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From: maa32 <maa32@dana.ucc.nau.edu>
Subject: Soul swapping and time bending thesis
Date: Sat, 05 Jan 2002 12:11:52 -0700

In response to my crazed and unorganized theories involving Horn in Babbie and 
Neighbors as some kind of tree or something, Nutria kindly (and thoroughly, in 
a much more organized fashion than I have formulated it so far) replied:

Good point. The 3-horn business comes after the rule. Now, am I understanding 
you right? Are you saying that Horn's spirit first goes into Silk's body, and 
then when Silk is revived by Severian, Horn enters Babbie's body? That's an 
intriguing thesis. I'd like to hear from some of the others on this list, who 
have devoted more attention to the problem of who the Narrator is at various 
        Now, rather than repost all of your interesting missive, let me ask 
this: Are you suggesting that the Green Man who meets Severian might be a 
Neighbor from Ushas? From what you wrote, I gather you are suggesting 
something like this:

        1. Urth becomes Ushas.
        2. Intelligent plants, perhaps "descended" from humans, take over 
Ushas as Neighbors/Green Men.
        3. Neighbors create inhumi on Green/Lune.
        4. Much later, they transcend Ushas and "move on."
        5. The Whorl arrives back at Ushas/Lune (Blue/Green), perhaps a 
million years later (because I don't see how all the above could have happened 
in 1000 years).

        I'm not trying to be funny, just trying to figure out what your thesis 
is. Perhaps you can unpack it.

This is great Nutria, I think it is a wonderful way of organizing all of my 
incoherent gaps.  Instead of saying that Severian ressurects Silk in Horn, I 
am suggesting that a part of Horn leaves Silk's body at the very end of On 
Blue's Waters, at which point he loses some sense of himself as Horn, and 
therefore re-reads the manuscript he has to piece together what is going on 
and notes all the things he left out.  Note that On Blue's Waters is mostly in 
the past and only details the present situation of the narrator in small gaps, 
whereas In Green's Jungles is primarily in the present but recounts Horn's 
journeys through small snipets and through third person stories (such as his 
stories at the dinner table in Inclito's (Windcloud's) house where he calls 
himself "he" instead of "I").  In Return to the Whorl, Babbie returns to him 
and he looks him in the eye (also, neighbors are all over the place in that 
book, and supposedly he has "Seawrack's" ring again) and can complete 
transmitting Horn into Babbie (I'm not sure if this goes on, or whether Horn 
takes his leave at the end of Book 1: just remember how much meaner the Horn 
of On Blue's Waters seems than the narrator of In Green's Jungles and Return 
to the Whorl).

I am not sure why he meets Severian, but I am pretty sure that Silk needed to 
leave Pig in order to re-possess his own body, and that this happened at the 
sickbay where the screen was silvery-gray, (note the warnings of the doctor: 
pay attention to your monitor.  Don't piss in the wind.) but I have no idea 
exactly where Silk came back into possession of his body in toto. I think Silk 
and Horn are both in fragments in Silk's body (but again, I am not entirely 
confident that it is Silk's original body.  Fava calls him Dervis, Horn's 
father thinks he is Parietal, and he seems mighty light [a slug gun knocks him 
off his horse] and reluctant to eat, at one point (maybe in astral travel) he 
doesn't have the scars on his arms from fighting Hierax).  Fragments of Horn 
leave, but leave a little behind (just like godly possession), with the 
largest portion fleeing into Babbie at the end of On Blue's Waters, leaving 
Silk to kill the rest to take over full possession.
I really think that the trees are related to the neighbors, but I am just not 
sure if they are the green man, and I just can't account for the doubling of 
limbs (for all creatures, big and small!).  That's the biggest problem for me, 
unless it is yet another alternate branch like Master Ash/ Green Man: they 
can't both exist.  I don't like that, because there doesn't seem to be ANY 
textual evidence for alternate realities in the Book of the Short Sun. I am 
saying that the trip to the past is important because it allows Scylla 
(Cillinia) to communicate with Greater Scylla and gives Silk a chance to learn 
how to get Seawrack from the future Greater Scylla (or her sister, or 
whatever).  He does a favor for them both by returning Cillinia to her resting 
place, which would have been destroyed in the flood, so this is the last time 
(or an approximation of that time) at which Silk can arrive and perform this 
service for Scylla.  Severian is important because he allows this service to 
Scylla to be completed since he is material and can lay her to rest, whereas 
if Silk opened the tomb it might become undone: remember how the neighbor 
asked Horn to clear out the sewer in Green with all the corpses?  He said he 
could do it, but it would become undone if he did it and be clogged again.  I 
think that the Neighbor was present to Horn in the same way that Silk is 
present in Urth.  He needed Severian to lay Scylla to rest forever.
This allows Silk to get a hold on Seawrack (and if you are at all interested 
in an unbiased presentation of Seawrack, read the afterward and see how she is 
described as a bestial creature ready to stick a knife in anything except 
Father), who is very important.  Also, remember who commissions Hari Mau to 
bring back Silk: all his men keep having dreams about Echidna, the mother 
goddess.  On Blue, I'm pretty sure these dreams are being sent by The 
Mother/Greater Scylla unless Echidna is hiding in a cow down there. That 
Mother is important, and I think the conclusion deals more with foiling the 
Mother's plot by placating her in the past (with the Savior Severian's  help) 
than with ressurecting Silk.
Yes, I would say that the whorl has been gone for a very long time.  
There are still some things I really think don't fit with all this, but you 
have encapsulated where I think one reading of the text can take us in a very 
nice fashion, Nutria.  Thanks for taking the time to figure out what I'm 
trying to say: as I said, I had many different ideas about the text that I can 
not quite unify. I am not sure where the Vanished People are in the time of 
Book of the Short Sun: at times, it seems that they are everywhere, especially 
when Hoof randomly looks through the ring and sees one just hanging out in the 
ocean on a big tree. Are they really from the past?
And, interestingly enough, there is that skeleton in the huge tower that 
Jahlee has made her home on Green, which she calls Silk's "friend" which she 
throws out, then at the top of the cliff he meets that man coming towards them 
in the colorless cloak.  do you remember that scene in Return to the Whorl?  
Who wears a colorless cloak?  Maybe Andy was right and Severian's spirit is on 
Lune. Does colorless mean clear/ white or fulligin?  I don't know.  That part 
creeps me out.  Have we talked about that apparition?  And why does Silk 
resemble Malrubius so much?  Where they grown from the same embryo - why would 
they do that? Did Urth have sufficient technology to preserve an embryo for a 
thousand years and randomly grow it?  Maybe that is why Silk can go back to 
that time period - his soul is essentially the same as Malrubius', and once 
Malrubius is dead he has an opening.  I don't know. Let's not incorporate this 
into my thesis - it's more random speculation. Thanks for you attention, 
Nutria.  I appreciate it.
Marc Aramini

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