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From: David_Lebling@avid.com
Subject: (whorl) Maytera/General Mint
Date: Fri, 9 May 97 09:18:40 

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

A random thought while driving to work this morning.

Perhaps the event that caused Mint to give up her secular life and
become a sibyl was a possession by Kypris, perhaps even a deposit of a
piece of Pas (or Kypris).  In mantis's terminology, she may be a
prepared god mount.

Evidence (circumstantial, of course):

1) When she sees Kypris during the theophany, she sees herself.
2) She talks about giving up many things, "five of them very great" to
become a sibyl.  Could these be the "loyalist" gods and godlets?  Let's
see, Pas, Kypris, Tartaros, and ...
3) Wolfe in the person of Horn chides us for thinking a partial
possession by Kypris could turn Mint into a great general.  Perhaps
instead we have a "god mount" who, during her teenage years when the
hormonal juices are just flowing, is possessed by Kypris as Hyacinth
was, but instead of enjoying it, flees in the other direction and
becomes a celibate sibyl.  Mint recalls that she was once considered
attractive (and presumably Bison still finds her so).

Other interesting things about Mint:

4) She's a telepath.
5) Her personality is merging with that of Rose/Marble (although I
attribute this to Marble's software more than Mint herself).
6) She's a subtle diplomat.

Of course, it's possible she is exactly what she seems; a normal woman
with unexpected talents.  I recall Mark Twain's "Captain Stormfield's
Visit to Heaven", where the (potentially) greatest general in human
history never got to be a real general, but if he had had the chance...

We've previously come up pretty blank on Mint, and yet she's really one
of the most important characters, possibly even the most important after
Silk.  She's also the most sympathetic (human) female character in the
series. Hyacinth is a silicone-enhanced virago, Chenille is better but
still a bit too down-market.

Just a few morning thoughts (pre-coffee, even).


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