FIND in
<--prev V10 next-->

From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
Subject: (whorl) These are the jokes, pt. 2; more inhumi mysteries
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 09:20:34 

There is very little humor in OBW (a trait it shares with most of
Wolfe's books), but a while ago Kieran Cleary posted one humorous bit. 
Here are two more.

1) On p. 126 Horn refers to the burials alive of inhumi practiced in
Gaon as "inhumations."  I don't know whether this is an actual word
meaning "burials alive" or a coinage by Wolfe on analogy with
"exhumation."  Either way it's a pun, if a grim one.

2) Recalling his speculations about what had gotten on board the boat
and been wounded by Babbie, Horn tells us: "For a moment I thought of
the woman I had shot, swimming league upon league after our boat, intent
upon revenge.  If I were spinning a fireside tale for children here, no
doubt it would be so; but I am recounting sober fact, and I knew that
any such thing was utterly impossible." (136)  In "sober fact," of
course, it turns out to have been a beautiful naked woman with gills,
living under the sea with a sea-goddess who is training her as a siren. 
This is a joke by Wolfe, on both himself and Horn, and a good one.

The passage on p. 126 in which "inhumations" are mentioned is a cryptic
one, in more ways than one.  First, Horn ponders: "Would it be effective
for us to dig up one of the recent inhumations and release him to warn
the others?"  Warn the others of what?  Of Horn's threat to reveal
Krait's secret, presumably.  But what does Horn hope to accomplish by
this?  We have no clue (this is before the war with Han has even
begun).  Then Horn briefly speculates that the inhumi may not be
"natural creatures," but instead may have been created by the
Neighbors!  What does Horn know about the inhumi, or the Neighbors, that
leads him to entertain this possiblity even briefly?


*This is WHORL, for discussion of Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun.
*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.moonmilk.com/whorl/
*To leave the list, send "unsubscribe" to whorl-request@lists.best.com
*If it's Wolfe but not Long Sun, please use the URTH list: urth@lists.best.com

<--prev V10 next-->