(urth) Famous monsters

b sharp bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Fri Jul 21 06:13:49 PDT 2006

Regarding Dr. Talos' allusion, Tony Ellis writes:

>No, it's definitely Frankenstein :-) . Dr Talos says "our own shadowsrace 
>into the past to trouble >mankind's dreams." What's the one thing everyone 
>knows about the writing of Frankenstein? >That the idea came to Mary 
>Shelley in a troubled dream. Where did Mary Shelley have this dream? >In a 
>villa on the shore of a beautiful lake. Where are Dr Talos, Severian and 
>Baldanders? On the
>shore of a beautiful lake.

Actually I didn't know about the dream and the villa and the lake.  I think 
that is very interesting and pertinent and appreciate the filling of my 
knowledge gap.

However, I let something slide regarding your initial post that I must 
address now.  In the Urth before Earth thread I suggested there were only 
two direct quotes from Earth books in BotNS.  An allusion is quite a 
different thing.  An allusion is a literary device that can allow an author 
to make references directly to the reader without the speaking character 
actually being aware of the reference source.

But if a character quotes directly from a literary source it means the 
character has actually read (or been exposed to) that source within the 
storyline.  I think there is little doubt that Wolfe is alluding to 
Frankenstein here but I'm not so certain that Dr. Talos has read Mary 
Shelley.  Shadows of legends and dreams may have passed between them but has 
actual text been shared?

In contrast, direct quotes suggest that Marie of the Jungle Hut has read The 
Bible and Jonas has read Lewis Carroll.

Perhaps I am missing your main point, which is to suggest the 
Talos-Frankenstein passage is evidence that Earth is in Urth's past?  If so, 
I agree.  However I am currently swayed more by the counter-evidence, e.g. 
that Marie (and her Bible), found in the upper level of a time structure, is 
in the future.



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