(urth) Baldanders

Chris rasputin_ at hotmail.com
Wed May 17 12:40:20 PDT 2006

I also had the impression that he was a baby Abaia, though keeping in mind 
that we have only a hazy notion of what Abaia & co. *are* (if we take into 
account the nature of the sources we have for that info).

I think that the person who suggested a comparison with Napoleon was on to 
something, although I'd go further and associate him with a state - possibly 
the soviet union - or an ideology, most probably communism. In any event a 
potential further clue is his relationship with Talos; the scientist/artist 
is in service to the beast.

>Wow. Now I'm *really* confused. I don't have text references available, but
>I always thought it was axiomatic that Baldanders was a baby Abaia -- and 
>such, an alien infant dropped or otherwise delivered to Urth. Obviously,
>that could be wrong, but I can't recall a single indication that he was
>originally a human being. Quite the opposite -- it seems like Wolfe takes
>great pains to show us that Baldanders is something very "other."
>The things ya learn on this list....
>On 5/17/06, Macronaut <macronaut at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>I agree.  And I would argue that, as a candidate for epitome of Earth,
>>Baldanders represented the Earth-that-was-punished with a black hole:
>>mankind as amoral exploiter of nature and enslaver of fellow man.  In 
>>the contrast presented when the heirodules bow down to Sev instead of
>>Baldanders is pretty momentus foreshadowing because it ties so many
>>inferences together, ie. that (a) Sev  will be epitome of Earth; (b) Sev
>>represents a different mankind than Baldanders; (c) judging by Baldanders'
>>example ("human under glass, anyone?") that version is a kinder, gentler,
>>more noble one; and (d) as such, he will succeed in expiating Man's sins 
>>bringing the New Sun.  Baldanders is a would-be Typhon -- his
>>self-alteration is just one more clue tying the two together.
>>Finally, I think there's also something to be found in the fact that
>>Baldanders starts off as a very small man who grows to bloated size as the
>>result of his depradations against his fellow man -- it suggests Napoleon,
>>which if intentional can be read as a symbol of mankind's conquering
>>arrogance.  And is it any coincidence that Wolfe simultaneously casts
>>Baldanders as the freak in a travelling road show (and one watched with
>>dismay and amusement by the heirodules at the House Absolute)?
>>*David DiGiacomo <david at slack.com>* wrote:
>> >Apologies if this sounds like a facile question, but after searching the
>> >list, doing other web searches and reading Solar Labyrinth, I'm still at
>> >loss as to what or who Baldanders is.
>>I believe that he is a human who modified himself to extend his life
>>(through the SFnal mechanism of unending growth). Otherwise he would not
>>be a candidate for Autarch/epitome.
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