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BuckarooBanzai
Dec 2, 2004

Wherever you go, there you are.

Slippery Tilde

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daniel craig nude picture That's actually what I don't really remember, is he reviving himself or are the hierodules reviving him every time he dies?

He is not, they are.

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Popular Human
Jul 17, 2005

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He is not, they are.

Really? Huh, I always got the impression it was the other way around.

anime sex with animals specifically, he dies out in space at the beginning of female porn star escorts Urth and it doesn't seem like there's any Heirodules around to bring him back.


edit: also, there's a blurb and cover up for Wolfe's new novel, free ghetto porn videos The Land Across: lesbians licking pussy free



That cover is...quite the departure for Wolfe. It almost looks more like a Claville or Michener thriller with the faux-Chinese font.

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Safety Biscuits
Oct 21, 2010



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Really? Huh, I always got the impression it was the other way around.

cassie steele naked pics specifically, he dies out in space at the beginning of black naked women video Urth and it doesn't seem like there's any Heirodules around to bring him back.

On the other hand, caught with sex doll they and Tzadkiel are both on the ship. I seem to remember it as always being his own virtue, though. It's been too long since I've read these. I know what I'm reading next.

quote:

edit: also, there's a blurb and cover up for Wolfe's new novel, teen girl in bra The Land Across: only had sex once

Looks like a reply/tribute to Algis Budrys, there.

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Budgie Jumping
Aug 27, 2007

Bonus.


Whoa what is this sex swing in action Castle of the Otter thing I just heard about? Has anyone read it?

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Sep 30, 2005

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On the other hand, free cheerleaders sex videos they and Tzadkiel are both on the ship. I seem to remember it as always being his own virtue, though. It's been too long since I've read these. I know what I'm reading next.

Yeah, I can't remember romance and sex video why the heirdols are interested in him and doing all that they do if he doesn't have some kind of innate powers, but it's been a long while since I read it as well

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Jul 17, 2005

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Whoa what is this high school cheerleaders nude Castle of the Otter thing I just heard about? Has anyone read it?

It's a book sex with yong boy about The Book of the New Sun, written by Wolfe. It's fairly cool and useful, it contains a glossary of some of the weirder Urthian words and has a pretty awesome section where each of the major characters in New Sun tells a joke, some of which make sense and some of that don't, in accordance with their character.

It's out of print and really loving expensive, but they combined it with some of his short stories some time ago and sold the whole thing as a collection called big asses sex video Castle of Days, which is easier to find.

Fun fact: the title "Castle of the Otter" comes from an most famous porn scene egregious misprinting some newspaper did when reviewing free kinky porn movies The Citadel of the Autarch.

House Louse posted:

Looks like a reply/tribute to Algis Budrys, there.

Which Budrys, if I may ask? I'd like to read whatever TLA is riffing off of beforehand.

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Action Jacktion
Jun 3, 2003


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On the other hand, top 100 sex sites they and Tzadkiel are both on the ship. I seem to remember it as always being his own virtue, though. It's been too long since I've read these. I know what I'm reading next.

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Yeah, I can't remember female on top sex why the heirdols are interested in him and doing all that they do if he doesn't have some kind of innate powers, but it's been a long while since I read it as well
As I recall, body builders sex videos Severian is killed but Tzadkiel creates an equally-real copy of him, and says that a copy and the original can't meet each other through time travel or it'll cause a big explosion (which is what happens when Severian meets Apu-Punchau at the end of the second book). One theory is that the creature that kills Severian is an aspect of Tzadkiel, since another aspect says it's doing penance for something. I think the Heirogrammates are interested in Severian basically because they looked into the future and saw that he brings the New Sun. I don't think Severian has any innate powers, but he has his powers as long as the New Sun exists, which is how he had them before he got the Claw.

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Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

Pew pew!

I've read BotNS twice and I have almost no idea what anyone is talking about. I think it's time for a reread + finally getting to Long and Short Sun.

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Safety Biscuits
Oct 21, 2010



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Which Budrys, if I may ask? I'd like to read whatever TLA is riffing off of beforehand.

The book I'm thinking of is dogs licking girl pussy Who?, a Cold War thriller about a scientist who's so heavily rebuilt (after an accident) by the other side that his own side don't know who he is any more, and he can't prove it. This is going off a two-line blurb, so take it with a pinch of salt...

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Has anybody read kendra wilkinson naked uncensored Solar Labyrinth by Robert Borski? Is it worth reading for someone like me who found BOTNS puzzling and fascinating, yet hard going, and wouldn't mind reading some explanations of what's going on in it?

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Sep 30, 2005

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I've read BotNS twice and I have almost no idea what anyone is talking about. I think it's time for a reread + finally getting to Long and Short Sun.

A lot of that stuff is in Urth of the New Sun, I think. I just don't remember how he brought about the New Sun or he specifically was needed for that or whatever

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Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

Pew pew!

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A lot of that stuff is in Urth of the New Sun, I think. I just don't remember how he brought about the New Sun or he specifically was needed for that or whatever

I'm referring to almost the entire thread to be honest. I know I was able to follow along way back in the beginning, but things are getting hazier and I don't remember a lot of the finer details. And it's no problem, really; I can always make time for a BotNS reread .

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Blog Free or Die
Apr 30, 2005

FOR THE MOTHERLAND

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...the Long Sun books take a lot of their cues from detective novels.

I find this true of almost everything Wolfe writes. Luckily, I enjoy it

The protagonist is always constantly guessing about what's really going on, who everyone is, and what their motivations really are, for instance with the note Severian gets at the tree inn in the first book of BotNS.

But yea I think it's a lot more upfront in Long Sun, for whatever reason.

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StrawmanUK
Aug 16, 2008


Its so annoying that Urth of the New Sun isnt available on Kindle when the other books are!

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Popular Human
Jul 17, 2005

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As I recall, cassie new nude pictures Severian is killed but Tzadkiel creates an equally-real copy of him, and says that a copy and the original can't meet each other through time travel or it'll cause a big explosion (which is what happens when Severian meets Apu-Punchau at the end of the second book).

mind loving blown. Every time I think I have a handle on these books...

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Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


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Its so annoying that Urth of the New Sun isnt available on Kindle when the other books are!

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PateraOctopus
Oct 27, 2010

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Has anybody read ninel conde sex videos Solar Labyrinth by Robert Borski? Is it worth reading for someone like me who found BOTNS puzzling and fascinating, yet hard going, and wouldn't mind reading some explanations of what's going on in it?

No. The Gene Wolfe "fan community" is one of the most loving batshit circle-jerks you're liable to encounter on the internet and Borski is one of its most prolific crazies. You won't get anything approaching an open, adult conversation about a work of literature; discussions alternate between fetishization, one-upsmanship and treatment of obscure, nearly-groundless theories as fact. Gene Wolfe is one of my favorite authors--dig the username--but I wouldn't go near the fan community for more than release date info if you paid me. This thread is as much Wolfe discussion as I like to get into on the Internet because it's adult human beings talking about books that they read and on which they have opinions; it's not some weird mystical order engaging in a set of approved rituals over their icons.

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Haha, OK. Thanks.

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Aug 16, 2008



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No. The Gene Wolfe "fan community" is one of the most loving batshit circle-jerks you're liable to encounter on the internet and Borski is one of its most prolific crazies. You won't get anything approaching an open, adult conversation about a work of literature; discussions alternate between fetishization, one-upsmanship and treatment of obscure, nearly-groundless theories as fact. Gene Wolfe is one of my favorite authors--dig the username--but I wouldn't go near the fan community for more than release date info if you paid me. This thread is as much Wolfe discussion as I like to get into on the Internet because it's adult human beings talking about books that they read and on which they have opinions; it's not some weird mystical order engaging in a set of approved rituals over their icons.

