FIND in
<--prev V207 next-->
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-

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 

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...


John Barleycorn must die


<--prev V207 next-->