(urth) Short Sun blog review

Gerry Quinn gerryq at indigo.ie
Thu Sep 23 05:27:40 PDT 2010

From: James Wynn 
  Gerry Quinn-
  I don't see anything in that story to suggest that Spring Wind was Typhon.  It does appear that Spring Wind is extraterrestrial.  He fought on Urth, and sometimes his armies caused devastation among humankind (and food for wolves), at least locally.  But in the long history of Urth there must have been many such.  Where is the indication that Spring Wind conquered or ruled the planet?  What characteristics, other than his being a reasonably dominant warrior/leader, and some doubtful etymology, induce you to associate him with Typhon?

  I think the etymology is not dubious at all. To me, it's a fairly overt reference. Not at all subtle. It's analogous to, say, having a story in the Brown book that refers to a black cloaked figure named The One Who Divides. 

  Demanding more evidence than this from a story that didn't even overtly identify Severian as the Conciliator or the New Sun seems to be demanding something one would never expect to get.

But typhoons ae not particularly associated with Spring (they occur year round and in fact it is in Spring that they are least frequent), so all we have is 'Wind', which is hardly a strong connection.  Spring Wind has a son Frog, and the story is mostly about him.  There is no reference to his father in the rest of the story.  You'd think if Frog's dad ruled Urth and other worlds and had another family, it would have been mentioned somewhere.

"Wind" and "fighting" don't add up to a definition of Typhon, in my view.  (Wikipedia tells me there's a Marvel Comics superhero called Wind Warrior, for example.)  Typhon's characteristic signature is a second head; he even keeps it when translated to digitised form.  If Spring Wind had any indication of a second head, I'd have no problems with the identification.

I don't agree with the concept that everybody in BotNS has to be everybody else in disguise.  

- Gerry Quinn

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