HAha, yes well. Having tracked down my pdf I can see there's a Gygaxian neckbeardy fervor to his pronouncements:

Solar Labyrinth posted:

Citadel of the Autarch concludes Gene Wolfe’s New Sun quartet and it is to this
titular edifice deep within Nessus that Severian retires very near the volume’s end.
Having consumed his predecessor’s forebrain, Severian himself is now Autarch.
Desiring quarters suitable to his position, he’s assigned lodgings in the most
ancient part of the Citadel, and it’s here, among the more interesting effects in his
dusty new environs, he encounters a mandragora in spirits—a mysterious bottled
fetus that he inadvertently resuscitates and who engages him in conversation
(although telepathically for its part). But who—or what—is this mandragora? In
his Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, critic John Clute tentatively suggests it might
be Severian’s own long-lost sister, and in many respects, given that the mandragora
at one point addresses Severian as “Brother,” and that Severian describes the
pickling fluid surrounding the homuncule in placental terms, this seems as potent
a guess as any. But is it the only guess that warrants making or is there other evidence
that suggests the mandragora may be something else? In lieu of deferring to
Clute or decrying the general indeterminateness many readers seem to find in
Wolfe, let us investigate the Something-Else-Theory.

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PateraOctopus
Oct 27, 2010

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Hahaha, holy poo poo. Hardcore Wolfe fandom ("Lupines," as they unironically honest-to-Christ call themselves) reminds me of that bit from one of the Tarzan books where there's a whole city of gorillas who thought they were English historical figures and that their jungle city was London, but since they had no actual basis of comparison the whole thing was basically a ridiculous caricature of what they assumed London would be like, with anachronisms all bumping into each other. They're aware that they're reading books worthy of deeper thought and analysis, but their only experience of engaging with a work of literature comes from sf/fantasy fandom with its emphasis on discussing plot, world-building and concrete detail, so they create this weird bastardization of that and what they assume people sound like when they talk about Ulysses. Instead of "What does this mean?" or "What can we take from this?" it's all "What do you figure the secret identity of the thing in the jar is?" and "Since Typhon is named after a monster, does that mean he's an alien?" And then you read their discussions of the Short Sun books and I swear to God it's like taking a wrong turn in a mall you've never been to and opening a service door that leads into a room full of strange doughy creatures with no eyes sitting in padded chairs hooked up to IVs and covered in their own poop, periodically opening their too-wide mouths to issue an incoherent moan like something between a death-rattle and a challenge. Personally I try to stay away from any and all "fan communities," but this one's pretension that they're something different and better than that makes them among the worst.

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Lex Talionis
Feb 5, 2011


I think your criticism, though justified to a degree, is a little over the top. Sure, people over-analyze Wolfe, but I'm not sure it's different than what you might hear from, say, a fan of Donnie Darko, or Lost, or They Might Be Giants, or even something like Star Wars. When you stare at something for a long time you start seeing patterns that may or may not be there, and that's basically what fans do with the work they like. Because Wolfe's work is very literary and not really all that popular, that can certainly bring out the Comic Book Guy nerdier-than-thou attitude from people, but again this is true of fans of obscure music, movies, etc.

The only thing unusual about Wolfe's work is that there free lesbian chat rooms really are bizarre symbols, hidden structures, etc. throughout his work. Maybe you don't think it's an interesting game to wonder who Severian's sister is, but Wolfe obviously does, and he seeds his work with grist for that sort of mill. Knowing that going in means people look extra hard and, yes, come up with all sorts of crazy theories. But that doesn't mean they're always wrong, and it doesn't mean that you can't gain a better appreciation for Wolfe's work by reading their ideas. You just have to apply some judgment. I ignore everything Borksi says, basically, because his grand theory of Heirodoles strikes me as completely against Wolfe's own ideas about how the world works, but I've read a lot of reasonable things from the Wolfe mailing list.

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Neurosis
Jun 10, 2003


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I'll agree with the above post. There are some ridiculous theories on that list, and people put a lot of effort into them. But there's also some valid discussion. Quite often I'll find there are things I completely missed, or allusions I didn't understand. I find it easy enough to filter out the crap.

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BigSkillet
Nov 27, 2003
I said teaberry, not sandalwood!

For all the dissection the New Sun series receives, are there any decent analyses of the best sex tubes Peace out there? I think I got the gist of what Alden was glossing over, but I'm sure I've missed some staggering connections along the way. Regardless, it's a lot more unsettling than I had imagined an old man alonebrazillian fart fetish porn (?) with his thoughts could be.

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Popular Human
Jul 17, 2005

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I got the new, sweet paperback reissue of Peace with the Neil Gaiman afterword for my birthday back in January(!) and still haven't gotten around to reading it. I'm a shameful Wolfe fan.

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Draxamus
Jul 6, 2010


What were all the religious parallels in xxx free granny porn The Book of the New Sun? I remember hot chicks dancing naked Severian's meeting with Typhon basically being the Temptation of Christ. What other ones were there?

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Feb 5, 2011


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What were all the religious parallels in wife sister sex stories The Book of the New Sun? I remember real girls sex videos Severian's meeting with Typhon basically being the Temptation of Christ. What other ones were there?
Too many to easily count, I suspect, but just off the top of my head:
The Vodalarii ceremony heart of darkness porn where they eat Thecla's mind is a corruption of the Eucharist.
The idea that the return of the New Sun will charlie garcia porn star lift the curse on the world is clearly based on the Second Coming. and (Urth of the New Sun spoilers) naked people making love Severian's brief career as the original Conciliator is kind of a weird version of Christ's life
Like Severian, miley cyrus nude clips Jesus raised other people from the dead...and came back himself
(Urth of the New Sun again) sex positions for begginers The coming of the New Sun looks a lot like Noah's flood, destroying the old wicked world to make way for something better.

However, despite these correspondences, big pussy and ass attempts to relate Severian to Christ always run aground on Severian's many flaws. He's anything but perfect, and even though he redeems the rest of the world (sort of), he doesn't sacrifice himself to do it, so the redemption he achieves looks a lot more like the redemption a sinning Christian is given by grace.

Additionally, in the New Sun books God seems more like the aloof watchmaker God of Deism or Neoplatonism than the involved God of Christianity. Melito's story sums it up: "The pancreator is infinitely far from us," the angel said, "And thus infinitely far from me, though I fly so much higher than you. I guess at his desires—no one can do otherwise." (although even in context this is just a story someone's telling and not necessarily true, it's certianly in line with how the divine is perceived in the rest of the book)

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felicibusbrevis
Feb 1, 2011


Thought I would post this here. Despite some denigration of the urth list, I have enjoyed it at times, you just have to separate the nonsense from things that are legitimately subsumed in the text. This is on Fifth Head of Cerberus. spoilers abound, so if you haven't read it just skip all this.

SPOIL SPOIL Cast your eyes past all this, and the next post as well.

The Fifth Head of Cerberus

I want to start by saying that Borski’s Cave Canem, now on the Wolfe-Wiki, constitutes his best work, and is well worth considering. I will gloss over some of the information that he fleshes out more thoroughly, but there are a few things I want to emphasize in light of later Wolfe works. (Though some of this may re-treat or recapitulate his observations, I have researched the allusions again myself wholesale as I saw fit). In some part this is a response to Borski’s, Wright’s, and others comments on the book. I quote them extensively towards the end of this analysis. This is such a complicated work that involves so much that there are probably a few important details and themes that are simply mentioned in only a sentence or two or not at all.

