(urth) Spring Wind

Andrew Mason andrew.mason53 at googlemail.com
Thu Sep 23 12:46:07 PDT 2010

> Andrew, I agree that there is intended conflation with the Romulus
> story. I think you are right about Juno and Rhea, but --while I agree
> that there is an intended to connection between Spring Wind and Mars--
> the connection between the terms March and Spring Wind is not nearly so
> sweet as the alias for Juno and Rhea. The name has been retrofitted,
> presumably for another purpose...just as Minotaur in Theseus's story has
> been morphed into Erebus in The Story of the Student and His Son.
> When I read all the names together, it tells me that Spring Wind is the
> odd man out. There are other features of the story of Romulus's birth
> that don't quite fit either. One must ask...why not?

I think March is quite strongly associated with winds ('March winds,
April showers..'). Given the need to find a name for Mars which isn't
_too_ obvious, and fits in with 'Early Summer' and 'Bird of the Wood',
it doesn't seem too suprising to me.

> Once again, Shere Khan to smilodon is a pretty tight fit. A god to
> /merely/ someone on another planet? Particularly in a science fiction
> story? Not so tight.

Not merely someone on another planet, but the son of the ruler of that
planet. And in any case, I don't think the word 'planet' is used; it's
a mountain beyond the shores of Urth, which to me conveys a sense of
mystery. During the first empire, when people were jumping between the
stars all the time, perhaps another planet wouldn't convey this sense
(though at that time, if we can trust Cyriaca, they weren't interested
in mythology anyway). But at a later period, where contact with other
planets isn't a regular thing, why not?

> The Story of Frog is in chapters 17-19.
> That's a lot of space given to a lark. And as a pure free associating
> confabulation of myth and literature, it's not an especially good lark.

I don't see it as just a lark. I am happy with the idea that it has
application to the events in the books; what worries me is the idea of
it as an encoded representation of those events, from which it's
possible actually to reconstruct them. We can't know in advance which
bits of it relate to events in the books and which don't - I can't
believe (and I don't think you're saying) that _everything_ in it is
an elaborate allegory of Typhon, so we have to guess at which bits
apply to him (or Severian, or whoever).

I like the idea of these very ancient stories, going so far back that
their origin is lost - where we, the readers, can see their origin,
and also see how time has changed them. I think it would spoil them
rather to link them too closely to actual events in future history.
(In the same way I don't like the thought that Holy Katharine is an
actual character in the history of the Commonwealth; I think she is
the Catherine of Christian legend, her story having been preserved and

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