(urth) Names on the Whorl

David Stockhoff dstockhoff at verizon.net
Tue Sep 7 05:48:46 PDT 2010

  Thanks for the names, Roy. However, they generally don't test the 

Let me restate my hypothesis so it can be tested: every (human) 
character has two names; one name is (let's say) an in-group name and 
the other a (parental) out-group name. But only one is ever presented, 
because the narrator has a unique, potentially changeable relation to 
the character.

Admittedly, this is hard to test. If every (human) character has two 
names and only one is ever presented,  then what matters is not the 
character's presented name but the character's relationship to the 
narrator. The family is the basic in-group. If Horn says, "I once knew a 
person named Swallowtail---" then all we know is that the person was 
male and was not in his family. We knew that anyway.

This isn't to argue for the idea, simply to explain that presenting 
lists of character names and the family relationship of characters to 
one another does not test the idea. For example, to Horn, his father was 
Smoothbone, but if he had held a public position he might have been 
called (say) General Moose.

If Horn is estranged from Stag, that might work, although that gets 
dodgy. The only real problem below is Cricket. Unless Cricket's 
identification as Cowslip's son rather than his father's son changes 
things, that doesn't work. Who was Cricket's father? Does his name give 
away his identity?

I leave this to those of you who are more familiar with the Long Sun.

On 9/7/2010 12:33 AM, Roy C. Lackey wrote:
> David Stockhoff wrote:
>>    I meant the family name would remain, but would be unspoken, not that
>> the son's name would become the new family name. As I said, family =
>> animals, children = parts. Or more like, patriarch = animal.
> Not even that works. Horn's full-brothers were named Calf, Tallow and
> Tongue; his full-sisters Cowslip and Oxlip. Horn's half-brothers (same
> father) are Antler and Stag. Cricket was the name of Cowslip's son.
>> Blood would be Blood (Pike), and his children Scale and Fin (Pike). It's
>> a system that would only work if everyone honored it, obviously. But why
>> else are some people animals and others animal parts? Why are strangers
>> animals, but those characters whose families are intimately known always
>> parts? Horn is presented as a child, not a man/patriarch. Do we know his
>> father?
> As I mentioned recently, Horn's father is Smoothbone. There is no real
> pattern; Horn and Calf had the same parents.
> -Roy
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