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From: James Jordan <jbjordan4@home.com>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Too literal on everything?
Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2002 16:29:43 -0600

At 10:31 AM 1/3/2002 +0000, Andy wrote to Marc:

>I mean primarily the Green/Blue thing, but it has applicability elsewhere.
>The question about whether Green and Blue are Lune and Ushas or even St Anne
>and St Croix in literal truth is irrelevant.   They are figures, archetypes,
>of something inside Wolfe.      Perhaps he had a dream once.

         I don't think they correspond, save they each is a duality that 
invites reflection. Lune is green in anticipation of the Green Man, where 
Green is green in a primordial and fallen way. They are at opposite ends of 
the temporal/eschatological spectrum. In other words, Lune relates to Urth 
eschatologically, while Green relates to Blue protologically. The two 
worlds in *Fifth Head* are tyrant and slave, exploiter and exploited.
         The fact that each pair is joined as a pair, somehow, has 
something to do with society. Humans need to relate to abos with kindness, 
not exploitation. Humans on Blue must also redeem somehow the inhumi of 
Green -- Horn/Silk makes a start of this on Green and on Blue, and the Book 
of Horn will carry forth his story and that programme.
         I think Lune is just kind of up in the sky, in the heavens, an 
image of Yesod in a way. If the humans of Urth could ever learn to rule 
their own little world, they might grow up to rule a universe like Briah, 
and become like the sub-angels of Yesod -- when they have become Green Men.
         But I don't think these double planets are supposed to BE the same 
places (obviously not), nor that they mean the same things in the three 

>It just seems to me that Wolfe is playing it by ear and sometimes has no
>clear idea of what is going on himself.    He has these massively mythic
>figures and he combines them and recombines them at his whim.    He relies
>on instinct.   Sometimes he is really writing about a sort of dreamspace.
>Sometimes it is literal.  But always it is the mythic import, the moral
>meaning, that counts, and worrying about things like can inhumi actually
>swim through space is not relevant.
>If Wolfe wants them to, they will.
>I am not criticising your attempts to pick up clues.   That is part of the
>joy in reading Wolfe.    But I will note that if you start looking at
>anything with a number tagged on to it as a clue you are sure to  be misled.
>Wolfe is never *quanitative* in any meaningful way.    His universe is too
>dreamy and  fluid.

Hmm. Not sure about this. Wolfe rewrites his big hypernovels several times, 
and I think he works to make them internally consistent. The problems are 
(a) that his "universe" is bigger than the modern secular universe, with 
angels (fallen and unfallen), ghosts, a living God, prophets and prophetic 
dreams, etc.;  (b) that his narrators definitely have "limited omniscience" 
and may even be deceptive at points;  (c) that there are correspondences 
between myths, archetypes, earlier events, and present events; (d) etc. But 
as a trained engineer, Wolfe has surely figured out how the inhumi get to 
Blue. If he makes mistakes in the area of science and engineering, they are 
accidents, not the result of writing a dreamscape. Or so it seems to me.


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