From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes"
Subject: (urth) Jungle Garden Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2003 09:35:48 -0700 Forgive me if this has already been done, but ... I recall a while back there was an argument that the Jungle Garden scene was connected somehow to the South America of roughly-our-time. In fact, it must be Africa, because Isangoma -- or iSangoma or isaNngoma -- is a Zulu title for a diviner. Among the references available on the Web ... http://www.smom-za.org/bbg/tradheal.htm http://www.tribalonline.com/culture_diviner.asp http://agriculture.kzntl.gov.za/scientific_publications/medicinal_plants/index.asp This would seem to explain why he can see what Robert and Marie cannot ("Death and the Maiden" ... who is not, of course, a maiden, but then, Severian is not exactly Death). Okay, so ... we've got a pair of French missionaries working with a Zulu diviner, which puts us in South Africa. Given the mail plane, this seems to place Robert, Marie and Isangoma, with a fairly high probability, in the second quarter of the 20th century, yes? No? But by that time the Dutch and English had permeated South Africa so thoroughly that it's hard to understand how Isangoma can _not_ be more aware of their beliefs than he seems to be. (The conquered tend to learn a lot more about the conquerors than the latter do about the former.) So I'm thinking that they don't come from the "real" South Africa at all, but from the South Africa of jungle movies. Nobody seems quite to have located any movie that could be a "source" for them, but that doesn't seem to me a problem -- after all, when the Frankenstein story replays itself in the time of the New Sun, it does so without the names, and in a way that resembles, generically, the movies rather than the book. So it seems that, in the mythic period of the New Sun, which Wolfe refers to as "posthistory" (possibly implying a relationship to postmodernism and the discourse referred to as "the end of history"), the stories play themselves out in generic form, welling perhaps from the popular un/consciousness and media rather than respecting the intellectual "purity" of their sources (again a fairly postmodernist approach). I don't know where to go from there with this, but thought it was kind of interesting. --Blattid _________________________________________________________________ The new MSN 8: smart spam protection and 2 months FREE* http://join.msn.com/?page=features/junkmail --