(urth) Lake of Birds

Bruno de Albuquerque Furtado meuemaildobruno at gmail.com
Tue May 22 10:43:47 PDT 2012

" Yep. I take it to be a reconstruction myself, but I can't argue against
it being the real thing. "

For me, the problem with it being a reconstruction is that the Commonwealth
is so far in the future, that it's highly unlikely that the Lake is still
there, or that any descriptions of it have survived. Without time travel,
where would an Autarch have gotten Lake Avernus from, anyway?

"In fact I think this is one of those points where I can hear Wolfe
chuckling at his postmodern joke, because it was of course Wolfe himself
who "made the Lake of Birds to look like" Avernus."

Certainly, specially since Wolfe makes sure to indicate that the author is
also part of the story. As I see it, he even includes himself as a
character: the "G.W." that translates a text in "a language that has not
yet achieved existence". It's easy to forget, but the BotNS is supposed to
be a "translation", and furthermore one in which the translator is striving
not to invent words. Therefore names and terms that seem to evoke mythology
for us, such as "Dorcas" and "Cumaean" and "Typhon", may not be the
mythological beings themselves at all, nor even those characters' "real"
names. They might actually be conscious choices by the "translator", who in
his unwillingness to invent new words, ends up making parallels between the
characters of the supposed "original text", and creatures from Earthly
lore. But that should be the subject of a whole other thread.
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