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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: (urth) Fairy Blood; Orrery
Date: Tue, 02 May 2000 12:44:16 

At 11:53 PM 4/29/00 -0400, you wrote:
>From Ratty:
>> Violet as the source of fairy blood. Is that a guess, or is there any real
>> evidence? Hawksquill is not from her, but from her earlier lover -- but
>> Violet's son from that union is the non-fairy Auberon! 
>> I can "see" your argument, but I'm not sure the text supports it. My
>> inclination was that the fairies are "seducing" people into their "trap,"
>> and that Violet's father is one of these. That is, the Victorian
>> theosophists and fairy photographers, etc., are "seduced" into the plan. 
>> Continuing "my" line of argument, I notice that once Violet moves into the
>> pentacle, everyone conceived THERE is part fairy. Yes, August does spawn
>> (being fishy) a school of kids, but "my" take would be that all the people
>> who moved into the pentacle of the five towns have moved into the border of
>> faerie, and thus have part-fairy children anyway. It's geography more than
>> genetics.

Slimina replied:
>Well, gosh, I don't think it's a "guess," exactly, any more than S. Holmes
"guessed" at his conclusions. Just look at the evidence! JC doesn't flat
out say, "Hey, Vi was a fairy!" but why would he give us the backstory and
the chart otherwise? Why would he have August go on a spending spree (I use
the word in its old-fashioned sense--no, not spree) among the local girls
otherwise? It's not geography, it's genetics. Form, in the sense of the
pentacle, follows function. Besides, this is fiction, and you get to have
pentacles if you want them.

The Big Rat rejoinds (Hey, any noun can be verbed.):
	Unpersuaded am I, Alice. It does not seem so simple, and Ariel Hawksquill
is the problem. Where does she get fairy blood? But then again (against
me), she's not conceived in the pentacle either. I guess you could say that
Oliver H. gets "infected" by Violet -- a kind of Fairy VD -- and then this
is passed to his daughter Ariel.
	The chart does not strike me as "evidence" either way. The backstory, it
seems to me, is to establish that the Rev. Bramble was an apostate
Anglican, turning away from Christianity and possibly scientific humanism
toward fairy magic, and this is the point of initiation of the "tale." 

Alga continues:
>Well, I think you may be right. American fairies, yes. Drawn by Vi and by
the pentacle, but dwindling in number. And I do agree that Drinkwater seems
quite oblivious to anything "odd" about his circumstances. But in a way
this is part of the fun (if I may use that word--you don't seem to think
it's much fun). Folklore and literature are rife with tales of the man who
marries a fairy wife. But I think JC is the only one to explore the "and
then?" aspect--what happens to the family? What do you think about the
notion that the fairies didn't plan anything at all, that it all came into
their heads at the moment when August wished, rashly, that no girl could
resist him---that this suddenly came to them as a way to implement a new
plan to perpetuate themselves?

Ratface replies:
	I'm not invested in anything here, but Violet does not have to be a fairy
to be an agent of the fairies. She can be a "fairy wife" in that sense. 
	As to your last suggestion, it seems unlikely to me. Underhill moves to
America with Violet, so to speak, and seems to have enlisted her
previously. I think the House On The Borderland is built by accident, so to
speak, and turns out to be just what the fairies want. So they move there
and start to use it. They need a place separated from the
Christian/Scientific world.  But I'm vague on the details here, and may be
overlooking important details.

>> I don't think there are meant to be logical explanations for all these
>> things.  At any rate, that seems to be the meaning of Mrs. Underhill's
>> speech to Eigenblick in "Give Way, Give Way" (Book Six, Chap. Five), the
>> gist of it is that there are no explanations, it's just the way the
>> world is.

>Yes, I keep on about this too. This isn't a tidy kind of book. Many of the
most interesting books are not too tidy.

	Dunno. He worked on it for a long time. Rather than setting something
aside as untidy, I'd assume the opposite. As to Mantis's point: Well, the
fairies are nature powers, and nature does work like clockwork. Humanity
has freedom, but the Drinkwaters are giving theirs up and becoming part of
nature, "devolving" on the "evolutionary" scale, so to speak, moving
backwards and down. Freedom and choice seem to be seen in Smoky. So, of
course, the fairy explanation for things is that "this is how it is." 
	On the orreries: Ariel's is run by electricity in the City, while the
orrery in the House is run by astral influences from the stars and makes
electricity. This suggests to me that the pentacular House is not just a
conduit "down" to lower nature, but also "up" to the heavens. It is in the
border in both respects. The fact that Smoky dies implies that this is the
way to the heavens, in some sense; and also implies that the Drinkwaters
"die" in order to get into nature. Dunno for sure, though. Grist for the mill.


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

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