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From: "James Wynn" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Who is the Long Sun?
Date: Sat, 6 Sep 2003 01:05:54 -0500

Marc says,
> Auk is the Long Sun.
> During the tunnel scene (I read it last week - it's just shy of halfway
> through the book, but I don't have the book with me now) where Auk is down
> there posessed and having hallucinations and he's looking for Dace, he
> thinking to himself and comes to the conclusion that, of course, he is the
> long sun.  I remember scratching my head at that one.
> Any thoughts on that?

Crush responds:
I'd forgotten about that. Okay. This is the wierdest puzzle I've come across
in the whole LS/SS series. Which is, how is Auk Silk? They evenly divide
between them the activities of three totally separate mythological
archetypes. Yet in one of those archetypal references, Auk is Silk's

Before Silk's robbery, Silk shrives Auk. Afterward, Auk shrives Silk
insisting he tell him every bit of the act.

But Mucor even says that Auk is Silk. In Exodus otLS, Chenille is having
Mucor look for Auk. Auk is at Sun Street
manteon preaching and sacrificing which he's been doing since Silk stopped
doing it (another Silk parallel). Chenilles says "Where is Auk?" and Mucur
responds "Where Auk is....Silk?"

Long ago I posted that Auk appeared to be the "awk-end" of Silk. But that
was before I realized the extent to which Wolfe treats them (thematically)
as a single personality.

Since we're talking about shared identities, I'll point out that Auk "casts
down" Silk (Typhon's clone) into a pit in analogy of Severian casting down
Typhon (after Silk is resurrected -- just like Typhon). Now Marc points out
that Auk is the Long Sun just as Severian is the New Sun. So a question
that's been lurking for some time in my mind has come to fore full-fledged:
WHY is Auk (somehow) both Severian *and* Silk.

Preemptively I'll caution that it won't do to say that that these are two
unrelated associations that have nothing to do with the narrative. I have
become quite convinced that Wolfe doesn't write that way. If there is
*anything* to these references then they are woven tightly into the story
and are simultaneously true.

I've considered that Auk is a clone of Severian (both are dark featured,
sexually attractive, and carrying swords) and that their differences in
build are due to differences in upbringing and environment. But how would
that explain why Silk and Auk are the same personalities? Silk and Auk are
clones? (hence my recent confabulation with Don's theories) But they are as
different in appearance as Typhon and Severian. And then there's Auk's
brother, Bustard -- a mysterious wildcard whose significance I have yet to
divine either to the narrative or to any of the themes I've identified.

So Marc, I have lots of thoughts, but no conclusions.

-- Crush


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