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From: Dan Parmenter <dan@lec.com>
Subject: (urth) Zoetics
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 1999 13:37:31 

From: CRCulver@aol.com

> The Salamander, according to ancient Greek belief, could survive in fire.
> Jorge Luis Borges, in _El Libro de Seres Imaginarios_ (The Book of Imaginary
> Beings), wrote an article on the Salamander and Wolfe took it, like many of
> Borges' creatures (Baldanders, etc.) for the BotNS.

But my point was this: Kevin Maroney put forth the following hypothesis:

> > (Remember that most/all of the animal species of Urth except humans were
> > driven extinct at some point in the past, and the animals present in the
> > Book are alien replacements which approximate the original species.
> > Destriers aren't horses, they're alien horse-like beings.

So the idea here is:

Alzabo - replacement for hyenas (I have my doubts about this, but...)
Destrier - replacement for horses

Now you'll notice that by this hypothesis the replacement animals do
not have the same names as the originals.  What then, are we to make
of references in the text to animals that *do* have the original
names, e.g. dogs.  I suggested that according to the Wolfean Naming
Convention (put forth in CASTLE OF THE OTTER I believe) of "everything
is exactly what it says it is" and so perhaps, if the text refers to a
"dog" we should assume that this is indeed a dog (a rather large
one).  Now, given these observations, what then are we to make of the
Salamander being called a Salamander?  Obviously it's not a Salamander
as we know it, rather it seems to partake of the "mythic" or Borgesian
Salamander.  This observation suggests that perhaps the Wolfean Naming
Convention, at least as I have applied it, may not actually hold, at
least not in the strict sense that I am suggesting here.

So the basic question then is this: what animals other than humans (if
any) are still around?  We are told that the Beast-Handlers take a sow
in marriage (though I have argued in the past that this might just be
a misinterpretation by the uneductated people of Severian's time of
the term "animal husbandry"), and so what is this sow?


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

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