(urth) Looking for an Interview ...
cnbrewer at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 3 08:51:33 PDT 2011
I've always thought that the similarity was pretty obvious, but that it wasn't a point about connected plots or conjoined. It's more of a symbolic pattern that Wolfe likes where double planets and blue/green coloring are ways that he thinks about creation, re-creation, "Garden of Eden" myths and their corruption, etc. The double-planet motif always becomes important at the same time that the themes of natural/innocent states of being do, alongside the possibility of returning to or recreating that innocence, and the failures that usually go along with it.
In that sense, it's *incredibly* useful to think about their similarities, but it doesn't (necessarily or even most interestingly) lead to conclusions that Fifth Head and the Sun books happen in the same fictional universe.
From: Antonin Scriabin <kierkegaurdian at gmail.com>
To: The Urth Mailing List <urth at lists.urth.net>
Sent: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 10:40 AM
Subject: Re: (urth) Looking for an Interview ...
Ah, you are correct. I had only seen the first interview you posted, and thought the interviewer had added Saints Anne and Croix to the list. I tend to think that you are correct in your assessment that "Wolfe has other reasons favoring the Blue/Green pair (it's not just planets), and explaining them, he thinks, would reveal too much of his "secret sauce"." Of course it is Wolfe's prerogative to keep his motivations / reasons for writing certain things to himself, but it would be nice to know! Part of Wolfe's appeal are the puzzles to begin with ... so at the end of the day, I am fine with there being a sense of mystery to how his stories are set up.
On Wed, Aug 3, 2011 at 11:33 AM, James Wynn <crushtv at gmail.com> wrote:
Nothing so emphatic. I think you are conflating two interviews:
>James Jordan: I might as well at least ask one of the $64,000 questions, so I'll just go for broke. (Hmm. I've gotta be very precise here. Okay, here goes:) Which of the following, if any, are physically (not in some merely literary or symbolic sense) the same planets as Blue and Green, in the same order?:
>>Ushas and Lune
>>>Urth and Lune
>>>Lune and Ushas
>>>Lune and Urth
Wolfe: None.And this:
>Nick Gevers: When I began reading Short Sun, I, like many others, was struck by the new work's resonance of location with earlier novels [The Fifth Head of Cerberus; New Sun]. Twin worlds, with respective blue and green associations: St Croix/St Anne; Urth/Lune; Blue/Green. Not that these are literally the same planets; but why this repeated pattern? (I should add that Joan Gordon, and I myself, have speculated on an allusion in Short Sun to Kim Stanley Robinson's colour-sequenced Mars novels...)
>>Wolfe: At the time I first brought in Blue and Green, I didn't know about Stan's books. Nothing of that kind was intended.
>>Gevers: [Trying again:] Can your readers usefully view The Fifth Head of Cerberus as being set in the same science-fictional universe as New Sun, Long Sun, and Short Sun? Why does Fifth Head's pattern of blue/green sister worlds recur so tantalizingly in Urth/Lune, Blue/Green?
>>Wolfe: I don't know.
>When Wolfe says he "doesn't know", he is surely answering the
first of Gever's two shot : "Can readers *usefully* view tFHoC as
set in the same universe as Severian and Silk."
>I simply refuse to believe that Wolfe doesn't know why the
Blue/Green pattern recurs. And following this line leads to the
conclusion that Wolfe is deliberately dodging the question. Two
conclusions open to us are:
>1) Blue is St. Croix thousands of years later. Problem: No
Neighbors as such nor Mother make obvious appearances in tFHoC.
>2) Wolfe has other reasons favoring the Blue/Green pair (it's not
just planets), and explaining them, he thinks, would reveal too
much of his "secret sauce".
>On 8/3/2011 8:15 AM, Antonin Scriabin wrote:
>Hello! I just finished The Fifth Head of Cerberus, and loved it. It is one of the best science fiction stories I have read ... it isn't very often I feel completely immersed in a world, but reading this book really made me feel like I was wandering through some eerie, mysterious realm where nothing was as it seemed. Absolutely fantastic.
>>Anyways, I remember reading in an interview with Wolfe in which
he said that Saint Croix and Saint Anne were not the Green and Blue planets in the Short Sun books. Does anyone have any idea where I can find that interview? Thanks!
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