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From: Joel Priddy <jpriddy@saturn.vcu.edu>
Subject: (whorl) Augury
Date: Tue, 13 May 97 9:12:03 EDT

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


I don't recall if anyone other than Silk actually makes any divinations
during sacrifice, but I also don't recall anything to give the
impression that Silk had noteworthy talent at augury. Of
course, this could simply be the publics inability to judge
between true predictions and false ones. After all, every paper
in the country carries a horoscope. If anyone out there were
actually writing an accurate one, who would notice?
I do seem to recall (more of my vague recollections... I really
need to buy my own copies of these books) Silk or Incus actually
commenting how cut-and-dried reading guts were. It doesn't seem
to me to be based on an intuitive interpretation, but a
categorical reading of specific signs. I think Silk even mentions
what some specific signs were that indicated specific readings.
Unless the gods use mantis' pink laser to rewrite the augur's
entire memory of studying the practice (and that of all other
augurs as well, lest they pick up on discrepancies while talking
shop), I think this keeps pointing to genuine, actual divination
going on here. 
Vizcacha, you mentioned Mint's telepathy (please provide more
information on this, it sounds intriguing and isn't anything I
picked up on myself). If Briah's physics allows for telepathy and
astral projection/ possesion (ala Mucor), then I suppose there
could be a whole host of psychic powers floating out there. And
since we've seen in _Urth_of_the_New_Sun_ that the time stream
folds all over itself, psychic precognition could
easily be an available ability. But might be an overkill
BTW, on re-reading the above message, I just caught the
accidental "cut_and_dried" pun. I apologise, I really do.

(Vironese name is a toss-up between gizzard and cephalothorax.
BTW, following matis' lead, it seems that we're all from the e.e.
cummings subdivision of Viron)

Oh, and one last thing- I came across the name Urbis in
The_Urth_of_the_New_Sun_ last night, in a story from the brown
book ("The Tale of Town that Forgot Fauna"). Granted, this is
probably just a general term for "city" in Urth's peculiar take
on antiquated language,
and probably doesn't
mean a thing, but I thought I'd mention it In case this helped
anyone else reach any break-throughs in additional Urth-Whorl

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