(urth) Severians Later Appearance (Spoilers)

brunians at brunians.org brunians at brunians.org
Fri Jan 15 16:30:16 PST 2010

In 2002, when I met Gene Wolfe, I mentioned the theory that was bouncing
around the list at the time, that Hyacinth was a male chem.

He remarked that it was a good thing that he wasn't on the list.


> James Wynn wrote:
>> Chenille says Hy came to work for a commissioner to keep his kids
>> ("eight or nine sprats I guess").
> The "eight or nine sprats" are actually Hyacinth's brothers and sisters.
> Here is the context. The commissioner said he wanted a maid, not a nanny.
> The interjection about sprats suggests why her father could spare her, and
> his desperation to have a better-paying job. It looks like a sale to me.
> And
> if this is the Rajan, what is his relationship to all these sprats?
> "...One of the commissioners saw [Hyacinth] when she was maybe fourteen,
> and
> said, 'Listen, I need a maid. Send her up and she can live at my
> house'--they had eight or nine sprats, I guess--'and she can make a little
> money, too, and *you'll get a nice promotion.*' Hy's father was just a
> *regular* clerk then, probably."
> It's interesting that the name Hyacinth has triple ambiguity in the
> Viron naming system.
> 1) A type of plant (female)
> 2) A name for yellow zircon (chem)
> 3) A species of pigeon (male)
> I go for transgendered male to female, for all the usual reasons (body
> looks like a boy, except for artificial breasts, tougher fighter than
> she looks) and also:
> 1) The mural in her room that alludes to several other greek males in
> relationships like Hyacynthus, without specifically naming him
> (emphasis of a clue by omission).
> 2) The gay Blood would find it amusing to tempt the city officials
> with a sex-changed boy.
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