(urth) The eyes of a clone

James Wynn thewynns at earthlink.net
Thu Aug 4 17:14:09 PDT 2005

Roy says:
>There is another line of text immediately following the word "before" in
>above quote that starts a new paragraph and which makes things clearer:

>"Streaming sunlight, and cheeks that were not smooth wood but blotched and
>lightly pocked."

>He was thinking of Chenille's face as he had seen it in a patch of sunlight
>when he talked to her in the arbor a day or two before. Her face was
>probably from acne, and she used facial powder to cover it up. Her face was
>so red in the second quoted scene because she had been badly sunburned
>naked in the boat on the lake, when she was possessed by Scylla. The wood
>the bust had been carved from was naturally reddish-brown, as the second
>quote you gave shows. There is no way to determine the color of the
>complexion of the face represented on the bust, no way to distinguish it
>from the rest of the wood.

I guess I presumed the reference made it clear that Silk was looking at
Chenille, but you are probably right that I should have clarified that.
Also, the "flaws" her powder covered don't have to be acne, I suppose. It
could be discoloration or...well...any number of things. I don't know.

But none of that affects my point which I will hammer again.

Silk was looking at Chenille's sunburned reddish-brown face and according to
the literal reading of the text, was looking - in some sense - at the very
face the calde'.

     "The calde's carved countenance rose again before his mind's eye, and
it seemed to him that he had seen it someplace else only a day or two
before...[he] had seen him, in that case, under the auspices of the
Outsider, in a sense."

The text says that Silk saw the face of the calde (saw it, as we both agree,
in Chenille's face) a few days BEFORE this when Chenille's face had not been
reddened by sunburn.  Also, Silk says the bust in his closet was
*reddish-brown*, thus Chenille's face calls it to mind. But the face of the
man Silk sees in his near-death experience is said to have been *brown* (not
reddish-brown) as Chenille's would presumably have been a few days before.

My point is that there is a pattern of the *actual* face of the Calde'
(whenever it is referred to) to be described as brown...and carved (ala
"carved features"). Oh yes, it is certainly possible -- easy in fact -- to
discount the precise reading of the text as literary flourishes in these
cases. But that does at least require the additional act of *discounting* in
order to do so. I have always found the parallels to be suggestive, and so
in this case I'm inclined to believe when the narration says Silk saw a
"carved brown face", a "carved brown face" is what he saw.


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