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From: maa32 <maa32@dana.ucc.nau.edu>
Subject: Salica's first story
Date: Tue, 01 Jan 2002 18:59:30 -0700

Have we been able to account for the presence of the strego with the talking 
bird in Inclito's mother's first story?  What does that story reflect in the 
work as a whole?  Here is my association, if anybody has any ideas I'd love to 
go over them.

In the story, a bunch of husbands are killed by a fang in a boot long after 
the original grave desecrator has been destroyed.  The moral seemed to be that 
while all the men resembled the first husband to Salica, to the first 
husband's ghost they resembled  the evil suitor; therefore, that while 
everyone thinks the narrator resembles Silk, he thinks he is someone else.  I 
would like to go deeper than that.

The names of the suitor's in translation are weird:
they mean Helmet, Soldier, Joy, Solemnity, etc., and Silk and Oreb seem to be 
in it.  Ok.  Where do helmets, soldiers, and figures of Joy and Solemnity 
occur in one scene elsewhere in the text?

Well, it seems to me that all these figures are joined in Return to the Whorl 
when Pig, Silk, and Hound study the statues of the gods.  In it, Sphigx is 
represented by a helmet and it is explained at great length that this is to 
conceal her from the Trivigaunti, who habitually destroy her image.  The gods 
that are discussed at length are Feasting Phea (joy), Molpe (sorrow), and 
Quadrifons, as well as Scylla through Oreb and Pas through Silver or Silent 
Silk.  And Pig was a soldier.  How does Salica's story reveal anything about 
the situation of the gods?  In it, we learn that someone is striking from 
beyond the grave (and in the other scene, we learn that Heirax, the god of 
death, is dead). 
We know that a significant portion of Silk is trapped in Pig and cannot be 
returned to Mainframe until Pig gets an eye back. We know that Scylla wants to 
get to "Blue Mainframe".  In the story, the Strego warns Casco not to strike 
at the grave.  Does Silk need to get back to Pas to stop a desecration from 
occuring?  Or does he need to get back so that he can send his spirit into the 
body of Silk, from which Silk's original spirit has been displaced by his 
tragedy and replaced by all that remains of Horn? (Unless Horn's spirit enters 
Babbie - off the immediate subject: have we figured out who the two fanged 
("with fangs bigger than a man's wrist") green mankiller that approaches the 
narrator in several passages in the last two books actually was? the 
description of Babbie in Return to the Whorl with huge tusks thicker than a 
man's wrist seems to parallel that description very strangely. And how do we 
account for the passage at the very end of On Blue's Waters where the narrator 
seems to be Babbie?)

Marc Aramini

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