First, my philosophy on Wolfe’s stories: repetitive symbols and theme are key to interpreting the actual surface level of “what happened”. In his novels after Peace, juxtaposition of two seemingly unrelated things is also of absolute importance, though I do not think this is yet as stylistically prominent in Fifth Head of Cerberus. I think that many repetitive internal symbols are ignored by critics and interpreters, and this confounds me. Borski latches onto repetitions quite a bit but too often throws in everything but the kitchen sink to force a pat conclusion. I tend to force pat conclusions when the theme warrants it (For example, in The HORARS of War, our main character is both fully human and fully machine because the religious symbol of the star at Christ’s birth resonates with that theme, but in” Trip, Trap”, the spiritual world is unambiguously the real world and more objective than the physical world – the blade has a point in the physical world, but our troll is not pierced, only slashed, because in the spirit world the point is broken and the two protagonists have formed the third billy goat of objective reality instead of subjective prejudice – objective outside detail is usually, in my opinion, at the heart of getting to the bottom of things in Wolfe).

FREQUENT REPETITIONS IN FIFTH HEAD OF CERBERUS:
CIRCULAR COLUMNS IN DREAMS: a circular column of pillars or trees that suffuse ALL THREE NOVELLAS. The dreamer is surrounded by this column that extends to the sky. This appears to be the “natural” temple that appears in V.R.T., made up of trees that our narrator (at that time Marsch) insists could never occur naturally, as there is one tree for every day of the Annese year. THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!!!! Equally important is the slab of stone where supposedly God can’t see what happens, and this is where Eastwind/Sandwalker are born and probably where Marsch dies (or at least, where he claims the boy V.R.T perishes), and the magical cave near the river of time.

47 AND THE PIPES: prisoner 47 had been knocking on the pipes in prison in VRT … and there are 47 old pan pipes above the door frame in our opening scene. #47 is a political prisoner who states he is “Fifth of September” – lots of things happened on that date in history, but probably the French revolution is implied, as the French have now been repressed.

PROPHYLACTIC SHOWERING/ NONSEXUAL REPRODUCTION/SALIVA: There’s something weird in the saliva in Fifth Head, and in the third novella, our officer has sex with a girl and then bathes “prophylactically” to get her saliva off him – in VRT a girl who paints a no and yes on her breasts leaves the imprint on the man she favors, but then goes and washes in the river – “that’s for forgetfulness in the tales, you see.”
Number 5 is formed parthenogentically, as is the part abo/part human girl grown from an arm by Cinderwalker. Additional nonsexual reproduction occurs in the experiments of number 5: “I was stimulating unfertilized frogs’ eggs to asexual development and then doubling the chromosomes by a chemical treatment so that a further asexual generation could be produced. “ ( 23)

SENTIENT TREES, LEAVES OF GODHOOD: Trees that move around and act in sentient fashion, with holy connotations, including impregnation:
“They mated with trees and drowned the children to honor their rivers. That was what was important” (FHOC, 11)
“Sandwalker greeted the tree ceremoniously, … a murmuring of leaves answered him, and though he could not understand the words they did not sound angry. (98)
“it isn’t good to sleep where a tree is for more than one night” (100)
“I am not, you comprehend, a Christian, but may your generosity to my poor boy be blessed by Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, or in the eventuality that you are Protestant, Monsieur, by Jesus only and by God the Father and the Holy Ghost. As my own ten-times decimated people would say, may the Mountains bless you and the River and the Trees and the Oceansea and all the stars of heaven and the gods. I speak as their religious leader” (VRT, p.198) …
”many animals and birds, trees that were alive, just as you and I have traveling, … though this is still not the back of beyond where one sees gods come floating down the river on logs, and trees gone traveling, the gods with large and small heads, and blossoms of the water hydrangea in their hair, or the elk men whose heads and hair and beards and arms and bodies were like hose of men, whose legs were the bodies of red elk, so that they needed to mate with the cow-woman once as beasts and once as men do” (VRT, p. 173) and, when the “boy” is captured with the current, according to Marsch’s journal (after he VRT begins writing for him: “Downstream a long way, a big tree stood grasping the rock, with water at his feet, and had thrust out a root to catch my friend.” (VRT ,p.261). The hybrid Shadow Child who claims to be a mental combination of the “man” Sandwalker and the other Shadow children says ”We had no names before men came out of the sky … we were mostly long, and lived in holes between the roots of trees.”
Then there is this odd explanation for what the herbs of St. Anne do when chewed: “Once between the full face of sisterworld and her next, a man may take the fresh leaves and folding them tightly carry them in his cheek. Then there is no woman for him, nor any meat; he is sacred then, for God walks in him. … When we die at last we have been greater than God and less than the beasts. . . when the phase comes again we find new wives, and are young, and God.” The herb is described as wide, warty, and yellow, the seed pink prickled eggs. At the culmination of “A Story”, the shadow child bites Eastwind and says, “That which swam in my mouth swims in his veins now” – this allows the switching of perception between Eastwind and Sandwalker. Borski implies in his explorations that the abos mimic the trees, but I am sure these trees are the masterminds of the Shadow Children, though their actual life cycle is mysterious.

THE RIVER AND THE STARS: The Tempus body of water seems somehow associated with something mystical, it is in this water that many of our characters drown or disappear, whether it be Marsch (or the boy VRT, according to his unreliable journal), Last Voice, or Sandwalker. It is associated with time and the sky above is also somehow associated with the Shadow Children and their ability to “hide” the planet from terrestrial colonization. As soon as their protection is no longer offered, the French land. These shadow children have a different name depending on the number present, and often their numbers are not subjectively real, as they are mental projections.

DREAMS: In the drugged dreams of Number 5, he actually remembers foreign experiences that must have been from his “father” or further back in time. Eastwind and Sandwalker, twins, dream of the other awake when they are asleep, and the aborigine who has replaced Marsch, though he is attempting to pass himself off as Marsch, relates dreams of his mother and red-bearded father that are clearly of his previously life as the boy V. R. Trenchard.

SANDWALKER’S FEET: A few more things: every time Sandwalker appears , his feet are shown hitting the ground: “ The second came not as they are ordinarily born – that is, head foremost as a man climbs from a lower place into a high – but feet foremost as a man lets himself down into a lower place. His grandmother was holding his brother, not knowing that two were to be born, and for that reason his feet beat the ground for a time with no one to draw him forth.” ( 84) Then later, “feet foremost as a man lets himself down into a lower place, climbed into Thunder Always” (86). This is important for determining who dies at the end of the story, for the characters feet are swept out from under him before he descends to a lower place.

REPETITION OF THE NAMES WALKER AND WOLF: Number Five is a Wolfe, and later when the five shadow children are only one, their name is Wolf. Oddly, the Old Wise One who is a figment of the mental reality of the Shadow Children is also called “The Group Norm”. They have names like Firefox and Swan, and a fire-fox shows up again, along with a ghoul-bear and tire-tiger, in the hunting sequences of V.R.T.
The aborigine of the Free People, Sandwalker, has a name that is echoed later in Twelvewalker (I believe the name Trenchard assumes) and Cinderwalker, a very magical aborigine who takes “a cattle-drover’s woman [who] had her arm cut off by a train” and uses the arm to “[grow] a new woman on that so that the drover had two wives. Naturally the second one, the one Cinderwalker made, was abo except for the one arm”
In each tale we have a doubling, followed by incarceration: the clone number five is imprisoned for murdering his father, the twin Sandwalker is born on the slab where foul acts are invisible to God, is eventually cast into a pit “The Other Eye” to be sacrificed, and will attempt to murder his brother Eastwind before a Shadow child bites and switches their perceptions. In the final tale our anthropologist is imprisoned as well, perhaps indefinitely.

