FIND in
<--prev V1 next-->

From: David_Lebling@avid.com
Subject: (whorl) Quetzal
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 97 09:40:09 

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

> From: douge@nti.com (Doug Eigsti)
> Subject: Re: (whorl) the mystery of Q
> Date: Mon, 13 Jan 1997 13:01:55 -0700 (MST)
>  Quetzal is first mentioned in LAKE on page 81.2 (2nd paragraph). On
> 86.1 Remora notes that he is fond of beef tea. Remora says "A man
> live on beef tea and air", we now know that he was supplementing his
> with blood. 

That's very interesting; do we know that Quetzal was getting blood
somewhere?  I don't remember anything specific to that effect.  As I
recall, we know fairly early that Quetzal is Not What He Seems -- he
reverts to his snakelike form (or stance) after Remora leaves.  (Or is
this in a later scene?)  It was definitely an "aha!" moment for me.

I think the question of Quetzal's intent is one of the major mysteries
of the series.  He is presented (Oreb aside) as a force for good.  Is
Wolfe saying (as he has said before) that evil may do good without
intending to?  This seems almost too simple.  Another interpretation is
that as an enemy "agent in place" he has come to sympathize with those
he is working against.  Again, almost too simple.  One can take an
old-line Catholic point of view ("ex cathedra nulla salis"), in which we
see Quetzal as analogous to say, a Protestant clergyman who in
unwittingly leading his flock to damnation.  But then Quetzal is
witting, so I don't think the comparison holds, and besides, Wolfe's
Catholicism seems much more sophisticated than that.

I have read somewhere that Wolfe is planning a series set on Blue and
Green.  Perhaps more answers will be forthcoming when it appears,
although it would certainly be more satisfying to tease out the answers

     Dave Lebling

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

<--prev V1 next-->