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Date: Sat, 30 Nov 2002 18:37:12 -0700
From: maa32 
Subject: (urth) no inhumi on Urth - reason, Silk/Sev parallelism

Here is a fascinating quote from Sword of the Lictor, which talks about a 
secret of the trees that is almost revealed to Severian (from the chapter 
entitled "The Widow's Hut":

"I made my way through a forest less precipitious than the one through which I 
had followed the brook.  The dark trees seemed, if anything, older.  The great 
ferns of the south were absent there, and in fact I never saw them north of 
the House Absolute ... but there were wild violets with glossy leaves and 
flowers the exact color of opoor Thecla's eyes growing between the roots of 
the trees, and moss like the thickest grenn velvet .... I heard the barking of 
a dog.  At the sound, the sildence and wonder of the trees fell back, present 
still but infinitely more distant.  I felt that some mysterious life, old and 
strange, yet kindly too, had come to the very moment of REVEALING ITSELF to 
me, then drawn away like some immensely eminent person, a master of the 
musicians, perhaps, whom I had struggled for years to attract to my door but 
who in the act of knocking had heard the voice of another guest who was 
unpleasing to him and had put down his hand and turned away, never to come 
again.  Yet how comforting it was." (89)  Then he goes on to say that the 
roots of the trees may have pre-existed Urth, or form the very ground that he 
walks on.  Also, remember that the trees take part in the cannibalistic ritual 
of Vodalus: " the trees nodded, and I nodded with them". THE TREES PARTICIPATE 
IN THE CEREMONY OF THE LIEGE OF LEAVES.  Also remember that there is a big 
section that talks about Vodalus hiding the forests of Lune - sentient trees 
there, maybe?  The trees of Green?

Here is the deal: it is too cold down South for the trees to thrive.  Warmth 
is necessary.  The reason that there are obviously little to no inhumi in the 
Urth sections of Return to the Whorl is not because they can't have evolved 
yet (it only takes a generation or two, as Quetzal must prove), but because IT 
IS TOO COLD ON URTH.  It would kill them before the New Sun came.  Only in the 
warmer north can the sentient trees even survive.  After the new sun comes, 
Lune is pulled from its regular orbit (perhaps even out of orbit if you but 
that Green is a separate planet altogether, but I buy an oscillating spiral 
orbit that blue and green follow around a central point of gravity as both go 
around the sun - remember that the long sun whorl has the same year that Blue 
does,and therefore the same year as Urth does).  Blue, or Ushas, is much 
warmer than Urth was.  The trees and the inhumi can thrive farther south and 
come to the planet that is now more suited to living.

At last we have the case that sentient trees with a secret exist on Urth in 
the quotes from Claw of the Conciliator and Sword of the Lictor - and remember 
that these trees partake in a cannibalistic ritual in which the consumer takes 
on the traits of the one consumed, and that Vodalus leaves with these trees.
Blue is warm, the orbit of Lune is changed, the salty sea is diluted by the 
melted polar ice caps, and the Green Man could always travel freely through 
the corridor of time - but remember the stipulations - he couldn't come back 
and set himself free from his trap because there are time restrictions through 
the Brook Madregot.  If there are sentient trees and giant sea creatures and 
oxygen to breath and cognates of many Urth species on Blue, then I think it's 
time we really apply Occam's razor and get to the motivation of Pas: he wants 
to immortalize himself on the original home of mankind: Urth.  The whorl 
always had a circular destination.

We even have evidence of sentient trees on Urth now participating in eating 
humans.  What more do we need?  Imagine that the liana's thrive in the 
newfound warmth of Lune after the New Sun comes, and that the Neighbors (aka 
the hybrids produced by the bioengineered trees meant to cultivate Lune and 
the original settlers of Lune) of Green come back to Ushas, then leave, with 
only the trees to mark there passage.

One more thing: in On Blue's Waters, there is a quote that talks about going 
to a region where the trees are less sleepy, and how babbie won't remain 
intelligent for long if he goes into the trees.  I'll find it tomorrow.  Also, 
one of the only places where Horn the narrator says that we won't believe him 
is when the four-armed man comes onto his boat and he says how absurd his 
ideas are to explain that man: that he was a favored of the gods who lived so 
long and then abandoned the upper world for the depths of the ocean, one who 
couldn't die.  The only other case of a narrator stating that what happened 
was completely unbelievable, despite all the strange stuff that happens, is 
when Severian says that he won't include Silk in his text because no one would 
believe it. I argue that Wolfe employs this parallelism to make the one 
unspeakable thing in Severian's narrative Horn/Silk and the one deliberately 
unexplainable thing in Silk's narrative Severian.

also, Horn performs Severians task in "In Green's Jungles" when he takes a 
black sword and a light and cuts away the detritus of human remains to allow a 
cleansing flood through the aqueduct.  (just as Severian carries Terminus Est 
and the Claw and eliminates all humanity to start anew with green men).  They 
really do parallel each other.

Marc Aramini


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