BRIEF SUMMARY, with interpretations:
Our narrator Number Five lives in a Brothel called the Maison du chien on the blue planet St. Croix in Port Mimizon. He and his brother, actually a genetic son, live with their father, called Maitre, and their robotic tutor, M.Million, a neural copy of the original man who bore their genetic code. It turns out that Maitre is actually a key spy for the government, which may be facing a probably French revolution. (who has colonized the French?) The play that Number Five, David, and Phaedria star in is later mentioned in VRT as a reference to letting the French maintain some infrastructure thanks to slavery on St. Croix. The dream of our narrator seems to echo events from previous iterations of his genetic code, and he also sees the column of pillars/trees that is found in all of the dreams throughout the novellas and is the temple on St. Anne. His aunt, Jeanine, or the black queen, is Aubrey Veil, who has postulated the idea that the abos have replaced the colonists, but she also undercuts it. Number Five recognizes that Marsch is an aborigine, and Marsch recognizes that Number Five is a clone, who repeats the murderous pattern of his father, even down to the crippled monkey. Many of the slaves are failed clonal experiments of the Maitre, and the whole planet seems to have stagnated with very little genetic diversity. Number Five kills his father and moves back into the compound to restart the same pattern. His father said that he made the experiment to see why no clone ever becomes greater than this – talk about a cycle of degeneration.
In A Story by John V. Marsch, Eastwind is born of Cedar Branches Waving, followed by the breach baby Sandwalker. Eastwind is taken while being bathed in the river and his grandmother drowned, and he is trained to be an acolyte of Lastvoice, his beard ritually plucked. Sandwalker knows little of his brother save in his dreams, where they each perceive the other, and grows to seek out the sacred cave of a priest (who is there, but apparently awake, as Sandwalker feels his feet and withered legs and then leaves his sacrifice for the priest (it is not clear that the priest is at all like the man of the Free People, Sandwalker)). He meets with Seven Girls Waiting under a tree and they develop a relationship. His mother has been taken by Eastwind’s people, and along with some Shadow Children, who seem to cast a glamor into the sky that keeps St. Anne from being detected by colonizers, Sandwalker is eventually cast into a pit called “the other eye” to be sacrificed to the holy river. He discourses with the shifting shadow children. The end involves beating Lastvoice to death as sacrifice, then Sandwalker decides to kill his brother, but a Shadow Child disappears, and with a “magic” bite, switches their perceptions. It is pretty clear that Eastwind is the one who survives, as he kicks Sandwalker’s feet out from under him, and, later in V.R.T, the rumor is that the landing of the Frenchmen about to occur at the culmination of this tale and at the removal of the Shadow Children’s perception filter, that Eastwind greets them.
Dr. Marsch, in the third section, goes to find traces of the aborigines on St. Anne and it leads him to a fraudulent man named Trenchard who actually does have a half-aborigine son. The son and Marsch go into the wilderness, to the back of beyond together, to find the same sacred cave and temple of trees that played so prominently in the imagery of A Story. They are followed by a lot of strange creatures, including a cat that is probably the boy’s lover, a ghoul bear, and a tire tiger. At one point, the boy is weeping when a creature is killed. Perhaps this is his mother or some other aboriginal familial association. Marsch is eventually replaced by the boy, the cat lover also killed, and VRT goes to St. Croix, and is arrested when Number Five kills his father, for the murder. The authorities keep him contained because they think he might be a spy, and set up Celestine Etienne to watch him, supposedly simply the nearest woman present at the time of his incarceration. Given that Maitre is a spy for these individuals, she is almost certainly the woman in pink who is occasionally in his library at the beginning of the book, as it appears to be her favorite color. His files are haphazardly looked over by an officer called Maitre, before “Marsch” is condemned to what will certainly be a very long, perhaps terminal, incarceration.

PLACE NAMES IN THE TEXT/ RELIGIOUS SYMBOLISM:
Our planets are St. Croix of Number Five and the first novella and St. Anne of the aborigines and the second section. St. Anne is the mother of the Virgin Mary, and obviously the name Croix implies cross. Interestingly, this covers a very particular part of history, from the Immaculate Conception of Mary that sets the groundwork for God’s enfleshment, and the moment in time when that flesh will be put to death.
More disturbing are the street names: Rue D’Asticot – the street of Maggots, and Rue D’Egouts – street of sewers
Port Mimizon is not the word for mimicry, but it may very well be resonant with it, and mimi does mean a mime or mimic.
The address of the Maison du Chien, the dog house: 666 Saltimbanque – Charlatan/Fraud and the number of the devil
In any case, Cerberus guards the gates to Hades and sits in their front yard. When you live in the House of Dogs, nicknamed Cave Canem (beware of the dog), on Charlatan street near Maggots and the sewer, then pretty clearly this is some hellish imagery, and number five’s parthenogenetic inception is kind of a nasty turn on the normal order of things. He is bred to repeat the same murder his father and his father before him have – this really is something like a hell, and even M.Million is not free, as his creation was something akin to a self-destruction that led to an eternal half-life.
When confronted with the Four Armed man, David spins off the first lines of Virgil’s Aeneid: arms and the man I sing who forc’d by fate … interesting in that this is a story of the founding of a second great empire after a defeat, thematically joining the Greek and Roman art and history … something that is contemplated about the aboriginal culture as a group of cast out Greeks rather absurdly in the opening sections of the book. Interesting echo, nonetheless, though it is the four arms of their adversary that prompts David to recite the lines. The Aeneid is about one hero who escapes the shambles of the Trojan war to eventually found a new Empire, and I think that the myths of colonizers from Gondwanaland or some other primitive earthern culture coming to St. Anne long ago and then turning into the aborigines is in some way summoned by the Odyssey/Aeneid presence in the book.

St. Anne – the mother of the Virgin Mary, intimately associated with the immaculate conception, which is actually the inception of Mary without sin.

There are several secular allusions:
“When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow, and the owlet whoops to the wolf below, that eats the she-wolf’s young” is the opening quote, and it is not clear if it is the wolf which is eating the she-wolf’s young, but in light of the story I rather fancy so. Later, the Maitre is called an “owl” – perhaps another link between the opening scene with our narrator and David plucking pan pipes to play with – if Maitre of VRT is David, then perhaps the slave standing under the tree is a cast off clone of his brother/father, creating a nice circular situation. (Number Five often sees his own face in the slaves for sale in Port Mimizon).
Both Sandwalker and Number Five experience life as someone else when they sleep: “In my dreams that night I saw the little boy scampering from one activity to another, his personality in some way confused with my own and my father’s so that I was once observer, observed, and a third presence observing both”

On Number Five’s Name:
The volumes in the library: the volume on the murder of Trotski was probably The Great Prince Dies by Bernard Wolfe, though alternatively, there is a play by Peter Weiss, Trotski in Exile (Mosley’s book The Assassination of Trotski was not published until 1972) that would satisfy our W requirement for the last name, Monday or Tuesday was by Virginia Woolf, a mis-filed book by V. Vinge filed with the W’s, and interestingly “The Mile Long Spaceship” oddly identified as a misplaced astronautics text by “some German” – Kate Wilhelm – and that story is about telephathic communication between a man and aliens whose ” dreams” are real. Yes, Number Five was looking for some Wolfe books, clearly his father’s name is Wolfe.

