From: "Robert Borski"
Subject: Re: (urth) Rereading the Short Sun Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2002 14:48:10 -0500 The bug-eyed one having writ: > Silk, grieving for Hyacinth, is "dying in spirit." Despite the > repeated attempts to say he is committing suicide, I find this > untenable; the Neighbor makes it clear that they are moving Horn > into a healthy body, and it's well-established that gashing your > arms with a knife is standard mourning practice in Viron. Silk > is either replaced or totally submerged by Horn. I don't like the suicide theory either (can't see Silk committing selbstmord, it being too heinous a sin in Wolfe's Catholicism), but like the-slash-and-gash-boohoo-theory even less. This is because, if memory serves me right, there's no mention of the practice anywhere in the Short Sun books. Thus the mystery of Silk's death--the how and the why and under what circumstances he receives his lethal wounds--cannot be resolved by simply reading SS alone. This seems most churlish and meanspirited of the author, and hardly likely to win him new readers, especially if Soleil Bref is their first encounter with the Sun books; whereas if the answer can be gleaned without resort to a completely different series (as I believe all the central questions of SS can and must be), it's a much tidier, well-crafted, and aesthetically-pleasing book. Robert Borski --