(urth) Spring Wind

Andrew Mason andrew.mason53 at googlemail.com
Tue Sep 28 07:21:44 PDT 2010

>  In mythology, "mountain" typically refers to the heavens overhead.
> Same with "tree" (which Wolfe refers to in Quetzal's story about Al Lah
> and Aman).

That seems equally to fit my reading and yours - the heavens are where
planetary travellers come from, but also where gods live. I would take
it that in the original version of the story the mountain was Olympus,
which was both a specific mountain in northern Greece and a symbolic
name for the heavens.

Anyway, Severian seems to strongly imply to Little Severian
> that the mountain is another planet (a great rock in the heavens),
> unless you think Hethor's slug came from another dimension.

Well, Severian doesn't know anything about the origins of the story -
of course he takes it to be about another planet, as that's an idea
he's familiar with. But I'm not sure even he takes it to be a
historical account of something that involved an _actual_ other
planet. If he had, how would he know it wasn't the planet the slug
came from? I would guess he thinks they can't be the same planet
because the slug's planet is real, while Spring Wind's is mythical.

> No. This is an elaborate, rather occulted, _telling_ (not allegory) of
> the deeds of the SON of Typhon. How do the sons of Typhon relate to
> Severian? That's for the reader to figure out.

Why is it wrong to call it an allegory? It is, I take it, a story in
which one thing stands for another thing - unless Typhon's son was
literally brought up by wolves.

> HOWEVER that doesn't mean there wasn't a such a person as Bird of the
> Woods whose circumstances were fundamentally as described. The tone of
> the actual events would be different however, than the telling. I
> reiterate: this is NOT a retelling of the story of Romulus and Remus.
> Nor is it Kipling's Jungle Book story. Romulus kills his brother. It was
> not his followers who killed him. And Mowgli had no brother. The
> mythological elements that the reader can easily recognize merely
> confirms that the mythology is "true" as well. We recently discussed the
> Emerald Tablet here.
> "2. That which is below is like that which is above that which is above
> is like that which is below ."
> That concept is a subtle backdrop that reappears in Wolfe's fiction. Or
> as Green put it in "There Are Doors":

Something seems to be missing here.

What do you think are the implications of this for other stories in
_Wonders of Urth and Sky_? Are they all accurate accounts of events in
the 'future' timeline of Urth? And if so, are they also retellings of
ancient myths (I mean, did their composers have ancient myths in mind
when they wrote them), or are their similarities to ancient myths (and
some real events) purely the result of some kind of correspondence
working across the ages (as Dr Talos suggests for _Frankenstein_)?

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