(urth) The Guild's Revolutionary

James Wynn crushtv at gmail.com
Mon Nov 23 20:03:59 PST 2009

>> not much supporting it beyond Utlan's blindness. Borges is a great 
>> writer, but other than "The Book of Imaginary Beings" which cites the 
>> Baldanders, I haven't noted much influence from him. Of course, that 
>> might be due to a deficiency in my Borges knowledge.
> Father Inire echoes "The Book of Imaginary Beings" section on fauna of 
> mirrors.
> Borges has:
> "the Fish was a shifting and shining creature that nobody had ever caught 
> but that many said they had glimpsed in the depths of mirrors...The first 
> to awaken will be the Fish. Deep in the mirror we will perceive a very 
> faint line and the color of this line will be like no other color."

Look, I'm not saying Wolfe hasn't read Borges, nor even that he doesn't like 
him. Nor that he hasn't drawn from The Book of Imaginary Beings. I know he 
has (even though he has apparently disparaged that little book somewhat). 
I'm speaking specifically of Master Ultan. It's a cool little concept to say 
"Oh, Wolfe had Borges play that roll." It'd be neat to find all my favorite 
authors on Urth. But if Ultan wasn't blind, no one would identify him with 
Borges either by his looks or words.  And so essentially the argument is 
that Ultan=Borges because Ultan is a blind librarian. But Palaemon is blind 
too, right? Who is he? So where is Vance? Don't you think he deserves to be 
here? Or Chesterton?


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