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Date: Tue, 3 Sep 2002 17:15:47 +0000 (GMT)
From: Josh Geller 
Subject: Re: (urth) RE: Why is a chem needed...

"It's probably a good thing that I don't read that mailing list."
                                                          -- Gene Wolfe


On Tue, 3 Sep 2002, James Wynn wrote:

> I hope not to come off as strident in this posting, but that's probably not
> possible :
> Several posts have argued that "it is not necessary for Hyacinth to be a
> transsexual chem." This is a response to that, especially to Mr. Friedman
> who has so very articulately made the argument recently. There are several
> textual requirements, some of which I've only firmed up since these postings
> began.
> 1) Hy's name suggests she's a chem; also, why is it "lie" that Hy
> overpowered the pilot? (despite Mr. Friedman's suggestion that Horn "got it
> wrong"?
> 2) Load's of hints that's she's male including her name (ala Hyacinthus) and
> Silk's none to subtle association with Apollo
> 3) Silk's conversation with Horn after Hy overpowers the pilot, suggests
> she's a male chem. Otherwise, what does the plight of male chems have to do
> with why Silk tried to kill himself? Why is the relationship between Hy and
> Hammerstone so unique? Why do THEY among all others get along as equals?
> Silk asserts the answer is in this conversation. Can anybody else tie the
> pieces together in to one single explanation?
> Thematic threads woven into the story by Wolfe (not by me) suggest something
> "not right" with Hyacinth. What secret Hy and Chenille hiding? Mr. Friedman
> has pointed out that Chenille is a sexually ambivalent name - Wolfe goes out
> of his way to define the name with it's MALE definition rather than the
> FEMALE one. She's the lover of Auk who is thematically linked to Silk (as a
> kind of "soul doppelganger") in so many ways it will take four essays to
> describe them. It is quite reasonable to ask how are Silk's and Auk's love
> affairs are similar?
> Mr. Friedman seems to agree with me on the import of every clue I name but
> does not see a need for a larger conclusion - either regarding Hy or the
> woven themes I've delineated. IMO we agree that the recipe is to mix flour,
> eggs, milk, and sugar, and bake it. But Mr. Friedman wants to call it "Baked
> Flour, Eggs, Milk, and Sugar" while I want to call it "Cake."
> Here's the situation as I see it. There are parts of Hyacinth scattered
> around throughout the Long Sun books. Some are female, some are bio, some
> are male, and some are chem. How does one put all these pieces together?
> Some parts must be "real" and others ornamental? Since Hy is *ostensibly* a
> female bio, it seems likely that the chem and male parts are non-ornamental.
> I would looove to opt for a simpler theory in which Hy is a bio woman with
> male chem parts inside. It would be simpler. But there's no evidence of it
> in the text.
> When I originally published the Hyacinth citation in "Thelx's Mirrors", I
> had only a vague certainty that she had to be chem and a sense that the
> clues pointed to her being Male. I have a more solid grasp on the
> affirmative clues now (albeit no real explanation for the negative evidences
> (which I of course consider to be "lies"). I'll update the Hyacinth citation
> in the near future to give a more detailed, less disjointed explanation of
> the clues that point affirmatively to Hy being a male chem.
> -- Crush
> --


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