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From: "James Wynn" 
Subject: RE: (urth) Heavy Hyacinth
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2002 10:16:26 -0500

Nutria (Coypu) quoted:
"Watching carefully for her reaction, Silk said, 'I would have carried you,
Maytera, if I could; but I knew you'd be too heavy for me to lift.'"
(LS3, 4; p. 119 pb.)

That doesn't that settle the question of whether Hyacinth was a
chem? I guess I don't remember anybody's picking her up, but OTOH I don't
recall anything about her being too heavy to heave!

Crush whimpers:
I'm afraid it does. Silk picked her up two or three times and when he does,
the narrator notes her light weight. I don't' have the references but I did
(do) note them as clues after the last reference. By that time I knew that a
re-reading of the book was necessary to figure out what it was a clue to.

Those of the bio-Hyacinth side should mark this down as special victory. I
certainly would if the tables were turned. As I said, I consider her light
weight a clue because I don't believe Wolfe repeats a description without it
being a clue to something (and why offer a clue that Hy is human?).

Still the only reason I'm not on my back on the mat from this shot to the
melon listening dreamily to the referee's count is Andrew Reeve's recent
linkage of Jonas to this discussion. Jonas was notably light-weight. I
occurred to me then that Jonas' eventual conversion was just like - or
similar - to what (I argue) Hy did.

This makes me believe two things - one of which makes me ambivalently happy
and the other not at all happy. (1) I'll have to re-read The Book of the New
Sun to search for similarities between Hy and Jonas. (2) The nature of
Jonas' transformation has never been fully explained so the negative clues
of Hy's apparent humanity may never be resolved.

Is it inconceivable that a Hy and Jonas could be based on similar
engineering concepts? No, it could be that Wolfe sees the engineering
changes necessary to transform a chem to bio involves processes that have
the added (potential) benefit of lightening their weight (removal of a
hardened outer chasis, etc.) Or, it could be merely a literary connection,
the details of which Wolfe has left to the readers.

I reiterate that clues that Hyacinth is human, that she is female, does not
resolve clues that she is not. I realize that I am partly to blame for your
skepticism for posting a theory that I had not fully developed  (just "hey!
Look at all the suggestions that Hy is chem!"), but an alternate theory to
explain the clues and Silk's explanation to Horn would be useful to me.


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