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From: "Timothy Reilly" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Biblical connections
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 16:54:58 +1100

Allan wrote:
> On the subject of Horn/Silk not eating, I wonder if  this is connected
> to Horn's experience in the Pit. After the Pit, he found that his
> eyesight had improved so that he saw the world in a completely different
> way, he suddenly became a crack shot, and was able to find his way
> through impenetrable jungle. I used to think that this was because
> Krait  had taken his blood while he was unconscious and that the method
> used to bring him back to life was for Horn to receive a transfusion
> back from Krait. This made them "blood brothers" and meant that they
> shared physical characteristics. (It would also explain why Krait
> looked so much like Sinew who was bitten by an inhumi when a baby.) This
> may help to explain why the experience was so shattering to Horn, and
> why he said that after this "the best part of my life was over". Maybe
> as the books go on he is continuing to share blood with Krait and Jahlee
> and this affects his appetite for normal food.

Nice idea Alan.  What happens in the pit in OBW seems central to
understanding the remainder of the trilogy, and this is the most sensible
sounding speculation I can recall.  Re "the best part of my life was over",
I regret that the best part of TBSS is then over too.

I've been reading The Rings of Saturn by the late W G Sebald recently.
Despite the title, it's certainly not SF, but I can recommend it to those
(like me) who admire the narrative voice of TBNS.  It's calm, contemplative
and endlessly digressive - and Baldanders gets an early mention:

"Recently I realized that the imaginary beings listed alphabetically in
[Borges' Libros de los seres imaginarios] include the creature Baldanders,
whom Simplicius Simplicissimus encounters in the sixth book of
Grimmelshausen's narrative.  There, Baldanders is first seen as a stone
sculpture lying in a forest, resembling a Germanic hero of old and wearing a
Roman soldier's tunic with a big Swabian bib.  Baldanders claims to have
come from Paradise, to have always been in Simplicius's company,
unbenknownst to him, and to be unable to quit his side until Simplicius
shall have reverted to the clay he is made of.  Then, before the very eyes
of Simplicius, Baldanders changes into a scribe who writes these lines
[illustration omitted], and then into a mighty oak, a sow, a sausage, a
piece of excrement, a field of clover, a white flower, a mulberry tree, and
a silk carpet."

Finally Wolfe in his interview complains that nobody mentions one of his
favourite short stories, The Death of the Island Doctor.  Well I've always
loved it, though I confess I've never mentioned this before...



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