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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (whorl) Deus Ex Machina
Date: Wed,  5 Feb 97 06:55:00 GMT

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

Reply:  Item #9024562 from WHORL@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET01#

<<Spoiler Warnings>>


Good tracking re: Horn's horning in, tooting his own horn, etc.  I
also get the feeling he's trying to give Scleroderma "equal time" as
author of her own ("shorter") account.  That's one thing about Nettle
and Horn--they're both sharp as tacks.

Henry Rathvon,

I'm afraid you have the ghostpike sequence a little jumbled--it isn't
first Pike then flitting thing, but the other way around, and there is
other stuff before and between.  Here, let me chart it out for you (II, 28):

(1) Silk is having an erotic dream featuring Kypris, who morphs into
"Hyacinth (though Kypris still)."

(2) Silk awakens and sees something fly out the window, then he sees
naked Mucor.  She fades to mist and is gone.

(3) Silk goes downstairs to interrogate Oreb, further waking himself
up (or dreaming more deeply?).

(4) Silk hears the creak of Pike's bed upstairs (II, 30).  He
confuses his "real" life as being a dream, splashes his face with
cold water.  Remembers that Pike died.  The bed creaks again.

(5) Silk goes up the stairs and sees Pike (II, 33), who then
smiles (compare with Quetzal's toothless smile [III, c. 102]), waves
and dissolves in silvery aquastor-esque motes, except for his
beanie ("calotte") that flutters to the floor.

(Points 4 & 5 are somewhat similar to Auk's experience with Bustard.
Mucor seems to herald Mainframe activity with all her mucking
around--maybe Mainframe is just following her around, like a rentacop
trailing a girlganger at the shopping mall?  Or she's just activating
everything in her passage.)


Re: manteion in Limna, oh, okay--right.  I remember that spot
now.  Sorry!  I guess I took it as being she thought she was in a
manteion but it was (dreamlike dissolve) actually a tavern.  But no,
there is a manteion there.  (And you already know: I think Kypris made
her duck in there in order to get out of Chenille before being spotted
by enemy Scylla's giant screen, the Lake.  Like how Echidna spots
Mint-carrying-Kypris in the big crowd, etc.)

Re: Kypris (actually, the young woman who was originally scanned into
Mainframe as the Virtual Reality Artificial Intelligence identity known
as the goddess Kypris) as the biological mother of Silk.  I don't want
to impose a reading on anybody. Just remember, you read it here
first. <g>

About that near-death vision of the four parents; how does the
non-aquaster crowd (i.e., ghostpike is a returning Quetzal rather
than a physical ghost) interpret this brush with eidolons?  Don't let
me put words in your mouth!  But I think the aquastor/eidolon rules
allow that, if there is an external agency involved, it is reading
the target's mind and supplying the appropriate puppets to convey the
message.  So a fairy godfather like Malrubius or Pike; or a glimpse
of a parent or two.

Even if you are going to take Dr. Crane's point of view, I think both
sides must agree (as if there is ever any agreement!) that the images
originate in Silk's mind.  So either this is real reality,
"metaphysical certitude" provided by the Outsider ("yes, your father
is a small statue"), or this is some form of dream, originating in Silk
himself or being concocted by some other agency for his edification.
Which is why Tussah looks like a bust rather than a flesh and blood
(ooh, did I say "Blood"?) man--this is dream logic using easily
recognized props. And of course Silk imagines his blonde mom and his
blond dad (even though, genetically speaking, one or both could be
brunette and still produce an Aryan love god such as Silk--and this
=without= genetic tinkering), because blonds are semi-rare in Viron
(3/100, wasn't it?), and Silk was teased about his hair/eyes as a boy
(we remember that discussion re: "how I deduced Crane is a foreign spy"
in the manteion arbor, right?  Where Kypris did all of the talking for
Chenille?), and Silk's surrogate-mother is small and dark.  So at this
late date (1) Silk thinks his biomom and dad are blond, and (2) Silk
is putting in faces and props in dreamland as they come to hand.

Now then, how many blonds has Silk met in the course of the four books?
Who might be being used as a "stand in"?

Well, there's big blonde Kypris, with her dark blue eyes.  And she
also happens to be the first best candidate for Short Sun egg donors
for the ubermensch class of (frozen embryo) cold ones.  (But the neat
thing is, she doesn't even have to really be the biomom--it might be
enough that Silk thinks she is, or might be, or hopes that she is.)
Since fellow cold one Mucor is the daughter of Molpe (I, 128) and
Hierax (III, 73), it seems fitting that Silk also have such a
lofty and dignified parentage. <g>  (You can guess who the blond stud

Re: Hyacinth, well sure she's a Triv spy.  That is established in the
arbor briefing.  Thing is, she is certainly not just a dupe courier like
Chenille--she's at the very least a real "agent" agent, maybe even
Crane's boss.  This doesn't affect the argument that she is being ridden
by Kypris non-stop (Sphigx is a loyalist, Scylla is a rebel, Kypris
is an outsider/loyalist).  As for Tartaros dealing with Kypris, if
you like just take all the dirty double- and triple-dealing going on among
the mortals (especially the demigods of the Prosimian Conspiracy:
Lemur, Loris, et ali.) and multiply it by a god factor--that's my impression.

Compare Kypris/Chenille's dagger skill (II, 83) and Scylla/Chenille's
"thumbs-into-eyes" combat and acrobatic stunts (II, 274) (II, 275) with
those of Hyacinth (IV, 323) (III, 311).  Note similarities and dream up a
ninja training camp for her to attend during her free time. <g>

Whaddaya think, algae, is Dr. Crane lying (II, 339) about the gemstone
(and by extension, who the pricy gift was really for) on the azoth or not?

Here's a new one--I know I'm chucking a lot of stuff at you all, but
oh well.  When Remora lets Gulo name Chenille as the ubermensch they
are looking for, we might think that he is making a mistake.  We
might be falling for the notion that there is only one heir.  If
CASTLEVIEW teaches us anything, I think it would be that there are
many (perhaps even too many) Arthurs running around.  Waiting to be
activated.  I know it seems like these possessions happen to ordinary
people, but it may well be that they only happen to the chosen few.
The ubermenschen.  (algae might like this one, since she likes talking
about the Severian "spares" littering the landscape like a clone arranger's

For those puzzling over how Quetzal "lied" to Silk about his
condition or what was said about same after the floater crash in
CALDE (circa p. 322), note how a similar death and resurrection
happened for Auk (circa p. 59).  Same last rites, same out of body
experience (Auk remembers Bustard later, similar to the way Silk
remembers more of the enlightenment as time goes by), same return to
life from death.  But no Quetzal for Auk, nor any Outsider;
and the spirit guide is his dead elder brother instead of a parent
(then again, this is another character with mystery . . . he looks
like a wolf or a bear [I, 78] . . . speaking of how "eyes spoke truth,"
Lily [name of Auk's mom {III, lists}] in cant means "truth" . . . called
Mint his mother . . . well, you get the picture).  <g>


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