Date: Mon, 01 Jul 2002 21:46:08 -0500 From: "Stephen Case"
Subject: (urth) Rereading the Short Sun I got a summer job at the planetarium here in town, and it's given me a = lot of time to read. Over the course of the past couple weeks, I've been = rereading the Short Sun books for the first time. I'm almost done with = Return to the Whorl, and I know they've probably been discussed to death = on the list; but I didn't really get involved in the discussion much, and = I thought I'd voice my thoughts now. If you feel this has already been = covered, don't respond. Or direct me to the proper places in the = (intimidatingly immense) archives. First of all, with all the talk that went back and forth around here = a while back as to the merits of the books themselves, a rereading has = firmly convinced me of my opinion. Whether or not the books bring up = questions that should be answered and are not or are answered ridiculously = vaguely, a rereading reminded me that I really love these books. The = characters, the conversations, the way Wolfe shows us what they feel in = the way they speak. One scene in particular that illustrates what I like = so much about these books: Hound, Horn, and Pig are sitting in the ruins = of Blood's villa. Not only is the atmosphere soaked in the memories that = we have from the Long Sun, but just listening to the characters talk to = each other-- I love it. Hound is so solid, a simple, good man. Silk is = showing through in everything Horn says. And even Pig's dialect doesn't = bother me. It's a riddle trying to figure out what he says, but it adds = weight somehow. Maybe that doesn't make sense, but I didn't come out and = say it as firmly as I should have earlier when all the discussion as to = good/bad book was going around. The Short Sun, IMO, deserves to stand in = the ranks with Long Sun and New Sun. Okay, I KNOW this has been covered before, but again, just voicing my = own thoughts. Fel free to skip this whole paragraph. When did Horn = become Silk? I think it was determined pretty surely that of course Horn = is dead in the lander on Green and somehow his spirit is in Silk in the = Whorl, sort of. But it really struck me how Wolfe shows this transition = in his writing, something that I think I missed in my first reading. In = In Green's Jungles and Return to the Whorl, I LIKE the narrator. I really = like him. On Blue's Waters, I didn't. Horn bugged me. He was whiny and = unfaithful and hated his son for what I still don't think was any good = reason. (This is still one of my biggest unanswered questions in the = books: why does Horn hate Sinew so much?) But after a bit through In = Green's Jungles, I like the narrator. He's a good guy. He doesn't just = whine about trying to be a good guy; he is. (And yes, this is the same = good guy that's in Gaon in OBW, but I don't think we spend enough time = with him there to really know him) Even though he thinks he's Horn, = anyone that's read the Long Sun and admires Silk as much as I do, sees the = change. Okay, this is probably very elementary to all you, but I caught = it the second time though and enjoyed it. Maybe that's what makes the = difference. The first time, I read each book as it came out. The second = time I read them all together, and they seem to flow much better. Go = figure. =20 Anyway, this is my longest post to the list so far and I'm sure = everything I've said is old news to you guys. But there it is. =20 -Steve =20 --