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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (whorl) ThoseQuestionsAgain
Date: Sat, 12 Jul 97 01:50:00 GMT

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

Reply:  Item #7660783 from WHORL@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET00#

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Ask Gene Wolfe #2

16:  Kieran Mullen writes, "It's pretty broadly indicated that
Silk was gestated from a frozen embroyo as Mucor was. This has
some nice symbolic effects ("virgin birth", the hero as having
unusual origins, etc.).  Does Silk have any human engineered,
extraordinary abilities?

     "(Possible Lupine hint: he knew Hyacinth's name before she
was introduced, and felt that they had made a non-physical

     "Please pass along my compliments to Mr. Wolfe as one of the
most creative, skilled, and theologically fascinating writers
I've ever read."

17: Peter Cash <Rock> writes, "I feel that what happened on top
of the airship was somehow crucial to the story of the Long Sun.
It touches on the mystery of Silk's "Enlightenment," his
disillusionment, and on the nature of the narrative itself. I
feel Horn is hiding something about these events. Now how do I
form this into a precise question?

     "It appears that someone either jumped or fell from the top
of the airship, and was saved by the other man with him. I
suppose that asking "Who jumped or fell from the top of the
airship, and why?" would be interpreted as two questions. So I
will try this: "What was the motive for the jumping or falling
that took place on top of the airship?"  That is, I'm not looking
for a physical explanation here (not, "Silk pushed Horn", or
"Silk jumped"), but for the reason _why_ someone did the pushing
or jumping.

18: Paul C Duggan asks, "Describe in detail a voided cross and a

19: Robert Borski asks, "What is the etymology of `Mamelta'?"

20: Ranjit Bhatnagar <rana> asks, "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?"

21: Michael Straight <Rostrum> writes, "I'm thinking Wolfe may
not want to answer questions that might boil down to `give us
some big plot spoilers for the Short Sun series.'

     "I'm having trouble formulating what I'd like to ask Wolfe
as a single question, but here's my try:

     "There are scenes in the series that are hard to imagine
Horn hearing about from witnesses (e.g. Musk training the hawk,
Quetzal's thoughts and actions before and after meeting with
Remora, Silk's beautiful prayers to the gods and to the
Outsider).  Are these . . .

     "A) Extrapolations by Horn (possibly including hagiography
of Silk)?

     "B) Examples like "Afterward," the very last section of
Exodus From the Long Sun of material in The Book of the Long Sun
that is not from The Book of Silk?

     "If this is too unwieldy (I'm obviously trying to squeeze
several questions into one), you might get something interesting
just by asking, `How trustworthy a narrator is Horn?' or even
`Who is the narrator of the very last chapter of Exodus From the
Long Sun?'"

22. Alice K. Turner <alga> asks, "Why did Auk/Tartaros kidnap
Hyacinth, and why, subsequently, did he let her go?"

23. Vance asks (follow-up question), "What was Quetzal's motive
in wanting a thriving human colony on Green?"

24. Ron Crown asks, "Why does the monitor, having given the
passengers in the lander a choice between Blue or Green, overrule
their (Quetzal's) choice of Green?  Or maybe why were they given
a choice in the first place, if the monitor already knew where to
go?  Or was the fact that it was Quetzal (an inhumi) who made the
choice cause the monitor to change from the Green (the inhumi
whorl) to Blue?"

25. Peter Cash <rock> bonus question, "Does Green/Blue have
anything to do with FIFTH HEAD of CERBERUS?"

26. Robert Borski bonus question, "Who was (since we are told in
EXODUS she's recently expired and Nettle seems to have known her)
Hyacinth's mother?"

27. Group Question: "Is 'Pike's ghost' really Quetzal? If not,
who or what is it?"

28. David Lebling <vizcacha> writes, "There are two places in
Exodus From the Long Sun where you seem to have switched Mint and
Marble. One is in chapter 14, where Siyuf addresses Marble, but
it's Mint that's there.  The other is in "My Defense," where Horn
sees Mint in the tunnels, but it should be Marble.  Given the
merger of Marble and Rose, it makes me wonder if something is
going on; or is this just an auctorial or editorial error?"


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