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From: BMDoherty@aol.com
Subject: (urth) "Tracking Song"
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 09:28:32 EST

I've been on and off the list for the past year, so just tell me if this has
all been hashed over and I'll search the archives, but I just read "Tracking
Song" from the ISLAND OF DR. DEATH etc. collection yesterday, and was
impressed with its similarities of tone to both TBOTNS and the Latro
series---the character and "voice" of the narrator seemed as close to Severian
as I've found in other Wolfe works, and the lack of memory (though not renewed
daily, or dealt with as sophisticatedly) of the narrator of Latro. As usual
with Wolfe, I'm not entirely sure I even understood what was going on in the
story, though it's plethora of races, peoples, and weird underground cities
gave it that Vance/old pulp adventure "feel" that makes you think you are
reading something quite simple. I gathered that the narrator was not a native
of the planet he was on, and was presumptively a human being; and from the
conclusion guessed that the "humans" or whatever race the narrator was from
were trying to terraform this planet in some way by raising its temperature.
Was he then left behind deliberately as some sort of scout? Was his lack of
memory deliberately induced by his people for some purpose of theirs? I got
this impression, though I can't find solid textual support.

At any rate, and conclusions others have come to would be welcome.

Brian Doherty

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

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