(urth) fifth head owlet- wolf‏

Lee Berman severiansola at hotmail.com
Thu Apr 11 13:12:14 PDT 2013

>David Stockhoff: Unless they lose that ability, due to not using it per Dollo's 
>Law, and are stuck as humans. Ordinary evolution could still occur, but they would
>henceforth evolve as humans would, more or less.

Ack! Not the dreaded Dollo's Law. I think I had that out with Gerry a few years ago.

Anyway, that was Aunt Jeanine's point. If a shapeshifter could and did evolve 
mimicry so perfectly as to lose their shapeshifting ability, they would be
human and the shapeshifting ability lost.

For me, the implication of 5HoC is that the natives of the twin planets are eons
old in their existence. They are currently human in form but likely have taken
different forms in their history as different races were drawn to their planet. 
Dollo's Law (an archaic theory which is being disproven more and more as genetic
science progresses) could not have allowed shadow/children/abos to lose their 
shape-shifting ability or they would have lost it long ago.

>I like your idea, but mine points to successful mimicry while invoking a dozen >angels/fairies/mermaids/robots-becoming-mortal tropes. Not to mention that imitation 
>is the path to >improvement 

I see little hope that the pseudo-human residents we find in 5HoC will evolve to
the point of being industrious, productive humans. But I allow that is a debateable

But for me, Urth, Blue and Green and even The Whorl are more hopeful 
places than Ste. Anne and St. Croix. I found 5HoC to be such a dark and dismal
read I almost didn't want to read any further Wolfe. Apologies for my cheery 
outlook on life. But I think science and Gene Wolfe have both progressed in positivity 
in outlook since the 70's.

I see the association with higher beings and improvement depicted in Wolfe's later work
but not in 5HoC. That place is falling apart with no hint of a Severian or Silk arising 
to lead them to a higher plane. 		 	   		  

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