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From: Alice Turner <al@ny.playboy.com>
Subject: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v004.n012
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 1997 16:24:51 

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


  To me, it seems like this story is set in the same
>"universe", country and time-frame as "Seven American Nights".  The beast
>tie-in might NOT then be a hallucination on Nadan's part, but a real event.
>(I thought I'd egg you on about this hallucination vs reality thread.)  

They're both set in decaying cities, but not, I think the same one, unless
7AN's D.C. is a lot weirder than I think! All that stuff about the "meat"
being half-alive for a white (and thus preserved) is definitely pretty far
out. Actually, "Werwolf" seems to me close in spirit to a horror comic and,
I suspect, was never meant to be a serious effort. Can't you just see the
last frames, with the feral girl chomping away at the leg, with close-ups of
gore and appropriate sound-effects overheard? 


 our first question
>is: which tale of the 1,001 nights of ANE is being retold here? (Just
>to kick things out of the Judaeo-Christian circuit. <g>)

I don't think you should be disappointed if it doesn't follow any of them.
The title may have come after the story, after all---it's the sort of title
that might have been playfully suggested by an editor or friend hearing a
description of the story (as opposed to many of Wolfe's other titles).

Ron (don't you have another name, I seem to remember?--aren't you cephalo?)

Do you have more of that interview with Gordon? Would you consider posting
some of it? In her book, she quotes only that one sentence that I posted
(about the animals).

I thought the weapons and tools in TS were perfectly logical (except for the
evil staff, of course). A sail-sledge makes sense to me; one could hardly
use huskies on this planet! And yes, I did notice that gesture of assent,
common to everyone--but not so familiar to Cutthroat that he doesn't keep
noticing it, another proof that he is Not From Here. Why do you think the
robots have never been outside? I think they most definitely have, before
the planet froze, and that they were put in the big underground warehouse to
protect them from the weather.

You're probably right about the 3 laws of robotics. That's so much a part of
the lore, that it will undoubtedly be built into the real thing when we get
that far.

>Finally, if this is a totem-story (and Wolfe so identifies it in the
>Gordon interview), it is surely of significance that Cutthroat begins
>his sojourn with the Wiggikki (wolves) to whom he bears a physical
>likeness according to Eggseeker (p. 184) and ends it with one of them

Well, don't forget his name (Wolfe's) and the many wolves which turn up here
and there, including the Wer- variety mentioned above. Also his fondness for
Kipling. And mantis and I both think he did some research in Jack London for
this story. I am told by an excellent source that he contemplated doing an
anthology (by various authors) on wolves.

I'll let mantis take the one about the crooked leg (but must say that here
Fisher King analogies seem a bit steep). But, totem-story or not, interview
or not, the winged figure at the end of this story is significantly more
than a bird, and you will never persuade me otherwise. 

>BTW, I've got several Native American dictionaries coming through
>interlibrary loan (our library didn't have very much); I'll let you know
>if anything turns up on any names.

Excellent! If you look back over the archive, I've ruled out six or eight.
Here are two more NOT: Lenape and the various Mohawk dialects (Iroquois,
Kanienkehata). I put in queries about Cree and Blackfoot, no replies yet
(and maybe never). Here's a thought, though: it might be wise to investigate
the Illinois area.


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