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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (whorl) beating a dead horse
Date: Fri,  9 May 97 17:58:00 GMT

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

Reply:  Item #7420072 from WHORL@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET00#


Re: your notes on the mechanics of augury ("ars augurium"?), you've
opened a can of worms--good stuff.  That is, I agree with your
points.  The conclusion would seem to be that prepping an animal (and
getting it to the right? augur?) takes too long; that the point of
information transfer is actually in the interpretation of the animal
guts--just the right moment for a mind-control pink-light laser-beam
to the brain, if such heavy handed manipulation is required.

"The glass is half-em--" <brzzzzt!> "--full; this means that rain will
fall only in the north . . . "

But yeah, the Nine are probably really gods in the Greco-Roman sense
of it.  And that's one of the main points, right?  Putting Father
Brown and the 19th century into a Greco-Roman polytheistic mode.

Re: why a new Briatic series?  Now this is just my opinion and you
don't have to agree with it, but I think it is pretty interesting to
take one of the irredeemable devils of New Sun and at least partially
redeem him in Long Sun.  As if Tolkien wrote a sequel to THE LORD OF
THE RINGS where Sauron the Great took a turn playing do-gooder
"Sauron the Long Suffering"; then through elvish time warping had the
sequel play along simultaneous to the first work.

That is to say: it is clear that being literally dead and then
literally resurrected did nothing to cure Monarch Typhon of his evil
dreams; it is as if he had only gone to sleep then woken up.  But the
process of a waking dream (virtual reality/artificial intelligence)
of being a good god seems to have had some effect.  In the end, Pas
seems to be at peace.

(Of course, in a different light this redemption might just be the same
as the convoluted torture of a Titan in the netherworld; i.e., the
"gooder" he tries the more he suffers because his "true" nature is Evil.)

We might just as well ask, "Why all the sequels to `The Island of
Doctor Death and Other Stories'?"  But the answer to that is more
clear-cut: each story looks at a different angle of the same sort of
puzzle.  For one example, in Long Sun Love looms large; reminding us how
utterly absent Love is (or seems to be) from New Sun.


Great summation on Mint!  Have a cup of coffee (or two) and keep going!


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