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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (whorl) Answers Already!
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 97 00:05:00 GMT

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

Hey Everybody,

The bad news first--this was the last question train.  Gene Wolfe
doesn't want to answer any more.

But he =did= answer the last questions . . .

16.  Please thank Kieran Mullen for me for what he said about my
writing.  I don't believe it, which is a good thing.  If I did, I'd
be insufferable.

     He asked whether Silk had "extraordinary abilities."  To
quibble, it depends on what you mean by _extraordinary._  He has none
comparable to Mucor's, although his are much more valuable.  He is a
born leader, with great energy and intelligence, and superior motor

17.  "Who jumped or fell from the top of the airship, and why?"
Horn, possessed by the mischievous, amoral Mucor, because Silk's
conversation and behavior had suggested it.

18.  "Describe . . . a voided cross and a gammadion."  A gammadion is
any figure composed of gamma-shaped pieces.  The most common
gammadions are the swastika and the voided cross.  (The swastika is
ancient, by the way, and is found in both East Indian and American
Indian art.)  To make a voided cross, arrange four gammas, not
touching, so that the points point toward a common center.

19.  "What is the etymology of _Mamelta?_"  St. Mamelta was a
Persian, but her name looks Greek to me.  (It was common, of course,
for the Greeks to pin Greek names upon non-Greeks.)  Assuming that
the name is Greek, my best guess is that it means "Not Careless."

20.  "Mint states that she had to give up many things, `five of them
very great,' to become a sibyl.  Can you tell us what those five
things were?"  I can try, knowing I will be accused of banality.  In
no particular order: freedom, marriage, the right to own property,
the companionship and support of her family, and motherhood.

21.  Musk training the "hawk," Silk's prayers, etc.  (It's an eagle.)
 Horn's information on the first came from "the kite builder," who
asked that his name not be used.  Silk's prayers (etc.) were written
by Horn and Nettle, who had heard him pray many times.  Please reread
EXODUS, p. 371.

     "How trustworthy a narrator is Horn?"  Horn and Nettle are doing
their best to tell you what happened, what probably happened, and
what must have happened, in dramatic form.  They are human beings,
however, and make mistakes.  (We all do, especially me.)  Their
account is subjective, necessarily, as all accounts are.

     "Who is the narrator of the very last chapter . . . ?"  I think
you mean the Afterward.  It was written by Hoof, Hide, and their
wives -- but mostly by Hide.

22.  "Why did Auk . . . kidnap Hyacinth, and why . . . did he let her
go?"  Because Tartaros had told him to bring a woman.  He released
her as he recovered from his brain injury, was able to think more
clearly, and realized that Hyacinth was not the woman he should
bring.  (Putting it another way, he released her because Tartaros
told him to.  These answers are not as disparate as they may appear.)

23.  "What was Quetzal's motive in wanting a thriving human colony on
Green?"  You will have to read _The Book of the Short Sun._

24.  "Why does the monitor . . . overrule their . . . choice of
Green?"  Because the choice had been Quetzal's and the monitor,
seeing his body, realized that he had not been a human being.  (You
already knew the answer, and gave it yourself.  Why ask me?)

25.  "Does Green/Blue have anything to do with THE FIFTH HEAD OF

26.  "Who was Hyacinth's mother?"  I don't know how to answer that.
She was not a character you have known in some other connection, if
that's what you mean.  Shewas the wife of Hyacinth's father, and the
mother of her sisters and brothers.

27.  "Is Pike's ghost really Quetzal?"  No.

28.  "Mint" for _Marble_ and "Marble" for _Mint._  You're right, and
they are my mistakes.  I try hard to stop such things from getting
into print.  Often I fail.  If I told you how bad I feel about these,
you would accuse me of grandstanding.

[The End.]


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