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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (whorl) Facts on: Bufes
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 97 20:32:00 GMT

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

Reply:  Item #1625602 from WHORL@LISTS.BEST.COM@INTERNET#

(Q&D count: down to 25.)

Technically (and in response to no one in particular), I think that
"bufe" is the cant term, "god" is the chem term.  OED reveals that
bufe is old lost forgotten slang for dog, based upon an imitation
of the bark, and of course dog is god backwards (making "Goddamn mad
dog" a palindrome, fwiw).  (Did paladins use palindromes?  Hmm.  A
cross between a palaquin and a dromedary, looking a little like Dr.
Doolittle's Pushme-Pullyou?  No, no--the palindrome was the field
where the paladin's jousted, running back again.)  Before viscacha's
post I've read some speculation (maybe a note from AE&an Robert Borski)
that the bufes are hyenas, based on the laughing in the dark, rather
than dogs.  This is certainly possible--the text is slight, the
tunnels are dark. (Tangent: THE LAUGHTER AT NIGHT was Wolfe's title
for OPERATION ARES.  And yes, it does feature wild dogs coursing the
nightland.)  Hyenas are pretty weird critters, though, no question
about that.

In Urth terms, the bufes are in nearly the same ecological niche as
the white wolves that live within the walls of the House Absolute.
Again, fwiw.

Kieran Mullen,

Still, you are right in the sense that the animosity between cat and
bird are such that any time Tick refers to Oreb it might as well be a
swear word. <g>


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