(urth) Sightings at Twin Mounds

Marc Aramini marcaramini at gmail.com
Sun Jun 22 07:51:20 PDT 2014

Further examples of slight prevarication through ignorance are rife in
Short Sun.  At one point the narrator says the ring Oreb brought the same
ring Horn had, at another point he concludes it isn't the same ring at
all.  This uncertainty of identification is a key theme in that series, but
just because the narrator is uncertain, if we can explain how the ring got
there, we don't have to be. (Auk's ghost, a big drunken woman being fed
upon by Jahlee, who is then mistaken for Chenille, and the ring all showing
up near Dorp indicate Silk has freed or will free Auk, that Auk has fixed
the lander with Horn's body and has come to Dorp with the ring, where
Chenille is preyed upon by Jahlee and left on the wayside.

Our narrators in short sun lie through ignorance or suppression and the
contradictions are obvious in the text: it is the ring, it isn't.  I'm not
Silk, I caught the ball, etc.

So even though Wolfe has a reputation for unreliable narrators, I think
they are very seldom wholesale fabricators.  There are far fewer indicators
of our narrator being completely unreliable in Sighting at Twin Mounds.  In
a way, we need to decide the genre of the story: realistic horror or
supernatural fantasy.  Wolfe gives us hints of genre occasionally.  In
Suzanne Delage the author drops the innocent hint - there was nothing of
the supernatural in it, just unlikelihood - to paraphrase.  Thus in a story
in which every possible explanation could work, the author limits our
speculation with such a meta-textual line and grounds it as a somewhat
realistic story with the theme of forgotten or supressed things.
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