(urth) Neighbors as Faeries

James Wynn crushtv at gmail.com
Thu Mar 19 21:08:22 PDT 2009

>Another point that calls it into question for me is his attitude towards the
>Neighbors in IGJ. If I recall correctly, there are a few passages where
>he questions Incanto & Co. about local Neighbor ruins and/or local legends
>about them. But his attitude was definitely groping for information. 
>I know that's vague, and I don't have the book with me to check for passages.
>But I just recall a general sense of Horn's still trying to learn about the
>Neighbors, which would seem odd if he was one.

I'd have examine the text with that in mind, but even if it were true, I can think of a couple of explanations. 

One is that the Raja is acting as he knows Horn would. If you've read The Fifth Head of Cerberus, you know that a truly perfect imitation loses the extraordinary attributes that allowed him to be a perfect mimic in the first place. VRT does not switch disguises and escape from jail because Dr. Marsch could not. And the Raja does not use any knowledge Neighbory knowledge (except at the very end) in order to help himself along. Krait acts similarly.

Another explanation is that the Raja is a very young Neighbor; that the blue glass dome where Horn found him was a destroyed nursery. Considering the small trees there, that seems reasonable.

However it is, I'm grateful to David Stockhoff for bringing the myth of Actaeon to my attention today. Before reading SS I had already written an essay showing that the LS narrative overlaid the myth of Aristaeus. If I had stopped to think that Wolfe might carry that story on into the SS when I read it, I might been *looking* for Horn to be turned in to a stag before I even read it. Or I might have missed it, which seems likely since Wolfe has the story so cleverly twisted.


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