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From: "Nigel Price" 
Subject: (urth) Names and Pacific Specifics
Date: Sat, 10 May 2003 17:42:33 +0100

Special thanks to mantis, who comments...

>>Wow, Nigel, you have suddenly burst into high activity!

Yeah...Won't last!

>>I can help you there:
>>Rev. Rob Robbins (his first name is really "Mervyn")
>>Annys (witch in L.A.)
>>Julius R. Christmas (Mary's dad)
>>Langi, the native girlfriend (seems to be the pet form
>>of "Langitokoua" which is also used in the text)

Brilliant! Thank you, Michael.

Seeing the names like this, I wonder whether the significance of Rob's name
is its connection with Christmas. That would make him a Christmas
Robin...But no, this really isn't a very Christmassy story, either in theme
or date. Though perhaps Wolfe has a geographic joke going on, placing the
February events on his fictitious island not only mid way between Christmas
and Easter in the calendar but half way between Christmas Island in the
Indian Ocean south of Java and Easter Island in the eastern Pacific.

Don't know what to make of Annys, the Internet witch from L.A. Guess I'll
have to listen to the story again.

Ah...OK, the shark's name is spelled "Hanga". Rob and Baden compare the
ruined palace in the forest to Stonehenge in some place called Wiltshire. I
wondered whether there was supposed to be some connection between the shark
and the standing stones, but in the story they seem to exist in some sort of

Looking on the web, I discover that "Hanga Roa" is the name of the only town
on Easter Island. It also seems to be the Maori word for "building", which
would tie in with Hanga being the guardian spirit of the sunken building.
Rob specifically mentions the Polynesians sailing from Hawaii to New
Zealand, a distance of 4,000 miles.

I'm going to ignore the fact that "hanga" is Japanese for a print (picture),
and that there is a Benedictine abbey in Africa, though not in Uganda, named
after a "St. Maurus Hanga".

I've got nowhere with the names "Langi" and "Langitokoua". There's a Mount
Langi Ghiran in Victoria in Australia, but that doesn't seem to get us
anywhere. (I quote: 'Pronounced "Mount Langee Jeeran", the name is
Aboriginal for "Home of the Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo".')

Finally, a couple of further comments on my own meandering thoughts on the

After telling how he met with Rob in the ruined jungle temple, Baden
specifically writes in his journal that they split up and went home by
different ways. This also seems to be a fairly clear, symbollic reference to
Baden's rejection of the faith which Rob the missionary represents.

As for the flickering shark, ignorring my own whimsical ruminations on
hyperdrives, Baden's explanation of the phenomenon seems to imply that the
vision has an independent spiritual reality, although the perception of it
is subjective and individual, and a response to an effort at manifestation
in the mind of the subject on the part of Hanga. I speculated earlier on
whether Baden's illness made him more susceptible to Hanga's spiritual evil.
Perhaps his fever enables him to receive Hanga's "broadcasts" more clearly
or in a more sustained fashion?

Minety, Wiltshire


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