THEMES: There are two very interesting and, to my mind, opposite things at play here: Maitre WANTS to change and succeed, but his experiment always fails – his perfect copies are stuck in the same loop as himself and wind up in exactly the same place. While the “perfect” mimicry of the abos leads us to question who is human and who is aborigine, there is something much more spiritual at stake – why does Number Five, the perfect copy, never seem to have free will to change? Is the parthenogenetic cloning process itself why the “ship” of his dreams never moves anywhere? Is M. Million a more perfect copy of the original human; does he evince true emotions?
Individual perception verified by external observation, imitation, and the difference between those who conquer and those who are conquered are all on the table here.

VITAL QUOTES: David on the abo’s tools: “If you could have asked them, they would have told you that their magic and their religion, the songs they sang and the traditions of their people were what were important. They killed their sacrificial animals with flails of seashells that cut like razors, and they didn’t let their men father children until they had stood enough fire to cripple them for life. They mated with trees and drowned the children to honor their rivers. That was what was important.”
This is how Eastwind kills Last Voice at the end, with flails. The aborogines probably did mate with trees literally. What is the river that it has so much power? How do the Shadow Children obscure the perceptions of others, and are they truly able to communicate with the stars?
Also, there is this one: Robert Culot says that his grandfather saw the aborigines, and that they looked, “sometimes like a man, but sometimes like the post of a fence. … or a dead tree … sometimes like old wood”. Pretty close relationship to the trees they were supposed to mate with, eh?
Cinderwalker creates a whole new person from a dead arm.

RELIGIOUS IMPLICATIONS: There is something very fascinating about the names of these planets, St. Anne and St. Croix, that really does deal with salvation – the onset of the immaculate conception that allows Christ to enter into the world through the conception of his vessel, the Virgin Mary, to his crucifixion (St. Croix), which is symbolic of the fully human, but fully divine Christ’s death in the act of salvation. It seems a far more sinister parthenogenesis is at work on St. Croix, designed not to save, but to drat.
The river on St Anne as greater than God and its little place names are interesting – how does life on that planet really work? There are Free People, Marshmen, Shadow Children, and probably even more groups, some pretty distinct. It seems the composite animals described in VRT are aboriginal as well.

CONNECTION TO OTHER WORKS: There really are a lot of motifs that are repeated in Long and Short Sun, from Tree hybrids to four armed men to a blue and green planetary system to parthenogenetically produced offspring, but, no, it isn’t the same as Blue/Green. This is explored further down below.
The style of A Story is something Wolfe is very good at – that mythic but confusing dream prose that channels the savage mind without losing sophistication. It is very different than the first part of the novel, but I would have to say he does occasionally repeat this tone, in things such as “The Sailor Who Sailed After the Sun” , “At the Point of Capricorn”, maybe even “Tracking Song” – where technology and mysticism lead to a primitive world.

LITERARY REFERENCES: Michael Andre Druisi and Borski have long since catalogued these, but I want to say that the Puss in Boots reference is never taken far enough by Borski, it is EXTREMELY thematically important, as are the references to “The Mile Long Spaceship” (with its dreams as reality approach and the statement that it was an astronautics text misfiled - pretty interesting) and the opening lines mirroring of “Remembrance of Things Past”, with its exploration of involuntary memory and identity in all three stories – when the cat shows up and says that the gift is courtesy of the marquis of Carabas, this evokes not only a sentient cat but the surrounding mythos: the cat gives stuff to the king courtesy of a peasant lad who owns him. He convinces his master to bathe in the river naked and hides his clothes while the king comes by, then convinces all the country life to say that the land belongs to the marquis of Carabas. Next, he tricks an ogre to turn into a mouse and eats it, attaining its castle for his master. With a river and nudity and pretending to be something other than one is, this story resonates pretty well with the St. Anne portion of the tale.

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felicibusbrevis
Feb 1, 2011


MORE SPOILERS FOR FIFTH HEAD DON'T READ THIS MASS OF TEXT



ON BORSKI’S FAMILIAL CONNECTIONS: The lady in pink is clearly Celestine Etienne, because she is a spy mistress working for the government, and Maitre WAS an important spy for them, and she is also using her wiles on “Marsch” in prison. However, his essays on David and Phaedria as siblings and Celestine Etienne as their mother I find VERY unsound. There is no indication that Phaedria has not been naturally born. He also claims that David’s mother must have blue eyes, which is patently untrue – her eyes could be as Brown as Maitre – it only means that both would have to carry the recessive allele. Identifying her as the lady in pink is vital and of course proper.

He also makes this claim on who the five heads are:
BORSKI’S LIST “5. Number Five
4. Maitre (first cloned progeny)
3. Mr. Million
2. Gene Wolfe II
1. Gene Wolfe (founder, ur-patriarch)
In this group, to incorporate David's maidenhead pun, Mr. Million is the virgin.
As for our Gene Wolfe, the author of FIFTH HEAD, he would be Gene Wolfe 0.
The horizontal configuration includes the current batch of Wolfes, the one Aunt Jeannine can't quite total to five (because she's unaware of who Number Five's sister is).
1. Maitre
2. Aunt Jeannine
3. Number Five
4. David
5. Phaedria”
To which I say, the first list should have Maitre as the third clone and Number Five as the fourth, this cycle of cloning has gone on for a long time, thus why Maitre has become obsessed with SOMEBODY finally breaking out, though anyone too different is sold as a slave (which makes no scientific sense – you want to change, so the ones that might be unique you cast out as unsuitable, putting in your place someone who is sure to fail as you did). The second list needs Phaedria switched out with Mr. Million, I just don’t buy that she is related.
One more claim that he is making that I must respond to, Borski’s essay “Dante and the House of Wolfe”, found here to improve sex life
In the level of suicides, the man trapped in a thorn bush, ignores the mechanistic reason our officer looks up the text of the Shrike: here, Marsch has miraculously escaped damage from a dangerous beast by being cut by thorns – it is that mystical foliage at work again. Borski has slightly misidentified why the bird impaled by the Shrike is brought up right there – whether it be a symbol of the punishment of suicides I leave up to the reader, but in some ways, yes, Marsch will ultimately kill himself.
That being impaled by the thorn bush, in my opinion, is kind of inviting that vegetative life to take an interest in what is going on. Marsch is very soon after doomed to perish, possible on that slab of rock which is supposedly free from God’s scrutiny.

