(urth) Hethor, Descartes and the "paracoita"

Duncan Truter dtruter at gmail.com
Tue Mar 21 08:23:49 PST 2006

this reminds me a lot of the story in 'the island of doctor death and
other stories and other stories'. can't remember the name, it's the
one about the puppeteers, with human-sized puppets.

the protagonist seems to be a puppet/have some kind of relationship
with his own puppet/all of the above, and there's a part where he
meets somone who may be a puppet herself.

On 3/21/06, James Machin <jfmachin at hotmail.com> wrote:
> I'm a new poster, so please ignore if I'm covering old, old ground. I've
> searched the archives but can't find any previous reference to this...
> I recently came across a passage in a book I'm reading (a biography of Kant)
> about Descartes' personal "automaton". The following excerpt from an article
> in the Daily Telegraph gives a good summation of the story:
> The great philosopher went on a sea voyage to Sweden, telling people he was
> travelling with his daughter Francine. As the journey went on, the girl
> never appeared, and curious sailors finally entered Descartes' cabin. They
> found only a mechanical doll, which horrified them so much that they threw
> her overboard.
> (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2002/03/05/bodoll02.xml)
> Of course, this scenario of the mechanical doll stowed in a cabin instantly
> reminded me of Hethor's lost "paracoita". Presumably, this is intentional on
> Wolfe's part...?
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