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From: maa32 <maa32@dana.ucc.nau.edu>
Subject: spys in Short Sun
Date: Tue, 25 Dec 2001 09:33:05 -0700

Please forgive me if this post repeats older material and rips off anyone's 
ideas.  The computer I am working on now is so painfully slow that to review 
the archives would take a million years.  As I was re-reading the Book of the 
Short Sun, it struck me that the individual events that make up the text 
involve female spys working to subvert peace and order.  In the first book, 
I'm sure we've discussed how Evensong (Chota) was probably a spy for Han, 
since she was upset when called the Man of Han's woman, and then tried to find 
all about the inhuma when the narrator escaped with her (after she got a "boat 
for a single spy").  Fava and Mora where spies, and in Return to the Whorl the 
dream the narrator has in Chapter 4 involves Spider, the spy catcher, saying 
that it's all dirt, and has Fava and Mora pointing down at Hyacinth, obviously 
implicated as a spy at this point due to her lesbian relationship on the 
Triviguante Ship in Exodus from the Long Sun.  These females form a long line 
of spies that permeate the text.  I think the most important distinction to 
make is whether or not Seawrack is a spy for the Mother.  In On Blue's Waters, 
Horn posits the "main riddle" that the Mother may desire Seawrack to mingle 
with mankind to be a better lure, a more effective bait, or something equally 
If all these spy subplots point to Seawrack as a spy (and the name Evensong 
sailing in a boat with the narrator tends to evoke images of Seawrack), then 
perhaps Silk's departure at the end of the Book of the Short Sun is a real 
sacrifice: he bites the bullet, takes the spy with him to remove her from the 
Mother's employment permanently, thus destroying the Mother's eyes in the 
world and blinding her, as he reversed the blindness of Pig and Maytera 
Marble.  (Vision is a big part of the Book, too.) Silk steals the siren and 
saves the world from the evil machinations of Mother, a victory for men 
everywhere and a fine answer to "fair young girls live to deceive you, sad 
experience teaches me."
Once again, I have no idea how much of this has been discussed before since I 
didn't read the books until the discussion had gone in a very different 
direction and have been grossly negligent in reviewing the archives.  
Marc Aramini

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