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From: Shannon Appelcline <shannona@skotos.net>
Subject: (whorl) Re: Digest whorl.v012.n042 (RTTW SPOILERS!)
Date: Fri, 09 Feb 2001 10:32:34 

From: Dan Schmidt <dfan@harmonixmusic.com>
>OK, we're remembering the same text, but interpreting it differently.
>I took that to mean that he did write about his earlier time in the
>Whorl (e.g., meeting Pig and Hound) but the editors picked it up after
>he arrived in Old Viron.  Otherwise I would have expected them to
>write 'the Whorl' rather than 'Old Viron and the West Pole'.

It seems very unlikely that Hornsilk would suddenly change his entire 
writing style as well as the method he's been using to tell his story ... 
all for no particular reason. By Occam's Razor the third-person narrative 
in RTTW was written by Horn's sons.

Another point on narrative style:

* The place in RTTW where I really started to wonder if Horn was Horn was 
when he was speaking to Silk in Blood's mansion. It became blatantly 
obvious that their styles of speech were very, very similar. That pedantic, 
totally truthful style of speech that we've become so familiar with 
throughout the Short Sun series.

I'm wondering if this is intended as a real clue or if it's just how the 
Vironese speak. We have four books that are good samples of Horn's writing 
(though edited by Nettle). We also have samples of his speech in those 
books, which we probably can presume are less edited. How does Horn's 
speech in TBotLS compare with his speech in TBotSS?

From: "Pat O'Leary" <poleary@cecom.com>
>1. Why was the farmer who gave Silk/horn the seed so 
>fearful/hostile/violent toward him?

At least throughout his writing of TBotSS Hornsilk has a real persecution 
complex. From Sinew to Marrow to Babbie ... then throughout the books ... 
Hornsilk attributes to people the worst possible reasons for doing things. 
By the end of the books I questioned Hornsilk whenever he said someone was 
out to get him.

I'm not entirely sure *what* caused this persecution complex.

>That's sort of how I read them. If this is the case then each letter is a 
>formal overture of the
>central narrative method: Impersonation.

And, that's actually the theme of both series of books as well, in mirror 
images. TBotLS was a book about Silk written by Horn. TBotSS was a book 
about Horn written by Silk.

From: BMeyer7@aol.com
>5.  There has previously been a suggestion that maybe Horn/Silk was an
>inhumi.  It has been noted that one feature of inhumi is that they don't eat
>much.  On p. 361, it is said of Horn/Silk:  "sometimes it seemed like he was
>just pretending to eat and drink, and this was one of them."  Wow!  This is a
>Gene Wolfe red flare signal of something isn't it?

There was another pretty big hint in RttW. It's commented a few times that 
inhumi have really bad legs. And who spends the whole series walking around 
with a staff because he's partially crippled? Is this really a result of 
his 20-year-old wound at Blood's or something more?

I don't think that we can guarantee Hornsilk isn't an inhumi just because 
he *is* Silk, as that could be a result of a download going on top of 

I *doubt* Hornsilk was an ihumi at this point, but the question is: why 
would Wolfe offer so many hints that he might be?


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