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From: Kieran Mullen <kieran@phyast.nhn.ou.edu>
Subject: (whorl) Re:  Digest whorl.v001.n057
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 1997 18:58:43 

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

    How did Silk know Hyacinth's name when they first met?  (Silk is hiding
in her bedroom, guards come in looking for intruder, and Silk plays role of
a "client".  He tells Hyacinth to go back to sleep, calling her by name.  She
remarks later that he got her name right.)  The text is quite suggestive -
Silk feels as if something in him reaches out to Hyacinth w/o touching

    Here are (IMO)  a few other big hidden questions:

    - Since Silk seems to come from a frozen embryo, does he have a 
       superhuman talent?

    - Why does the monitor send them to Blue, over their instructions?

    - What was the ghost of Patera Pike that Silk saw?

I also have a bunch of "minor" questions.  

    - Is Silk scanned at Mainframe?  (Note this fits into Silk's Christic
       image:  he is tempted to cast himself down from a high place, and
       then tempted to become a ruler of all the world.  Severian's
       temptation "in the desert" by Typhon is even more explicit.  They
       both are pretty clearly related to the three temptations of Christ.)

    - What is Oreb?  (I think that Oreb reflects a line of C.S. Lewis, that
       we are gods to animals, enobling them and drawing them to higher 
       levels of reflection, and that a proper relationship with them
       would reflect this.   Oreb refers to Silk as his god.)

   I confess I see most things in this novel with a theological
perspective, and that Wolfe's work is interesting to me as a piece of
theological science fiction.  (There are a few others in the genre.)
One "major" question I omitted from above list is whether or not Silk's
revelations were real.  I think Wolfe allows the reader to assume what
s/he wishes on this score.  I like that.

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

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