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From: "ArchD'Ikon Zibethicus" 
Subject: (urth) Silk out of time / Blushas?  Grushas?
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 10:06:45 +0000


>why couldn't Marble's clock be correct?

>3.  Marble is absolutely decrepit.  I find it hard to believe that an
>advanced chem capable of self-repair and engaged in only mildly strenuous 
>activity would decay so soon.

Pardon my obtuseness, but is it anywhere specified that Marble's memories of 
her life as a secular chem are located on the Whorl?  She might have had an 
earlier life on Urth, as did many people who were forced aboard.


>Time did not "stop" for anyone. Silk had an transcendent moment, and > the 
>only way a temporal being can understand such a thing afterwards > is to 
>sort it out into various pieces and temporal events.

Well, when trying to establish these matters with some sort of 
definitiveness, I believe that an ounce of study of the actual text in 
question can sometimes be worth a ton of theorising in one direction or 
another.  For that reason, allow me to quote briefly from NLS Ch1 (are there 
standard abbrevations for titles here?); during his enlightenment, Pa. Silk 
"watched outside a clockwork show whose works had stopped", and saw (among 
other things):

"- dead Patera Pike mumbling prayers as he slit the throat of a speckled 
rabbit he himself had bought."

This seems to me to represent a vison or perception of a moment in Pa. 
Pike's past life, rather than the appearences of his shade elsewhere in the 

If this is the case, it would tend to support Nutria's perception of the 
experience as a transcendent - or transtemporal - one for Silk himself, 
rather than a stoppage of time for the entire Whorl, as _Silk_ is being 
shown things from various strands of time, the past and possible the future. 
  That's how I read it, anyway...


>Is it possible that Blue-Green is Urth-Lune in another Banggnab? Is it 
>possible that Silk is the Conciliator of this Banggnab, and that is why he 
>has a link with Severian?

>Of course this raises questions, such as how the Whorl made this trip, and 
>whether astral travel back to Urth is time-travel or some kind of 
>parallel-universe travel.

Of course such a thing is _possible_, but I don't myself know just how 
_probable_ it is.  I base this opinion especially on IGJ Ch22, 'The Barbican 
and the Bear Tower', which relates the visit/return of Horn/Incanto's party 
to Nessus.  Duko Rigoglio is one of those inhabitants of Nessus who were 
forced to board the Whorl.  He returns to the street outside his house 
because of his emotional attraction to the spot (as I understand it).  
Throughout the chapter, it becomes obvious that the spot has aged greatly 
since the Duko lived there; the party guess anywhere from 1 900 to 2 500 

If what is involved in this sort of non-physical travel (call it 'astral' if 
you _must_) is a passage from one BangGnab to another, why would there be a 
linear progression in the local timeframe of Nessus?  It seems to me that 
something altogether more intricate is involved here...

If this amount of time has elapsed since Rigoglio's involuntary departure, 
how does it synchronise with the general consenus that the Whorl has been 
travelling for three hundred years?  And, further, this visit of the party 
to Nessus occurs some years before Severian brings the New Sun, which 
destroys Nessus and all else.  If Rigoglio was abducted during the reign of 
Typhon, is it possible that he was kept in storage on Urth somewhere for an 
appropriate period of time?

It would appear likely that the lapse of time in Nessus as experienced by 
Rigoglio on his return actually corresponds (in Urth time) to the period for 
which he has been gone on the Whorl.  Otherwise, why have the elapsation at 

Blattid (tip o' the hat to archy!):

>"You may be right about this, and certainly I would not go
>so far as to say that you were wrong, but still ...!" (Place
>_that_ quote for double credit.)

Mundus vult decipi!

>What makes me think that Silk's experience has some kind of
>internal sequentiality: he has the sense of someone (the
>Outsider) speaking into both his ears. Now, I may simply put too much 
>emphasis on that detail, but it seems to me that
>speech has a kind of inherent sequentiality to it.

>Of course, this may simply mean that he _remembers_ it that way.

Moreover, it occurs in an instant in the middle of the prosaic activity of a 
ball game, which is not interrupted by it.  I suspect that Mr. Wolfe is 
relating something corresponding to the classic 'mystical' experience, which 
occurs _outside_ time rather than as a consequence of time somehow 
'stopping'.  Mr. Wolfe specifies that what Silk retains of the experience 
which he can consciously relate is far smaller and less profound that the 
totality of the experience as it was originally granted to him.  Whether he 
relates it sequentially, or whether it occurs sequentially, it is impossible 
to explain it in a fashion conformant to its nature, which is, if you like, 
superhuman.  It certainly doesn't resemble the experience of an embolism!


4WIW, I read a long I/V with Mr. Wolfe shortly before I joined this forum, 
in which he said something to the effect that _all_ the 'clues' were present 
in the books, but that they were only placed there _once_, as he didn't 
intend to insult the intelligence of his readers.  Something like that, 
anyway.  I would tend to the view that, which I would of course be greatly 
interested to hear anything which Mr. Wolfe had to say concerning the 
planning and nature of his works, he is a skilled professional author, who 
inserted everything necessary to have his works understood TO THE EXTENT TO 
WHICH HE INTENDED in the works themselves.  Therefore, I support the call to 
closer textual study of works which are being theorised about...speaking as 
a hypocrite, to be sure!

Zibethicus the Lame (thus named by a fellow New Sun reader!)

PS: While I'm here, my copy of RTW (Return to the Whorl), the TOR paperback, 
is absolutely crammed with the most annoying typos throughout.  I've got 
forty-something markers in it to that effect - I just counted it.  Is this 
just my experience, perhaps because I was reading it aloud, or has anybody 
else noticed it?


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