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From: "Fernando Q. Gouvea" <fqgouvea@colby.edu>
Subject: Re: (whorl) Patera Pike's Ghost
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 1997 09:38:02 

[Posted from Whorl, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]

**** On Thu, 23 Jan 97 17:05:52 -0500, David_Lebling@avid.com said:

DL> I'm puzzled over the appearance of Patera Pike's "ghost" in _Lake_.

DL> Did Silk see an inhumu (probably Quetzal?).  Are there any other cases
DL> of such _observed_ shapeshifting on the part of Quetzal (or anyone
DL> else, for that matter)?  Recall that we haven't even met Quetzal,
DL> though we have seen Teasel attacked. Later in the story, Quetzal
DL> invariably disappears when everyone's back is turned.

I think that's a very interesting possibility, one that hadn't ocurred to
me. It's true that the ghost incident is one of the more mysterious ones in
the series. The thing that's missing to make this a plausible explanation,
though, is a reason: why would Quetzal be doing that? Why create an
appearance of Patera Pike?

In fact, the issue of Patera Pike's role in the story is itself an
interesting one. He never appears, but he seems to be important in a number
of levels (for example, it seems to have been his prayers that initiated
the Outsider's action, or at least Silk thinks so).



Fernando Q. Gouvea			
Chair, Dept. of Math & CS		Editor, MAA Online
Colby College				http://www.maa.org
fqgouvea@colby.edu			fqgouvea@maa.org

Dear Miss Manners:
	My home economics teacher says that one must never place one's
	elbows on the table.  However, I have read that one elbow, in
	between courses, is all right.  Which is correct?

Gentle Reader:
	For the purpose of answering examinations in your home
	economics class, your teacher is correct.  Catching on to this
	principle of education may be of even greater importance to you
	now than learning correct current table manners, vital as Miss
	Manners believes that is.

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