PETER WRIGHT AND COLONIAL THEORY:
Wright stresses the inability to differentiate between colonizer and colonized in his essay “Confounding the Skin and the Mask:
“Disappointingly, it took twelve years for another critic to capitalise on Sargent’s reading and readdress the political dimensions of the text. Albert Wendland’s Science, Myth, and the Fictional Creation of Alien Worlds (1985) treats The Fifth Head of Cerberus as a narrative raising ‘questions over identity’ and ‘personal morality’ and, more significantly perhaps, concerning ‘methods of government’ which are ‘complex and impressive.’ Wendland’s argument not only focuses on ‘the reversed outlook of object [aborigine] onto subject [coloniser].but also the complicated interaction of object and subject, and the inability to untangle the two’ that Wolfe effects through his carefully balanced deployment of ambiguity. Importantly, Wendland recognises that ‘such ambiguity not only questions the certainty of most SF conclusions (the defining of the universe by the SF human explorers, the determination of the object by the subject), but also the whole concept of certainty itself, especially the assumed, self-contained and separate integrity of individual subjects.’ Although Wendland does not undertake a consistent postcolonial reading, he is aware that Wolfe’s examination of these admittedly ‘abstract matters’ is contextualised by setting – Sainte Croix and Sainte Anne are both Earth colonies – and by Wolfe’s treatment of the complex interaction between human colonist and aborigine. ‘The new regime’s domination is so strong that the old race, in order to survive must imitate the ways of the new rulers, become like them’, Wendland remarks, associating implicitly the physical mimicry of the Annese with the cultural mimicry found amongst many colonised peoples. Despite the pertinence of this observation, Wendland remains unwilling to apply a postcolonial critique to a text so clearly amenable to such discourse. Hence, there is a need to reconsider the narrative in the light of postcolonial theories in order to illuminate the possible purposes and consequences of Wolfe’s elaborate and mesmerising textual puzzle. However, even at this stage it is important to understand that the existence of the puzzle is more significant that its solution, since the puzzle is where the political arguments of the novel can be found.”

MY RESPONSE To which I say, if we look at the interplay of all those interviewed in the text, the reason that this “impossibility” to distinguish is actually a farce. The difference between Sandwalker and Eastwind is empirically EASY TO SPOT – it does seem that a brief bit of dialogue indicates Eastwind has NO TESTICLES, when a girl points and laughs at him and then he claims that it is bound by woman’s hair until it putrefies, though the reference is not 100% clear and he might just be plucking his facial hair every day. The difference between Marsch and the boy who takes is place is also easy – those green eyes and a complete inability to use the rifle properly. The ambiguity comes in identifying who is the conqueror. The French come down to conquer and are soon repressed by some unknown force (is it English? Not sure). In the discourse of the Wise Old One who cannot distinguish between men as Shadowchildren, the Free People, or those colonists, it is pretty clear that the reason for this is ALL THE LIFE STEMS FROM A COMMON ORIGIN, save perhaps that of the pink seeds in the leaves. [I wonder if the mite that spins its weave and, if it winds up inside workers of the mat, is related to St. Anne life, as those aborigines are great with ropes and suck with tools – could the small mite be important?
Dollo’s law is brought up (once a species loses the use of something it doesn’t come back, he has to adapt a new way to do the same thing) is almost certainly because the offhand colonization from ancient terrestrial stock and differentiation/regression/hybridity back to an animalistic place has happened. Both the stagnation of cloning in St. Croix and the interbreeding and hybridization of St. Anne has gone a long way to dehumanizing the worlds – St. Croix is a place that doesn’t change, nor does it move, St. Anne a place that is too changeable and fluctuates with no base into the animal kingdom, so adaptable that it lacks identity.

I really like Wright’s point here: “Through the interaction of Mr Million, Number Five’s father, and Number Five who are, after all, one and the same person, Wolfe appears to be advocating hybridity, diversity, and cultural exchange by showing the stifled and stifling stasis that opposes it. In many ways Maison du Chien, 666 Saltimbanque, is a rambling metaphor for cultural isolationism, on the one hand, and imperialism on the other since the act of cloning and the process of hypnopaedia are symbolic representations of colonial occupation and re-education.”

I also like his points on hybridity: “Hence, the biological chameleon becomes a cultural chameleon; the shapeshifter an ideal anthropologist, an individual possessing the intelligence and insight to understand cultures alien to himself. Accordingly, the menace embodied by Marsch-Trenchard takes the form of his ability to outperform the colonial figure – Marsch – at every level. His ‘development’ as a character is a consequence, then, not of his mimicry, but of an increasing hybridity, a furthering of his own racial heterogeneity.”
In addition, he makes excellent points about “counting” the abos as human:

WRIGHT: “This is not to say that various characters do not try to construct a colonial discourse. David, Number Five’s son-come-brother, remarks how it is imperative to see the aborigines as human because, ‘If they were alive it would be dangerous to let them be human because they would ask for things, but with them dead it makes it more interesting if they were, and the settlers killed them all.’ 17 In other words, if the aborigines are believed to be extinct, it is safe to consider them as human. However, if they are deemed to be still extant, to advocate their humanity would be to admit they would ‘ask for things’, that is be humanly materialistic, and demand a basic level of human rights. We see this attitude repeated by East Wind in his treatment of the Shadow Children, by Mrs. Blount and Dr. Hagsmith, who see the Annese as animals.”
And finally, his conclusion:
“This is the final tragedy of the collection: the solitary hybrid, untrammelled by contact with other individuals during his sojourn on Sainte Anne, understanding more than any other character about society, governance and individual and interracial interaction, is denied. His incarceration is the imprisonment of a free spirit enchained physically, spiritually and emotionally by those who suspect and fear difference. The captive John V. Marsch/Victor Trenchard, alone in his benighted cell, is the final, emotive image Wolfe provides of the actions of a species whose poisonous character holds them, like the successive clones of Mr Million’s personality, on a becalmed ship, fearing to embrace the possibilities of an empowering personal and cultural transformation.”

Yet Wright’s excellent article is still ignoring something important – that both of these places, the mutable hybrid and the stagnant clone, still seem to be leading to a place of moral bankruptcy and murder.
And this is where Borski strikes a very true note, in his article which responds to it, which I am quoting at length because it is just RIGHT:

BORSKI’S RESPONSE: “[the original Marsch] does seem intrigued by the trophy-like nature of the carabao he kills, and takes a shot or two at a following farmcat, but in the latter case he desists when he sees how much this upsets Victor and tells the boy that if he can get the animal into camp he can keep it as a pet. Contrast this compassion and sensibility with the far more murderous tendencies of Victor, who kills not only human John Marsch, but the abo girl he has rendezvoused with in the back of beyond– who respectively represent each of the two worlds which he should be trying to understand and assimilate as tyro anthropologist, not reduce through violence. Victor, in addition, seems unusually hostile to women, at one point seeking in his prison diary to justify why men find well-endowed women more desirable than their scrawnier sisters, at another imagining Celeste Etienne masturbating with a candle. He also believes he was abandoned by his mother after she witnessed him having intercourse, and expresses no regret at having left his destitute father behind to fend for himself. Surely, with biases like this–no compulsions about murder, issues with female sexuality, toxic familial relationships–Victor Trenchard falls far short of the idealized observer Wright posits*, and actually deserves punishment for his more serious crimes, even if the authorities on Sainte Croix are imprisoning him for all the wrong reasons. At least–unlike another fictional intellectualized monster, Hannibal Lector–Victor is where he belongs.

