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From: William Ansley <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: Re: (whorl) First impressions of IGJ (possible spoilers)
Date: Sun, 23 Jul 2000 23:40:50 

Well, I finished _In Green's Jungles_ today. Wolfe is certainly is 
full of surprises. All I can say is that I hope _Return to the Whorl_ 
is released with no more of a delay than there was between OBW and 
IGJ. It is really very difficult to make any judgement about the 
first two volumes in the absence of the third. Not to mention the 
fact that I'll have to read IGJ again before I will feel competent to 
make too many definitive statements about it.

At 11:17 AM -0700 7/15/00, Adam Stephanides wrote:
>4.  I found it harder to follow the story here than in OBW.  This is
>partly because the plot is more complicated, partly because there is no
>strong narrative thread like Horn's quest for Pajarocu in OBW, and
>partly for another reason which I'm afraid it might give too much away
>to reveal.

Interesting. I found it easier to follow IGJ than OBW. It seemed to 
me that the second volume was considerably less fragmentary than the 

At 2:37 AM +0000 7/21/00, Christopher Culver wrote:
>3) Horn tends to sound in several places like Alden Dennis Weer. I 
>wonder if this is just because people who have died tend to think 
>like this in Wolfe's mind, or Wolfe is simply reusing a previous 
>mode of narration.

I think that Weer is Wolfe's "default voice." In my opinion, 
virtually all of Wolfe's first person protagonists "sound like" Weer 
at one time or another, if they are allowed to talk long enough.

At 11:19 PM -0700 7/22/00, Dan Rabin wrote:
>It seems pretty daring to me that Wolfe builds up to the recognition 
>scene between Horn/Silk and Auk and Chenille, and then yells "Cut!", 
>only confirming our suspicions in the conversation afterwards back 
>on Blue.

This doesn't seem daring to me at all, for Wolfe. "It's what he does. 
It's all he does!" Wolfe's preferred method for dealing with pivotal 
scenes is to leave them out and then refer to them later briefly and 

At 10:29 AM -0700 7/23/00, Adam Stephanides wrote:
>Now that we know how Horn got into Silk's body (assuming it is Silk's)
>the question I asked about IGJ remains: why doesn't Horn know he's in
>Silk's body?  Why doesn't he recognize whose body is in the grave
>(assuming it's the obvious person, whose name I'm hiding from accidental
>readers of this post)?  Even if he doesn't recognize Silk's body, didn't
>he meet anyone on the Whorl who addressed him as Silk?  Of course, maybe
>he does know he's in Silk's body, and is hiding the fact from his
>readers (while leaving obvious clues).  But then why was he continuing
>the search for Silk at the start of OBW?

I agree with Adam here completely. This is a real sticking point for 
me and I hope Wolfe resolves it satisfactorily. It seems very 
*unlikely* that the body Horn's spirit is put into is Silk, judging 
from the description in the text. But, if not, how does Horn get into 
Silk's body before he is shanghaied into becoming the Rajan of Gaon 
(if he actually inhabits Silk's body at all). Does he continue body 
hopping in _Return to the Whorl_?

>The Horn of OBW resembles the non-apotheosized Severian: someone who
>feels strongly, suffers greatly, and is very human, to the point of
>being unsympathetic.  The Horn of IGJ is much more like Silk in more
>than a physical sense; he's clearly a good man, and a dispenser of
>wisdom and good counsel, while humbly insisting all the time that he is
>no such thing.  I have to admit that as a protagonist I prefer the first
>model to the second.

I agree that the Horn that narrates OBW seems to be significantly 
different from the Horn that narrates IGJ. This makes me wonder what 
happened to cause the change. It seems to me that it may have 
something to do with the very odd section towards the very end of OBW 
where Horn's identity seems to become confused with Babbie's and Horn 
meets the little boy and girl who are named Brother and Sister. I 
readily admit that I didn't understand the section of OBW at all and 
that I am disappointed that it wasn't explicated at all in IGJ.

William Ansley

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