(urth) The Sorcerer's House Questions (*Major Spoilers*)

Dave Tallman davetallman at msn.com
Tue Mar 30 21:14:12 PDT 2010

Thomas Bitterman wrote:
> As mentioned in another post, the circumstances of George's note and its
> contents make forgery probable, IMHO.  Madame Orizia is an accomplice (and
> somewhat out of
> the loop - how could she cover his home "quite thoroughly", given the
> warping it's always doing?).  Doris was not emotionally stable when she
> wrote the second latter and should not be considered a reliable witness.
> FWIW, the Compiler (whom I maintain is Bax) is upfront about "extensive"
> editing.
I don't allow Bax as the Compiler in any theories because it makes 
complete fraud much too easy. But temporal rearrangement of letters is 
allowed. For example, if the second Doris letter was written when she 
was drunk and/or crazy, then Bax is allowed to spin a story around the 
crazy things she said (and maybe even forge the postscript).

Moving the Skotos inquiry letter (155-157) earlier would help, because 
it helps eliminate the coincidence of Bax moving to Medicine Man and 
moving into the Black House. Suppose eccentric millionaire Skotos 
decided to leave property to Bax for whatever reason (he admired his Phd 
research?) Per the Shell letter of 197-198, Skotos was making inquiries 
about Bax while he was in prison, and probably got in touch with Lou (p. 
9). Deeding the Black House to him, and making a will leaving the 
river-front property would give Bax a reason to move there.

Unfortunately, that doesn't quite work. The inquiry letter mentions 
George being held at gunpoint, which wouldn't happen unless George came 
there after receiving other strange letters. Early letters from Bax to 
Shell (9-10, 23-24) indicate him moving to Medicine Man for other 
reasons and having no great expectations at all.

So we are left with Bax coincidentally moving to Medicine Man, and 
coincidentally moving into a house that would be his. Such a coincidence 
amounts to him being unconsciously being drawn there by his magical 
heritage. So it's magic, and the whole story stems from that.

Why the complete rejection of the fantastic, anyway. You wouldn't read 
"Pirate Freedom" with the attitude: "Time travel is impossible, so 
whatever the narrator says about going to the past must be lies."  This 
is a Wolfe story, and he often writes of the fantastic. So why not 
accept it?

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