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From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
Subject: (whorl) RttW ending: when and who
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2001 09:53:35 

An aeon ago (well, Feb. 9) Henry Kaiser asked:

> How did they get the Whorl ready to leave so fast?  Earlier, we were told by
> the surgeon on p. 331 that it [might] take "...years.  A lifetime, likely as
> not." to ready for departure.  It does not seem like it's more than a year or
> two later at the end of the narrative and it's already out of sight of the
> naked eye.

(I thought I remembered a reply, but couldn't find it in the archives.)

After rereading the ending, I think I know the answer.  The Whorl doesn't
leave so fast; the last two paragraphs are written many years after the rest
of the book.  The evidence is the words with which these paragraphs begin:
"The faint, blinking star that old people call the _Whorl_ is fainter than
ever."  The implication of these words is that it is only "old people" who
refer to it as the Whorl, and hence that all those who grew up on the Whorl
are now old.  But at the time the rest of the book is written, Horn is
middle-aged, not old.  (Hyacinth, who is older than Horn, is described as
middle-aged (IGJ, 127).)  Moreover, earlier in the Afterword, the editors
refer to it simply as the Whorl.  In all probability, at least two decades
have passed between the writing of the rest of the book and the writing of
the final two paragraphs; they were either added to a later edition of the
book, or (more probably) written in by hand in a reader's copy.

Henry also asked:

> What narrative voice is that at the end in the final two paragraphs?  Is that
> Daisy writing the last two paragraphs or someone else?

Probably not Daisy.  For one thing, if the final paragraphs were written
long after Daisy's account of Silk's last bow, there's no reason why it
should be Daisy.  For another, the last paragraph refers to Seawrack as an
"eerie young woman."  But Daisy's description of Seawrack presents her as
exotic and dangerous, but not eerie.  And it may be just my imagination, but
I think that Daisy's writing style is more matter-of-fact than that of the
last two paragraphs.

And if they're not by Daisy, they're surely not by any of the other editors,
who would have indicated their authorship.  My hunch is that they're written
by somebody who had never met the five passengers of the _Seanettle_, but
knew of them only from the BotSS.  (Or are there six passengers?  Babbie is
present at the meeting with Daisy, and if my theory is correct the writer of
the last paragraph could have simply overlooked him when listing the


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