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From: Kieran Mullen <kieran@phyast.nhn.ou.edu>
Subject: (whorl) Re:  Digest whorl.v001.n058
Date: Wed, 12 Mar 1997 12:21:04 

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

>On Mon, 10 Mar 1997 18:58:43 -0600, Kieran Mullen wrote:
>:     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
>: her.
  revjack@radix.net (revjack@radix.net) (and others) replied:

>When he was in the dressing room, he found a needler decorated with
>hyacinths, deduced that it was hers, and took a *big* chance when the
>guards broke in. 

    I had thought of this, but that's a rather big leap to make.
The text right before hand suggests that he makes some sort of special 
connection with her, a connection that might explain there love at first
sight.  I'd bet you a nickel that Wolfe meant more than Silk's just
deducing it from the needler design.  (Though he does make Brown-esque
deductions that almost always seem to be right.  Perhaps that's his
genetically induced ability :-).

    And "of course" Hyacinth is the Church (the bride of the messiah,
who goes "whoring after strange gods", who cannot accept/does not
deserve forgiveness, but who is given it just the same).

    On names: the name "Silk" is interesting since silk is strong and
flexible.  It's also made from coccoons, I believe (a transformation
image), but is also "man-made" in that you normally only think of silk as a
fabric (from "faber", meaning "to make" I believe).  It is suggested that
Silk is also "fabricated", that is a frozen embryo with perhaps special

    But why is Blood named Blood?  The word blood is very, very rich in
Christian/Catholic teaching.  In the storyline he is named Blood because of
his bloody (caesarian?) birth.  But there seems to be a sacrice/
blood/ransom/salvation theme with the manteion.

               Kieran Mullen

P.S.  I like the Italian restaurant/Catholic church link.  I'll have to
       reread _There are Doors_.

P.P.S.  _Pandora_ seemed like a book where a lot more was happening than on
       the surface, but I was just too dim to see it.  I mean: "Alladin
       Blue"= "A lad in blue" = police.  Anyone get much out of it?

 Kieran Mullen                         email: kieran@phyast.nhn.ou.edu
 Dept. of Physics and Astronomy        phone: (405) 325-3961
 The University of Oklahoma            FAX: (405) 325-7557
 Norman, OK 73019, USA                 http://www.nhn.uoknor.edu/~kieran/

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