(urth) Ascians' Thematic Purppose (was ATTENDING DAEDALUS)

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes danldo at gmail.com
Mon Jan 30 11:39:25 PST 2006

On 1/30/06, Adam Thornton <adam at io.com> wrote:
> There's something else that everyone misses about the storytelling
> contest.
> As Wolfe loves to do, we get the story through various layers of
> intermediaries.  We do not get the Ascian's story as such.  Or
> rather, we do, but we get it presented with a commentary that turns
> it from a string of Correct Thought phrases into a coherent narrative.
> Why should we believe that Foila is both knowledgeable and
> trustworthy?  We really have no way of knowing either the story Foila
> interprets for the Ascian is the story he meant to tell, and if it
> isn't, we don't have any way of knowing whether Foila was unable to
> interpret his story correctly or whether she received one story and
> told another.

True as far as it goes -- but we do know that Loyal to the
Group of Seventeen understands the language of the
Commonwealth. He continues telling his story unperturbed,
without seeming to offer Foila any corrections or protests.

One could argue that Correct Thought is sufficiently well
embedded in his brain that he can't actually understand
Commonwealth-speak unless it's a translation of Correct
Thought, so he can't really criticize her; but on the few
occasions Ascians interact with others they don't seem to
have this problem.

I conclude therefore that two things are going on here.

First, that Foila does indeed produce an acceptable (at
least to Loyal to the Group of Seventeen) transmogrification
of his story.

Second, that Foila knows an awful lot about Ascians'
ways of speaking and thinking. There's something more
to her than meets the eye. I don't think she's an Ascian
spy, but she might be a traitor, or a Vodalaria.


I do not fear Satan half so much as I fear those who fear him.
                        -- St Teresa of Avila
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