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From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes" <ddanehy@siebel.com>
Subject: RE: (whorl)
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001 08:41:50 

> An Agnostic says:
> "I don't know whether or not there's a God.".
> A Militant Agnostic says:
> "I don't know whether or not there's a God.  And neither 
> do you."

... so you're the guys who came over and burned a 
question mark on my lawn last fall?

> ... did the exposition have to be so damn oblique
> that many of the very knowledgeable people here
> disagree about what happened?

Perhaps that was precisely the purpose? Not suggesting that 
Wolfe is writing for/at this list (though I can think of at 
least one case of an extraordinarily talented musician doing 
the analogous thing, writing a song directed obliquely at an 
online fan group); but that Wolfe deliberately might write a
Rorschach blot of a book, intentionally setting it up so that
what you find in it depends even more than usual on what you
bring to it.

> Were Silk's injuries caused by an attempted suicide or a 
> fight?  Both viewpoints have been argued here and I'm 
> still not sure which I believe.  I prefer a fight, since 
> I just don't see sufficient motivation for Silk to 
> attempt suicide.  He seems more aware than that.

Again, neither answer seems as likely as this: if you will
reread the account of Orpine's "final sacrifice," you will
note that gashing yourself is an accepted way of expressing 
grief in Viron (as indeed it has been in some Urthly, uh, 
Earthly cultures). Silk, in a fit of grief and despair, 
tearing the room up and gashing himself seems to me the 
most obvious answer.

> I also agree with those who deplored the fractured 
> locution of Wijzer, Olivine, etc.  It began to wear thin 
> after a while.  Especially Olivine.  

Yes: especially Olivine. Pig I found difficult but
tolerable; I rather liked the Dorpish dialect, but I
used to live around Lancaster County PA & Pencildutch
dialect (which is how I read it) doesn't seem stilted
or unnatural to me.

> Quick question:  Does anyone know who originated the 
> saying "The more I know people, the more I like 
> animals."?  I personally couldn't agree more...

Le plus je connais des hommes, le plus j'aime ma
chatte. -- Voltaire

(who thinks misanthropy is a probable symptom
of militant agnosticism, nyaaaah.)

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