Then there’s also the signally high level of mimesis between Number Five and Victor Trenchard. Wright, of course, fails to mention this, and perhaps rightly so, given the operative paradigms and central thrust of his arguments. But the plain truth of the matter is that there are so many correspondences between the two men that it’s hard to believe Wolfe wants us to see them as different, being in fact, if not each other’s shadow, then nearly the same character. The following list is probably not exhaustive, but I think it clearly delineates this critical point–that Victor Trenchard and Number Five are symbolic twins, with life circumstances and ultimate fates irrevocably linked:
1) Victor is born to Three Faces, a sometimes prostitute, who later abandons him; Number Five, according to Aunt Jeannine, has probably been carried in utero by one of the house girls at 666 Saltimbanque, and also grows up motherless.
2) Both Number Five and V.R.T. have the number five connected with them. (V = 5 in Roman Numerals).
3) Both bear names that must be decrypted. Number Five’s real name is Gene Wolfe, and V.R.T. is Victor R. Trenchard. If the ‘R’ of his middle name is Rodman, as some people have suggested, this is an additional correspondence, being author Gene Wolfe’s middle name, furthering the autobiographical conjunction between the two.
4) Number Five is the physical clone of his father; Victor is the nominal clone of his, both père and fils bearing the aforesaid ‘R’.
5) Both Number Five and Victor declaim about the importance of fishing nets to the Free People.
6) Atop the pleasure garden of Cave Canem, Number Five spies on a patron** frolicking with a “nymphe du bois” in a private grotto; in the back of beyond John Marsch imagines Victor frolicking in secret with his own nymphe du bois.
7) Both men have scholarly, scientific minds.
8) Both men kill alternate versions of themselves–Number Five, his father, with whom, as a clonal son, he’s isogenetic; Victor, his mentor John Marsch.
9) Number Five plans on impersonating Maitre after he kills him (although we do not hear if he carries this out); Victor successfully assumes the identity of murdered John Marsch.
10) Number Five has a dream about confining Corinthian pillars in a paved court, the Annese equivalent of which (“woodhenge”) Victor sees in the back of beyond.
11) Number Five, in a detention camp, sees robot guards go berserk, firing upon prisoners; Victor dreams about the same incident, with berserk robots firing upon him in “a vast deserted courtyard surrounded by colonnades.”
12) Both Number Five and Victor Trenchard are initially arrested as suspects in the same foul deed–the murder of Maitre.
13) Victor Trenchard is being held by the authorities on the possibility that he may be a spy for Sainte Anne; Maitre (Number Five’s alter ego) is a spy.
14) Both men are served barley soup while imprisoned.
15) Number Five and Victor Trenchard’s lives are linked by the recurring image of the trumpet vine, mentioned at the beginning of the titular novella which recounts Number Five’s story, and referenced again at the conclusion of “V.R.T.”, which tells Victor Trenchard’s, in essence making of them a single tale.
Now, given how Number Five’s life turns out–tragically, he repeats his father’s excesses, from patricide to imminent abuse of his own son (if this were a Greek tragedy, surely his name would be Teutamides (Greek:”Son of he who repeats himself”))–and how sympathetically resonant it has been with that of his shadow twin, Victor Trenchard–it seems very hard to find anything triumphal in V.R.T.’s demise.”

What Borski has said in this super long quote is perfect – the two characters are mirrors of each other, even dreaming realistically in their “otherness”. I don’t’ see VRT at all as a positive character as Wright does. Both extremes, the capricious assimilation of all that they aborigines symbolize, and the frigid stagnation of St. Croix, both lead to the pit of hell.

CONNECTION WITH SHORT SUN:
We have a world of corruption and stagnation. Lots of similarities.
Sentient trees. Hybridization. Confused Identities. Blue and Green binary planets. Different alien species that seem to rely on imitating or stealing identity from others (inhumi, abos). I think there is evidence that both Vanished People and Inhumi are the vestiges of humanity, as these Shadow Children and abos are as well. Man with Four arms.
Differences: these abos don’t seem to ingest their “victims” as the inhumi and the trees do in Short Sun.
Why am I so certain they are different? The resonance between Urth and the Blue/Green system is too strong for me. St Croix and St. Anne just don’t seem galactically important enough – their struggle is more individual than the theme in Short Sun of returning home only to find that it no longer suits you. The theme of Fifth Head of Cerberus is very different. The man with four arms is surgically created here.

SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS:
In general, these are my conclusions – the main character in every section dies in one way or another – Number Five kills himself in his father, but that ending, “someday they will want us” is ominous; there is every indication the cycle of fraudulence will continue in the maggoty sewers of the city of mimicry behind the doors to hell guarded by Cerberus. Sandwalker, with his feet on the ground, is the aborigine who is killed. The aborigines were actually once human and are trying to be that again, but Dollo’s law has made them adapt back in a different way to using tools. The shadow children are different – they are mental constructs to some degree, and the trees or projections of those leaves, I think, which are still somehow transubstantially hybridizing, perhaps mentally through the chewed leaves with their pink eggs. (The story of Cinderwalker shows him making a woman who loses her arm into two women, one with a human arm and an abo body, the other with a human body and an abo arm – this is some funky hybridization right here, and I think thematically similar to what Number Five is doing in creating viable frog generations from an unfertilized sex cell – those chewed leaves with their pink eggs MUST be something with that creative “godlike” force, because it was said, when they were being chewed, no more need for women and the chewer was “like God”. Demiurgic?
Eastwind is the one who survives, as the later tale corroborates. There is a scene where the first Frenchmen at the landing site are supposedly greeted by Trenchard’s ancestor Eastwind (though Trenchard is obviously deluded about his origin and is merely imitating an aborigine and supplementing his income by making fake tools.)

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS: WHO HAS COLONIZED AND SUBJUGATED THE FRENCH? Almost certainly not the aborigines. Given the confusion of the Wise Old One about who was a man and who wasn’t, and his confusion of past and present, this does seem as if there was an ancient colonization of terrestrial stock to the planet. How?
[Eastwind is the twin who survives, I am sure)

WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THE PLASTIC TOOLS OF THE ABOS M.MILLION ASKS THE CHILDREN TO DISCUSS? Trenchard tries to sell his forgeries, David and Number Five talk about how they weren’t important and nets and stuff were, but geez, can they even use tools? The boy VRT can use complicated ropes, the captors in the second novella use liana vines as ropes to lower their victims, and Number Five does imply that the nets and poisons would have been more important than tools, but why are there even tools on St. Anne if the abos couldn’t use them unless it implies earlier colonization from Gondwanaland?

DOES VRT REALLY KILL HIS CATWOMAN OR IS IT MARSCH WHO DOES SO?
In the final analysis, objective identification seems pretty easy, it is the individual who cannot know himself. The overwhelming negative imagery of Port Mimizon and the street names certainly indicates that something truly horrific and hellish has transpired, and is still transpiring. There are no happy endings in Fifth Head of Cerberus, both stagnation and imitation lead to an unsavory fate.

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felicibusbrevis
Feb 1, 2011


I have a much better final explication of the second and third parts now: old guys free porn the metaphor of place names as "eye" and "other eye" in "A Story" are a mythic mapping of what is happening in VRT as well - the shadow children chew these little pink eggs and spit out their white "wives". Indeed, these little eggy things ARE the shadow children in nascent form.

Later, shadow children are described as "riding up in the bubbles and the foam from the springs", and Victor Trenchard says that he sees them, along with living trees and birds and animals. Marsch then goes out and sees huge worms the color of a dead man's lips. He also shoots a creature with a doubled pupil. The starwalker's leave from the pit called "the eye" and then sacrifices are made for the river in "the other eye" in "A Story". This is all a metaphor - the shadow children ride the marsh men by attacking their wounded eyes in the story as well. Are they an eye infection?

The mites/larva in VRT are actually the shadow children - they are not anthropomorphic, but only made that way through the story and through infecting hosts. Their claim to be a space faring race is actually a metaphor for being airborne - they infect their host and then "become" them. Thus, when Sandwalker dies at the end of "A Story", Eastwind replaces him but thinks that he is Sandwalker (there are several reasons for believing this, including the pain in his arm and the claim that Eastwind met the French Landers, as well as the statement earlier when Eastwind said that he would outlive Sandwalker but that Sandwalker would live on in dreams, as well as all the foot imagery associated with Sandwalker).

