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From: "Dave Lebling" <dlebling@shore.net>
Subject: (whorl) Notes from a Second Reading
Date: Sun, 11 Feb 2001 12:03:02 

A few minor notes during a second reading:

1) When Horn and Pig talk about names, Pig's first suggestion for a name for
himself is "Cotton." Later, "Ox," "Bull," and "Owl." Finally "Pig." Any
significance to the first, especially?  Also, Pig mentions at some point
around here (which I can't find again, drat!) that he is from Nabaeantann.
To me, his "Gaelic" is more Scots (Robert Burns, e.g.) than Irish or Welsh.
The fliers (and this is just my impression) came across as Irish or Welsh.

1a) During this exchange, Pig laughingly refers to a "blind pig," which Silk
doesn't realize is a term for a speakeasy. A reference to Pig's past
troubles with "grog."

2) It's quite obvious to me that RttW, and to a lesser extent TBotSS as a
whole, is a long suicide note. Clearly Silk was in the process of committing
suicide due to his grief at Hyacinth's death when Horn's spirit was infused
in his body. The book is a race between Silk's cure and his recovery of
control of his mind.

2a) If Pig "killed" Silk and lost his "een" afterwards, it was the quickest
recovery from such massive trauma on record. Horn was added to the dying
Silk, woke up, wandered out into the light, fell asleep, awoke on a darkday,
and met Pig the same day. If Pig had lost his "een" shortly after an attack
on Silk, he would still be bleeding. Also, it's stated explicitly that this
killing occured in a manteion that attracted Pig as a looter due to the
large size of its doors. Silk and Hyacinth lived in a "manse" also described
as a "cottage." Sorry, Mr. Borski, but this one just doesn't fly. On the
other hand, the suggestion that Pig is a small-size godling is a good one;
there is no need for it (as Horn/Silk explains, he can as easily be a
super-embryo like Silk) but it feels right. Probably the godlings of
whatever size are the result of genetic manipulation.

2b) Somehow there is a unity among Hyacinth, Seawrack, and Kypris which I'm
not sure I fully apprehend. The point about Silk going off with Seawrack,
whom he has never met, is a good one. Are Hyacinth and Seawrack both avatars
of Kypris? Is Seawrack an acceptable substitute for Hyacinth because she is
so magically seductive that Silk will forget Hyacinth? Is she a replacement
for Hyacinth, or a successor? Is it Horn's love for Seawrack that survives
in Silk somehow? Wolfe's view of mind-sharing seems to allow for a blending
of characteristics over the long term, so I wouldn't rule it out. Remora's
couplet on p. 408 certainly makes me think of reincarnation or some other
form of survival after death. Hyacinth may have been trodden down, yet she

2c) The business with the rings still has me confused. I didn't take notes
on it, but the ring Horn wears changes size (at one point it fits his thumb
only, later a finger) and appearance throughout the narrative.

3) "Thyone's son," apparently another avatar of the Outsider, is the Greek
Dionysus, son of Semele and Zeus. Semele's name was changed to Thyone when
Dionysus replaced Hestia in the Olympian pantheon. According to Graves, the
name change was to avoid angering Hera. Silk seems to identify all unnamed
gods with the Outsider.

4) When Horn et al. are prisoners in Dorp, there is a reference (p 143) to
Cijfer fetching "a bio" to help Jahlee. I find this an interesting, if
baffling, statement. There are few chems on Blue. Does this mean Cijfer
(intriguing name!) is a chem? The context is Horn wondering if there is
another inhuma in the house. Curious.

5) p 183. Horn/Silk is wondering how he got to Green from Judge Hamer's
sellaria with no inhumu present. He gives three possibilities: 1) Fava
posessing Vadsig, 2) the presence of an unknown inhumu, 3) assistance by the
Neighbors, and 4) a possibility he is "loath to mention." Anyone know what
that possibility is? Is it, as suggested by several posters, that Horn/Silk
himself is an inhumu? I hate this suggestion, personally, but there is a lot
of circumstantial evidence in its favor (and against it as well). The
evidence in favor has been posted. The evidence against includes the fact
that Horn/Silk does eat, sometimes a fair amount (soup, sandwiches, wine,
etc.), that various people see him up close (Tansy bandages his wounded arm
and comments on the scar from the white-headed ones bite, Olivine sees him
naked or nearly so, etc.). Also, the fact that he is still somewhat lame
from a twenty-year-hold broken ankle is not usual, especially given the
rather rough way he treated it immediately after.

6) The Secret of the Inhumi. I feel a little let down here. We figured this
one out in book one. It doesn't live up to some of the remarks made about it
by Horn himself. As we've pointed out, how would humanity in general knowing
the secret hurt the inhumi? Why would the inhumi care one way or another if
the secret came out? It's so terrible that Nettle has to leave Blue because
Silk tells it to her. Why? What possible defense against the inhumi does
knowing the secret enable? If anything it might influence humans to be more
compassionate towards creatures who are in some ways their own children, the
behavior we see from Horn (to some extent) and Silk.

6a) The most interesting part of this is that the Neighbors introduced
inhumi to the Whorl to see what human-inhumi would be like, as a sort of
test of whether humans deserved to have Blue and Green. So, they did this
test, liked the results, and gave Blue to humanity in the form of Horn,
perhaps because he was the first human to approach an accord with an inhumu

6b) How is Jahlee Horn's daughter, other than by adoption? Krait is
certainly Horn's son (not grandson) in the sense that he shares Sinew's
blood and mind, but Jahlee? I hate neat coincidences of the sort that
provides Jahlee, Krait's mother, as the randomly chosen inhuma dug up from
the plaza in Gaon. Even Shakespeare would blush at that coincidence.

Enough for now.

    Dave Lebling
    aka vizcacha

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