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From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
Subject: (urth) Little, Big
Date: Mon, 01 May 2000 09:02:02 

alga wrote:

> No, I won't argue this. The orrery business is hard to figure, especially considering that Hawksquill
> has one too.

But Hawksquill's orrery is of a Ptolemaic universe, and therefore
doesn't run by itself.  Smoky's if of a Newtonian universe, and so
does.  (At least so Hawksquill says.)

> Also, I think the writing on how the house fares
> afterwards is very lovely. (I see that Rostrum agrees on the last.)

I agree too.  One of the best evocations of nostalgia and loss I've
encountered anywhere. 

> Alice does not disapprove of Smoky's adultery because his task is to father children for the fairies.

But Alice is very upset when she thinks that Smoky has fathered Sophie's
child (because this somehow deprives her of her starring role in the
Tale? or because it indicates that Sophie, not Alice, is the bride
picked out by the fairies for Smoky?).  It's only when she learns he
hasn't that she becomes tolerant of the adultery.

> Sophie has been put out of commission by Lilac and anything to get her to reproduce is acceptable.

Don't you have it backwards?  The adultery took place before Lilac
existed.  Or is there a later adultery that I missed.

> [on the war:]
> This is the part of the novel I disliked most. It seems to be a general Sixties-ish disgruntlement
> with how things were going. Thoughts here would be appreciated.

The civil war between Eigenblick and his opponents does seem to be a
common trope in last 60s and 70s SF (ObWolfe: Hour of Trust, Paul's
Treehouse).  The war between fairies and humans, which has been going on
for a thousand years ("The Worm Turneed," Book Four, Chap. One), is more
obscure.  I can't think of any precedents offhand in myth, legend, or
genre fiction.  Can anybody?

The blighting of New York City during Auberon's stay seems to reflect
the state of New York City in the 1970s, the "Ford to City: Drop Dead"


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

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