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From: Michael Andre-Driussi <mantis@sirius.com>
Subject: (whorl) RTTW spoilers, the main narrator
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 12:56:49 

Adam quoted and wrote:

>> Eek!  In my rush to express my intuition that the Silk-to-Horn/Silk
>> transfer happened at a very specific point in the text (when Horn/Silk sees
>> Pig face to face after the operation), not off-stage somewhere (nor
>> anywhere else in time), I temporarily forgot all the monitor-to-eyeball
>> "rules of possession" previously established.
>I hope you won't be offended if I ask you where this intuition comes from.
>I'm sure you understand the book much better than me, but I honestly don't
>recall anything which even suggests that Silk's spirit is absent from his
>body when Horn's spirit is transferred in, and is "reloaded" from Pig after
>the operation (if I understand your position correctly).

IIRC, as Horn lay dying in the lander on Green, the deal expressed by the
Neighbors was something like: from two broken men we will make one whole
man.  And since Horn's "broken" nature was a dead body, well, it seemed as
if the broken part of Silk was something different, for example, a
spirit/soul that was seeking oblivion.  So if this is true, then Horn's
healthy spirit is poured into Silk's healthy body (which also just happens
to be on the Whorl, where Horn had been trying to go).

We have plenty of cases in Wolfe's fiction where two complete spirits are
in one body: Severian and Thecla, the serpent magician in the Soldier
books.  We also have ambiguous cases, like Jonas-in-Miles, or the case of
Jolenta (possession by a vision?).  We also have cases (BOTLS) where
fragments are left behind after a possession, and the same may be true when
a spirit is vacated from its original body (so it need not be an
"absolutely either/or" situation).

To turn your question around: if, as you seem to be saying, Silk's spirit
=was= already in Silk's body, and Horn's spirit is in there, too (a
Severian/Thecla situation: the Neighbor maybe should have said "you will be
a crutch for a broken man--until he heals" rather than that other way of
two broken men being used to make one whole man?  Certainly seems true, in
a sense, in retrospect!), then I fail to see the drive/point/goal of the
narrator in making sure that he catches the spirit from Pig when it comes
out.  Presumably the spirit in Pig is Silk-from-mainframe, right?  So . . .
what?  You already have a 100% Silk spirit in that body, along with a 100%
Horn spirit.  Why have 200% Silk?

Please explain your own sense of it all.  Is the spirit in Pig not Silk at
all, despite the suggestions surrounding Pig's behavior with the ghost
(Hyacinth, do you think?) in the mansion?  If it is not Silk, who is
it--Pas himself (at which point the mansion ghost is . . . Kypris?)?  So
the goal is to become Silk/Pas/Horn?

My model is that yes, Silk's spirit was weak and left; Horn's spirit
entered; Silk's spirit and Horn's body both left the picture.  At some time
before this, either a long time (if we believe Pig's tale of odyessy) or a
shorter time than that, for one reason or another, that version of
Silk-in-mainframe that we saw so briefly in BOTLS was downloaded into Pig.
Had Silk-in-mainframe been cured of his melancholy?  Was he new and
improved and intended to "upgrade" Silk?  (If so, then why not just beam
directly into Silk himself?  Was his area a "no monitor" zone?)  Was
Silk-in-mainframe going out on a quest of his own (could be anything, but
probably "no more landings, get ready to voyage again"), and this was
sabotaged by the crippling loss of eyes?  At which point, perhaps, the
interrum quest became "Find Silk; then complete the quest"?

So my model is that the Silk-in-Pig is not the same spirit as the Silk that
left Silk's body.  Silk-in-Pig is perhaps the scan from a happier Silk
(again recalling the vision we had of Passilk in TBOTLS), before everything
fell apart at the end of TBOTLS, and certainly long before the series of
political defeats, heartbreaks over Hyacinth while she was alive and the
crushing experience after her death.

Looking forward to seeing your model.


Sirius Fiction
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