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From: "Robert Borski" <rborski@charter.net>
Subject: (whorl) Let's all sing w/ the Neighbors!
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001 15:01:51 

Skeptical Kevin M. having peed on my Pas-as-Neighbor speculations:

>>For starters, it explains why the Blue-Green system was targeted by the
Whorl. Pas/Typhon is simply going home. Doubtless, other habitable systems
much closer to Urth could have been targeted, but they haven't--why not?<<

<A. We don't know that there are. There's no evidence whatsoever to judge
what criteria Typhon used to select the target for the _Whorl_. Personally,
I think that habitable planets are few and far between. (Of course, I also
believe that planets are an unnecessary luxury.)>

The other Blue-Green tandem in Wolfe's universe--Sainte Anne and Sainte
Croix--are only twenty years out from Earth. And Wolfe's universe does seem
to exhibit some continuity, especially if you accept certain notions such as
the ghoul bear of Sainte Anne is Urth's alzabo. So I find it unlikely that
the next likeliest pair of habitable planets is 15X over the distance from
Earth to the worlds of Fifth Head. Like you, I agree about the unlikelihood
of close habitable planets, but this is Wolfe's idea-space, not ours.

 >>Fourthly, at one point during IGJ, Horn sings in and translates from
Neighborese--and not amateurishly, but well enough so that it completely
discombobulates poor Colonel Terzo. When and how did Horn learn the language
of the Neighbors? From darling one-armed Seawrack?<<

<Obviously, you are more familiar with the book than I, but I never got the
sense that Seawrack was singing in the Neighbors' language, or that Horn had
the opportunity to actually learn it from her. It seems equally likely that
Horn learned the Neighbors' language from becoming Neighborly himself.>

Nope, you're wrong. Here's the exact quote from IGJ, p. 266-267:

"Sing song," Oreb suggested, and I did, following Seawrack's own intonation
and pronunciation to the best of my very limited ability. The lapping of the
waves was in her song, and the eerie cry of the seabirds, and the lonely
whistling of the wind.

"That is in the language of the Neighbors, whom you call the Vanished

Then two paragraphs later Horn adds:

"Seawrack is singing in that place that lays beyond this place. Listen
there, and you cannot help but hear her." With her I sang a few more words
in the language of those whom Mora had once called The People of That Town.

So once again I ask: how have Horn and Seawrack learned to sing in the
language of the Neighbors?

Robert Borski

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