(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".


More information about the Urth mailing list