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From: "Robert Borski" <rborski@charter.net>
Subject: (whorl) This little Piggie had roast hus for dinner
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2001 15:10:58 

For a long time now, and well before the publication of RTTW, I've been
wondering if there might be a connection between Babbie the hus and the
blind giant known as Pig. Part of this was based on the similarities of
Babbie to Babe, the talking (lower case) pig of cinematic fame; both speak
in their own fashion and are of unusual intelligence, and the hus, I always
felt, was meant to be seen as porcine. The hus-Pig connection was then
further reinforced by GW himself, who told me that hus was actually short
for hushog (at least originally), and since the last three letters of this
are a perfect synonym for 'pig,' it's somewhat easier to equate the two. And
then there's the loving nature of Horn's relationship to both man and beast,
each in his own way being a friend and boon companion to Horn while he's on
the road and water having his various adventures.

After having read RTTW, I'm now even more convinced that my original
supposition is true. Certainly, GW seems to want to suggest this (almost as
much as he does the notion that Horn may be an inhumu), so let me take you
through the particulars.

[This post also presumes you've read my first two Piggie posts, which argue
that Pas's blind son Tartaros has been downloaded into godling Pig.]

A number of times in the narrative both Pig and Babbie are described as
having thick black nails. E.g., "[Pig] was standing at the ambion, his thick
black nails seeming to stab at its carven sides." And: "Babbie himself
simply rose to obey, thick black claws clicking along the deck very much as
they used to when the two of us were sole occupants of my little sloop."

In a dream that Horn has, "Pig was seated in the stern, his hand upon the
tiller and Oreb on his shoulder." This parallels a scene in OBW where Babbie
mans the tiller.

Babbie has grown since his earlier days with Horn, prompting Vadsig to say,
"Never a hus so big I see." Compare this with Pig's giant nature.

Pig has no particular bestial features (other than his thick black nails
perhaps), but the godling who picks up Horn has "tiny eyes, nostrils like
the lairs of two beasts, and a cavernous mouth," plus "bestial, pointed
ears." The "tiny eyes" aspects will become more important shortly.

The gods of Mainframe, we are told, can go into animals, and have done so to
escape Pas's angry wrath. It seems rather parsimonious of Wolfe to only show
one example of this (Scylla as Oreb).

But perhaps the strongest evidence for a Pig-Babbie link comes when Horn
goes back to the Red Sun Whorl with Scylla, Hoof, and Juganu. Babbie is
present in the boat when they dream-jump, but rather than stay behind as
Horn intended, Babbie appears as "a hairy man with thick arms and real big
shoulders, and glasses, and a couple of Babbie's eyes (the little ones)."
Horn, in fact, does not even recognize him; but the transformation is very
similar to the process that Oreb undergoes in both this and previous jumps.
In fact, it was these same transformations that led me earlier to conclude
that Oreb was possessed by Scylla--an idea that was roundly dismissed by
almost everyone here except mantis. Babbie's hairiness, thick arms, and real
big shoulders match up similarly with giant, hirsute Pig. Babbie cannot talk
here, but this may be because Horn cannot imagine him so ("Are you really my
old master? This was said with Babbie's eyes; it is the only way he has of
talking."). But what's really odd and distinctive in the above description
are "the glasses" and "Babbie's eyes (the little ones)." This implies, to
me, _four_ eyes, which may or may not be an attribute of the Neighbors
(similarly the expression, "By Pas's bright four eyes," if you buy my
Pas-as-Neighbor theory.) "The little ones" recall the "tiny eyes" of the
godling who picked up Horn, and the glasses may well represent on a
symbolic--or possibly prosthetic--level how Pig is able to navigate so
thoroughly in the dark. Pig claims he can tell what's ahead by feeling it on
his "clock," meaning face, but there may be some correlation here between
"clock" and "glass." Horn also looks in the dream whorl more like the Horn
that Hoof remembers, while Scylla finally assumes her Cilinia form,
splitting off from Oreb; I therefore don't think it's unreasonable to argue
that the hairy, man-shaped, four-eyed Babbie is more reflective of his truer
nature--that of hus + Pig.

Does this mean I believe that Tartaros/Pig has downloaded himself into Pig
the same way that Scylla has gone into Oreb? I think this is certainly one
valid interpretation. But the theory I prefer is another one that has been
roundly dismissed--that Babbie is actually a Neighbor. We do not know if the
Neighbors can shape-change, but given that their programmed bio-weapons, the
inhumi, can, I don't think it's that big of a stretch to imagine so (they
may also be able to bilocate in dreams like the inhumi, and this same
pluriprescence is seen in the gods of Mainframe). This helps resolve the
four-eyed aspect of Babbie's dream avatar, as well as the very curious
initial observation that Horn makes about Babbie, who's only half-grown and
the size of a large dog, but who at first glance, just before he jumps from
Mucor's rock, looks like "a cluster of boys, or two men upon their hands and

But what the heck is Tartaros--if he's either Pig or Babbie, or both--trying
to accomplish with all of these outré manifestations?

Stay tuned.

(Note to Adam Stephanides about Pig's cut-out eyes. When Horn looks at where
Pig's eyes should be, he sees "Widely-spaced holes like the eyes in the
skull stared at nothing." This is not inconsistent with a person born
without eyes (as opposed to, say, blindness caused by optic nerve damage).
In fact, given one person who was born without eyes and another whose eyes
were physically removed, it may not be possible to tell the difference given
proper healing time for the latter. But even above and apart from this, look
at what Tartaros says at one time in CALDE OF THE LONG SUN: "What your
augurs and sibyls see, if they see anything, is the self-image of the god
who chooses to be seen." It could be that Tartaros's self-image includes
either no eyes or cut-out eyes. He is, after all, as he describes himself,
"the only unwilling god," and cannot heal himself--although it's hard to see
why his computer-scanned personna couldn't, unless it's written into his
programming or forbidden by Pas.)

Robert Borski

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