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Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 10:51:04 -0500
From: "Charles Reed" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Suicide & Despair

But why would fighting to protect himself drive Silk to despair?  He killed the
Talus and although he felt guilty about it, he didn't despair.  He smacked Musk
a wrapping good blow with his cane and apparently didn't feel all that bad
about it (although he didn't kill Musk).  He sliced Blood in two with his azoth
and didn't fall into despair.  In fact, the only time I can remember Silk
really losing himself in despair is the scene where he and Horn are on top of
the Trivigaunti airship.  I've never really been sure of my reading of that
scene, but it always seemed to me that his despair rose up out seeing the many
and casual ways in which people deceive and hurt one another.  I believe he
told Horn that he had been focusing on all the evil that other people do to
each other instead of focusing on the evil in his own heart, and that this
misdirected and misguided focus is what led him to despair.

I know that was "twenty years ago" and that perhaps Silk has become more
hyper-sensitive to violence in the intervening years, but I just can't buy into
the notion that his despair springs from his having defended Hyacinth or
himself from some attacker.  The only way I could see this happening is if it
was Hyacinth herself whom Silk had killed, but I don't believe that could have
happened either.  If I remember correctly (sorry, I don't have my books with
me) Hyacinth was already in her coffin when Horn's consciousness was
transferred into Silk's body, which I take to mean (given the relative
isolation of their house) that they had known for some time that Hyacinth was
ill, and that they were prepared for it when it came.  Perhaps Silk even built
the coffin himself (like they did in Faulkner's creepy novel, AS I LAY DYING).

It seems to me that the most logical explanation for Silk's despair is that
Hyacinth had been dying for some time, and while she was still alive Silk was
able to busy his mind with her care.  But when she was dead, and placed in the
box, and Silk found himself utterly alone in the Whorl, his grief and
loneliness overcame him.

I haven't made up my mind on the question of whether Silk was actually trying
to commit suicide or was merely whaling away at himself in grief-induced
madness (I tend to favor the latter explanation), but I also think that it
doesn't really matter.  His emotions had overwhelmed him and he didn't know how
to go on.

Just my two cents.

Charles (who needs a cool moniker to go by)

James Jordan wrote:

> ......
> >I just had a horrid thought: all this talk about arm
> >wounds, a lack of memory of how they got that way and
> >the carriage of a weapon reminds me of a murder in San
> >Diego years ago (I grew up there); is it possible that
> >Silk/Horn killed someone with that knife and the
> >wounds are the result of his victim fighting back?
>          Well, yes. That's just what I think happened. He was defending his
> house and his wife and himself. The horror of having killed someone (or at
> least wounded him and driven him off) + the death of Hyacinth -- well,
> that's enough for Silk to despair.
>          But I may be wrong.
> Nutria


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