(urth) "V.R.T." - April 24

b sharp bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Wed Jul 26 06:03:57 PDT 2006

I don't know about others, but for me, Ori's  (orikowarsky at hotmail.com) 
post had the formatting so out of whack it was unreadable.  I cut and pasted 
his post here, reformatted; hopefully it will work better for all:

Hello all,I've just finsihed re-reading FHC and something leapt out at me 
which seemed worth delurking to explore (whether it will seem worthwhile to 
anyone else is another matter ...).It seems to me -- and forgive me if this 
has been raised before, but I couldn't find anything in the archives -- that 
the prisoner in cell 143 is John Marsch.  By which I mean the Earthman John 
Marsch.If you look chronologically at Marsch's entries from April 24 onwards 
what seems to be happening is a double-blending.  Something has happened to 
Marsch that  makes
him think that he's a half-abo boy named Victor;  once that
transference takes place "Victor" subsequently decides to "become"
"Marsch" because that's what marsch believes abos do.  It's as though water 
trapped in a container is being tipped first to the left and then to the 
right before attaining some kind of equilibrium.I'll first try to sketch out 
the "how" of it which will hopefully blend into the "why".1.  Shadow child 
influence.  One day before the transformation begins (but I would not say 
completes -- see below) Marsch is bitten on the hand by Victor's cat.  In "A 
Story", a very strange thing happens at the end, which is Eastwind is bitten 
(again, on the hand) by a Shadow child who tells him (and Sandwalker) that 
the bite will cause some kind of exchange of souls or perspectives.  
Sandwalker then kills Eastwind -- or does he?  Because in "V.R.T." the abo 
who greets the colonists at Frenchman's Landing is named Eastwind.  The 
transference is first claimed to be accomplished by the narcotic inside the 
Shadow child's mouth, but later the Shadow child claims that the 
transference is based on personal belief -- ie. is psychosomatic.Now, I 
recognize that "A Story" is written by John/Victor and so it is debatable 
whether the story describes a)  an actual happening, b)  an actual legend, 
c)  is a thinly (V)eiled account of what happened to John/Victor in the back 
of the beyond or d)  is a complete red herring.  I would say, though, that 
the fact that "A Story" raises an unanswered question as to the true 
identity of the individual historically known as Eastwind, plus the fact 
that the exchange happens via a bite to the hand means that it is 
significant -- either as a description of one of the Shadow children's 
powers, a belief about the Shadow children's powers or as a sublimation of 
something psycholgical that has happened to Marsch.2.  Transference.I'm not 
a psycholgist, but it seems to me that there is sufficient pre-April 24 
material to support the idea that even if there is no Shadow child magic 
going on, there is definitely evidence to support the idea that there is a 
psycholigcal transference that occurs in Marsch either as the result of the 
matrix of his personality/profession and environment (he has literally "gone 
native"), erotic tranference, or a combination of the two.3.  The missing 
months.Asuming that what Marsch later writes about the date (being June, not 
April) is correct, the process of double-blending occurs over a large space 
of time.  I would argue that during much of this period Victor is still 
alive and March is unknowingly assuming Victor's persona as they continue 
the exploration.  I believe that it is Victor who in fact died, either as 
the result of an accident  (as written) or somehow in the course of a 
botched seduction attempt by Marsch or else an attempt by Marsch to catch 
Victor with the suspected female abo.However it happens, Marsch experiences 
a complete personality breakdown in the immensity of the wilderness and 
comes to believe that he is Victor.  He then  must explain to himself why he 
a)  is alone and b) looks like Marsch,
and since he has been immersed in theories that the abos are shapeshifters 
who take on human form "Victor" becomes "Marsch".This is as far as I've 
gotten with the theory.  Again, if anyone has previously raised this I 
apologise for the redudancy and would love to be directed to any posts that 
outline its development.I would say, finally, that I believe that the Shdaow 
child in "A Story" -- whether he existed or not -- tells a fundamental truth 
about the colonization of St. Anne. There are no aliens.  There are no abos. 
  There are only humans who colonized St. Anne at different times and whose 
minds and bodies were colonzied by St. Anne in turn. It may be that the only 
true abo is the alien plant cud in the Shadow child's mouth.


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