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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: (whorl) Blue's Races; etc.
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 1999 11:53:08 

At 05:51 PM 10/5/99 -0700, you wrote:
>"Gaon" is Hebrew, meaning "genius," according to printform OED.

It needs to be something in Hindi.

	Okay, Han are Chinese, Gaonese are East Indians, the tribes along the
river are Amerinds, and Wijzer (sp?) is Scandanavian.
	When are we? Evidently Typhon ruled the whole earth, and picked up people
from all over, not just Latin Americans and Iranians (Trivigaunti - ?). If
we're millions of years in the future, would such groups still be around?
I'd originally thought the Spanish-culture Vironese and the Trivigaunti
were simply far-future cultures whose folkways and language were being
"translated" by Wolfe into something familiar to us. That's what he says he
did when he "translated" the Severian narratives. Is that still the case?
Are we to assume that the Han ARE future Chinese, or that Wolfe is just
translating things in such a way? 
	That's the problem. Urth is not our Earth, but part of a previous
universe. Thus, everything is being "translated" by Wolfe, who somehow has
gotten hold of these manuscripts. My guess is that all we can say is that
Wolfe the translator has decided to various cultures in various ways
familiar to us, based on similarities he perceives in the original
	As for Blue's being Urth, this is way too early for that. Typhon sent out
this ship long before Severian brought the New Sun. During this whole
period, the moon was orbiting the earth, wasn't it? In Ultan's library
Severian sees an Urth-equvalent of the photo of America astronauts on the
moon before it was greened. No such moon, grey or green, orbits Blue. We'd
have to assume that somehow the Whorl travelled back in time millions of
years, before Urth-Blue captured Moon-Green, and that Moon-Green became the
airless dead world that it was at the time the photo in the Library was
taken. Wolfe could do all this, I'm sure, and we'd love it -- but I think
we'd better wait for  more information. I'm happy with two planets out in
	'Course, maybe Green is ancient Urth, because it is inhabited by
dinosaurs. In that case, Blue will die and possibly become the Moon of
Green. But this will all still have to be millions and millions of years
before the time of Typhon and Severian.
	And it cannot be Ste. Claire and Ste. Anne, since those two planets were
moons to one another, while Blue and Green have different orbits and
triennial conjunctions.
	Since we have lost the clever notion that the inhumi forced Typhon to send
this ship, and we now know that Quetzal, and others I guess, came onto the
ship when it arrived in their system, a couple of things: Was the
Blue/Green system the original destination of the Whorl, or was the ship
captured en route?  It's starting to look that way to me, for this reason:
The Whorl was in the B/G system for a long time, several decades, before
the exodus was forced. I'm assuming that the exodus was on a timer, and
that the Whorl was designed to last until it arrived at its destination. If
it was stopped en route by Quetzal & company, that would explain why the
timer did not force the exodus upon arrival. Or am I missing something here?
	And in terms of missing something: Were we given any reason why the inhumi
departed from the skies at the end of the book and did not attack Horn?
	Horn-Silk has lost an eye, but he has gained one from Olivine for Maytera.
A swap? And if not a literal swap, clearly a literary one: He's lost an eye
in the process of gaining one for someone else.
	I don't think the inhumi drove out the Neighbors. Quite the opposite. The
Neighbors finally learned to live in love and harmony, and defeated the
inhumi. But by the same token, having matured to that point, they were
ready to move on to some kind of "plane of being." Recall that this Urthine
universe has levels in it, like the Qabbala.
	Quadrifons is a cherub. Biblical cherubs are sphinx-like and have four
faces. Combine this with Greek sphinxes, and you have the guardian of
crossroads. Just like your domestic cat, who positions himself/herself in
your house where he/she can look down all the halls and see everything. 
	Now, cherubim are archangels, and creatures. But they are so close to the
throne of God (Revelation 4-5) that they are practically possessed by Him,
and might be considered manifestations of Him. Some interpreters of the
Bible regard the cherubim as not actual angels at all, but as merely
symbols for God. Wolfe can play with this in a variety of ways, and we'll
have to read more to know what direction he wants to go in. 
	Alga writes: "Horn seems to have a natural military bent, like Mint and
Severian. (Well, I guess Mint's is not entirely natural.) " Probably Horn's
is not entirely natural either. Remember how Silk's genetic heritage
enabled him to become an expert swordsman overnight. Notice how Horn never
misses when he shoots -- being Silkified, he always "catches the ball." His
reflexes are well-nigh perfect.
	And now we understand his Silkitude. Since Silk was copied and downloaded
into Mainframe, so that the Silk-programme joins with Pas, that
Silk-programme can now be downloaded onto Horn. 
	Now, when did this downloading occur? Do we have any contrasts between
Horn's abilities in the pre-trip part of the narrative and his obvious
Silk-like abilities in the post-trip part? It was before he left Blue that
he shot and killed the bull-thingie, evidently a very remarkable feat. Was
he Silked when he was at Mainframe, and has he been Silked for 20 years?
Or, did this ability come not from Silk but from the Neighbor? I.e., first
from the Neighbor, and later amplified by being downloaded with Silk.


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