(urth) Sorcerer's House Comment

David Stockhoff dstockhoff at verizon.net
Mon May 7 22:32:07 PDT 2012

On 5/7/2012 12:49 PM, Darth Ed wrote:
> On May 4, 2012, at 11:32 AM, Gwern Branwen wrote:
>> The book *is* dedicated effusively to Gaiman by Wolfe; it's not
>> unreasonable to think that Wolfe targeted it at Gaiman or simply gave
>> Gaiman some hints or something.
> I concur. That's my feeling as well.
>> I took a quick look at the first 6 or 7 chapters. I don't see any
>> obvious correspondence with the letter titles and the order given in
>> Wikipedia, but 'magician' does seem to align with the fish part of the
>> plot. Possibly the trumps are a skeleton key to figuring out the
>> unscrambled order of the letters? I don't remember anyone pointing out
>> any interesting problems with the ordering and giving a revealing true
>> ordering.
> I don't think the letters/chapters are out of order per se with regards to
> some canonical ordering of the Major Arcana and that we need to reorder the
> chapters/letters to fit that canonical ordering. In a Tarot reading, the
> cards are shuffled and the ordering of the cards is significant to the
> person who is being read by the reader. And I don't think the titles are
> necessarily related to the Major Arcana, but rather the principle
> characters and/or action that takes place in each letter/chapter can be
> matched to each of the Major Arcana. In that respect, I'm keen on David
> Stockoff's interpretation which identified several such matches for a
> handful of the letters/chapters. He also incorporated the mirroring nicely
> into his interpretation. His identifications seemed quite reasonable to me,
> and I think further study is warranted and may come up with additional
> identifications between the letters/chapters and the Major Arcana. I'll
> certainly be looking for such connection on my next reading of TSH, but I
> suspect that's probably years from now, unfortunately.
> In a sense, we, the readers of the book, are like the Tarot reader who
> reads the past, present, and future of a person/character. The
> cards/chapters represent the past and the present; the reader interprets
> them and uses them to foretell the future of the person/character.
> Later,
> Ed

In addition, since the novel is epistolary, IIRC the letters cross 
overtly at least once (a standard trick) and maybe less obviously at 
other times. So there is already a chance of "shuffling," which not only 
blows up the idea of an ordered, predictable series but points to the 
shuffling of identities and perhaps memories as well. Pick a card, any card.

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