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From: "Alice Turner" <al@interport.net>
Subject: (urth) fan fiction
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 19:31:36 

With due respect, Sarge, sir, this becomes a ridiculous argument, similar to
that of science-meister scolex. The two of you are replacing Wolfe's text
with text of your own, yours involving an elaborate background for Marsch
and his for Aunt Jeanine. There a word for that, and it isn't analysis, it's
fan fiction (okay, two words).

>We know that the text of the second two novellas in 5th Head is, to some
>degree, unreliable--I just think it's more unreliable than most
>participants of this list do. I believe that "A Story" and "V.R.T." are
>calculated disinformation (while the first novella is merely a
>self-serving autobiography). So of course my defense against your
>attack, my dear green friend, is to assert that Marsch wrote about the
>boy's green eyes (and his mother's matching ones, and the stuff about
>abos having green eyes in "A Story") precisely because he himself has
>such green eyes. In fact, it must be that many Annese have green eyes
>(maybe they interbred with abos, and acquired this trait). Marsch hopes,
>if not to convince his captors, at least to distract them, to give them
>something else to think about than his mission. Yes, it's circular...but
>that's my point.
>And what color are alga's eyes?

Mud-colored. And I must warn you, sir, that fraternization between ranks is
inappropriate behavior.

>> "I have examined your papers, and letters follow your name. I shall call
>> you:
>> 'A Polish Count, a Knight Grand Cross,
>> Rx. and Q.E.D.;
>> Grand Master of the Blood Red Dirk,
>> and R.O.G.U.E.'
>> You seem to me very young."
>> This is a real head-banger. What _does_ it mean? First of all, it's in
>> quotes. Does that mean it _is_ a quote from somewhere? If so, can anyone
>> identify it?

I think the poem everyone "almost" remembers is the one by Dorothy Parker
which ends "And I am Marie of Rumania." Alas, I can't find it in my two
light verse collections which both lean heavily on dead Brits, but it's not
bad. It puts in verse that fairly standard expression of scorn that goes
more or less" "Well, if he's a successful you-name-it, I'm the Queen of
England!" (Funnier from a male, and goes back at least to Gilbert &
Sullivan.)  Maybe one of us has a more American light verse collection, or a
Parker collection, and can look it up. It's pretty well known. Wolfe is, I
think, just doing his own verse in the tradition.

From Adam:

>> Is there any hint in "V.R.T." of the folklore behind the
>> Shadow Children in "A Story?"  I can't think of anyone in
>> Marsch's interviews distinguishing more than two kinds of
>> abos (Hill and Meadowmere) -- nor any mention of telepathic
>> abilities, addiction to a particular plant, etc.  Maybe the
>> author made 'em up entirely, inspired by the constellation.
>But then where did the constellation's name come from?
>> Why was V.R.T. so sloppy in writing down memories of his own
>> childhood on St. Anne in what was supposed to be Marsch's
>> journal?
>On p. 230 (Ace edition) V.R.T. says he now thinks nobody may be reading
>his prison writings after all.  It's only after this that he writes about
>his childhood on St. Anne.

Yes, I think this is right. The Shadow Children are to the Annese almost as
the Annese are to the colonists.


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

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