(urth) The face of Pas

James Wynn crushtv at gmail.com
Wed Sep 15 07:35:15 PDT 2010

>> Me -
>> A tyrant must induce people to obey him. Would anyone obey a robot?
> Roy -
> Obviously so. People obeyed Potto and Lemur and the fake Siyuf. People
> didn't know they were robots.

Typhon could not have prevented those closest to him from knowing that, 
and those are the ones he had to fear and control. While the 
Ayuntamiento had reasons to keep their chem-nature secret (more than 
they even realized), robots on Urth were robots. On the Whorl they were 
"chemical persons".

>> Me-
>> Even Remora, retains skepticism regarding what the Charter says
>> regarding its own history.
>> But even then, what Remora and Lemur think about the founding of the
>> Whorl should be taken with the same degree of skepticism: "So he
>> asserts". And that's the way Wolfe wrote it.
> Roy-
> Yes he did. And if you don't like it that Hoof described the astral Cilinia
> as looking like "a girl old enough to take care of other sprats but not old
> enough to get married" (RTTW, 347), or that Cilinia herself, while looking
> at her remains on Urth, said "I died young. It can't have been long after I
> was scanned for the _Whorl_." (392), you can claim that it was only Hoof who
> made the assertions and it doesn't mean what it seems to mean if it doesn't
> suit your notion of the founding of Viron or its Chapter or whatever point
> you really wanted to make.

Sigh. Roy, Roy, Roy. Do not pretend you do not understand the difference 
between hearsay and first hand information.

> Roy-
> Look at your above assertions about what Cilinia could or could not have had
> to do with the founding of the Chapter, and that it was done by "Typhon's
> committees". Where did you get that?

 From an interview I recalled with Wolfe where he discussed how the 
Writings were put together. But, mainly, Typhon didn't strike me as a 
big reader.

> Roy-
> I stated what the text had to say about
> it, along with corroborative indications that the infrastructure for the
> Chapter was in place from the get-go.
> Which position merits more skepticism?

Correction: You stated what *Remora* said the Charter said about it. You 
can't just say "the text says". Context is key.
What I'm saying is that I'm as skeptical about what the Charter says 
about itself as Remora seems to be. But you are right that typically in 
a Wolfe novel, when someone says something emphatically or expresses 
skepticism about something then the opposite is true. (Oh. Wait. You 
didn't say that. That's what _I_ say.) So maybe Remora's skepticism is 
proof that along with all her other activities betraying humanity to 
aliens, Cilinia was in the playroom designing the laws, streets & 
buildings, and religious ordinances of Viron and _many other cities as 

Or maybe it was the Mainframe effigies of Pas and Scylla who did that. 
After all, that is _precisely_ what the "text says".


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