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From: David_Lebling@avid.com
Subject: (whorl) The writing on the walls; Mucor; Timeline
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 97 10:00:33 

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


I've reread the segment you referenced [I, 217], and now I see your
point.  For those who don't have the books directly at hand, Quetzal's
reference to Silk's name being written five floors up almost certainly
means the writing Silk did himself as part of his attempt to cure
Teasel, who had been bitten by an inhumu.  This also gives a
semi-plausible explanation for why Quetzal "went wide" when he saw the
name; the purpose of the name (Pike's was included as well) was to ward
off the devil who had bitten her.

This was good detective work, mantis.

On the other hand, as you predicted, even your additional reference
doesn't convince me of your thesis about Mucor is the literal child of
Molpe, much less of Heirax.  As Freud said, "sometimes a cigar is just a
cigar."  Besides, even if it was what Silk meant (on even the third
level), we have to remember that sometimes he is dead wrong.

On the subject of the ages of the godlets, I think the reference to
Scylla being "a few years from womanhood" is ambiguous.  Does this mean
"a few years from menarche" or does it mean "a few years from
marriageable age"?  I.e., is she about 11 or about 16 or 17?  I think
the latter.  This makes the children even younger, which (I think)
bolsters my argument that the Pas/Typhon timeline is implausably short.

However, I haven't read your _Lexicon_ supplement 2, so I will reserve
judgement.  You hint in your message that Urth is the backwater of the
solar system, which I find a provocative position.  One then envisions
Typhon's conquest of Urth being followed by brainwashing and deportation
of those who resisted; perhaps even on religious grounds.

As further timeline evidence, I point to Marble's memory of how servants
(chems) are dressed: like twentieth century French maids.  Ninety-nine
thousand years in the future?  The mind boggles.


ps:  When I get something wrong, don't assume malice, assume ignorance!

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