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Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 17:22:13 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth) Silk-23 skidooby doo

Rostrum quoted me and wrote:
>> Well, since in this reading I take it as Horn alone who sees Hyacinth dead
>> (Silk-43 being completely gone), it is Horn who sees her.  Silk-23 comes
>> later, via the eye transfer; and Silk-23 would be even more shocked and
>> distraught over the memory (I'm assuming that Horn and Silk-23 can access
>> the memories of Horn) than Horn, who was the actual witness.
>I don't think this works.  For one thing, the only way I can swallow Horn
>steadfastly refusing to acknowledge the obvious during his return to the
>Whorl (that he is a spirit posessing Silk's body - an almost commonplace
>idea given Horn's experiences) is that Silk himself is preventing it in
>order to avoid facing up to Hyacinth's death.
>For another, it only works if Pas and the Neighbors are in league
>together, because by your "sinister" reading, the Neighbors wipe Silk-43
>and then later Pas completes the plan by engineering the reboot with

No, not exactly.  Look, Pig is carrying Silk, right?  And has been for some
time.  Searching for Silk for some time, too.  So that whole thing was set
in motion some time ago.

IIRC there is no monitor where Silk and Hyacinth have been living, just as
there was no functional monitor around Silk until the time of big changes
in TBOTLS.  So in order to get a Silk-soft to Silk-43, a god would have to
get a sturdy mount and basically walk on over there, with enough might and
majesty to physically drag Silk-43 to the nearest functioning monitor for a
forceful switcharoo.  Which is why Pig is a good choice for a message
carrier, but why Pig cannot replace Silk (lacking the Silk-body).

Anyway, it seems to me that Pas and Neighbors are not in league at all, but
working at somewhat cross-purposes, coincidentally with the same tool that
was lying around moping.  It is Horn's mission that makes the Pig mission
go through, despite all the screw-ups (blindness, role-reversals).

(OTOH, I don't remember if Pig saw Hyacinth dead or not.  He was communing
with her ghost in the ruins later on, of course -- that was the big tip
that he had Silk-soft in him.  But it is also perhaps telling, in that the
setting is one that would be fresh to Silk-23 . . . well that and
extra-poignant to Silk-43, so it is a wash.)

>Another:  This contradicts your "Silkhorn gets some Silk from Pig after
>restoring his sight" theory.  Because Pig was posessed fairly recently,
>and not by pure Silk, but Passilk-42, or maybe Passilk-43 minus a few
>months (weeks?).  The only source of pure, unadulterated Silk-23 would be
>from the tape backups on mainframe.

Passilk-n would be based upon Silk-23, wouldn't it?  Living 20 years in VR
heaven, apart from mortal-Silk's ordeals, or kept on tape, I'm not sure
what.  (I mean, they just show him like a puppet for a second -- less than
"visiting day" at Mainframe.)  In another post today I mentioned that I
don't see any Pas elements in the Narrator, myself, so I'm not comfortable
with Pig carrying Passilk rather than Silk.

>Another:  It really undermines the whole healing of Silk theme.  Silk-23
>coming to terms with the fact that he's suddenly older and a widower seems
>much less interesting than Silk-43 overcoming his grief.

Unless Silk-43 failed to the point of self-destruction, which would tend to
illustrate that the 20 years had been disasterous, even for a superman.
OTOH, Pig was launched before Silkicide -- I'm not claiming he is on a
mercy mission, nor that Pas knows Silkicide will come, only that Pas is
going to press Silk back into active service.  Quit sulking, Achilles, and
get to work!

>Another:  Silk-23, recorded when Silk was on the airship, feeling
>depressed, suddenly finding himself older and Hyacinth dead -- we ought to
>see a major shift in Silk's personality between when he says goodbye to
>Pig and when at the end when he gets on Hari Mau's lander.  (Maybe the
>kids didn't understand what had happened and didn't know to depict it?)

I thought Silk-23 was recorded at the pool in the hotel, at the happiest
moment in his life.  I thought what happened on the airship was he was
shown the scan (which he had not been aware of before), and rather than
cheer him up, it made him feel even worse.  So bad that he nearly . . .
well, you know.


Sirius Fiction
booklets on Gene Wolfe, John Crowley
30 copies of "Snake's-hands" until OP!


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