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From: "Jonathan Laidlow" <LAIDLOJM@hhs.bham.ac.uk>
Subject: (whorl) Nightside again, chapter one
Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 12:28:49 GMT

Stephen Witkoswksi inspired to begin rereading Long Sun again, and 
I'd be grateful for your input folks:

Nightside chapter 1 - two things I noticed:

1. the word 'clockwork' is used three times in the first three pages. 
Patera Silk is 'that absurd clockwork figure' in the parenthesis in 
the second paragraph, and he watches the game 'outside a clockwork 
show whose works had stopped'. This is where Silk has his first 
theophany (love that word!). The Outsider gives him an out of body 
experience and reveals how he is merely a mechanical creation 
(figuratively) who does what he has been programmed to do?
Then again on p11 at the end of the vision: 'a wind that blew ever 
stronger and wilder as clockwork that had never really stopped began 
to turn again'. This then suggests that all is artificial, created - 
the wind is unnatural, but guided by the clockwork maker.

I'm wondering how to reconcile this with Silk's assertion later in 
the chapter that the Outside will not help save the Manteion, Silk is 
the help that is being provided.

2. And another thing,back to  the first paragraph: 'he said that it 
was as though someone who had always been behind him and standing 
(as it were) at both his shoulders had, after so many years of 
pregnant silence, begun to whisper into both his ears'
This echoes TS Eliot's Waste Land: 'Who is that who walks behind you' 
(Eliot's note refers to polar explorers, but that's a red herring). 
Both refer to some passage in the Bible, presumably after the 
Resurrection where Jesus is seen by various people, but where? And 


Jonathan Laidlow
Dept of English - staff pigeonholes
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT, England
0121 414 5976

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