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Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 10:10:38 -0800
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: Re: (urth) "Hour of Trust" series 2

Roy wrote:
>As for the light in the room: yes, it was dark when he entered, but that
>doesn't mean it stayed that way; in fact, it couldn't have. He opened the
>drapes (though it was night outside), used the bathroom, had enough light to
>use the keyboard, be seen by viewers on the vidlink, could discern who
>entered the room, read facial expressions, etc. Clio could see him shake his
>head and see his hand between her thighs. "And later . . ." in the last
>paragraph implies that some amount of time has passed since he touched her.
>How much time is problematic, but it must have been quite a while, because
>the tepid water that was poured on him came from the melted ice in the ice
>buckets. I wouldn't belabor the point about whether or not they engaged in
>sex but for how it influences my view of the ending.

I guess it only really matters in the sense of "where's the bomb?" which,
as you note, even granted the difficulty of the naked ken-kin, becomes
somewhat more difficult post-coitus.

But as for my sense of the darkened room: it is just like watching tv in a
room when the lights are out--surely this is a common experience.  So the
vid-phoners can see his face by the light cast by the vidphone itself, and
he can see in the room by the same light. Opening the curtains at night,
looking out to see the street and the ocean, makes more sense to me if the
room is dark (it is harder to see out when there is both light glare in the
room and one's eyes are light adapted rather than dark adapted).

Enough on that and back to the beginning: what can we make of those two
photos, "Viana do Castelo" and "Miro'"?

Viana do Castelo is a city in the far north of Portugal. Looking at their
web page I didn't find mention of any castle ruins, but there probably are
some. I'm not sure what Miro' is, aside from a family name (I don't know
what it means).

The v photo seems to show the ruins of a castle on a barren hill. The m
photo shows different ruins on a different hill, but it is similar enough
that one would easily confuse the two. Wherever the place of the m photo
is, it is also in Portugal.

These ruins date from The Reconquista, or something prior to that?  Was
there some particular historical turning point associated with these ruins
(if so, it doesn't seem to be a huge one--that is, nothing in the
encyclopedia under history of Portugal)?  (Then again, if nihilism is the
key, then those old joke historical markers "Nothing Happened Here in 1852"
would be appropriate: that is, there are ruins, but nobody knows their
stories nor cares.) Is the story set in Portugal because the voyages of
discovery started there (tying in with the astronaut image)?  And then the
overseas colonial empires which grew, exploited, died?

Also: how odd that the beginning has that flash-forward to Clio lighting
the candles later in the evening to cheer things up when the fighting was
going badly.  Definitely sets up the ending, and much of the story, as
well, but still it is odd.  Seems to be the point of view of Peters, or a
blend of Peters and narrator.


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