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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: (whorl) Posession
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001 09:11:21 

Yay!  Finally finished RTTW and wading through the archives and can post
some of my thoughts.  Y'all can put me in the camp that thinks this series
is fabulous--I don't know if I can say which of the three books I liked
best, so I'll just say I really like them all, but I do have a few
quibbles to go with the multitude of questions.

The oddest thing for me in this series is that Horn/Silk has a readilly
available model for understanding and explaining to others what has
happened to him.  Even if the end of RTTW convinces us it is the wrong
model, I still don't see why Horn/Silk wouldn't use it.  I mean posession,
of course, which Horn, Silk, and many of the folks he wishes would stop
calling him Silk have abundant experience with: Mucor, Mainframe Gods
posessing people and animals, Mora et. al. posessing people via dreams,
and what may offer an even closer parallel, bits of Maytera Rose in there
with Ms. Marble.

Given all this, it is astounding to me that Horn's persona, finding
himself in someone else's body, would not immediately see this as some
form of posession, or that when trying to convince people who he is, he
wouldn't explain what has happened to him in those terms.  Why wouldn't he
say to Calde Mint or Horn's family, "I am Horn, this is not my body, but
my spirit has been transferred into this body, let me prove it's me by
telling you a bunch of stuff only Horn would know."  Mint and Hoof and
Hide and Nettle all ought to have a much easier time believing this than
John Travolta's wife in Face/Off.

Furthermore, in all the cases of posession we know of, the personality of
the host body is still in there somewhere.  Horn shows particular concern
for Hide's fiancee when Mora et.al. are posessing her, and seems only
partly relieved when she claims to have befriended this legion.  Yet he
shows no concern for the persona in whose body he's trespassing.  Perhaps
this is more of the Silky "do as I say not as I do" that others have
noticed, but it still seems out of character.

I was going to concede that the end shows that Horn was not really
posessing Silk's body, that it was really Silk all along with maybe some
memories and influence by Horn (at a minimum, Horn is the influence behind
Silk writing the Book of the Short Sun).  But isn't this exactly like Silk
posessing Pig?  Pig is still himself, but he's been changed by Silk,
shares some of Silk's emotions, and Silk sometimes influences his actions.

So why doesn't Horn/Silk understand and explain himself this way?


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