(urth) Gender and creation myth

David Stockhoff dstockhoff at verizon.net
Mon Sep 24 05:53:22 PDT 2012

On 9/24/2012 8:16 AM, Marc Aramini wrote:
> Yes, it is a syncretism of Genesis and inhumi evolotion, but you are 
> no doubt aware of my rather controversial opinion:
> men have evolutionarily "climbed up" the trees of green and become the 
> vanished people over time ... the liana vines in clinging to those 
> mystical vanished gods (gods who are the giant trees of green, which 
> weep and perform other anthropomorphic tasks, such as eating in 
> cannibalistic fashion) have become the degenerate lesser sentient 
> being, the inhumi, whose parasitic gifts make them able to grab what 
> they consume and incorporate it into their future offspring - thus, 
> inhumi are manlike when they feed off men, and reptilian and even 
> simply lianas (like Silk's staff in In Green's Jungles) in the absence 
> of that parent  animal genetic material.
> Of course, like everythiing in Wolfe this has a literal interpretation 
> too - men have climbed up into the whorl and have not yet climbed down 
> yet to repopulate, following the plan of Pas.
> So I see a scheme in which man literarily climbed back up an 
> evolutionary tree and vanished, more or less, a hybrid of plant and 
> animal.  Inhumi are simply a byproduct of the vines parasitizing that 
> magical recombinatory power of the trees on a slightly more debased level.

Yes. thanks for restating it. My gut reaction is that, except for the 
middle paragraph, which is perfect, there is something way too 
complicated about this interpretation. Not least the question of time, 
if Green is Urth, assuming that is your assumption. So far everything 
has been simple, then suddenly it becomes complex. Also, I doubt Wolfe 
intends "evolutionary tree" to be part of the metaphor. It's too 
recursive. And I doubt Quetzal would call inhumi "debased."

I think you're on the right track. I agree that Quetzal's story tells us 
something about men and trees and vines and neighbors---but it seems to 
me that it should be expressable in fewer words. Something more 
childish, with a moral of sorts. Like the original.

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