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From: "j e" 
Subject: (urth) Optical connections
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 2002 00:20:06 -0400

I haven't posted much, but I've been following the Peace discussion. It's 
been very interesting and I'm going to have to get my copy of Peace back so 
I can join in. I haven't read it in years, but Robert Borski's alchemical 
reading makes me want to again.
One Peace note: in that stream of consciousness part near the beginning 
(about the synthetic deer and the orange tribe) Weer asks "What is a wabe?"
It appears in Jabberwocky and I found a website which gives Carroll's 
definitions as well as Humpty Dumpty's:

Wabe (derived from the verb to swab or soak).
The side of a hill (from its being soaked by the rain.)


Without the book here that definition doesn't help me at all. Anyone?

Now that I've made a stab at being with the current discussion let me bound 
back to the Wolfe book I can't stop thinking about.

In the book of the short sun, I've noticed one of those nested significances 
Wolfe loves to employ to drive his themes. First, to establish some 
background, the technology of the Whorl is clearly photonic rather than 
electronic. We have several examples, the best of which is Incus' repair of 
Hammerstone in the tunnels where flashes of light are described coming out 
of the broken ends of the fibers. Photonics, based on the transmission of 
packets of light is fitting for a society which features many examples of 
technology that are just beyond our present level. It's also fitting 
thematically...all three collections feature sun in their titles for a 
When Horn and his men are on Green, trying to find the last part needed to 
repair a lander, the monitor tells them it's a wave guide coupler. A wave 
guide is what it sounds like - a way of directing a wave, the coupler would 
then join together waves of different length or waves from different 
sources. Horn's body was still there when Silkhorn returned to give Sinew 
the ring that allowed Horn to be seen by the Neighbour who allowed his 
spirit to be saved. This is part of the nested significance, the minor to 
the major one described in RttW. Near the end of that book, when Silkhorn is 
at the pole to give Pig his eye, M'to talks about repairing his ship, the 
Whorl, by re-connecting the many strands of what sounds like the Whorl's 
optical backbone. When the book ends, Silk has left New Viron as he said: to 
go "to the stars". The implication is that he will lead M'to and the rest of 
the crew to make the repairs, and I don't think any reader doubts that he 
will succeed.
I call Horn's episode the minor one because it involves a smaller ship, and 
fewer people. It's a goal for few, normal men.  Also, it seems that his 
failure is necessary in order to save the spirit of Silk (who was suicidal - 
he was not fighting with anyone...imho).
It is also interesting that what's happening at the pole is the connection 
of Silk's eye to Pig's optic nerve. All of these things are about attempts 
to allow the passage of light.

I noticed there's another Joe posting so I'll go back to Owl, which is my 
last name.

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