(urth) Shapeshifting Evidence and Principles

b sharp bsharporflat at hotmail.com
Sun May 28 21:59:05 PDT 2006

mournings glory writes:

>I've recently been accused off-list of being a bully in here, and hope this 
>doesn't further damage my credibility or rep; nevertheless, if you're only 
>interested in applause or >self-gratification, maybe you shouldn't 
>masturbate in public. Now please, sir, let's see what you >come up with 

Well, I'm not happy to see that my 20 year quest for solutions to the 
mysteries in BotNS has been reduced to applause seeking, self-gratification 
and masturbating in public.  I guess that could be called bullying language, 
I don't know. You called me sir, was that an attempt to be courteous?

mg also writes:
>Actually, I've never endorsed the mirror theory. In my opinion the slug is 
>able to enter the House >Absolute the same way the white wolves are, via 
>any number of hidden or forgotten entrances.

So Hethor doesn't use shapeshifting or mirrors.  Interesting theory. So the 
slug has nothing to do with Hethor, it is just a wild creature that drops in 
when it wants to? This really ignores large chunks of text.

mg says:
>I pointed out the likely shapeshifting ability of Venant unless he 
>naturally looks like the very human, if false, Epitome of Urth.

I tried to nicely correct these two textual mistakes you made and I think 
Roy did too, on one of them. But you repeat them.  Either you ignored our 
posts or didn't read them. You don't seem too interested in reading the 
BotNS text either.   If you are going to be blundering, insulting, 
self-righteous and make up your own text then I'm not sure what benefit I 
can get from discourse with you.

Chris writes:
>What you are primarily missing here, I think, is a reference to the 

That's not much to go on Chris. Any further info you can provide?

Thalassocrat says:

>I don't think that's the real dichotomy. Better: "Here's a nice shiny jewel 
>- let's shove it in the ring!" vs "But it doesn't fit, and if you scratch 
>it, it flakes. Let's find a real gem that fits."
>Well, that certainly sounds more aggressive than I intended. I really meant 
>that everybody finds themselves on different sides of that division from 
>time to time. What looks like ill-fitting tawdry costume paste to some may 
>look like the Wossisname diamond to others, or even to the same person at a 
>different time. Etc etc etc.

I appreciate the politeness of your re-statement but I think your original 
words more accurately reflect your feelings.  Though I am new to this 
message board I am not new to BotNS.  Being less familiar with later works I 
do not mention them much.  I sometimes submit off-the-cuff posts and I try 
to identify them as such.  My serious posts are have been carefully thought 
out and researched for positive and negative evidence in the text.  To avoid 
clutter I eschew citing chapter and page but if needed I could start.

As noted in my ring analogy, I do not start exploring a puzzle by looking on 
the floor for pretty pieces then try to make them fit somewhere.  I start by 
looking at the picture as a whole and  notice gaps. Then I look for pieces 
which fit.

I do welcome criticism.  If you feel a gap doesn't exist, I am interested in 
why.  If you feel there is a gap but my proposed piece doesn't fit I am 
interested in that also.  I strongly prefer criticism which finds 
contradiction directly from the text.  If a person just needs to vent their 
emotions regarding one of my posts, to say it doesn't "feel right to me", 
that's okay too, though not as useful.

I am not very open to criticism which use vague, unsupported arguments such 
as "that doesn't help the plot" or "there is no need for that".  These sorts 
of statements imply the speaker fully and entirely apprehends the intentions 
and devices of the author.  That the mind of Gene Wolfe, the subtext, plot 
and themes of BotNS are in such full understanding that the power of 
authoritative judgement has been conferred.  If there is someone here who 
does have a full grasp of the BotNS please let him be identified.  From all 
I've seen in my various searches of the past 20 years, there is no one on 
earth, save perhaps one, who  comes close to that power of judgement.

I will again state my quest:  I hope to understand as much as possible about 
the work of art called The Book of The New Sun and its companion Urth of the 
New Sun and the intentions of the brilliant mind that created it.  I welcome 
friendly, intelligent discourse and would rather avoid unpleasantness, 
ignorance and competiton but my goal is as stated.  By documenting my 
progress I hope to enlist the help of people with the same goal and perhaps 
to help them as well.


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