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From: David_Lebling@avid.com
Subject: (whorl) Silk's Abilities
Date: Mon, 27 Jan 97 09:05:02 

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

Doug Eigsti wrote:

> Mucor, Pike, Quetzal and
> perhaps Silk's uncanny abilities would fall into the supernatural, in
> spite of the conclusions arrived at by Silk. Silk has a pawn's 
> whorl-view, he is not privy to the machinations of the Marvelous Brass

> Chess Playing Automatons that inhabit mainframe.

I think Silk's abilities are explicable.  He is a genetically engineered
natural leader or even superman.  This is made fairly explicit in either
_Lake_ or _Calde_, in a conversation between Quetzal and Remora. 
Quetzal tells how people would buy frozen embryos with special abilities
emplaced by Pas' scientists.  He states explicitly that Tussah bought
such an embryo, although Remora jumps to the conclusion that the
resulting adult is Chenille.  He also states that they don't always work
out as promised, which explains Mucor; she has a parapsychological
ability, but is at least currently crazy.  (Though one must also assume
this may be due to her treatment by Blood.)
>	How do you suppose Horn sees things? Is he intentionally
> misleading the reader by having Silk come to the wrong conclusions >
> and again?

My guess is that Horn is trying to be an accurate and reliable narrator.
He's trying to show us Silk, "warts and all."

      Dave Lebling

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