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From: "Alice K. Turner" <al@interport.net>
Subject: (whorl) Hy-napping
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 19:32:27 

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

> Gene Wolfe responded to Q. 22 as follows:
> 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.)
> Now, as I recall, Tartaros' command included something like "..a woman
> is
> crucial, this is not". Just musing aloud, but is this because Tartaros
> is
> already gathering the potential colonists and is mindful of the fact
> that a
> viable colony needs women to bear children? Is the apparent reference
> to
> [brain injury=Tartaros] equivalent to Dr. Crane's [Outsider
> enlightenment=Silk's anuerism] ?

lasrach, the simple answer to your question, I think, is "yes." But this
was my question originally, and I think Wolfe's answer is somewhat
disingenuous. Consider: Tartaros has been at Auk's side for quite a
while, stays with him while Hy is imprisoned for the better part of a
week (mantis can supply time-line), while food is brought for her
etc.---it sure as hell wouldn't take that long to realize that she's the
wrong woman. No, I fear the real answer is that the novelist needed her
off-stage to give Silk some freedom of movement, and that he didn't
construct an alibi for himself as neatly as he usually does. Though it
would have been fairly easy--a sighting of or even an adroit reference
to Chenille could have done it.

> Also, I can't admit to being too happy that the explanation of the
> motivation of one of the central characters, Quetzal, remains beyond
> the
> scope of the Long Sun books. Tune in next year, when the foul plans of
> the
> malignant inhumi become..........less opaque.

Agreed. If -Long Sun- is taken as an self-contained entity, it truly
isn't fair to the reader. But I guess we, this group in particular,
can't take it that way.


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