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From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes" 
Subject: RE: (urth) system of langauge
Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2002 16:30:57 -0800


This is amazing. I will definitely be looking at this when I reread
"Short Sun." This may be the most useful model of these books I've 
seen to date, and it seems to have tremendous explanatory power wrt
the texts as I remember them.

Bravo. Bravissimo!

-----Original Message-----
From: maa32 [mailto:maa32@dana.ucc.nau.edu]
Sent: Friday, March 29, 2002 4:27 PM
To: urth@urth.net
Subject: (urth) system of langauge

I don't know if many people have thought about Horn's life story as a
system that Silk uses to reconstruct himself, but if you want to make a case

about the universal application of stories even if they aren't true, it
be a pretty good way to look at the linguistic system in the Short Sun
Let's assume for this case the minimal supernatural stuff has gone on:
Silk is a shattered man who needs to heal his psyche somehow.  He steals the

language system of a convenient fellow, someone who has died but still has a

home and family left to write back to.  He assumes that man's identity, and 
then seeks to create a meaningful assertion of his identity using
langauge that does not belong to him: the story of the search for Silk turns

into a method and a process through which Silk can find himself again- by 
telling the story.  He attempts to defer death for Horn as long as he can (I

am paralleling the drive for the end of plot with the Thanatos syndrome of 
Freud here).  The plot exists for as long as he can stave back an account of

death from the text.  When Horn TRULY dies, he must face up to his own 
identity - and he needs the story as extended therapy.

In this case, interpretive relativism is completely irrelevant: whatever 
meaning Silk wants to ascribe to his own life, he can. Through the story of 
Horn.  In other words, even if Horn's story had nothing to do with Silk,
could still meet himself in the system of language through constructing his 
own identity.

As a schema for how fantastic literature might apply to real life, I find
particular picture kind of interesting.  It admits that language can be
from its original context, abused, and misinterpreted; it also allows a 
construction of self-identity through an assumed plot for anyone involved in

that theft.

Perhaps the Book of the Short Sun illustrates how a closed system of
can still have a universal application even after it is (indeed, especially 
after it is) stolen from its original context (in this case, from the mouth
the real Horn).

In other words, the text presents a model for overcoming the particular 
constraints and limitations of a fantastic story in order to reapply it in a

useful way for a reader/analyst.  Which might be a nice way to justify the 
study of fantastic literature in school.  Even though it's not real - it can

still be real.

I thought I'd fool you all by changing up my theme temporarily on the Short 
Sun Books.  Does anybody else like this "therapeutic" approach to looking at

Silk's claim to be Horn?

Marc Aramini



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