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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: (whorl) 
Date: Tue, 03 Dec 1996 23:50:49 

[Posted from Whorl, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]


'ishsh -- The Trivigaunti high tongue is arabic-derived. 'ish is semitic
(Hebrew) for "man". I cannot recall where in Exodus this shows up. If
someone can remind me of the page, I'll try to do better.

Quetzal - Quetzalcoatl was the mythical "white man" who was expected to
arrive among the Aztecs and change things forever. The Mayans called him
Culculcan, as I recall. "Quetzalcoatl" means "feathered serpent." Perhaps a
dragon/cherubim association. Quetzal knows his Bible (the pre-Bible of the
Urth-universe) and corrects someone in "Exodus" who ascribes a Biblical
saying to Pas. 
	So Quetzal is pretty ambiguous. Perhaps a "converted" vampire who rejects
human blood for animal blood?

Pas's motivation - Why would a horrible tyrant like Typhon build a huge
spaceship and send away all his slaves, leaving him alone? That does not
make a lot of sense -- unless somehow the entire project was masterminded
by Quetzal as a way to get home? Perhaps Quetzal had the power to hypnotize
Typhon somehow. The Severian Quintet shows lots of aliens present on Urth.

Fifth Head of Cerberus - First, there is no doubt that a shapeshifter takes
the place of the scientist in the third part of the book. Second, unless
Wolfe has indicated something, I would not take these novellae as in the
same universe as Urth. They seem to be set in the future of our own
oscillation. Is there some more concrete reason to associate Ste. Anne and
Ste. Claire with Green and Blue?

James B. Jordan

Questions or problems to whorl-owner@lists.best.com

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