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From: Joel Priddy <jpriddy@saturn.vcu.edu>
Subject: (whorl) Playing Catch-up
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 97 10:58:11 EDT

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

Gosh, I come back from a week in the hinterlands, and look at all
the excitement! A belated welcome to Rostrum, who seems to have
been stirring things up.
There's so much to respond to, including the answers to the
Train, I'll just pick a spot and dive in...

rostrum say:
>>So, I read the Horn's comment as a poke by Wolfe saying, "Ha!
Were you
thinking like Horn that Love is all perfume and roses?  Think
again!"  It
certainly goes along with Silk's disillusionment when he realizes
can be a nasty fighter when she needs to be.<<
and then wolfe say:
>>11. "What changed Mint's character?"  Kypris.  What I was
trying to
say is that there is more to love than doves and simpering.<<

Now that Wolfe has spoken, it's unnecessary for me to back up
rostrum on this point. But I will just throw in that when I read
Horn's statement, I thought of a lot of other Wolfe passages
where he pretty much says women (especially when they're the
focus of someone's love) are dangerous. Like in _New_Sun_ where
Severian says that everyone loves what they must destroy:
torturers love their clients, soldiers love their enemies, women
love men. I haven't read _Pandora_ which may be the obvious
exception, but Wolfe's women do seem to have a kind of limited
repertoire: the Stand-In for Divine Love, the Sex Object, and
Agent of Destruction.
On the subject of where Mint's strategy ability comes from, Wolfe
is on the record as saying that military strategy is not a
talent, that it must be studied, isn't he?

mantis say:
>>And where =is= Sphigx, anyway (whom Silk calls a tawny
is a nice way of saying "yellow haired dominatrix")?  And why
anybody seen her since the rebellion, hmm? <g> <<

Too bad the kibosh has been put on further Mint-possession
speculation, 'cuz I found this comment pretty interesting.

rostrum say re: C.S. Lewis Space Trilogy:
>>This seems so close to Silk's formulation of the Outsider's
revelation, "I
am to receive no help, because I am help" that I'm inclined to
believe it
must have been an influence on Wolfe.<<

I'm glad you mentioned this, because I thought about the space
trilogy several times when reading the books, but had forgotten
about them by the time I found this list. Before I found this
list, I didn't realize that Wolfe was an actively practicing
Catholic, but I did read _Long_Sun_ as covering a lot of the same
ground as the space trilogy, only... you know... interesting.
 I didn't make the Remora/Withers connection, but it strikes me
now that you mention it. Think Withers was the point of departure
for the character of Remora?

wolfe say:
>>14. "Is there a member (current, former, or future of the Order
Seekers for Truth and Penitence on the Whorl?"  I'm going to
interpret this question in the broadest possible sense, since
seems to be what Parsons wants.  Yes, there is.  It is Silk.<<

Now, he's intentionally giving me fits...
This could mean that the actual torturers guild lies in Silk's
future, 'cuz who knows what could happen in the course of a few
more Wolfe novels, but I guess this is probably a literal answer,
namely Silk seeks truth, and he seeks penitence. Unlike the
torturers (but like Severian?), he seeks it from himself, not

mantis say:
>>But yeah, ambiguity: if Q is all for planetfall (another
title!), then what has he been doing to promote exodus for the
thirty years?  Even if we grant as true the theory that the
gods lost in the big war, even then Q seems to be acting to
status quo, albeit a kinder and gentler (no human sacrifice)

Okay, I know what I said when we sent that last train off to
Wolfe: how we should give people who didn't get a chance to ask a
question first priority. But boy, do I hope mantis slips this in
to a second train, should there be one. Q strikes me as the big
mystery now, since he's the person who could potentially shed a
lot of light on the forthcoming series.
I'm also still itching to hear my other question (the one about
the timing of Typhon/Piaton's head job) because, for all the
reasons I've outlined previously, it seems to be a key to the
sticky issue of the Whorl/Typhon/Severian timeline.

I think I'm more or less caught up with the list now... Time to
go see what's been happening on the Urth list. <g>


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