FIND in
<--prev V1 next-->

From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (urth) Early Urth & Other Writ
Date: Fri, 16 May 97 01:07:00 GMT

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

Reply:  Item #8311763 from URTH@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET01#


Slow down a second.  You've truncated my point: I didn't write
"earliest days of the White Fountain," I wrote "earliest days of
White Fountain =starlight= on Urth."  You apprehend the difference,
don't you?  The White Fountain is brought into existence somewhere
far away in the galaxy, perhaps in the galactic core itself.  It
saunters along toward Urth at some relativistic speed, that is,
taking years, decades, or centuries of real time to cross each light
year--but at the same time, its light is "racing" across space at one
year per light year.  Obviously the starlight hits Urth long before
the White Fountain is in the neighborhood--and this is important
because the starlight is the physical (physics) link between the
White Hole and Severian.  The presence or absence of the starlight upon
Severian's body, to be most precise, determines whether or not Severian
has his super powers.

Re: "The earliest days of the White Fountain's existence stretch back
to the earliest days of humans on Urth"--does the text support this
claim?  I can see where Famulimus says, "Thus surprised are we,
Severian, to find you here where men have scarce begun" (V, ch. , p.
354).  Is that the quote that informed you?

"Here where men have scarce begun" can be taken in many ways: scarce
begun civilization, for one example.  But I myself doubt the sense of
"homo sapiens sapiens has just arrived on the scene."  If that is the
sense in which Famulimus means it, I would take it figuratively rather
than literally.  But for those who take it literally, here is a handy
chronological milestone (35,000 B.C.) to work into the posthistorical
ages of Urth!

FWIW, I have a few factoids that point to that scene taking place in
Cuzco, South America circa AD 1200.  Of course, this is obviously
based upon the perhaps fatally flawed viewpoint that Urth is
literally an evolved form of Earth after a period of less than one
million years from today!

Yes, posthistory =is= a fascinating subject!

Meanwhile, Harrison's THE PASTEL CITY, first of the Viriconium
sequence, was first published in 1971--nine years before THE SHADOW
OF THE TORTURER.  (BTW, didn't Ranjit have a separate place for
people to list Wolfe-ish books?)

(And hey--where is that Ranjit?)


<--prev V1 next-->