I think for me this was really an interesting aspect of VRT after Veil's Hypothesis in Fifth head.
This postulate if we read into it gives us a bit of insight into what actually happened after the first landing on Saint Anne.
Perhaps(this is the first time I have thought of it) she is trying to secure my release as well; she possessed real intelligence as well as a fascinating mind, we had a number of long talks - often with one ore more of her 'girls' as she called them for audience.
What I concur from above is
Victor visited Aunt Jeanine no of times during his stay in Saint Croix, although we get only one encounter from point of view of number 5.
Notice the emphasis given in text on the word girls, it just got me thinking, did Jeanine also conduct experiments in parallel with Maitre, because Victor seems to suggest to us that they conducted interviews of her girls.
Aunt Jeanine developed Veil's hypothesis, and from the text we have concurred that she was an out crossing like David, who was cloned or birthed, and she seems, like David have had interest in abos as a society, rather than the anatomy and consciousness of abos.
So there is a definite possibility that Victor had something like A Story, brewing in his mind when he met Jeanine, no of times, and they may even be collaborating on it, because even though Victor is passionate about finding abos and establishing them like human society, even when he spends three years in the back of beyond, we do not get a single encounter with any abo by him.
All the encounters which he has are in a dreamy state, which we cannot trust solidly, while in Cave Canem, we have abos being created right and left, in a controlled environment, I think this will really peak interests of Victor.
Getting back to Liev's postpostulate
She believed, though she pretended not to, that the Annese have devoured and replaced homo sapiens - Veil's Hypothesis.
If we take this devoured word literally and go back to the interview of Mrs Blount we get the text below
Of course I've seen them. Why when I was a child I used to play with the children, the little ones you know. Ma didn't want me to, but when I was out playing alone I'd go out to the back of our pasture and they'd come and play with me. Ma said they'd eat me.
Now here Ma may just be scaring young Blount, or as we have seen from A Story, that the abos did eat each other, for sustenance. So it may be that there may have been instances where they have eaten human small children, which may be easy trappings for the abos.
This explains the ruthless killing done by Mrs Blount's father of the small abos who look liked children.
So during the first landings there exists a possibility that the abos may have eaten small children, due to which a ruthless killing of anything abo was done by the French colonizers, and even when the abo hybrids like Victor adopted to human society, they were considered an abomination.
So here comes the twist in the tale, although Victor wants the abos to be considered as humans, but he also fails in his observations to see them as a different kind of sentient species, same thing which the French did, because they applied the same moral laws to abos, one of which is you should not eat a flesh of human being, but the abos don't share same values as humans.
But who, then Tante Jeannine are the Free people? Conservatives who would not desert the old ways? The question is not, as I once thought, how much the thoughts of the shadow children influence reality, but how much of our own do. I have read the interview with Mrs Blount - a hundred times while I was in the hills - and I know who I believe the Free people to be.
So here again Victor fails in his observation by applying a human term to an abo society, we find that paradox so much in his observation, because we are trying to understand a completely new culture by using human terms, because that is what we do, and may be that's why humans failed to understand and comprehend the abo culture.
Another interesting aspect from victor's observations is that it was not the shadow children, but it was the abos who could influence reality around them, and if we tie the sleeping place, in this thread then there is a big possibility that the Hill abos definitely had the ability as group to become invisible. May be this was the reason why victor could not find a single abo in the back of the beyond.
So although the ability to hide the planet as a whole seems to be exaggerated, but there is surely a possibility that the Hill abos could disappear, we also find a reference, that the Marsh men had to form a ring around an area to find Sandwalker.
Victor says to us that he knows now who the Free people are, can we summarize that they are French?
Below is some evidence from the text from an interview with Mrs Blount
Women that was expecting wasn't to come on board,you see, though lots of them did as it turned out.
So there was an influx of children being born when the first colonizing ships landed, Mrs Blount concurs from this that, that like her Ma, many pregnant women were successful in sneaking onto the colonizing ships, but what if the abos were first replicating children, which may be there were finding it easy to replicate ? Because a small child cannot speak clearly.
It may also explain the fact that, why the colonists were reluctant to send their children outside, to play, because there may have occurred instances, where the original was getting replaced by the abos.
But then the abos got smarter in imitation
When I was growing up those little French girls that had been too small to fight was growing up too, and weren't they the cutest things? They got most handsome boys, you know, and all the rich ones.
So the abo girls started marrying into so called rich aristocratic families of french, and may be these hybrid abos who had no sense of identity as to where they human or abos, were the only ones to escape the war of colonization.
But few unfortunate like Victor were left on Saint Anne, and were brutalized by the local culture, so that's why I think there is no redemption arc to the story of V.R.T.
The angels trumpets, at the end of the book I take for their poisonous and hallucinogenic effect, but this time it is not us who are under its influence, but the whole abo culture as whole.
Welcome to the forum! What a phenomenal book this is -- I've been eager to read it again lately, too.
I think if we consider the origin of The Fifth Head of Cerberus as a novel spun out of the novella, then it seems like Wolfe thought it would be fun to take that line as a cue for what to write next rather than as pointing to anything about Dr. Marsch as he was conceived for the original novella. But it's so fun to play with all the possibilities!
Very interesting, Thanks. I first read this book in the late 70's and pretty much missed SO much of the clues....especially the obvious, Dr. Marsh dying in the field and becoming the half abo guide as the prison accounts attests to. Question. WHY does the "son" of the Master accuse Dr. Marsh of being an Abo? I comprehend he was impatient and wanted Marsh to leave so he could dispatch his dad-and-torturer. Profound meaning or cheap dramatic device?