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From: Alex David Groce <Alex_Groce@gs246.sp.cs.cmu.edu>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Dr. Crane's plot
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2000 15:34:48 

Rostrum said:

>But in most books this is kind of a wink at the reader; we're not
>supposed to ask why the madman's ravings should forshadow events in the
>book.  In the Long Sun, however, one of the important points is that the
>religion of Pas, including divination via sacrifice is fake.  We're
>supposed to ask questions about what exactly is going on with the
>religious stuff, so we need some other explanation for why the prophesies
>are coming true, e.g. the Outsider, some sort of psionic talent of the
>superembryos, some sort of influence from the sacred windows, etc.

Thanks.  That's what I was trying to say.  Lots of fiction does this,
but seldom are the people in the fiction TRYING to forsee the future
and managing to do so--when they do, unless the work is genre fantasy,
we look for a scientific explanation or a metafictional conceit
(Muriel Spark pulls the latter off quite a lot).  My hypothesis is
that Wolfe wants it to be possible to explain this "scientifically" by
assuming Silk's mysterious talents go this far (Silk seems to be the
only one actually doing this in Long Sun) or some such, but really to
lean us towards the assumption that Silk is being given signs by the
Outsider, who clearly doesn't mean "you will be given no help" in quite
the way you or I would.

"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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