(urth) Oreb's Powers of Speech

Jack Smith jack.smith.1946 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 15 12:19:44 PDT 2010

You're right about Oreb only using one-syllable words.  Perhaps the
two-syllable "fishing" implies some sort of development in our feathered

Oreb is limited in speech but not in understanding.  At one point the story
shifts to Oreb's point of view.  He dines on the face of the dead Dace, and
then reflects:  "The dead one had been good.  There could be no doubt about
that.  Friendly in the reserved fashion Oreb preferred alive, and delicious,
dead."  (Calde, Ch. 6)

Wolfe's humor is like Faulkner's in *As I Lay Dying.*

On Wed, Sep 15, 2010 at 2:17 PM, James Wynn <crushtv at gmail.com> wrote:

>  At the end of RttW Oreb says "Good Fishing".
> This statement as odd on a number of levels, of course, but one way that it
> did is that it felt like a FAIL regarding Oreb's characteristic powers of
> speech. Only two words, fine, but THREE syllables. But  I figured, well,
> it's Wolfe's story.
> However, while rereading interviews yesterday I came across this statement
> by Wolfe:
> http://www.sfsite.com/03b/gw124.htm
> Wolfe: "Of course all of us speak differently to different audiences. Auk
> talks like I do when I'm talking to the dogs. Almost no one seems to notice
> how Oreb talks, but _Oreb can manage only two syllables_: 'Good bird! Watch
> out! Bad boy. Iron girl. Good Silk!' "
> I don't know what it signifies, but based on what Wolfe says, it ought to
> mean something.
> u+16b9
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Best wishes,
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