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Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2002 18:40:29 -0700
From: maa32 
Subject: (urth) hides the universe

Two things:

First, for Steve and William: Thanks for at least keeping my theories in mind, 
guys.  I really DID put a lot of thought and time into them, so of course I'm 
going to seem somewhat sure of them.  I also kept the most obsessively 
complete notes, cross referencing mundane things like wind, horns, trees, 
sticks and just about anything else I could think of. After obsessing, you 
would like to think there is some validity to your hard work.  If you read the 
text again, watch out for those weird meta-comments on the text where he talks 
about Urth and Blue having the same sky, where he talks about how he can't 
tell "you" where the vanished people came from because it would be better if 
you figured it out for yourself, where he mentions how horrified he was when 
he realized the island was made of big trees, and how he emphasizes "don't 
concentrate on my words, not the words on the page, to understand me" at one 
point in Return to the Whorl. And that scene where he scales the cliff with 
one hand on green while fighting off the inhumu makes so much more sense if 
you think of it as a scene with moon gravity.  And if they are somewhat 
vegetative, it might make their survival more believable if they can jump 
through outerspace from place to place (like the tree ship Yggdrasil).

Secondly, I was also confused about the statement in the interview which said 
the white hole in the sun hides the universe.  Did he mean "save"? How has it 
become hidden? (Besides maybe Urth being hidden as Blue and covered in water). 
Does anybody have any insights into this statement?

Also, Wolfe keeps claiming There are Doors is his favorite novel.  Maybe I 
should give that one a close, close reading.  I haven't found any of the "text 
transforming" connections that definitely abound in Peace, The Fifth Head of 
Cerberus, and The Book of the New and Short Suns (at least for me, in the last 
case; I think we pretty much agree on the other novels having subtle points 
that transform the whole story). Someone has proposed that There are Doors is 
actually a 1st person novel written by someone with a dissassociative 
disorder.  I wonder. It seems as if he has put so much more esoteric research 
into the New Sun and the Soldier books, and it seems like they would have been 
much harder to write and much more satisfying to finish.  I wonder why he 
likes that one so much. Is it just the theme? Or has he accomplished a 
technical triumph we (or at least I) have not yet fully recognized?  He IS 
tricky, after all.

Marc Aramini


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