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From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes" <ddanehy@siebel.com>
Subject: (urth) Marsch & VRT Redux
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2000 14:37:54 

I wrote...

> <Also, is there any reason to believe that there was ever a real
> John V. Marsch?  I mean, by that name -- there clearly was a
> homeworld anthropologist. I ask because "John Marsch" sounds
> _exactly_ like the name of an abo as described in the beginning
> of part 2: "John" is the name of all men born to the people,
> and "Marsch" would be a logical name for a child born in the
> meadomeres. Toss this together with the Earth passport having
> been "tampered with," and I wonder if "VRT" simply took his
> abo name and applied it to his new identity...?>

And Robert replied...

> John Marsch's field journal belies his. His sections appear to 
> be quite legible--at least the junior officer assigned to review
> his case does not remark otherwise. Whereas once VRT has killed 
> the Terran doctor, he must somehow account for the sudden turn 
> in bad handwriting (abos, like the inhumi, have difficulty with 
> manual tasks) which he blames on a cat bite. The first entry to 
> this effect takes place in the section immediately predating April 
> 23. "You must excuse my writing in this entry, and I suppose
> some of the subsequent entires as well." On April 24, he also 
> writes: "Hand still bad, as you see from the writing." It therefore 
> seems likely the original Earth-born Marsch has died previous to 
> April 23.

I think you misunderstood the question -- I was not suggesting that 
there is no Earth-born anthropologist; I was wondering if this was 
yet another case of names slipping.  (There are many such, beginning
but far-from-ending with "Number 5" and "Mister Million." "Veil," 
for heaven's sake! And the ever popular "Etc.") 

In other words: There _is_ an Earthborn anthropologist; that is 
beyond any reasonable doubt.  What I am suggesting is that his 
_name_ is not John V. Marsch. VRT kills him, and takes "John V. 
Marsch" as his name when he "returns" to civilization. 

As evidence, I've mentioned the abosity of the name and the detail 
of the passport; I'll mention also that the "V" in "John V. Marsch" 
strikes me as likely equal to the "V" in VRT.

Further: Why is Part 2 titled 
	"A Story" by John V. Marsch?
Nobody, I think, would title a story "A Story." I suggest that this
is another slippage -- the quotation marks really belong around the
author's name.

It this point this is nothing more than an intuition. I see a lot
of little details and suspect a pattern. What it means, if anything,
is quite beyond me.


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

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