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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (whorl) File under filler
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 97 05:09:00 GMT

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

Reply:  Item #0807072 from WHORL@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET01#


No, you don't have to come up with a list of Silk's mistakes.  I just
mentioned the first one that came to hand, wondered if you were
thinking of that one or any other particular one.  That's all.

Re: who's on Blue, yes, there must be other cities and other
enlightenments (or at least theophanies and adventures) as you
speculate since (if we can believe it) there is only one piece of Pas
in Viron and others hidden elsewhere.

Re: Silk's changing interpretation of his enlightenment, I agree with
you, he is most reluctant--indeed, in the end he stays behind.  The
need for a man of action (like Auk) is quite apparent.

Something new--comparing Silk and Severian: well, both share a number
of sacred king attributes.  That's a similarity.  But Silk is sunny
where Severian is spooky . . . Silk cries easily, Severian cries only
two or three times . . . Silk wears his innocence as a badge of his calling,
and suffers as he loses it, Severian hides his and is strengthened by
discovering it . . . Silk is cuckholded, Severian cheats on his
girlfriend and then his wife . . . I get the impression that while
Severian is on the up-escalator from rock bottom, Silk is on the
down-escalator from the ground floor.

That is: Silk, while nice and sunny, thinks that he has a lousy station
posting that he struggles to make the best of, but people still like and
respect him; Severian really does have one of the worst jobs on the
planet and he is loathed by most people who aren't demented.  Silk,
compromising his goodness (born of a flawed church), sinks into the muck of
politics; Severian, betraying his wickedness (born of an infernal
institution), rises to a position where he can reform it out of

But still, it isn't like Silk is just a patsy--he has a difficult
struggle.  Even though in a certain light Silk's is more "realistic"
in the sense of "real politics," I'm not sure if either is more
realistic than the other.  Something complimentary about the two,
seems to me.

(Silk has a twin in Auk, a sort of co-hero; at first glance Severian
doesn't have one, but then there is the long shadow of the "first
Severian" that is a bit more "clone" [or "author" to "character
creation"] than "twin," so maybe this is more a shared similarity
than a difference.)

>>Spoiler Alert<<<

Dr. Gouvea,

Hey, good to see you!

Re: Blood's dad, to be honest I'm not sure ("sure" here being equal to
"willing to entertain the possibility," see where it leads) but my sense
is maybe the biochemical man once known as Loris, since replaced by a chem?
(Quetzal seems to suggest this with his "Blood will tell" comment IV, ch.
13, 270) If not, maybe another prosimian?  Pike would seem to be out (even
though a lot of Rose's guilt points toward a handsome man of the cloth--but
it also points toward a chem/bio fusion, which only seems odd at first) . . .
of course, Calde Tussah would be a wonderful complication!

More important (at the moment, to me) is the apparent confusion
between two characters: Grison, the driver who took Silk back to the
manteion from Blood's mansion in NIGHTSIDE (I, 21), and was thus the fake
fisherman Silk saw on the boat in LAKE (II, 325/331); an unnamed driver
in CALDE who drives Hy to Ermine's (III, 279) and later assists with Hy's
superhumanish leap from floater to floater (Hy remarks that Silk looks
like he's seen a ghost [III, 311/312]), presumed to be Grison; and
Willet/Hossaan, one of Blood's drivers (note plural) who is then repeatedly
misremembered as doing "the Grison" things (IV, 211: this might be a test Silk
is using on Hy) (IV, 218: this is Willet claiming to be the fake fisherman)
as well as all the obvious Hossaan things (most notably, capturing the Rebels
at the moment of Silk's surrender of the city to Potto).

Very curious. (I guess the easiest solution is that "Grison" is a
second alias for the same spy?  But why would Silk look like he'd
seen a ghost?  Did he think Grison had died?  Or is it just the
understandable shock that when Hy "took" the floater, she took the
driver, too?)


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