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From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) LB, fairyphone, fairy history
Date: Mon, 08 May 2000 21:29:13 

mantis wrote:
> Adam,
> You wrote:
> >  Nor would I call the Drinkwater-occupied outermost fairy world a
> >"colony" of the fairies; at any rate, the fairies will have no contact
> >with it once they themselves go further "in."
> I don't think this is the first time you've asserted this, but now I have
> to ask: From where arises your certainty that the old fairies (now
> presumably on the third level) will not have any contact in the future with
> Alice & Co. (now on the second level)?

I'm not certain at all, although I may sometimes have lapsed into
expressing my views without qualifiers.  My belief--or, to be even more
precise, my impression--is based upon two things:

1) Mrs. Underhill's thoughts, especially in the first paragraph of "Give
Way, Give Way" (VI, 5), where "she almost wished she could be" at the
wedding party, but can't because "there was nothing more for her to
do."  Why would she not appear at the wedding party if she were going to
stay in contact with the Drinkwaters?  Also, the final glimpse of her
thoughts  at the end of "Come or Stay" (VI, 5) show no trace of an
intention to revisit the Drinkwaters.

2) My sense of the fairies (and I don't have any citations for this) is
that their interaction with the Drinkwaters has been solely motivated by
the Tale.  Now the Tale is over, so no further contact is necessary.

> This seems to suggest that you think they (fairies) were in contact with
> the Drinkwaters from the moment of their (the fairies) genesis in fairyland

I don't think this (see above), nor do I see how it follows from what I
do think.

> (and you do seem to think the fairies to be autochthonous to the next
> world, iirc).

I've never said so, iirc, and I never really thought about it.  All I
know about the fairies' genesis that they are "children of [Kronos's]
children [i. e. the gods], related by marriage." ("Daughter of Time,"
IV, 3) This would suggest that the fairies' genesis is Olympus rather
than fairyland, but you can probably make more out of that datum than I

> If this is truly your opinion, then please share what must
> be a fascinating timeline!

Do I sense a wee hint of sarcasm here?  I never claimed to be an expert
on LB, and I never gave it the concentrated study that you have.  I'm
just trying my best to puzzle out the book's riddles, like everybody
else.  And for the record, I don't have a timeline for LB, and I don't
know how I'd begin to construct one.

> Also, as to the "why" of the fairy migration: one or some around here have
> mentioned that the fairies "want to get away from the humans" as the reason
> for their migration to level three.  Do you subscribe to this notion?
> Because it seems to me that if the levels are as hermetically (heh) sealed
> as they seem to be, then human egress to level two is virtually impossible
> (no dangers of a human freeway to fairy, whereas fairies visit level one at
> will); and since the fairies already have all of level two to themselves,
> they are already "away" from humans.

I may have put forward the escape-from-humans theory myself at one
point, but it is a puzzle.  Since the humans can't get to level two, the
fairies should already be safe there, but they're not.  Contrariwise, if
the various levels are all the same world, just looked at differently
(as is suggested at one point iirc, and as the wedding party's setting
at Edgewood also seems to suggest) then they should be just as exposed
on level three as they are on level two. 

> Did the fairies somehow discover an empty new world at level three (somehow
> breaking through the barriers on their own because they are more advanced
> in the technology) and decide to migrate there, for whatever unfathomable
> reasons, is that your sense of it?

I don't really have a "sense of it."  I'd have to reread the whole book
to get a real sense of what the fairies are or what their motives are,
and even then I probably would still be in the dark.  Just flipping
through now looking for citations, I've discovered stuff that forces me
to alter my preconceptions.


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