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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Re: Digest whorl.v001.n060
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 1997 11:44:52 

[Posted from Whorl, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]

At 11:56 AM 3/15/97 -0500, you wrote:

Concerning Nessus:

>Do you have this from the Wolfe's mouth?  If you don't, I'll beg to differ
>with you. In my opinion, Nessus is, in a general way, Alexandria. Will
>back this up if you don't have the tap from the source---otherwise, of
>course, will concede.

	No, I don't recall Gene's having told me that. I've assumed it from the
beginning, and have never questioned it. We are in the southern hemisphere,
and the civilization is undergirded by the Word of the Borgesian library.
The only problem I've had is that at one point Vodalus (as I recall) says
that Urth has flipped on its axis once. Well, if that be correct, it must
have happened twice for the Buenos Aires connection to be correct.
	I took Nessus as (Bue)Nos Aires in the same way that Cordwainer Smith's
Meeya Meefla is Miami Fla. But, that was me, not Wolfe. Smith is not a
major influence on Wolfe, despite appearances. (It seems that they both
think along the same lines, and that creates the appearance of some
	What I have never done is try to "solve the crossword puzzle" (to use
Mantis's felicitous analogy) by looking for evidence of the direction of
flow of the river, whether Urth flipped more than once, etc. If the river
flows west instead of east, and if we are in South America, then perhaps
Nessus is Santiago.
	Now, one other point: Pas has loaded the cargo of Starcrosser with locals.
These locals sip mate and are generally (in Viron) a South American
culture. This would indicate that Typhon's domain is in the Argentine area,
not in an Egyptian area. AHA, but the Trivigauntes speak a kind of Arabic,
so maybe they and not the Vironese were the local population around
Typhon's throne. 
	So, okay. I give up. Gene has defeated me. Where's my .357 Magnum....?
	If Urth flipped only once, then the Alexandria suggestion makes more
sense; especially since Alexandria is noted for its library. In that case,
the Ultanian nod to Borges would just be a nod, and not a Clew!
	So then: What do you see as evidence for Alexandria?

JBJordan (Hmmm.  What shall I be?  How about Nutria!)

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