FIND in
<--prev V211 next-->
From: "James Wynn" 
Subject: RE: (urth) Quetzal On Urth? (responding to Charles' arguments)
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 10:43:29 -0600

Charles Reed posted:
Last week, Crush posited the following:
 > ... even if Typhon did not know the target
 > planets were full of blood-sucking monsters
 > (and I never imagined he did) it does not mean
 > he wasn't manipulated by Quetzal on Urth.  And
 > based on Quetzal's statements in LS3:1 (Slaves
 > of Scylla) that still seems probable to me.

 I guess the idea of Quetzal being on board the Whorl from the beginning
bugs me more than it should.  There are other theories floating around
that I don't agree with but that I can stomach because they at least
seem to be within the realm of possibility because their positions can
be argued from the *text*.  Examples of such theories include the Blue =
Ushas theory, and the theory that it was Severian who appeared to Horn
in the pit.

But the Quetzal-on-board-from-the-beginning theory is different.

I see how the text doesn't refute such a possibility -- and I've looked
for something to refute it with -- but that's not the same thing as

Crush responds to Charles:
Ok. Two points...no...three.

First, when did we out-law ranting on this list?

Second, I assert that my arguments -- that Quetzal was on Urth and
manipulated Typhon to start the Whorl project -- is textually supported.
Quetzal is *clearly* (clear to me anyway) identifying himself with the cobra
in the A-man/Wo-man story (the story is in the Chrasmological Writings btw).
He could not have enticed A-man and Wo-man into his tree from Green (as far
as I can see). Therefore he had to be on Urth. This is textual evidence.

I've no reason to believe (yet) there was a colony of inhumi on Urth or any
more than one. I have thematic reasons to doubt there was.

Furthermore, if, as Wolfe said, Typhon did not know about the inhumi, then
neither he nor his scientists had ever been to Green. This seems reasonable
from the way the Plan played out. So he sent this massive project to a star
system without reconnaissance - no recon by mirrors nor by the sort of ship
Severian rode in. That's faith, man. What reason did he have to believe
there were inhabitable planets there? My explanation is that he was assured
that there were hospitable planets by Quetzal. That's not textual evidence,
but it's not extra-textual either. It's just making sense of the narrative.
Perfectly fair.

Third, I wish to defend the tact of analyzing literature from extra-textual
clues. You have pointed out that we frequently base theories on Wolfe's
works on extra-textual clues (Catholicism, etc.).  Frequently, entire
theories are dispensed with by saying "Wolfe wouldn't do that." That is not
unreasonable as far as that goes. Furthermore...

--- If an extra-textual source is found to so closely relate to the
narrative that it could not coincidental,
--- And if a character is found **standing in the very place of a entity of
that extra-textual narrative*,
--- And if someone says, "Even though I wouldn't have said this otherwise,
this character is clearly a type of this extra-textual entity...

Well that is NOT reading off the text. That's reading FROM the text.

FOR EXAMPLE, does Silk see events from the life of Jesus Christ during his
enlightenment? I'd say yes. I think most people would say yes. But the only
way you would know that is if you were *extra-textually* familiar with the
events of the life of Christ. Based (partially) on this, many say that the
Outsider is God. Yet, Jesus Christ is NOT mentioned in the text. If someone
were not familiar with the details of the life of Christ, and not aware that
Wolfe is a Christian, it would NOT be self-evident to that person that Jesus
is referred to. Yet, it still would be TEXTUALLY self-evident. There are
other equally obvious references to someone that arrives at the text with
certain background knowledge. To those that do not have that background
knowledge, the most likely initial response will be, "Wolfe is simply not
that clever. No one is that clever."  This is the thought that goes through
my mind all the time when reading the LS/SS cycle.

And that's what I've got to say about that.

Still ranting,


<--prev V211 next-->