(urth) Neighbors as Faeries

Chris P rasputin_ at hotmail.com
Thu Mar 19 21:14:50 PDT 2009

It has been too long since I read the books and my memory is hazy, but is there not also an aspect in which the Neighbors are themselves sort of... composite... beings? Would it be possible on your interpretation for it not to be an entire Neighbor in there, but just a part of one - just enough, perhaps, to be able to recognize a kinship with the rest of itself when it shakes hands, but not enough to have the full memory and personality of a "complete" Neighbor?

"When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set." -- Lin Yutang

From: crushtv at gmail.com
To: urth at lists.urth.net
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2009 23:08:22 -0500
Subject: Re: (urth) Neighbors as Faeries


>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 
>he questions Incanto & Co. about local Neighbor ruins and/or local 
>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 
>But I just recall a general sense of Horn's still trying to learn about 
>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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