This is what happens to Marsh at the end: he is not the aboriginal VRT, but a shadow child who has "ridden" the Marsch man through the eyes. When Eastwind survives, this is the airborne nature of the shadow children in metaphor - it is not the landlocked aborigine VRT who survives, but a third creature who is neither fully Marsch nor fully VRT, but has come to be the group norm for them.

The successive group approximation becoming validly human is a theme explored in the "relaxation" brought up by Marsch when talking to Number Five, an engineering idea that series of approximations will eventually solve a problem.

Thus, Marsch in jail is a shadow child (I am still not sure if the larva actually goes through a metamorphosis or simply infects its host, but the microscopic nature of the Shadow Children coupled with the mites blown out to see who weave fabric presages the native life's great facility with weaves and knots.)

Everybody only thinks that it is VRT pretending to be Marsch, but in fact the death scene of VRT in the river (and a tree reaching out for him) can play out as described, for Marsch was replaced earlier in the tale. Thus, both Marsch and VRT are dead. Sandwalker dies, but Eastwind lives, his atrophied testicles a symbol of the appropriated replication viruses and parasites must steal from their hosts to complete their life cycles.

It is John Vector Marsch.

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jrtc2
Aug 18, 2009


I read the BotNS and the BotLS a few years ago and really enjoyed them both, but now feel like it was long enough ago that I'd better do some rereading before getting into the BotSS. This particularly rings true as I'm having a lot of trouble dredging up enough memories to follow any of the discussion at all...

Also, that is enough Bot's for one post!

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02-6611-0142-1
Sep 30, 2004



I love the idea that the shadow children are a visual metaphor for a brain parasite.

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Aug 3, 2007

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So I just finished the Book of the New Sun, and I am both really impressed and really confused, which I imagine is a pretty common reaction. There are just so many things about Urth that I want to know more about, but the mystery is the source of my interest! I'm just going to throw some thoughts out here, if only to get them in some kind of order for myself:
independent phone sex operator I have to say, the alzabo sequence in Lictor was probably the most tense part of the series for me. The whole thing was just really well-done, especially Severian's thoughts about how the will of the dead and the will of the alzabo interacted. olga kurylenko nude scenes "Father, can't you help me?" and I instantly knew Severa and Becan were dead. I also felt really bad for little Severian when the ring zapped him.

Valeria has like, a page and a half detailing her, but Severian keeps coming back to her. What is it about her that sets her apart? When he returns to the Atrium of time, he talks about the ancient titles that the disembodied voices speak that must mean himself. The ship's announcements? Does the ship know him qua-Severian, or qua-Autarch?

Jonas is the best, but I'm wondering what caused him to start going "sane" in the antechamber. Plus how long was he in space, where he knew what Athens was and could remember Kimleesoong, but when his ship returned it could only crash on Urth? Secondly, how could Jonas be Miles? Jonas was a robot, but had become a reverse-cyborg.

Are all cacogens/Hierodules non-humans? Is Father Inire an alien, or an extra-solar human?


Well, I suppose it's time to buy Urth of the New Sun now and read it!

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Apr 24, 2008


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So I just finished the Book of the New Sun, and I am both really impressed and really confused, which I imagine is a pretty common reaction. There are just so many things about Urth that I want to know more about, but the mystery is the source of my interest! I'm just going to throw some thoughts out here, if only to get them in some kind of order for myself:
amy smart nude photo Are all cacogens/Hierodules non-humans? Is Father Inire an alien, or an extra-solar human?

Well, I suppose it's time to buy Urth of the New Sun now and read it!

Regarding the cacogens and Inire: misa campo fully naked I think that 'cacogen' was a blanket term for all aliens, as Severian mentions at one point, "for several of the stories in the brown book I carried seemed to imply that colonies once existed here of those beings whom we call the cacogens, though they are in fact of myriad races, each as distinct as our own."
As for Father Inire, I think there was something saying that he was like the Cumaean at the end of Claw, an alien that's taken on human form.

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BuckarooBanzai
Dec 2, 2004

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Urth will clear up some of those. However there is a more or less explicit answer with regards to your last question about the Hierodules:

When Severian olivia wilde nude clips meets them in Baldander's castle at the end of the Lictor, Famulimus removes her second mask. He describes her as having a face very similar to the stone creatures he saw at the House Absolute. Midway through Citadel disney stars gone nude Severian meets the Anchorite at the last house. He claims to be a human from the very far (bad) future of Urth. He has a similar face.

Also as near as I can tell denise masino porn clips "cacogen" refers to a creature not of Urth. Thus the Hierodules are cacogens, but not all cacogens are Hierodules. What really sets them apart is that the Hierodules travel backwards in time. It would seem Father Inire does not.

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Neurosis
Jun 10, 2003


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Hierodules are also black lesbian orgy pics our progeny, which is the whole point of them engineering Urth's future.

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Jan 30, 2005

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Jonas is the best, but I'm wondering pictures of tantric sex what caused him to start going "sane" in the antechamber. Plus how long was he in space, where he knew what Athens was and could remember Kimleesoong, but when his ship returned it could only crash on Urth? Secondly, how could Jonas be Miles? Jonas was a robot, but had become a reverse-cyborg.

Well, I suppose it's time to buy Urth of the New Sun now and read it!

Concerning Jonas: naked women desktop wallpaper On a purely mechanical (heh) level, my guess is that being hit with the electric weapon at the door of the antechamber sparked some dormant circuit in Jonas' robot brain, which messed him up / made him realise he'd just been loving about wasting time on Urth and flee through the mirror. Furthermore, he doesn't necessarily remember Athens and the Korean names because he's been in space since the days of our Earth, but because his superior computer memory banks contain all of Urth's history and his being messed up causes it to come back in fragments, prompted by Severian's historical story.

As to coming back, perhaps he finds his way back to his original full capabilities as a spaceship's AI and projects his consciousness into a dead body near Severian in the hope of finding Jolenta again? Maybe not, it seems equally likely that Miles was never Jonas, and simply abandons Severian in disgust after he shows himself to be a total headcase.

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Reivax
Apr 24, 2008


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Concerning Jonas: sex tv for mobile On a purely mechanical (heh) level, my guess is that being hit with the electric weapon at the door of the antechamber sparked some dormant circuit in Jonas' robot brain, which messed him up / made him realise he'd just been loving about wasting time on Urth and flee through the mirror. Furthermore, he doesn't necessarily remember Athens and the Korean names because he's been in space since the days of our Earth, but because his superior computer memory banks contain all of Urth's history and his being messed up causes it to come back in fragments, prompted by Severian's historical story.

Jonas' history: teen boys sleeping naked He says that there were no space ports when his ship returns to Earth, with the obvious implication that there had been before he left. I'm not sure how long spaceflight in New Sun takes, but it seems likely that whatever cataclysm that started humanity regressing as they did happen whilst he was away. Weren't there numerous hints that someone planted a black hole in the Sun, starting its slow death?

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Draxamus
Jul 6, 2010


Huh, Book of the New Sun fan music

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Apr 25, 2006

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Is there anyone who has read Soldier of the Mist in this thread? I am almost done with it and, having thoroughly enjoyed it, I would be interested in hearing what anyone else felt about it and if there are any overarching theories about the book that I might find interesting. For me, I made it through one and a half books of the Severian stuff but couldn't go any further, it was just too much. By contract, although Soldier of the Mist is quite whimsical and employs Wolfe's very unique narrative style, it was much easier to take in due the relative simplicity of the setting. I absolutely loved the way names of places and people and gods are used in this book, made it a really fun puzzle but also helped to draw you into the setting.

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