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From: Richard Horton <rhorton@mdc.com>
Subject: (whorl): questions about Vironese religion and smart 
Date: 1

Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 13:42:46 -0500
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[Posted from WHORL, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]

I'm knew to this list, and treading somewhat warily in the face of such
excellent, close, readers.

By way of a brief introduction, I'm a long time fan of Wolfe's work, coming
originally from roughly his neck of the woods (Naperville, IL, a southwest
suburb of Chicago in the sense that Barrington is northwest).   I remember
reading "The Fifth Head of Cerberus" in a Nebula collection when I was
perhaps 14, and getting almost nothing from it, then rereading the novella
and the rest of the novel when the latter came out in paper a few years
later: what a rush of wonder and satisfaction when all of a sudden much
came clear to me: and a good lesson about the necessity of rereading

Which I haven't yet done with Long Sun, and I must.

I confess to feeling much as someone did on this list (I read it in the
archives) on approaching Exodus: a certain trepidation, knowing that
Wolfe would really have to pull off a lot to make the whole thing work,
followed by a growing sense that, yes, by golly, he's done it.  And tears at
both endings: Oreb crying "Silk! Silk! Silk!", then Horn's recollection of Silk
catching the ball at the beginning of the books.

I had a couple of specific questions (I hope these haven't been hashed to
death in the list before now):

1. What is the "Vironese religion" that Remora leads on Blue?  Is it a
continuation of the Vironese religion as it was practiced in the Whorl, with
worship of Pas and the Seven, or is it, inspired by Silk, worship of the

2.  How did the intelligent animals such as Oreb and the catechrest
become intelligent?  Are they gene-enhanced, or mechanically enhanced,
or are they possessed to some extent by the gods?  (Without researching
the text for specific clues, I'd lean to the latter view.)

 Rich Horton, or, if we are signing posts with Vironese names, I will take
one based vaguely on my last name:

 - Tusk -

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