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Date: Sat, 6 Sep 2003 16:16:51 -0700
Subject: Re: (urth) Clones of the Long Sun
From: Lisa Schaffer-Doggett 

On Saturday, September 6, 2003, at 12:07 PM, James Wynn wrote:

> As I see it, the chief benefit of the Typhon Clone explanation 
> originally
> put forward by Don is the number of narrative puzzles it answers, and 
> that
> it explains many of Wolfe's literary choices.
> If you never wondered why Silk was invited to by the Mainframe 
> operators to
> be scanned and merged with Pas....
> or if it doesn't seem odd to you that Kypris, Echidna, and Scylla 
> would back
> as Calde' an obscure augur of the poorest mantaeon in a Whorl-city 
> that has
> relinquished proper worship (human sacrifice...
> or if it is not striking to you that Silk has a "typhonic" beard
> (reddish-blonde) as Grave's (an important Wolfe source) called it in 
> "King
> Jesus"...
> or if any significance to Silk sharing in many of the same archetypal
> references as Pas and Typhon fly right by you...
> ...well, then recognizing that Silk is a clone of Typhon would only
> convolute things for you. If those bits seem peculiar or significant 
> then
> Silk-as-Typhon's-clone clears up a lot of things.
Yes, I think it really is hard to ignore.

> The danger as I see it is that there are a lot merging and 
> confabulating of
> identities in the Long Sun and it is too easy to try to resolve them 
> all
> with one more clone.  Wolfe has shown himself too clever to over-use a
> single method let alone such an obvious one.

I agree with this but I do believe that in addition to Silk, it makes 
perfect sense for Typhon to have placed his family on the Whorl in 
embryonic form, considering that he took the time to have the nasty 
buggers uploaded as gods in the first place.  Whether GW has taken the 
narrative time to have them all in tBotLS is another matter.  
Regardless, that would only be their secondary identity, just as Silk 
is not really the Typhon that Severian meets.  I think that Wolfe's 
work defies simple reductionism:   Silk may be Typhon but he is still 
Silk, just as we all carry many metaphors throughout our existence.  
Even if there were only ten actual characters in the entire cycle 
(something I don't believe) and every other character was a clone or 
copy of these ten it would only be one level of a very rich narrative.  
The real onion is in it's layers.



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