(urth) "been teaching literature for over 35 years"

Jeff Wilson jwilson at clueland.com
Sat Sep 7 11:31:02 PDT 2013

On Sat, September 7, 2013 12:52, Jerry Friedman wrote:
>> From: Jeff Wilson <jwilson at clueland.com>
>>To: DAVID STOCKHOFF <dstockhoff at verizon.net>; The Urth Mailing List
>> <urth at lists.urth.net>
>>On Fri, September 6, 2013 13:04, DAVID STOCKHOFF wrote:
>>> Interesting thought. Could the New Sun restart Urth's tectonic activity
>>> and thus its CO2 cycle? Would that put Floodmaster Severian and the
>>> Evil
>>> Twins on the same side?
>>I'm not sure if we've discussed it recently, but I believe the tectonic
>>issues are moot because Sev's recognition of constellations from his era
>>being visible over Apu Punchau's pampa put an upper limit of 50,000 -
>>100,000 years between them, due to apparent motion of the stars over
>> time.
>>So, there's not enough time for current vulcanism to run down.
> I don't remember TUotNS well at all.  Are you saying that we know plate
> tectonics was still going on in Apu-Punchau's time?

There's no reason to think they would have stopped any earlier for
natural, gradual reasons. A loose black bean might be involved somehow,
but evem if that took effect instantly, it would still be taking effect
instantly in Typhon's time, barely a thousand years before Sev's.

The slowing of geology processes and the refrigeration of the earth in
somewhat of a historical time scale was once the current scientific
thought in the 19th century (Bellamy mentions it in LOOKING BACKWARD), so
the idea has a reason to be present and for the estimated time necessary
to be reckoned past, however mistakenly by the characters. But they have
(or so it suits the translator G.W. to use) different works for mountain
and volcano, and the crater lake of the averns is distinguished in kind
from the mountain lake Diuturna, which seems off for such a living
langauge to make plain if this is distinction found in a prehistoric
detail of natural history.

Subtextually, Erebus in the south is very, very suggestive of Mt Erebus,
the Antarctic volcano of our contemporal activity. There may be other,
oblique references to vulcanism seen by human eyes in the books, but I'd
have to hunt, or check the Lexicon, or both.

Jeff Wilson - < jwilson at clueland.com >
A&M Texarkana Computational Intelligence Lab
< http://www.tamut.edu/cil >

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