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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (whorl) cold 'uns & hot
Date: Fri,  7 Mar 97 02:08:00 GMT

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

Reply:  Item #5703701 from WHORL@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET01#


Welcome aboard!

Last things first.  Re: what is rust?  Well, it is a highly addictive
drug that makes the user happy for a while.  Similar to cocaine, let's
say.  But if your question really is "from what substance is it derived?"
then I don't know--it does sound like it is extracted from chems, though,
doesn't it? <g>

>>Spoiler Alert!<<

(Turn back!  Avert your eyes!  <brzzt>  Too late--I've invaded your
mind through your profaned Sacred Window!)

Re: speculation on Blood's dad, you wrote about Rose "she promised not to
reveal his identity," which might be true, I'm not sure.  But the more
important quote I am sure of is, "He [Blood's father] never knew" (III,
ch. 10, 363).  Which sort of removes your torture scenario from the
picture since the biological father (who ever he is) remains unaware of
his offspring in the form of Blood.

Now jump to the front: I agree, there is something odd about Mint
that could be answered by her being another cold one (in line after
Auk but before Incus).  Which is certainly easier than trying to make
her into some new sort of chem (I guess it would amount to her being
a homunculus, a synthetic human, with a hair's difference between
that and an embryo-that's-been-tinkered-with or an

Right, which means I'm back on that tired hobby horse, wondering
about how Mint can merge with Marble/Rose.  (GRANTED: the three of
them are weird sisters/norns to Silk.)  Now, for those readers who
read NIGHTSIDE when it first came out (or before!), remember back
with me now: how from the very beginning there was this Marble/Rose
thing, right from the enlightenment, and we all puzzled over it until
lo, it was shown how it happened.  Now then, what I'm saying is this:
notice how, just as we're all comfortable with this incredible
Marble/Rose deal, here comes a hint or two about Marble/Mint; we are
back at square one, at the same puzzled moment when Marble/Rose was
first introduced, but there are no more "squares" left ahead of us!

Think about it for a moment.


Okay.  Now back to "the game of tracking Wolfe."  As you read and
re-read some of the critical essays (especially John Clute's) written
about Wolfe's work, it becomes ever more clear how encrypted Wolfe's
work is.  One bit in Horn's "My Defense" that makes me laugh out
loud: "Fewer than I had expected have found fault with Silk's
assertion that she [Mint] took her warlike character from the Goddess
of Love, although it seems implausible to me" (p. 373).  Hear that
>thwak!< of smilin' Gene hitting the reader upside the head?  Poor
Gene is getting a tad frustrated waiting for people to catch up, so
he's taken to teasing them. <g>

Of course, this opens up the vista of "the adversarial relation
between Gene Wolfe and the hapless reader."  Some readers,
understandably, are very uneasy about the way Wolfe is sneaking
around in the bushes all the time.  They seem to take it personally,
like it is all some kind of test or something.  (I base this on
having talked to people who said as much.)  If people read for
recreational pleasure, and reading Wolfe is too much work, then they
won't read Wolfe.  If re-reading Wolfe is like doing a crossword
puzzle, then some readers are happy enough to fill in as many as they
can on the first pass and then quit when that pleasure expires.  And
there are probably a lot of people who feel uneasy about crossword
puzzle makers in the same "adversarial" way that some readers feel
about Wolfe. I suspect that to these readers, Wolfe's lure/plea for
more oracular reading (which I posted a few days ago) is taken as
a cheap trick to fool the reader (who falls for it) into searching
for "hidden meaning"; the trick being "cheap" because, to this way of
thinking, there is no cryptic engineering going on at all, it is all
just a trap to mess with the (gullible) reader's mind--and Wolfe is
laughing at those who fall for it.

Other funny bits about Horn's defense: "I had planned to call my
account _The Book of Silk_, and not Starcrossers' Landfall or any of
the other titles (many equally foolish) that have been suggested"
(ha!); after "My Defense" comes "Afterward," a cunning play on
"Afterword" (which is what it is); "Afterward" contains this gem:
"From the summit of the tor, he had a clear view of the strait"

Back to the previously scheduled message: on to the twist of having
Kypris subsumed by Hyacinth.  While I acknowledge the two-way nature
of god/mortal intercourse (this fact has been a cornerstone to much
of my speculation), I think that, by "the rules" that seem to be in
operation, if Ky was really Hy then the goddess would lose her powers
and be instead like a fresh new godling learning how to grow into a
goddess.  (For example, track Mucor's development in this regard.)
Which would probably mean "Road Kill" in the Whorl's highly-charged,
no-second-chances, god arena.

Re: Quetzal's religion.  IMHO, basically Q has the same "religion"
that the Fliers have; which is the one Doctor Crane probably would
have adopted if he had ever faced the concrete reality of the gods.

Re: Quetzal being "instilled [with] an urgent need to get the people
of the Whorl down to a planet," if he was instilled with anything it
would appear to have been the opposite, since he seems to be firmly
in the Anti-Landfall Camp (of Many Strange Bedfellows).

New tangent (?): We question the cold ones.  Are they a "representative
sample" of the population?  We have three clear cases: Mucor (a creepy
Tinkerbell), Silk (an unknown factor), and . . . a pride of lynxes.  Hmmm.
Focus on the humans--are they supposed to be "fixers" like the Sleepers
(who are to be woken up to fix things that have degraded accidentally
or by malicious activity)?  Possible, but long term--embryo must be
brought to term, raised, educated, etc.--yet this is the way they talk
about Tusah's adopted heir, like some sort of "secret weapon."

Given that the Window Technology was built in by Typhon, Granted that
possession of bios and chems via Window was a part of this package
rather than any sort of unforseen later development; it stands to
reason that the embryos are specially designed "god mounts" for the
Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence entity "gods" to ride once
they reach the target planet or any time before then if a crisis
emerges.  This fits in quite well with the "secret weapon" aspect of
the cold ones and discards as being silly the idea of them being
craftsmanish "fixers" like the Sleepers.

Just a thought.  And like most of my others, I'm not particularly
welded to it.


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

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