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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: (whorl) Inhumi
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997 13:16:42 

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

At 12:21 PM 1/16/97 -0500, you wrote:
>I started rereading "Exodus.." last night, and started with the Dramatis
>Personae.  Sure enough, Teasel's entry says she was attacked by an
>inhumi.  In fact, she's not the only one listed as such there.  I'll
>leave the other as an exercise.  This (for me at least) puts a slightly
>altered spin on Quetzal.
>     Dave Lebling

AN inhumi! AHA! Maybe there are more than one? Maybe Quetzal is indeed a
"converted" inhumi, and thus his alliance with Silk? Maybe....

Those re-reading the quartet can do us a favor by paying close attention to
this question. Is there evidence that Quetzal has altered his
beliefs/behavior at some time in the past? We know from Book 4 that he is
familiar with the Jesus of this universe. On the other hand, he advises
that the settlers go to the wrong planet -- or so it seems (never try to
guess where Wolfe will go -- maybe Quetzal's advice was right!)

Theologically, with Quetzal as "pope" of the local church situation, we are
in the realm of good Catholic (RC) thought. The Pope is the vicar of
Christ, and therefore a bad (serpentine) Pope is the vicar of Anti-Christ.
The Protestant Reformers said that the whole Papacy, and thus all Popes,
were involved with Anti-Christ, but long before then Medieval theologians
had said that some Popes had been agents of Anti-Christ. --- Yet Quetzal
might be a "converted" serpent. The ambiguity is certainly there in my mind
at present. Can we find enough clues to decide for sure? I'll be interested
to see what the re-readers find for us on this one!

Or: Is Quetzal the serpent in the garden? Or: Are the inhumi in general the
serpent in the garden? The latter seems clear enough, and probably can be
expanded by a theologically-sensitive reading of the quartet. (I can't wait
until I find the time to do it myself!)

Jim Jordan

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