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From: "Roy C. Lackey" 
Subject: Re: (urth) stew
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2003 01:35:17 -0500

Marc wrote:
>>Also, it is important that Silk from Book of the Short Sun never eats and
gets sick in winter.<<

Tisk, tisk. You're letting your pet theories ride roughshod over what the
text actually says--or, sometimes, doesn't say--again. _Of course_ Silk eats
in SS. To wit:

"'I had resolved to eat very little tonight, and look at this.' While we had
been talking, I had practically cleaned my plate." (IGJ, 71)

That quote is from the first story-telling dinner at Inclito's; it was the
first example to come to mind. True, Silk isn't a big eater in SS, but
neither was he in LS. The point is, he _does_ eat in SS.

As for the Silk/Rose fried-tomato scene, the context of the above quote may
shed some light. Silk had just declaimed against "strong emotions of any
kind", among them "greed", which he specifically links with food. When he
selfishly declined to share his tomatoes with Rose, he felt a great deal of
guilt over it afterward, even though food is a necessary condition of life.
His experience with the inhumi, to that point, had taught him that their
quest for food--for blood--went beyond what was strictly necessary to
maintain life: they wanted _human_ blood, to become like men. The irony is
that, to become like men, to acquire the blood, they must kill (unless they
take extraordinary care) what they most love. Their animal nature overrides
their borrowed humanity. Remember those clogged sewers on Green. Should an
inhumi have the misfortune to acquire a "conscience" (if such a thing is
possible), its position becomes untenable. Silk has a conscience, therefore
can take no joy in eating, an activity he must condemn in the inhumi.



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