(urth) Hierodules and time

b sharp bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Fri May 26 08:35:58 PDT 2006

Thalassocrat says:

>Not that it matters; it's a tiny issue, I confess, but time travel always 
>annoys me. And I can't help feeling that Wolfe has something devious going 
>on here, and that I'm missing it completely, which is irritating <g>.

I disagree! I think this is a very interesting and pertinent topic. And I 
agree!  Wolfe is being devious.  Pondering this one is relevant to other 
Wolfe puzzles.

btw, my two years of Latin class, mostly forgotten, do at least allow me to 
know that "ex" means "out from".  I think you are taking the literal 
translation of the phrase too strictly 
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deus_ex_machina) and missing the point of the 
Roger Rabbit quote.

A "deus ex machina" has broadly come to mean the  literary device defined 
above.  I am saying Ossipago is a metaphor (and apology) for all the "dei ex 
machinae" (is that the plural? lol) Wolfe uses.  He wants to make good 
stories and will bend credulity a bit to do so.

I think Wolfe is having devious fun with Ossipago.  Just as Baldanders is a 
reverse Frankenstein (monster who creates his doctor), Ossipago is a reverse 
deus ex machina. He is a machine from the gods, a device, sent to carry a 
weak thread in the plot. The exact weak thread which is bothering you so 

I am bookless for now, so I'll have to get back later on the issue of 
Ossipago's memory.  I'm not saying I have all the answers, quite the 
contrary! I'm just trying my best to help both/all our understandings.  In 
fact I hadn't really given this issue the thought it deserved until you 
brought it up, for which I am very thankful and appreciative!


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