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From: "Joshua A. Solomon" <J.A.Solomon@city.ac.uk>
Subject: (urth) In Glory Like Their Star, initial reading
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 11:04:41 +0100

'skun' This seems to be the only made-up word in the story. Why? I do not

'(The natives) speak for a long time when they have begun' and the narrator
is also 'unable to control (his own) loquacity.' This implies similarity on
another level. See below for my idea with respect to this other level.

Everything but the desert appeared to vanish as the narrator approached. On
one level, this merely implies that the narrator's journey took a long time.
On another level, it might mean that material things *effectively*
disappeared for the narrator. He clearly seems to be on some spiritual
quest. He says 'who would labor to gain knowledge [to build a ship]? It is
the interior change that suffices, the transformation that rewards.' He also
said 'Was it for truth's sake that I rode across the desert?...Inarguably.'

The narrator's quest is (at least to some extent) successful. He finds his
scout, becomes ecstatic and grows 'so much' (in his own estimation). Note
that the quest is a success only because of the desert man's sacrifice.
Obvious Christian symbolism here. Note the narrator actually takes the
desert man's 'body fluid,' a la Catholicism's drinking the blood of Christ.

OTOH, the narrator is not completely successful. He cannot reward the desert
man, who 'died swiftly and in glory like their star.' Note that, since
'their' world is called 'Earth,' their star must be the Sun. Sun = Son (of
God)? Perhaps. The implication is that the Sun is dead. This is consistent
with the sentence, 'They will be primitive, perhaps, when sunlight reaches
them on this place.' I guess a new Sun (Son?) must be on the way.

The narrator's incomplete success suggests to me that, like the natives, he
requires further spiritual development. Perhaps (just as in TBOTNS) a new
sun is required for this and that is why the (old) sun had to die.

Joshua A. Solomon
Department of Optometry and Visual Science
City University
London EC1V 0HB
Voice: (44) 20 7040 0192
Fax: (44) 20 7040 0182

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