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From: Dan Parmenter <dan@lec.com>
Subject: (whorl) textual support for Silk suicide hypothesis
Date: 27 Mar 2001 17:52:09 

I've been reading over a lot of the old posts regarding the Silk
suicide-attempt hypothesis.  My second reading of the series has
mostly convinced me that this is in fact the case and the support I
offer comes from the text and I'm quite surprised that no one appears
to have mentioned it (at least not in the Whorl digests I examined).
On page 66 of RTTW we get this after a trip to Green and some dream


	"Let me illustrate my point.  A man has a house where he lives
for some years with his wife.  They are very happy, this man and his
wife.  They love each other, and whatever else may go amiss, they have
eachother.  Then the man's wife dies, and he leaves the house in which
he has had so much happiness.  It has become abhorrent to him.  Unless
the Outsider, the God of gods, restores her to life, he has no wish to
see that house ever again.  Am I making myself clear?"

	Vlug said, "So I think," and Azjin, "To me not."

	"I am speaking of the spirit departing the body at death.  The
body is the house I mentioned, and life was the wife who made it a
place of warmth and comfort."

	Azjin nodded.  "Ah."

	"Perhaps her husband goes the gods, as Legerman Leeuw
suggested, perhaps only out into darkness.  For the moment, it doesn't
matter.  My point is that he leaves the home she made for him, never
to return."

	"Bird go," Oreb declared.  He had been hopping around the
table, cadging bits of food.  "Go Silk."

	I told him, "If you mean you wish to diea when I do, Oreb, I
sincerely hope you don't.  In Gaon they tell of dying men who kill
some favorite animal, usually a horse or a dog, so it will accompany
them in death; and under the Long Sun their rulers went so far as to
have their favorite wives burned alive on their funeral pyres.  When I
die, I sincerely hope no friend or relative of mine will succumb to
any such cruel foolishness."


How should one intepret this?  I choose to interpret it as Silk
(SilkHorn) describing his own life with Hyacinth and his subsequent
suicide attempt when she dies.  He speaks metaphorically, but perhaps
it should be interpreted literally except with Silk as the
grief-stricken one who tries to join his beloved in death.  Silk is a
classic "do as I say, not as I do" type.  It wouldn't surprise me at
all to hear Silk inveigh against pointless suicides while being
exactly the sort who would go ahead and do just that.  As to why he
made such a clumsy attempt, despite his Augur's skills, that's a
poser, but I wouldn't rule out that Silk may not have been thinking
clearly and simply thought "slash my wrists" without thinking about
the proper technique (this is apparently quite common in failed
suicide attempts).  I think Silk the Augur was more accustomed to
cutting the jugular vein.


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