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From: Michael Andre-Driussi <mantis@sirius.com>
Subject: (whorl) BLUE religion notes
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 09:49:33 

Having said that OBW is like the authorized sequel to DON QUIXOTE, and
responding in part to questions of motives for the elders of New Viron in
choosing Horn for the goose chase, I offer the following notes:

Horn (and Nettle, it turns out) wrote TBOTLS as memoir of the way they
lived on the Long Sun Whorl, and also as a tribute to Silk.  That is, they
didn't intend to write a sort of New Testament.

However, things are getting bad in the colony.  People in dire straits look
for heroes, and people have been reading TBOTLS.  They may be on the cusp
of a new religion, call it "Silkism," that stands to the Vironese Church as
Christianity stands to ancient Paganism.  Silkism focuses on a transcendant
god, the formerly obscure Outsider, as being above and beyond all the other

Obviously this impulse, real or imagined, will cause friction with the
established Vironese Church.  The goose chase offers the opportunity to nip
it all in the bud, by sending the chief architect of Silkism (even though
he doesn't recognize it as a new religion) out of sight and mind, or,
should he be somehow successful, by bringing (the heretic?) Silk to answer
questions (charges?) in New Viron.

Just as the Rajan of Gaon proves useful during times of trouble, up to the
moment of victory, when suddenly he must be killed . . . not all that
different from Apu Punchau, come to think of it . . .

Another parallel with TBOTNS: Severian writes four volumes about himself,
then one volume about his return as something else, something he was
striving to become (however unconsciously); Horn writes four volumes about
Silk, then in OBW it becomes clear that he has somehow incorporated Silk
within himself, Silk has become a part of him, or he has become a part of
Silk--in any event, he has merged to a degree with his role model.

Not that this leaves the Rajan as a perfected being!


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