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From: David_Lebling@avid.com
Subject: (whorl) Hyacinth; Kypris; Pas and more
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 97 09:58:36 

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

Wow.  Oodles of speculation recently.  Everyone must have rested up over
the weekend.  Maybe even two oodles.


I haven't seen any indication that Hyacinth was possessed by Kypris,
much less "99% of the time."  We rarely see her when she isn't acting,
and Horn emphasizes this point in his Apologia.  He says that nice as
she was to Silk, she was nasty to everyone else around her.  (Not that
she was always nice to Silk either, of course).  Her behavior fits very
well with the interpretation that she's either (a) that rarely seen
fictional character, the whore with the heart of brass, or (b) a
spy/courtesan working for Trivigaunte.  Or both.

I'd be interested in seeing some specific instances when Kypris is in
possession of Hyacinth.  (Not to be picky or anything...)

One additional mystery; why does Auk/Tartaros abduct Hyacinth? If she's
really possessed by Kypris most of the time, it makes no sense; Tartaros
and Kypris are on the same side. Could it be that Tartaros wants her
kept away from Silk, knowing (as I and others have speculated) that she
is a spy from Trivigaunte?

[Silk as Kypris's Son]

Here's the dialog when Silk meets his parents during his NDE:

   The other woman [Silk's biological mother] did not speak, but her
   eyes spoke truth.
   "You were my mother," he said. "I understand."
   He looked down at his own beautiful mother. "You will always be my
   mother. Always."

It's a bit hard to tell, but I think "his own beautiful mother" in the
last paragraph is his adoptive mother.  What he "understands" is that
the woman he thought was his mother wasn't ("truth"), but he still loves
her as though she had been.

I don't see any indication that Kypris (whose original, after all, was
the kept mistress of a rather bad-tempered tyrant) would have conceived
an embryo by someone else to place on the _Whorl_.

[Pas is Dead]

I think Pas was killed after the _Whorl_ reached the Blue/Green system.
We never get anything specific about why Echidna et al. revolted, but to
me it's compelling that they coexist fairly happily for hundreds of
years, then revolt.  Why?  Pure malice, as per Remora's answer about the
cobra?  No.  They revolted because Pas wanted the voyage to end, wanted
the Cargo to depart, wanted the _Whorl_ to be depopulated.  Some of the
other gods wanted to keep on being gods, I think.

If Pas was a construct of Kypris and Tartaros, why were they trying to
reassemble his scattered elements, such as the one Jerboa carried?  The
construct seemed to be working okay.  Remember that all the gods are
just "manifestations of Mainframe"; in other words, they are computer
programs.  I find it easy to believe the scenario of Pas stashing
backups or parts of backups here and there, and a partially restored Pas
being able to put on a fairly convincing theophany.

[Pike's Ghost]

Oliver Stone's opinions aside, I _still_ think it was Quetzal...


I agree strongly with mantis that _Long Sun_ grows on you.  I recall
when _Nightside_ came out, I found it rather disappointing; probably I
expected something more like _New Sun_.  Each time a new volume came
out, I reread the preceding ones and got more out of them.  Now, thanks
to the indefatigable crew here on Whorl, I've reread the whole series
twice in the last month, and I like it better each time.  This is
generally the case with anything by Wolfe (with his name he'd fit right
in on the _Whorl_), but this series seems different.  _New Sun_ was like
a spaceship covered in a rotting tapestry; pull it off and almost
everything is revealed.  _Long Sun_ is like layer after layer of
overpainting on an old master; it takes time and effort to reveal what's

     Dave Lebling

     Dave Lebling

Questions or problems to whorl-owner@lists.best.com

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