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Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 15:12:25 -0600
From: "Charles Reed" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Recollect ther craws, bucky?

Thanks for the pointer, hartshorn.  It allowed me to find the answer to 
my question.  Not that anybody else is interested, but the answer is 
that in chapter 10 of RttW, as Horn and Pig are entering Viron, we have 
the following exchange:

      Just then a flock of crows passed overhead, wheeling
   and cawing; hearing them, Pig asked, "What're they sayin',
   bucky? Yer h'always ken what H'oreb's says, sae what
   h'about those?"
      He looked to the skylands, and seemed for a moment to
   have forgotten his companions and himself.  "'Tomorrow,
   tomorrow, tomorrow.'  I think they mean I'll find Silk
   tomorrow, though I've found him already; but they may also
   mean you'll find new eyes tomorrow.  I hope so."

It's just Pig asking whether Horn still thinks still thinks they'll find 
what they're looking for tomorrow.  Not profound, but it's still nice to 
know what that passage means.  It's also rather touching, as if a child 
were asking its parent whether everything's going to be all right.

Of course, nothing's really that simple is it?  I love Wolfe's writing 
because the more work you put into it, the more you get out of it: 
 Horn's interpretation of the crows' cawing strongly echoes the words of 
that short-lived Scottish king who had just been informed that his wife 
was dead:

   She should have died hereafter;
   There would have been a time for such word.
   To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
   Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
   To the last syllable of recorded time,
   And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
   The way to dusty death.  Out, out, brief candle!
   Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
   That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
   And then is heard no more: it is a tale
   Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
   Signifying nothing.

I'm not exactly sure how Macbeth's tale resonates with Horn and Silk's, 
but another quotation is illuminating:

   How does your patient, doctor?

   Not so sick, my lord,
   As she is troubled with thick coming fancies,
   That keep her from her rest.

   Cure her of that.
   Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,
   Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
   Raze out the written troubles of the brain
   And with some sweet oblivious antidote
   Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff
   Which weighs upon the heart?

   Therein the patient
   Must minister to himself.

But this is exactly what had happened to Silk, isn't it?  He was in 
absolute despair over the death of Hyacinth.  His spirit, according to 
the Neighbor who helped Horn on Green, was dying.  Even so, the infusion 
of Horn's spirit into his body successfully (at least temporarily) did 
in fact pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow and cleanse his stuff'd 
bosom of that perilous stuff which weighed upon it.  

Very nice.


Andy Robertson wrote:

> I think craws = crows, which took a part earlier: I can't entirely 
> remember
> what
> hartshorn
> ---- Original Message -----
> From: "Charles Reed" 
> To: "urth" 
> Sent: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 2:34 PM
> Subject: (urth) Recollect ther craws, bucky?
>> Hello everyone.
>> I'm not a complete stranger here, but I haven't been a frequent
>> participant, either. Still, I was hoping that somebody could help me
>> out. I've just completed my second reading of the Short Sun books and
>> have at least one question that I haven't been able to figure out.
>> Allow me to set the stage:
>> At the very end of Chapter 12 in RttW, Horn finally arrived at Ermine's
>> after several interesting adventures (visiting the Sun Street manteion,
>> meeting and having a drink with his father, being waylaid by Olivine at
>> the Calde's palace and taken into the palace through a secret gate,
>> visiting the room he and Nettle stayed in for a short time (I think),
>> bathing and getting clean clothes, shriving and then receiving an eye
>> from Olivine). Patera Gulo had been at Ermine's ahead of him, looking
>> for Silk, but all that Horn wanted to do was to lie down. After
>> sleeping for a bit, and making sure that Hound and Pig were asleep, he
>> slipped out of the room and headed downstairs to the garden fountain
>> "where Thelx holds up a mirror." He then went back to the Calde's
>> palace to get his walking stick before going back to the room. Upon
>> entering the room, we have the following exchange:
>> As he put the key back into the lock, Pig asked sleepily, "Recollect
>> ther craws, bucky?"
>> It took a moment. "Why, yes. Yes, I do, Pig."
>> "Still say ther same?"
>> And that's the end of the chapter. I've puzzled and puzzled over this
>> passage, but I can't figure out what it means. Can any of you shed any
>> light on this for me?
>> Charles (still mulling over Vironese names, but leaning toward "Whisker")
>> --


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