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From: David_Lebling@avid.com
Subject: (whorl) Silk Wrong; Saving the _Whorl_
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 97 09:23:20 

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


I'll have to do some more research if I'm to come up with a list. I
think what I was referring to was more Silk's habit, whenever anything
happens, of coming up with an immediate and facile explanation.
Sometimes, as you say, he is corrected, or corrects himself, but
sometimes it just goes on by without comment.  One example with
immediate correction is his experience that we've been calling "Pike's
Ghost," where he immediately assumes the black shape is Oreb.

One case that hit me on rereading is Silk's interpretation of his
enlightenment.  It seemed clear to me from the wording and the content
of his vision that his charge from the Outsider was to save the _Whorl_,
but he almost obsessively whittles that down to a charge to save his
manteion.  Only much, much later does he, in an almost surprised way,
decide that saving his manteion means saving the people of the quarter
the manteion serves, which is of course equivalent to saving the
_Whorl_.  The explicit religious aspect of this is obvious; we are all
charged by the Outsider with saving the world, and such saving is to be
accomplished by saving ourselves and our fellow humans, and through them
the world.

In fact, the more I think of it, the more I think that Silk's
explanations are often self-serving in a sense; the same way peoples
responses to religious challenges are often self-serving, and deflect
them from what was really wanted.

Another question (so this won't all be philosophy and ethics): Who saves
the rest of the _Whorl_?  Horn's appendix makes it clear that people
from cities other than Viron made it to Blue. Who got them there? Did
the Outsider enlighten someone in each city? Auk's lander is the first
to leave the _Whorl_. What's happening elsewhere? Why did Tartaros pick
Auk of Viron, of all the Cargo? (That at least has a plausible


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