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From: Patri10629@aol.com
Subject: Re: (whorl) Answers--Mint's mysteries
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 1997 07:12:47 

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


Thanks much, Gene, for the enlightening and charming answers to our pestering
questions. And thanks Mantis for being the engineer.

Somehow, it is extremely amusing to me that the great mystery of Mint's 5
sacrifices is obvious. She's a cloistered nun, right? She's taken certain
vows. We all knew that. Why do we bend ourselves into such knots?

<<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.>>

On a more general note, I've begun rereading the Long Sun books for the forth
time and stopped after oh 3 pages. Look at them again. I can hardly believe
how much Wolfe has packed into these several dozen paragraphs. Knowing the
rest of the story I am treated to a catalog of subtle delayed detonations, in
what at first read is deceptively clear or merely puzzeling and estranging
narrative. Just one example... (p.1, second line) "Maytera Marble, who was
also Maytera Rose." And thus we are introduced to his major theme of
dualities, dual identities, dual names, odd naming conventions, Robots who
are stone, Women who are plants--dualities that are sustained throughout
until the two aligned planets on the last page.  The head reels, the jaw

We were there when this masterpiece was published. How incredibly lucky for




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