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From: Alex David Groce <Alex_Groce@gs246.sp.cs.cmu.edu>
Subject: Re: (whorl) [blue, spoilers, read only when finished] More on Blue
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 14:39:24 

I finished Blue last week, but have remained silent until now, waiting for
someone else to speak first.  My awe is the same--considering that NEW SUN,
URTH, LONG SUN and SHORT SUN are, in a sense, Wolfe's "future history" (though
nothing so un-subtle), I think Wolfe is moving, finally, into the home stretch
of one of the most powerful and evocative examinations of life ever expressed
in fictional form.

Various random points:

(1)  The three stars struck me early on as having some significance, and I was
pleased to see "Horn" explain them as Blue, Green and the Long Sun Whorl (and,
of course, the three books of Horn's narrative, and (since this is Wolfe)
perhaps the three SUN uber-novels and even the Trinity...)

(2)  Horn, by the time the ongoing narrative (which will presumably merge into
a single conclusion at the end of RETURN TO THE WHORL) starts is a tall(er),
white-haired, one-eyed man with a staff and good ol' Oreb on his shoulder:
Odin.  I suspect that we will later learn that in some sense Horn has traded
his eye for wisdom.

(3)  I think I have a guess at the secret of the inhumi, but there's probably
some startling aspect I haven't considered--it seems obvious that they only are
intelligent because they drink the blood of intelligent creatures.  I suspect
that more than this, they in some sense take their "person"ality from the first
person whose blood they drink--and that Krait was the inhumi whose first
feeding was on Sinew, and thus he really is Horn's son, in a perverse (but
in the end transfigured into something wonderful) sense.  If this is so, I
wonder if Quetzal might have fed on Silk (or maybe Silk's father)?

(4)  Mucor is still creepy, she's just not adolescent and creepy.  It would
be strange to expect twenty years with Marble not to have been better for her
than her previous upbringing.

(5)  I'm trying to think if Wolfe has ever portrayed a protagonist who was
faithful to his wife during his wanderings--here, of course, Horn has the
Odyssey to live up to, but Severian, Nardan from "Seven American Nights," etc.
(Latro if he is married).

(6)  I think the ressurrection Horn keeps giving us hints about happened on
Green--where he received his "fatal" wound (I don't have my copy so can't
reference exactly where he says this).

(7)  Also, now that I've (almost completely) dismissed my Urth is Blue theory,
I'm wondering how Severian's going to make his supposed appearance.

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
Alex David Groce (agroce+@cs.cmu.edu)
Ph.D. Student, Carnegie Mellon University - Computer Science Department
8112 Wean Hall (412)-268-3066

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