<span style>Yep. I take it to be a reconstruction myself, but I can't argue against it being the real thing.</span> "
<div><br></div><div>For me, the problem with it being a reconstruction is that the Commonwealth is so far in the future, that it's highly unlikely that the Lake is still there, or that any descriptions of it have survived. Without time travel, where would an Autarch have gotten Lake Avernus from, anyway?</div>
<div><br></div><div>"<span style>In fact I think this is one of those points where I can hear Wolfe chuckling at his postmodern joke, because it was of course Wolfe himself who "made the Lake of Birds to look like" Avernus.</span>"</div>
<div><br></div><div>Certainly, specially since Wolfe makes sure to indicate that the author is also part of the story. As I see it, he even includes himself as a character: the "G.W." that translates a text in "a language that has not yet achieved existence". It's easy to forget, but the BotNS is supposed to be a "translation", and furthermore one in which the translator is striving not to invent words. Therefore names and terms that seem to evoke mythology for us, such as "Dorcas" and "Cumaean" and "Typhon", may not be the mythological beings themselves at all, nor even those characters' "real" names. They might actually be conscious choices by the "translator", who in his unwillingness to invent new words, ends up making parallels between the characters of the supposed "original text", and creatures from Earthly lore. But that should be the subject of a whole other thread.</div>