(urth) Babbie, a Destrier?

John Watkins john.watkins04 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 11 07:55:49 PST 2010

Maybe Wolfe thinks that red eyes look cool.

On Mon, Jan 11, 2010 at 10:52 AM, Tom Hopkins <topkins at hotmail.co.uk> wrote:

>  My problem with this is that in Appendix of Shadow of the Claw, Wolfe is
> acting as the translator rather than the writer himself. He only knows the
> facts provided by Severian, and if Destriers were to have 8 legs it may be
> something he were to take for granted, as for him it would be commonplace
> and known by nearly all; and therefore fail to mention. With animals
> throughout the books he rarely describes them in depth, merely by name as he
> assumes we would know what they are. I feel this could be another such case,
> or maybe merely something Gene Wolfe decided to elaborate on later in
> another series as nothing contradicts it in the original text.
> The main problem I have is just how similar they are, unless its just Wolfe
> playing tricks I feel there must be a reason behind it. I also found the
> Shear Bear mentioned in the Long Sun omnibus to be very reminiscent of the
> Alzabo in New Sun; this however is more of a guess and has much less
> evidence to support a link between the two. The only real inclination I got
> of this was merely in the text where the Shear Bear is mentioned it does
> sound similar to the attributes of an Alzabo.
> Another point I feel worth mentioning which relates to all 3 is that the
> Hus, Destriers and Alzabo are all described as having red eyes. Whilst this
> could well be nothing, it seems curious to me as all 3 (If we are counting
> Hus and Destriers as separate) are of alien origin, with at least the
> Destrier being in some way a construct of man. Does this hint a connection
> between them all, in that they are possibly from the same planet or eco
> system?
> I'd be very interested to hear thoughts on the matter, thanks.
> ------------------------------
> Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2010 04:56:25 -0800
> From: jsmith2627 at att.net
> To: urth at lists.urth.net
> Subject: Re: (urth) Babbie, a Destrier?
>   You're right about the resemblances, but I don't think they're the same.
>   In the Appendix to *Shadow,* Wolfe says, "I have scrupled to call these
> creatures *horses*, since I am certain the word is not strictly correct.
>   The 'Destriers' of   *The Book of the New Sun* are unquestionably
> swifter and more enduring than the animals we know, and the speed of those
> used for military purposes seems to permit the delivering of cavalry charges
> against enemies supported by high-energy armament."
> This passage suggests that destriers are closely related to our
> horses--probably genetically modified--and not as different as the
> eight-legged hus.
> Best wishes,
> Jack
> --- On *Sun, 1/10/10, Tom Hopkins <topkins at hotmail.co.uk>* wrote:
> From: Tom Hopkins <topkins at hotmail.co.uk>
> Subject: (urth) Babbie, a Destrier?
> To: urth at urth.net
> Date: Sunday, January 10, 2010, 5:52 PM
>  Hello I'm new to the group so please forgive me if this has already been
> asked. I also apologise If I have submitted this to the wrong place.
> After reading recently through the Long and Short Sun books, it seems to me
> that Babbie is hinted to be what Severian comes to know as a Destrier, or
> they are related in some way.
> Several features seem to be common to both: the tusks or long teeth, the
> red eyes and the claws which are often called hooves. Whilst Babbie starts
> off small, he grows to be around the same size as I imagine a Destrier does.
> The main problem I see against this theory is the fact a Hus is described as
> having 8 legs, whilst I can't remember Destriers being described as such, I
> also however cannot remember them being described as having only 4 limbs
> either; and as for much of my first reading I simply assumed Destriers to be
> horses, I can imagine myself merely assuming they have four limbs also.
> The main issue that confuses me is that even if they aren't the same
> creature, why are they so similar. Especially the part when Babbie first
> emerges and horn says;
> "It advanced, the thick, short claws some people call hooves loud on the
> stone floor,". As well as all the other details, they seem too similar for
> it to be merely accidental even if they are a completely different species.
> After searching through the archives I couldn't find this topic yet
> discussed,  I apologise if it has been and I simply missed it. I am just
> curious to hear your thoughts on the matter, even If I am completely wrong,
> so any replies would be much appreciated.
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