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Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 09:46:31 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: Re: (urth) Malrubius' ghost

Civet wrote:
>But looking at it from the flip side, do you think it might be possible
>that, when Severian refers to the ghost of Malrubius, he's actually using a
>sort of euphemism?

I can go along with this, because I think you are saying that Severian saw
a ghost-like Silk (as shown in BOTSS) and later in TBOTNS saw a ghost which
he reported as being that of Malrubius, while still later this ghost was
made somewhat ambiguous as a machine projection based upon his own thoughts
(basically giving the ghost the form of a wise person Severian had met in
real life, in order to deliver just-in-time wisdom).

Your point being that Severian's "alteration" is merely saying that the
ghost was "Malrubius" rather than the who-knows-where-he's-from Silk.  An
editorial decision on Severian's part to avoid cluttering the manuscript
with a character who would require a whole book (or four or seven) to

And it is interesting in the way that "Silk as the model for the ghost"
explains the connection between Triskele and the ghost as one of a temporal
association, which was impossible previously because Malrubius died long
before Triskele appeared.  (In BOTNS, Triskele seems to stand for beasts
and Malrubius for wisdom, two entities who never met in life but were
working together as ghosts.)

>To be more direct, perhaps it was Silk astral travelling
>again, and since Severian had opted not to explain Silk in the first place
>he filled in a name to substitute in the ghost sequences?

"Ghost of Malrubius" already has two "fuzzies" in BOTNS: is it a real
"natural" ghost, or is it a computer generated ghost?  (Or sometimes
one/sometimes the other?)  To this we can add a third fuzzy: That it wasn't
really =based on= Malrubius at all, but on the weird ghostly guy Silk.
This third fuzzy collapses the "real ghost" probability wave to zero,
leaving all the ghostly visitations of "Malrubius" as 100%

But to say that the ghostly visits in BOTNS are really further,
undocumented astral projections of Silk, rather than a computer-generated
ghost based on Silk, no, this causes too much trouble, I think.



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