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

Tony Ellis tonyellis69 at btopenworld.com
Wed Jul 26 12:08:16 PDT 2006

Ori wrote:
>Something has happened to Marsch that makes
>him think that he's a half-abo boy named Victor...

The similarity of Marsch's bite and Eastwind's is very suggestive, I
agree, and something I've often wracked my brains over. 

However, my problem with your theory is the same problem I had with
earlier arguments which said that VRT was delusional and only thinks
that he has become Marsch: given so many hints that the abos have some
sort of ability of mimicry, doesn't it make more sense to assume that
Marsch *has* been replaced by an abo, rather than that he suffers from
the curious delusion that he has? If he's delusional, you have to find
an alternative explanation for Cassilla's apparent ability to look older
at will, and for that of VRT's mother, and for many, many other things.
Isn't it simpler to assume that abos can mimic and that this is what has
happened here? This is, after all, an SF novel. Such things are allowed.

Also, you're mistaken when you say that Eastwind was bitten on the hand,
as Marsch/VRT claims to be. Eastwind is bitten on the arm, so you're
starting off from a slightly wobblier premise than you might have

And finally, don't forget that we don't actually *know* that Marsch/VRT
was bitten by the cat at all. If VRT has physically replaced Marsch,
this was just a lie to explain the change in handwriting, and there is
no mystical cat-bite.

All that said, the whole Marsch-Victor-replacement-death thing is one of
the most maddeningly enigmatic parts of the whole book. The bite may
indeed have happened and may indeed be hugely significant. But I don't
think Marsch only thinks he is VRT.

Ori also wrote:
>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. 

Here I'm much in agreement with you. But while I think abos and humans
are of the same race, I'm not so sure about the Shadow Children. One of
the last things the Old Wise One says is that before men came "We were
mostly long, and lived between the roots of trees." And later: "Now I am
half a man, and know that we were always here... listening without
thought of our own to be men." But he leaves the matter ambiguous by
adding "or it may be that all are one stock." Thanks Gene.

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