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From: "Chris" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Malrubius' ghost
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 18:57:38 +0000

I agree, in light of the points brought up by several people today, that 
Malrubius' ghost literally being Silk in astral form is too problematic to 
hold on to in that form. Mantis is correct in his guess as to why I thought 
of the idea in the first place. In addition, it was always disconcerting to 
me that the explanation of Malrubius as the ghost was that he was chosen out 
of Severian's memory as a figure of wisdom and possibly a 
pseudo-father-figure, whereas the "real" Malrubius in earlier segments is 
never described with quite enough affection to really justify his having 
this kind of importance to Sev. (My god, what an awful sentence). Master 
Palaemon seems a more sympathetic character, and accounts of Malrubius 
suffer a bit by comparison. So, this always struck a false chord with me but 
at the time I was reading BotNS I was unable to resolve it. These alternate 
explanations appeal to me because they explain what I perceive as an awkward 
point of the text.

On the other hand, I don't know whether this explanation fits with the 
statement of Wolfe's that Marc originally brought up re: Silk's astral 
travel and the mystery of Malrubius' ghost. I wish I had the context of that 
quote, actually.


Mantis wrote:
>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 
> >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

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