From: "Roy C. Lackey"
Subject: Re: (urth) The cenoby files Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 23:16:00 -0500 mantis wrote: >Let's stop there. > >Fact: Marble hasn't been there in 184 years. >Fact: Marble supposes that nobody had been up there for a century. > >The crux of your point seems to be that Marble implies or believes that she >saw the trunk there on her last visit, 184 years earlier (a paradox), but >as I read over the text in the book it seems to me that Marble does =not= >say that she saw the trunk there on her last visit (184 years earlier). No, no. Your reading of the text is correct; she did not see the trunk on a visit 184 years ago. As I said in the second paragraph: "But both trips to the attic came after Rose's death." >Thus, it resolves: the last time she went up into the attic she was a maid, >then she put away her maid gear and became a sibyl, at which point =someone >else= put her footlocker up in the attic, and now she enters the attic to >see an unfamiliar trunk which is her forgotten old life. Her supposition >about the amount of time since anybody else had been up there is simply >wrong. > >Or am I once again missing something? She may have been wrong, on the first of those two trips to the attic, about it being 184 years ago when, still a graceful girl, she had last pulled down those attic steps--I have no way of knowing. She may be wrong, too, about no one else having been up there in over a century (the amount of time the door-hooking tool had been lost)--again, I have no way of knowing. But was she also wrong about having been a teacher and sibyl for only fifty-odd years? She said she started teaching when Pike was a young augur. If she was right about teaching only for the last fifty-odd years, then that trunk can't hold her old maid gear; not if no one has opened that attic door for more than a century. That's why I'm puzzled. -Roy --