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From: "Josh Levitan" <josh_levitan@hotmail.com>
Subject: (whorl) Re: Digest whorl.v010.n138
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2000 23:47:53 PDT


Alex David Groce wrote:

>1.  The inhumi's secret (maybe) becomes a little clearer, in some
>aspects:  Krait's _mother_ drank from Sinew, and I believe it may be
>that when the inhumi spawn their children take their spirit (in some
>sense) from (a particular, I assume) victim of the parent.

I don't think that's the case.  I do think it has become a bit clearer, 
although not crystal clear yet.  And unfortunately, all evidence seems to 
point to the "Do Unto Others Theory" as being extremely likely to being "the 
>5.  The parallels with Severian are growing stronger and more
>interesting: (1) Horn(/Silk) is now "accidentally" enacting sacraments
>(the Eucharist at the Neighbors' table is my favorite scene from IGJ);
>(2) he has his own sword; (3) he's actually been mistaken for a
>torturer (we're reminded that a Patera's costume is not unlike that of
>a torturer).

And that he seeminly subconsciously reshapes his black sword into a 
Torturer's sword, presumably because of the aspects of Severian/the 
Conciliator/The Outsider that were part of Silk and are now merged with 

Fernando Q. Gouvea <fqgouvea@colby.edu>

>I haven't made up my mind about this one... Is Wolfe saying that *all*
>inhumi have essentially human spirits, or that some get to that point after
>extensive (and friendly) contact with humans? Or is contact with *Silk*
>necessary? (After all, we have only two points of evidence...)
>The inhumi seem to be spiritual (as well as physical) chamaleons. One might
>conjecture that they are all semi-human in spirit, but the slave masters in
>Green wouldn't be very clearly human while the ones who live in Blue are

I think it's a combination of things.  One, their spirits are at least 
partially comprised of whatever they're feeding on.  When Jahlee(? I've had 
about five hours of sleep in the past few days, so my memory's a little hazy 
at this point, and a marathon reading session didn't help, but I'm pretty 
sure it was Jahlee and not Fava) is asked by Horn what the inhumi who fed on 
the Neighbors would have been like, she says "Wonderful," or something to 
that effect.  Also, I believe that both Fava and Jahlee are striving to be 
good "people," to overcome their inherently bad nature, like Severian (and 
Silk and Horn, for that matter), so that their true spirits are human or 
very close to it, rather than reptilian in nature.

>Another question: if the inhumi eventually become close copies of those
>they prey on, shouldn't the inhumi be fighting among themselves now? After
>all, this characteristic of humanity is strongly emphasized in the book.

Great question...

Alga wrote:
>Subject: Does Horn Know He is Silk?
>I think he does and he doesn't. Horn practically worshipped Silk as a
>boy, wrote a book about him, has invested much of his life in
>perpetuating his myth and doesn't feel up to "walking in his shoes." He
>knows that it is his--Horn's--personality in this body, however much
>Oreb may squawk. Nevertheless, parts of Silk are left, just as you can
>never erase a program completely from your computer.

It's also pretty apparent that he knows he's in Silk's body.  The people in 
Gaon thought he was Silk and that's why they made him their ruler;  people 
on cities all over Blue and Green think he's Silk;  Oreb calls him Silk, 
etc.  He makes disingenuous comments that he's not Silk, that Oreb's 
confused, etc.  However, this is clearly meant in the spiritual sense, and I 
don't think he's entirely right there.  Horn spends a great deal of time in 
OBW talking about how he's the only one who doesn't know where Silk is.  And 
we know why now -- as the female neighbor said, his spirit was dying and she 
puts him in Silk's body.  But, even though Horn seems to have picked up some 
incredible powers that Silk/Severian/The Conciliator had, he doesn't think 
he is Silk.  And, in a sense he's not, exactly, so he's truthful when he 
says he isn't.  He's also a humble person, and doesn't think he can measure 
up to Silk, even though his personality has become merged with Silk/Pas/The 
Outsider/The Conciliator/The Autarch/Severian and he is measuring up.

Nicholas Gevers wrote:
>I've mentioned this before, but now that many people
>have read IGJ, perhaps I can get more comment: I
>strongly believe that Horn's visit to Nessus takes
>place at the same time as the opening chapter of THE
>SHADOW OF THE TORTURER. Clue: Horn and company need to
>be guided into the Citadel, so the guard at the
>Citadel's gate, Badour, abandons his post to accompany
>them; when Severian and his friends try to return to
>the Matachin Tower in Chapter One of SHADOW, they find
>the guard gone, with no explanation for his absence.
>Very probably, Horn missed meeting the apprentice
>Severian by only a short time. I should add that in
>his NOVA EXPRESS interview (1998), Wolfe said that THE
>BOOK OF THE SHORT SUN would "take us into the world of
>Severian's childhood"; it seems certain that just this
>has happened.

Thanks so much, Nick.  I felt this, but couldn't put my finger on it.  
They're in Nessus right before the Sun goes out.  The Duko recognizes his 
house, but it's collapsed and has been for some time, so the Colony ship is 
long gone.  The people that Horn and company encounter, the guard, the 
omophage, the lochage, are those from Severian's time.  I wonder why Horn 
didn't encounter Severian, though.  Severian certainly seemed to encounter 
himself often enough in one form or another throughout TBOTNS.

And now something of my own...

The only complaints that I have about IGJ are due to Wolfe's insanely good 
writing ability.  For a book entitled "In Green's Jungles," we get very 
little of Green's jungles.  He continues to hint around (maddeningly) the 
Inhumi secret.  And, other than the very brief scene we get when the 
Neighbor female puts his spirit in Silk's body, we get nothing at all, 
really, about the Whorl.  It's gonna be a long seven months until the final 

I was also a bit curious why Horn screws around with Hide so much.  You'd 
think a loving father would tell his son who he is rather than wait for him 
to figure it out...  That puzzled me a bit.

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