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From: "Robert Borski" <rborski@coredcs.com>
Subject: (urth) Dis, Dat and D'Otter
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 21:36:23 

Oh brother mantis across the great aetheric divide:

The Marsch timeline needs to include the
I-took-up-smoking-got-fat-and-found-a-decent-pogonocure- detail. Much to my
dismay, however, the barber mentioned is in Roncevaux, not Laon (my
assumption, not yours), where he could have been the special correspondent,
Codename Delilah. I also believe the term 'beard' has some sort of
connection with the homosexual equivalent of passing; remember the Seinfeld
episode where Elaine must act as the girlfriend of her gay friend, so his
boss will think he's straight? She's called his *beard.* Wonder if this is
relatively new coinage or something Wolfe might have known about, maybe
from the sexual underground, home originally to vibe and other such
appropriated argot. alga-of-culottes: any clew?

Also, re timelines: they'd work really well as html hyperlinks, but
otherwise not sure where to put them. Think I should put them after the
most appropriate entry or all in one clump somewhere, like an appendix?

Do you think any of the stuff about circumcision in VRT is meant to play
off the fact that Proust was Jewish? (aka VRT: The Secret Journal of Marcel
the Moyle.)

I'd like to see VRT schematically broken down someday, but am too lazy to
do it myself, at least right away. One approach would place everything in
chronological order of event; a separate casting of runes would place
everything in order of narrative exegesis; i.e., Victor's childhood
reminisences would come in the section detailing his prison days, near the
end of the timeline; Marsch's interviews would link to when he conducted
them shortly after arrival, not to the linked recalled times he's
recording. Then some sort of flowchart approach needs to be taken, showing
exactly what the garrison scenes either precede, interrupt or follow, with
arrows then subsequently attempting to gestalt everything together. It is,
after all, very challenging to sequence events in a straight line from
beginning to end and I think it requires multiples reads. Did for me.

For me, the book's last scene involving the Wolfe clone escaping the silk
factory invoked notions of temporal grace and release, of rising above
destiny's chains  (or helical chains) to a somewhat better fate,
comparatively, than being gnawed to death from within by tiny mechanized
dandruff (or chromosomal bytes, if you will). Not exactly Bodhisattva or
New Jerusalem, but still better than his isogenetic kin back at the House
of Wolfe. In this respect said slave somewhat resembles Roy Trenchard, who
does not die incarcerated (at least that we know of). So, yes, not
everyone's fate is predetermined and those who attempt to live within the
boundaries of their universe, as opposed to going the poseur or attempted
master-of-the-planet route, might yet survive. Salvation *is* possible. A
small grace note of hope in an otherwise fugal dirge.

Hey, you, the guy who's doing the Wolfe recent short story compilation?
[Can't find your name--drat.] Any chance you could somehow widen the scope
of your project and attempt to list all of Wolfe's uncollected short
fiction for us? I think it would be asset to the group. And then I wouldn't
have to keep on being corrected by mantis because I'm more Latro than

Still puzzling over the most curious bashful hooker scene as well as the
one involving the vaginas-for-hire-Algonquin-Round-Table scene with
Jeannine and John. V. Marsch. "Tell me, Roxanne: you think a man like
Joseph Campbell wore boxers or briefs? Oh, do share."

Lastly then, did you know that in chess, after the first five moves, there
are more myriad potential games that can be played than there are atoms in
the universe?

I bet Gene Wolfe plays chess.

Robert Borski (who doesn't, preferring the mindfields of this list instead)

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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