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From: Jason Ingram <jingram@usc.edu>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Hermeneutic Crocagators
Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 21:32:42 

It seems that I was being overly simplistic in my attempt to portray 
Blattid as nit-picking over semantics.  I'm glad that I provoked him 
to present a valuable hermeneutic analysis.  I might add another 
category: scenes which the editors present based upon their private 
conversations with the narrator (roughly half of _Return_).  Here we 
have reconstructed scenes based upon statements by the narrator, 
which the narrator seemingly didn't have a chance to edit; a sort of 
camera obscura corroboration that is itself questionable.

I should preface my comments below by stressing that I don't really 
disagree with Dan'l's conclusions.

Regarding Occam's razor and bilocation: (quoting Blattid)

>Perhaps the Narr is able to bilocate only after Horn's
>transmigration into Silk's body, and then only with the (witting
>or un-) assistance of an inhum*, precisely _because_ he is not a
>Neighbor? To put it differently: the question is not "why is he
>able to do this only under these circumstances," but "why is he
>able to do it at all," and the circumstances under which he can
>do it should then be regarded as clues rather thanr restrictions.

I agree with this method; it seems more parsimonious to argue that 
the narrator has the same ability to bilocate as the Neighbors, and 
that the inhumi are prerequisite for both.  Otherwise we have to find 
a new reason to explain why the Neighbors took inhumi along with 
them.  There are plenty of other reasons, but why needlessly multiply 
explanations? (Of course, the Neighbors were able to transmit Horn's 
consciousness into Silk's body with the aid of their ring, but the 
narrator's ability to bilocate afterwards only strengthens my 
conviction that the inhumi act as 'amplifiers' for abilities 
possessed and bestowed by the Neighbors.)


>I don't wish to be difficult,
>but I'm against erecting towers of speculation when simpler
>explanations are or even _might be_ available; and I think it's
>clear that we're too "young" in exploring these books to be
>able to say that we've exhausted the simple explanations.

I think it would be difficult to find any simple explanation that 
fits the available evidence.  Believing that the inhumi can only 
breed on Green implies that the Neigbors have to return to replenish 
their "stock," or that they have found some other workaround.  (Maybe 
they didn't want to take inhumi along but ended up doing so anyway; 
this would introduce turbulence into other readings.)   I'm reluctant 
to press this point, but it occurs to me that *if* Green were the 
only breeding ground for inhumi, then a number of inhumi infused with 
Neighbor-abilities (whatever those are) would likely be running 
around.  Intriguing notion . . .

(next I quote  blattid then myself; skirting both Heideggerian 
discussions of the difference between "seems to be 'must'" and 
"might" and Hegelian debate about "appearance" and the value of 

>  > Again, the question here is-- if Quetzal was born on Green,
>>  by what means did he make his way to the Loganstone. 
>Failing evidence otherwise, I see no reason to dismiss the
>Neighbor's statement cited earlier. Have you any specific
>_textual_ reason to doubt that Q was brought there by the

I must have been confused about the nature of the Neighbor's 
statement.  I didn't think that they had claimed to have dropped an 
inhum* off upon the Whorl.  If they did, could someone please cite a 
page number?

I'll endorse the rest of Dan'l's post, and refrain from speculatin' 
in public . . .

Jason--I'll adopt the nom de whorl of 'Sepia', if it's available.

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