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From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: abo profile and a new Jeannine theory
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 1998 01:01:53 

>Alga wrote:
>> So we've actually seen how an abo or half-abo came to impersonate (or merge
>> with) a human, and the way he did was imperfectly. So imperfectly that #5
>> sees through it (though I'm damned if I know how).

Tony Ellis replied:

>I've never thought that #5 sees through VRT's impersonation. I've always
>assumed that he was just being offensive. As he says: "I had come to
>kill my father, and it was necessary that Dr Marsch leave." The fact
>that by a million-to-one chance he hits on the truth would be just
>typical Wolfe.

I agree with Tony Ellis here.

alga wrote:
>> Do we think that "A Story" was written by Marsch alone or
>> by the JVM/VRT amalgam? If it were placed last in the sequence, surely the
>> latter. As it is, still probably the latter. But it's still a kind of fairy
>> tale, not anything we can really rely on.

adam louis stephanides replied:

>I'm morally certain it was written by V.R.T. (See below on the "amalgam.")
>As you and others have pointed out, Marsch is far too insensitive,
>especially regarding the Annese, to write anything like it.

I agree with you here.

>The only
>problem is that I recall reading an interview with Wolfe in which he says
>Marsch wrote it.

Ahhhhhhh, what does he know. He's only the author.

adam louis stephanides again:

>I hadn't seen this thoery of V.R.T. merging with Marsch before, but I have
>to stick to my belief that V.R.T. is just impersonating Marsch in the
>ordinary way, perhaps aided by his shape-shifting abilities if he has

I agree with you again.

>I don't find it implausible that he learned all his anthropology
>from books on Ste. Anne and St. Croix; he had three years in the
>wilderness to study Marsch's books, and could read more in the libraries.
>In particular, his knowledge of "anthropological relaxation," which
>another poster had cited, could have been picked up in the local library
>after he's realized what the Wolfes are.

I am "another poster". I agree that VRT could have learned enough
anthropology from books so he could impersonate Marsch under the conditions
he found himself. But I find it impossible to accept that he could just
look at #5 and guess he's a clone by means of knowledge picked up this way.
It seems to me we run into a chicken and egg problem here. How could he
figure out the Wolfes are clones without knowing about anthropological
relaxation (AR) very well. And why would he bone up on AR unless he knew
the Wolfes were clones. Of course he could have some other source of
knowledge about the Wolfes that we don't know about as you almost seem to
imply, but, from the text, this seems unlikely and having to rely on events
totally unsupported by the text is unsatisfying, at best.

5HC is full of people making guesses (spinning theories, telling "A Story",
etc.) most of them seemingly wild. We know that in two cases at least (VRT
as Marsch guessing that #5 is a clone and #5 guessing that Marsch is an
abo) the guesses are true. I am beginning to think that we are supposed to
accept that these are just guesses that do happen to be true. Perhaps there
is supposed to be some "higher order" reason for this, but the outcome is
that the guesses are right. I would like to build a grand theory on the
idea that ALL the guesses in 5HC are true. Its too bad the they are so

I have noticed an *interesting* parallel between the novella 5HC and "A
Story". (What's with the quotes here anyway? A story is a fiction; is "A
Story" then supposed to not be one?)

A *lot* has been said about Aunt Jeannine's withered legs. Well, where else
do we find withered legs in 5HC?

In the dark Sandwalker climbed, climbed on hands and feet like a beast,
holding the feign-pheasant in his teeth until his fingers found the
priest's feet and his hands the withered legs. [p. 80, Scribners]

We have Sandwalker (an abo, maybe) going on a quest for reasons that are
not clear (it seems that he is sent to the priest because of his dreams) to
a priest with withered legs who apparently is dead. What good it is
supposed to do is also unclear; Sandwalker seems to expect advice or
council from the priests ghost. The priest lives in a cave, which is hard
to find unless you have directions.

We have VRT as Marsch (an abo, probably?) going on quest for reasons that
are not clear? (Wouldn't you think he'd want to avoid other anthropologists
who might see through his charade, even if he found the scholars from the
local universities easy to fool?) to a doctor of anthropology with withered
legs, who isn't real (well is using a false name, anyway). This makes her
hard to find. And what do Phaedria's friends ("the kids") call the house
where Aunt Jeannine lives? The Cave!

Well, I think it's interesting.

William Ansley

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

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