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From: "Alice Turner" <pei047@attglobal.net>
Subject: (whorl) Does Horn Know He is Silk?
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2000 10:29:44 

I think he does and he doesn't. Horn practically worshipped Silk as a
boy, wrote a book about him, has invested much of his life in
perpetuating his myth and doesn't feel up to "walking in his shoes." He
knows that it is his--Horn's--personality in this body, however much
Oreb may squawk. Nevertheless, parts of Silk are left, just as you can
never erase a program completely from your computer.

When the "astral projection" trips are taken, the people at the other
end appear as filtered through the mind not only of Silk/Horn, but that
of the inhuma who he is partnered with (this is not something he can do
alone). That is why he looks more like the old Horn, whose face he saw
in the mirror when he shaved for decades, why the vampires are "real
girls," why Oreb is so large and so human looking.

But something else is going on too. Horn is the first of Wolfe's
characters ever to grow. The two-dimensional "plain man" of the first
book, whose weaknesses were evident enough--just think Sinew, Krait,
Seawrack--is slowly becoming more extraordinary than any other Wolfe
character (not surprising, as we realize that he incorporates Silk and
is an aspect of the Conciliator--you realize that his astral trip to
Urth will be remembered as a visit from the Conciliator). This is the
first Wolfe book that has ever made me cry, and I can cry all over again
thinking of his silent and near-deadly heroism in cradling the dying
Fava in his arms while they embark on one last adventure together. Or
the last paragraph of the book, which is extraordinary. Horn is the best
of Wofe's heroes, the deepest, the most human, the most adult.


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