(urth) Short Sun blog review
Roy C. Lackey
rclackey at stic.net
Wed Sep 22 23:47:31 PDT 2010
James Wynn quoted and wrote:
> > Roy-
> > I realize that the lack of evidence for a propaganda campaign in the
> > Cycle doen't prove anything, but neither does your supposition of such a
> > campaign prove that it existed.
> I never claimed that there was anything detailing Typhon's reasons for
> the Whorl Project. Wolfe has already implied that he didn't consider
> that question much himself. I was merely responding to the following:
> > Roy-
> > The people on Urth would never see the_Whorl_, never receive the
And I was refering, in that line, to Lemur's comment:
"A certain ruler, a man who had the strength to rule alone and so called
himself the monarch, built our whorl, Patera. It was to be a message from
himself to the universe." (LAKE, 298)
> > Typhon was raw ego. Mt. Typhon's sole purpose was to flaunt his face and
> > gratify his ego. He did not deprecate his memory or that of his family
> > the colonists, he just changed the family names to reflect the new
> > of their digitized existence as gods in Mainframe.
> I was trying to show that the Whorl _would have been_ a useful monument
> to Typhon's ego for his subjects on Urth, even though I argue that it
> was not really much of a monument to his ego for those who left.
Wolfe's answer in the Q & A was:
" Knowing Typhon as I do, he probably had at least half a dozen purposes;
but certainly one of the chief must have been self-aggrandizement -- to
return human kind to the stars would be a very great thing indeed." Lemur's
comment speaks directly to the self-aggrandizement issue. The universe is a
little bigger than Urth, and Urth itself would never receive that message.
Therefore, the message Typhon sent to the universe by launching the _Whorl_
was intended for a larger audience than the people of Urth, who already
lived under his tyranical rule.
> Incidentally, there is a conversation between the Rajan and Hound that I
> think touches on some of this:
> "You're saying that everybody could have been asleep? All of us? No
> houses and no people, just trees and animals?"
> "No, I'm saying Pas must have considered that and rejected it as
> unworkable, or at least undesirable."
> Hound nodded. "He'd have had nobody to worship him."
> "That's true, though I'm not sure it was a consideration. If it
> didn't seem so impious, I'd say now that the Chapter and the
> manteions seem almost to have been a joke, that Pas made himself our
> chief god largely because it amused him.
> [snip the parable of the farmer meeting Pas in Mainframe]
> "Pas wished to mold and guide us; and for him to do it, we had to be
> awake. As our chief god, he was ideally situated, though the false
> memories given the sleepers may have been intended to serve the
> same purpose. Like the farmer we complain of storms, but Pas must
> have foreseen that there would be storms--and things far worse--on
> the new whorls. How could we cope with them if we never saw snow, or
> a wind storm?"
> One thing though. I have said that Typhon deprecated the memory of
> his Terrestrial achievements among the colonists so they would not
> remember who sent them and try to return. An obvious question would
> be, then why did he mess with the memories of the sleepers?
> ~ page 131 of RTTW pb.
> There's more as well, including an argument for why Pas's construction
> of the Whorl was not purely malevolent or egotistical ("Pas was made by
> the Outsider"). Remember that _Pas_ could not be a god on the colonized
> planets. Even the Writings made it clear that the Nine were only gods on
> the Whorl.
The list of characters in RTTW says Typhon was "the ancient tyrant whose
personality became PAS". Whatever rehabilitation of character he *may* have
undergone in Mainframe as Pas has no bearing on the *fact* that he was an
egotistical tyrant when he was scanned and when he conceived, constructed,
stocked and launched his "message from himself to the universe".
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