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From: David_Lebling@avid.com
Subject: (whorl) Whorl Geography; Vance; Homemade Religions
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 97 17:43:13 

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

Typhon almost certainly rules more than one world.  The population of
the Whorl may well come from several colony worlds, not just Urth.  We
also don't know for sure that the Sleepers come from Urth.  Their level
of technological sophistication indicates to me that they may be part of
Typhon's invasion/occupation force, rather than indigenes.

The Whorl's pattern of many cities with different customs and separated
by difficult geography reminds me of Jack Vance.  He likes to have
planets with many different cultures (one classic example is _Big
Planet_).  While Vance may usually take a cynical attitude towards the
religions he depicts, they are also usually just as trumped-up as that
of Viron.

Viron's religion was designed by Scylla as a parody of the state
religion of her whorl.  It (forgive me, Ranjit) doesn't seem much like
the religion of the Commonwealth or Ascia, the two countries we know
most about from _New Sun_.  It appears to be a pagan, syncretic sort of
religion, and if you substitute "real" gods for the ones we find in
_Long Sun_, it reminds me more of ancient Greek or Roman pantheism more
than anything else.  Clearly the religion of Triviguante was designed by
Sphigx for her own peculiar reasons, perhaps as another parody (a
female-centered Islam, as someone called it, seems about right). 
Perhaps each city of the Whorl has its own home-made sect.  No doubt
there are Scientologists lurking about somewhere...


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