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From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Re: (blue) Notes from a 2nd reading [SPOILERS]
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1999 00:06:57 

"Kieran Cleary" <kierannwn@tinet.ie> wrote:

>3. Given that the inhumi were once "mindless, hideous, blood drinking
>animals" [p.372], and assuming that the source of their intelligence is
>somehow the blood of humans, then was Quetzal originally an 'animal' when he
>came to the Whorl? I assume that there were no humans in the Blue/Green
>system before the arrival of the Whorl.

Not necessarily. Among the items that Dave Lebling found (his list of
evidence for Krait's secret) is this:

>p. 375:  "That's the kind of thing the inhumi must have done
>before the Vanished People reached Green -- reshaped themselves
>to look like the animals they hunted ... "

This implies that before the inhumi acquired (more or less) human
intelligence by drinking human blood they acquired "Vanished People
intelligence" by drinking the blood of the Vanished People. Whether they
could take on the Vanished People's appearance as well is another question.

>7. Who or what did Horn see looking into the pit? "Once...it seemed to me
>that a man with a long nose (a tall man or an immense spider) stood over
>me....He touched my forehead with something?" [p. 203] Is this just an
>hallucinated Babbie?

This certainly could have been one of the Vanished People. They are tall,
seemingly, and four arms and four legs could equal a giant spider. Working
against this idea, we have the facts that Horn never described the Vanished
People, when he definitely(?) meets them, as having long noses. And you
would think that if Horn, in retrospect, recognized this "tall man or an
immense spider" as one of the Vanished People, he would have said so.

>13. Who was in the trees calling for Babbie? "Someone on the shore called
>again for Babbie" [p.377] And who did Horn find in the forest? "I found him
>in the forest, sitting in the dark under the trees" [p.378]

This is one of the oddest sections of the book. My interpretation is that
at this point, for whatever reason, Horn's and Babbie's identities become
totally confused (or maybe it's just the reader who becomes totally
confused). Babbie hears Horn calling his name, but Horn hears it as well,
as if he is Babbie. As far as who finds who in the forest, the full passage

I found him in the forest, sitting in the dark under the trees. I could not
see him. It was too dark too see anything. But I knelt beside him and laid
my head upon his knee, and he comforted me.

I think the pronouns in this passage can be thought to refer (with the
exception of "I knelt beside him and laid my head upon his knee") equally
well to Babbie or Horn.

The most amazing thing about Kieran Cleary's list is how many questions he
leaves out.

Here is one more I could think of without any effort:

What made the fish that Mucor told Horn would be on a flat rock, jump out
of the water so Horn could catch them, on page 81? Was it Seawrack?

William Ansley

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