(urth) Short Sun notes: Remora‏

Lee Berman severiansola at hotmail.com
Wed Oct 9 06:47:04 PDT 2013

>Andreas Johansson: Here's for a Gene Wolfe/Urth list newbie making his 
>first post around here.

Awesome first post, Andreas!

>..the pairing of a blue planet (Earth is blue. Urth is/was/will (not) be blue) and the green>neighbour ... well I don't know. It looks good to me.

>Some have noted that Sainte Anne and Sainte Croix in Fifth Head of Cerberus seem to follow a
>similar pattern.

>but I was struck by the idea that Green isn't Urth - Green is Lune, Blue is Urth, 
>after the flood in Urth of the New Sun.

Yes, this had been discussed here a number of years ago and, if I understand correctly,
it was that conversation which prompted Marc to write to Gene Wolfe about it, at which
time he received the response, "No, no no! GREEN is Urth".

I think Marc does take the answer literally. And there are some hints that the city on
Green is or is continuous with Nessus on Urth. Also, at the end of RTTW, the dream
traveller (Hoof I think..) comments on Urth's Lune as though it were a different sort
of Green (but closer).

As noted in my recent post, I prefer to take Gene Wolfe's comment and the planet
similarities more symbolically. I think Wolfe is telling stories about planets and
the human species going through spiritual progression. As our Earth went through
a Flood and spiritual transformation 4000 years ago, so we see Urth transformed into
Ushas during the course of BotNS. Blue has already undergone this transformation. Green 
(like Urth) has not yet, but will. 

>That is, Typhon-Pas (funny how a mythological chaos dragon changed his name to "Peace")

Somewhere in Long Sun is a passage suggesting that the name "Pas" is derived from the root
for "all". This suggests the god Pan who had an epithet of "Pas" to reflect his pastoral origins.
And Pan became conflated with Dionysus as an "all"-encompassing god after the Greco-Roman
pantheons had faded but before Christianity arose. 

The Outsider god is introduced at the very beginning of Long sun, but by the end of Short Sun
he has been rather explicitly associated with Dionysus. How this relates Typhon/Pas/Silk (silver
and silent) to the Outsider is rather mysterious to me. But I think we are just supposed to get a
confusing sense of association. We are not supposed to understand it in a crystal clear way, much
as the ancients mixed up and conflated the gods in confusing ways.

Invoking the meaning of "Peace" is interesting (perhaps Entonio can confirm that the root for "paz"
is related to "pastoral"?).  Of course Peace is a notable novel by Gene Wolfe, one that some think
is rather autobiographical. With the character Pas, I suspect Gene Wolfe of inserting himself into
his stories (as he has done before). This with recongition that he isn't a true God, like the 
Outsider, but an aspect of Him; a demiurgical creator of these worlds/stories as Pas was the
demiurgical creator of The Whorl. 		 	   		  

More information about the Urth mailing list