(urth) First Exodus theory revised

António Pedro Marques entonio at gmail.com
Fri Feb 11 07:21:04 PST 2011

Gerry Quinn wrote (11-02-2011 14:08):
> From: "António Pedro Marques" <entonio at gmail.com>
>>> Yes, but if Tussah was motivated to get an embryo with leadership skills
>>> to drive out the corrupt Ayuntiamento, then great leadership skills are
>>> not much of a pointer to Typhon, as they might be if they appeared in a
>>> random embryo.
>> But then again corruptness is a personality matter, which hasn't been
>> shown to be determined/determinable by biological parentage.
>> How do we know Tussah's goal was to drive out the corrupt
>> Ayuntamiento? How do we know the Ayuntamiento was considered corrupt
>> by that time? How could Tussah know about Typhon's personality?
> All we know is that Tussah spent a lot on a special embryo. Everything
> else is inference. Leadership (and perhaps a propensity to hate
> corruption), with the intention to defeat the Ayuntiamento seem the most
> plausible objectives, if indeed Tussah was acting for the benefit of
> Viron (if he was acting for Pas, Viron has no future anyway). Tussah's
> knowledge of Typhon's personality is neither here nor there. Either he
> wants an embryo with certain qualities, or he is acting for Typhon.

? What then did you mean by '*then* great leadership skills are not much of 
a pointer to Typhon, as they might be if they appeared in a random embryo'? 
I thought you were saying Tussah reasoned a random embryo would have 
leadership without corruption, whereas a Typhon-related one would only have 
the former. If that's not it, I can't make sens of your paragraph.

>>>> And now I must ask.
>>>> What the hell is the purpose of Tussah.
>>>> I mean, would the story fall apart if that character didn't exist?
>>>> Would Gene Wolfe create such a character if there were no purpose for
>>>> him?
>>>> I think the answers are 'yes' for the first and 'no' for the second.
>>>> Ashley's theory points out a possible reason for Tussah's existence -
>>>> his actions provided the means for Quetzal to get on board the Whorl.
>>>> I think further debate on just how much of the story really depends on
>>>> this character we only hear about fragmentarily would be interesting.
>>> He provides some of the backstory for the political situation in Viron,
>>> and he explains how a special embryo came to be implanted in an ordinary
>>> woman. He also provides Silk with a claim to the caldeship.
>> ...all of which aren't really necessary. Enabling Quetzal aboard is
>> necessary.
> We are told how Quetzal got aboard (an experiment by the Neighbours).

And what's the reliability of that?

>>> As for Typhon, if he wanted a child with Kypris he could have had him
>>> born on Urth, and it seems the most obvious thing for him to do!
>> That would be a competitor. We're told he wanted an heir, it doesn't
>> follow that he wanted the heir around.
> Tartarus and Hierax were born on Urth. Clearly he wanted an heir there.

It's not clear, if anything it's 'He didn't seem to mind having them there'. 
But that was at an earlier time.

>>> Now I agree there is a shortage of candidates for his biological parents
>>> - but that is to be expected, really, of a frozen engineered embryo.
>>> But are Typhon and Kypris good candidates, really? Typhon's sons and
>>> daughters by Echidna didn't have superpowers, and Echidna presumably
>>> came of good stock. Kypris was Typhon's favourite concubine - a worthy
>>> achievement, certainly, but it hardly suggests that her children would
>>> be especially genetically equipped to rule whorls.
>> Maybe one of the competencies of the favourite concubine is to be able
>> to produce a son that is more like the father than those by his lawful
>> wife - the concubine erasing herself - her only claim to existence
>> being being a lover/producer of heirs for someone - may even be the
>> most important role, but is always in referral to the person the
>> concubine is a concubine to, not autonomous.
> Kypris seems to have been chosen for her beauty. If anyone was chosen
> for the qualities of her reproductive system it was Echidna - and if so,
> it didn't work.

? Qualities of her reproductive system?

If you're a tyrant and want an heir that identifies with you more than 
anything else, what do you choose? The son of a wife whom you married for 
some reason, bringing along her family tree and an independent personality 
inflated by her original and acquired status, or the son of an unknown whose 
reason to be is beauty? And speaking of beauty, if you like your appearance, 
as Typhon likes his, beauty is like a high-pass filter - you're transmitting 
your essence ok, not mixing it with lesser stuff.

>>> Tussah was apparently
>>> looking for an embryo with special powers, probably of leadership, and
>>> he paid a lot for Silk. Would he really consider Typhon's son the ideal
>>> candidate?
>>> Of course there is the possibility that the story of Tussah buying the
>>> embryo was a cover-up and the plan of Typhon was for his son to be born
>>> to lead the people onto the new whorl(s), with Tussah acting as his
>>> agent in this scheme. However, this seems to perish on the rock of
>>> timing. Pas was alive and in charge when the Whorl entered the
>>> Blue/Green system. He was killed shortly afterwards, thirty years before
>>> the events of BotLS. Silk was born about a decade later. But if Pas
>>> wanted Silk to lead the colonists, he'd have arranged for Silk to have
>>> been born around twenty years before arrival. An adult Silk (or Silks)
>>> would have been around before Pas's death. So it doesn't really seem to
>>> make sense for Silk to be somebody special to Typhon, whether his son,
>>> his clone, or his favourite slave!
>> I'm not sure Typhon could have predicted with absolute accuracy the
>> timing of arrival on Blue/Green.
> But Pas could, and Pas was in charge on the Whorl.

That's fair. Not that it can't be challenged, but the challenge would have 
to be good.

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