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From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Third-person sections in RttW
Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2001 20:04:23 

on 4/2/01 8:36 AM, Michael Straight at straight@email.unc.edu wrote:

> On Sun, 1 Apr 2001, Adam Stephanides wrote:
>> If the editors
>> simply wanted to fill in the gaps in Horn's story, a straightforward account
>> the length of Horn's chapter summarizing his career on Green would have
>> sufficed.  
> The simplest explanation seems to me that Nettle was interested in the
> Whorl, so Horn talked a lot about what happened in the Whorl amongst his
> family but very little about the events of OBW and IGJ.  So much that the
> kids had lots of material, much more than a chapter, and decided to
> incorporate all of it into the book.

Then why not include Horn's conversations on his time on Whorl as
conversations, like the Hoof-penned chapters?

> They must have decided to model the third book on the first one, which
> switches back and forth from present to past.  Book two has some
> flashbacks, but book three, as the Narrator wrote it, has almost none.  So
> they may have written the Whorl stuff the way they did to make book three
> better match the other two.

This would make perfect sense if the editors were writing a novel.  But, at
the risk of becoming tedious, they're not.

> Every single person Hornsilk meets in the Whorl recognizes him as Silk and
> treats him like Silk.  Oreb identifies him on almost every page.

All that showed was that Horn was in Silk's body, which was already clear.
It fails to convey that the protagonist is, in spirit, as much Silk as Horn.
(Of course, some people on this list don't believe that this was true until
after Pig gets his eye; but there are third-person sections taking place
after that event, and they refer to the protagonist in the same way.)

> Short of
> adding editorial comentary (e.g. "'My name is Horn,' said the hybrid
> person, not realizing that it was Horn's spirit inhabiting Silk's body."),
> I don't know what more the editors could have done.

And why shouldn't they add editorial commentary?  They're editors, after
all.  And they do add editorial commentary; they just wait until after Wolfe
has sprung his surprise.

> And I'm not sure they
> were confident enough in what had happened to supply that kind of
> statement even if they had wanted to write that way.

They could have said that, too, in that case.


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