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From: "James Wynn" 
Subject: RE: (urth) Che's "Gender in TBOTLS" and "Questions"
Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2003 17:44:13 -0600

Che challenges Crush's premature abandonment of his male Hyacinth theories:
*laughs* But Hyacinths are a male symbol, as used in um, The Wasteland by
T. S. Elliot. Yup yup. As you pointed out.

Crush concedes but backs away from the brink:
Yes, that's true. And the story of Apollo and Hyacinthus is a rather famous
homosexual story - there were plenty of heterosexual Apolloan lovers whose
names Wolfe might have used and didn't. However, I think I know the chem
with whom Hyacinth is associated and that chem is not male. I think know the
bio with whom Hyacinth is associated and it is a woman. I'm still willing to
be convinced of Hyacinth's masculinity, but at this time I can't get there.

Che pushes harder:
 What about the Chem guard I mentioned who used to dress up and who got
killed in an attempted rape? *sighs* Poor character.

Crush concedes:
I believe you are referring to the counterspy, Titi, whose name is
ambiguously that of a monkey and a flower. Yep. That's true. But that's
hardly a secret. Still, it does show that ambivalent names should be taken
seriously. Consequently, I don't know what to do with the ambivalent name
"Villus." It's so obscure, the ambiguity must be intentional, but what does
it mean??

Regarding Crush's explanation of the "Fifth Head" clones:
Ug. So Biology really is destiny then?

Crush consoles:
Not exactly. The destiny of the clones is determined also by their
**nurture** because it is the same for Number Five and Maitre, just as their
DNA is the same. Maitre and Number Five were raised each in the same house
by the same person who was raised by the same person in the same house. So
VRT/Marsch tells them that they are different only in their ages and views
them as the SAME personality. This is more of Wolfe's investigation on the
meaning of Identity.

Che attempts to lure Crush out of his protective hollow:
I'd love to hear your ideas about Chenile too. I liked her, although it's
Silk and Oreb who I read the book for, mostly.

Crush mostly doesn't bite:
Learning from my previous unfruitful foray into suggesting Hyacinth's nature
(which turned out to be mostly wrong anyway), I'm hesitant to make
assertions about Chenille's nature without a lot more supporting facts. If I
did, what would we talk about? I'd say what I think. Other's would say they
don't agree or worse that my logic is fundamentally faulty. I will
eventually accumulate the necessary facts, don't doubt it.

Wolfe was playing with a **lot** of subtext in the relationship between Silk
and Oreb. However, since, as you say, you are quite literally minded, I
doubt there is much of interest about them that I can to offer you. Still,
the story of the Eye of Horus at least is an interesting read even if you
don't care that in Wolfe's retelling, Oreb is "the Eye."

--- Crush


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