(urth) Are old questions OK?

Chris rasputin_ at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 20 13:40:29 PDT 2006

I do not recall anyone "heaping" "venom" or "derision" on Borski. Borski was 
a contributor to this list for a while, if I recall correctly, and 
well-liked by people here - even those of us who think his theories are too 
much of a stretch. This does not mean we have to accept his theories, or 
obligate us to praise them for having merits we don't think they have. Nor 
does it incline us to accept at face value, on the basis of Borski's 
authority, anything a poster wants to use to argue their own points. 
Arguments from authority are shady business anyway, and when the position 
being argued is controversial, such reasoning is not going to get a warm 

As far as "Solar Labyrinth" goes, I think I posted my thoughts on it some 
time ago, and they may (or may not) be in the archives. The book has value, 
even though I don't agree with most of its conclusions (or many of its 
premises), if for no other reason than the fact that Borski has been very 
attentive to the text and brings up many thought-provoking points that may 
have passed unnoticed, or been forgotten, on your first (or second, or 
third, or fourth) reading of the series.

>Scott K asks:
> >What's the general reception in these rarified Wolfe circles of the 
> >book, "Solar Labyrinth?"
>I've heard venom and derision heaped on Borsky by some members of the old
>guard from here.  I applaud him for daring to raise a lot of questions 
>BotNS and publish outside the confines of this list.  My main complaint
>would be that he didn't stick around in here long enough to debate some of
>his ideas and stay open to correction and/or refinement.
>I've seen others single out the example that bothers you the most, "i.e. 
>Navigator was JFK."  I'm too young to remember the Kennedy funeral, but I
>appreciate Borski's guess because nobody else ever, that I know of, has the
>slightest clue what "the Navigator" story (told by prisoners in the
>antechamber) was about.  It is incomprehensible to me that Wolfe meant
>nothing by it...or that it is a red herring.  The best working hypothesis
>gets my vote until something better comes along.   If Borski and Wolfe saw
>the same video clips of the JFK funeral then, maybe that's it.
>I'm also accepting of this hypothesis because it fits a theme of 60's pop
>culture references I think I see in BotNS which include the movie Swiss
>Family Robinson, TV shows Gilligan's Island and Lost In Space (all 3 based
>loosely on Robison Crusoe), facelift surgery, drug culture and of course
>Neil Armstrong on the moon.  Anyone else see others?
>(I reject another proposed candidate:  radiation warning /fallout shelter
>signs because I think the identification was based on an incorrect
>interpretation of the term "teratoid symbols".)
>Personally I think Borsky wasn't comprehensive enough in trying to identify
>Severian's family members but way waaaaay too aggressive in applying
>cryptonymic analysis to make hundreds of very hard to swallow links between
>just about everything and everybody in the story.  But once again, I'll
>praise him for having the gall to publish his ideas and increase the
>involvement of old and newer Wolfe fans.
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