From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes"
Subject: RE: (urth) Silkicide Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2002 15:01:41 -0700 He-who-must-forever-be-in-Kansas writes: > At one point the narrator remembers (or is reported to have > remembered) that, shortly after his transfer to the whorl, > he felt a sort of horror for a knife that he was holding > and cast it away. I interpreted this emotion as > circumstantial evidence that the knife had been used > against Silk. Yes; I reread that passage last night. I don't think there is any real doubt that his arm wounds are self-inflicted; the only serious question is whether they are mourning gashes, as we know to be practiced in Viron, or an attempt at self- slaughter. In favor of suicide is the observation that some of the wounds are quite deep; against it is the very word "some -- it implies a frenzied hacking and not a concerted attempt to sever the arteries. I'm not sure whether we _can_ know whether Silk was attempting suicide; I'm watching for any further clues as I read. Also of note: throughout his parts of the text, beginning in OBW, the Narrator makes occasional slips of the tongue and pen which indicate the presence of the Silk persona -- for example, referring to his sons, Hide and Horn; or talking about Nettle but using the word "Hyacinth." Anyway, the point here is that he begins to make these slips almost immediately after the transference of the Horn persona to the Silk body. ... unfortunately, this being the "reconstructed from his words" part written by the "redactors," we can't know if they are reporting what he has actually said or inserting them for "consistency." There are places in the main narrative when he is recording his own conversations and reports such slips with no comment, and so one might suppose that he reported similarly when talking to the kids about what happened on the _Whorl_; contrariwise, one might suppose that, in reconstructing the events on the _Whorl_ from (there memories of) his comments on them, they inserted such slips so as to be consistent with the primary narrative. Indeed, if one wants to be paranoid enough about it, one can even suppose that they inserted _all_ such slips, because the Narrator (striving to preserve his belief in himself as Horn) would certainly not have kept them. All of which, again, brings me to something I said months ago: that one of the glories and annoyances of the "Short Sun" books is that our attempts to get from them to "what actually happened" is not a bad analogy to attempts to tease out the "historical Jesus" or the "authentic kerygma" from the received Gospels... --Blattid John Barleycorn must die --