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From: eli+@gs211.sp.cs.cmu.edu
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v030.n120
Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 20:50:49 

Adam Stephanides wrote:
> But the decision that Lyra and Will have to make at the end is not to close
> up all the windows: the angels tell them to do this.  The decision they have
> to make is to resist the temptations, first for one of them to go to the
> others' world and have ten years of happiness and then death; and then to
> use the extra Dust they will create to keep a window open for themselves
> instead of keeping their promise to the dead.  These decisions they do make
> without being coerced by threats of cosmic disaster.

I'd forgotten the details, so I reread it, and yup, they did.  Though
as Will said, the first temptation isn't much of one, since how could
one suffer the other to do that.  And the second is contrived: if Lyra
and Will help everyone in their worlds to be wise and kind and patient
and curious and other good laundry, it will balance the Dust lost
through precisely one (1) window?  Pullman did leave them with a
decision, but it's so narrowed and so rigged....

(The quibbler in me is now thinking that if the angels can so easily
handle the Specter created with each door, you could set up a
schedule, whereby 0.1% of the time you close the Hades window and then
open one between Will's and Lyra's worlds, maintaining the one-window
invariant.  I'm consequently picturing the little sign you'd hang up
then next to the out-of-order endpoint in Hades.)

> Also, it makes little sense for Xaphania to first
> tell Will that there is a way he can learn to travel to other worlds, which
> will take him a lifetime to learn; and then say that they can't leave any
> natural windows open because if they did, Will would spend a lifetime
> searching for it (TAS, 494-495).  And come to think of it, couldn't Xaphania
> leave one natural window open, and then tell Will where it is?

Yeah.  I imagine Pullman wanted the two ways of traveling to stand in
for some other pairing he made a moral distinction between -- creative
imagination versus fantasy, nah, I really don't know.  But whatever
the logic is at _that_ end of the metaphor, it doesn't translate to
the in-the-story end.  We're left with this distinction and no
apparent difference.

     Eli Brandt  |  eli+@cs.cmu.edu  |  http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~eli/

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

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